Project Duchess (Duke Dynasty, #1)by Published 25 Jun 2019
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Project Duchess (Duke Dynasty, #1) Ebook Description
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From New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries comes a sparkling new series about an oft-widowed mother’s grown children, who blaze through society in their quest for the truth about their fathers . . . and in the process find that love just might conquer all . . .
A series of stepfathers and a difficult childhood have left Fletcher “Grey” Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt, with a guarded heart, enviable wealth, and the undeserved reputation of a rogue. Grey’s focus on expanding his dukedom allows him little time to find a wife. But when his mother is widowed yet again and he meets the charmingly unconventional woman managing his stepfather’s funeral, he’s shocked to discover how much they have in common. Still, Grey isn’t interested in love, no matter how pretty, or delightfully outspoken, the lady . . .
Beatrice Wolfe gave up on romance long ago, and the arrogant Duke of Greycourt with his rakish reputation isn’t exactly changing her mind. Then Grey agrees to assist his grief-stricken mother with her latest “project”: schooling spirited, unfashionable Beatrice for her debut. Now that Beatrice is seeing through Grey’s charms to his wounded heart, she’s having trouble keeping him at arm’s length. But once Grey starts digging into her family’s secrets, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her family . . . or with the man whose lessons capture her heart . . .
Project Duchess (Duke Dynasty, #1) Reviews
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Formulaic, tropey in the worst way, uninspired, and tossed together like a bad salad. Not even 300 pages and I had to force myself to not skim large chunks of it. I just was not captured by anything here. My mind wandered so long and so far while I struggled to read this book. I decided to fold the laundry so that I could have a few minutes away from it. I even put the folded laundry away. That's how unexcited I was about these characters and the plot (what little there was of one at least).
There is no legitimate chemistry between Grey and Beatrice and I lost track of the number of times I rolled my eyes or flat out had to put the book down over the shit they did and said. Grey pops a stiffy every time she's in his general vicinity and it's always for reasons he doesn't want to examine too closely. I never believed that he felt anything genuine for her, just physical attraction. I know the aristocracy are repressed, but COME ON PAL. A little self-reflection and emotional intelligence isn't going to cause you to lose your standing to Society or turn you into a weeping Byronic mess. Just stop thinking with your dick for five seconds. Please.
And Beatrice! Beatrice was so focused on hating Grey for half the book that those swoopy feelings in her gut whenever he was around sounded more like an impending IBS flareup than any kind of romantic attachment. These two ran lukewarm then cold and it was taxing to read. Physical lust is not the same as being emotionally engaged with a person and you can’t change my mind.
The smutty bits were AWFUL. If I ever have to see the phrase “earthquake in her soul” when describing an orgasm again, the offending book will be buried in my garden as fertilizer and maybe serve a useful purpose.
Vaguely referenced feelings and motivations that didn’t make sense dragged down what little actual story there was and just didn't inspire me to want to care about these characters. For example, Grey keeps thinking about how bitter he was about Things. Did I care about this and how it shaped him into the man he is? No. No I didn't. Because he did not display any depth of character or redeeming qualities. At all.
Finally, there was a lot of ~foreshadowing~ about an overarching plot but little of it actually interests me. The only character I'm actually curious about and want to read more of? Joshua Wolfe. We see far too little of him but his page time was the only thing that had me actively engaged with the story. Which is why I’ll read the next book, dammit. Jeffries knew what she was doing when she made him the focus of the next in the series.
In summary, I can’t recommend this to anyone. Save yourself and go find something else to read.
Beatrice Wolfe has too much experience organizing funerals. When she is called upon to help her Aunt Lydia after the death of her husband, she does so without hesitation. But when Fletcher Pryde, the Duke of Greycourt arrives, and not knowing who he is, she doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind regarding his rudeness. Just looking at him, she knows exactly what a man of his ilk are like and she wants nothing to do with him.
Grey is instantly taken with the woman who gives him her blunt rebuttals to his inquisition. When his brother shares concern that the woman’s brother may have been involved in a murder, he offers to spend time with her to learn what he can. Soon, he’s battling a mixture of emotions that offer him no peace except to claim Beatrice as his own.
Poor Grey. He had an awful childhood that left him untrusting of people in general. Trying to fit in with his half-siblings, he struggles with old wounds even as he hungers for Beatrice and the satisfaction that her presence brings to him. I loved that he adored Beatrice for her hoyden ways and her straight forward honesty. The very thing that would keep her from finding a suitable husband, and the things his mother’s project would fix, were the things that drew him to her. Sigh. Exactly what I look for in a historical romance.
”She was perfect for him in every way. And all she asked was that he let her look inside his very soul.
He should let her. It meant nothing, right?
It meant everything. It meant sharing his secrets with her, taking hers on faith, trusting her to hold his heart in her hands and not crush it, the way everyone else had. Because apparently he did have a heart if he were to judge from the searing pain in his chest.”
Beatrice was amazing. She was so kind and caring, always ready to help at a moment’s notice. With the weight of the her and her brother’s world on her shoulders, she’s fighting to do what needs to be done to assure they are not cast aside and found homeless.
But as suspicions of murder arise, she can’t help but worry that they are true. She was a strong heroine, determined to solve her problems in the best way society would allow. Her ability to speak her mind to Grey and stand up to him made me like her even more.
This has a lot of steam for a regency, but I LOVED it! If I want to read a flat historical romance, I’ll pull out one of my momma’s old books. Instead, this is what I want. A romance with suspense, mystery and intrigue all laced with sizzling passion. With enough uncertainty and drama to keep the story moving and a pace that matches it, I found myself reading this within an afternoon. I couldn’t stop.
Project Duchess sets up this series as we meet the characters that I assume will have their own books. There isn’t a one of them I don’t want to know more about. With the possibility for danger and mayhem as this series progresses, I’m eagerly awaiting the next book.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Kensington Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Safe [spoilers removed]
Triggers [spoilers removed]
This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from Zebra in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Project Duchess is the first book in Jefferies NEWEST series "Duke Dynasty" and I am such a fan for Sabrina Jeffries and she is pretty much an auto-read author since she was one of my very firsts adult authors to pick up. Now lately I never know if a regency will work for me or not but this book was so delicious in every way and I just didn't want to put it down. There was something so sweet and connecting about this story that I gravitated towards and I have no REGRETS in any way because once again this author has delighted me and I am more than happy with that.
Every time you offer to do whatever I wish, you tempt me, Beatrice. So don't offer unless you mean it
In Project Duchess, our story sets off when our hero has come to his family's estate when he hears that his step father has been killed and rushes home. He has had a great distance from his family and mostly that is due to his own actions and decisions and what happened to him when he was young and sent away from his family. Now having lost the only real father he ever really knew he is devastated and regrets that they weren't able to mend fences before he was killed. When he arrives he meets a cousin of one of his step brothers, Beatrice, who is sassy and smart and doesn't hold back with him and he finds her refreshing and wanting her like a breath of fresh air. Beatrice is in training to have her come out under the guidance of Grey's mother. But there is a murder to solve and Beatrice's brother is their primary suspect. Can he get to the truth without compromising the love that is forming between himself and Beatrice? or will that bride be burned unable to be rebuilt?
What I want is to make love to you. What I want is to show you what it feels like to need someone so desperately that nothing else makes sense, that the mere thought of seeing that person makes one's heart race.
Project Duchess was a stunning story and I was really captivated by the sweet and fun bantering that these two had whenever they were near to each other but at the same time, there is powerful chemistry that is built between them that really stuns you in all the delightful ways. I truly didn't want to let go of what these two had together. The chemistry that slowly forms between them is powerful from their walks in the woods, to Grey teaching her to dance and the slow passion that forms into burning desire was captivating. I honestly found myself caught in these fiery moments between these two. I had forgotten how well that Sabrina Jeffries crafts these steamy moments between a couple and she did it just right for these two.
At last he'd found a woman who could not only know him thoroughly, but could accept him for what he was--a man with flaws and fears, but a man still capable of loving.
The story itself is highly engaging and I was really curious about this murder mystery that is brought into the story and found wonderful balance with the romance itself. It is so intricately placed into the story that we find the ways that these two come together and see what is really going on with her brother Joshua. We also see a delightful connection form between Gwen (Grey's sister) and Joshua and they are book two so I love the little teasers and their book I have a feeling is going to be explosive.
Overall I found Project Duchess to be a truly entertaining and edge of your seat fun....a true pleasure to read and become engaged in!! You can't go wrong with this one here, so grab it up, settle in with a nice cup of tea and embrace this love story bound to curl your toes and leave you with a smile!
Series: Duke Dynasty #1
Publication Date: 6/25/19
Number of Pages: 352
This was an absolutely wonderful introduction to Sabrina Jeffries new series. There is an overall mystery to the series, I’ll not tell you what that is – but you’ll discover it in this book. We meet – and love – the five children of a duchess who has had three husbands – all dukes. She had one child, Fletcher (Grey), with her first husband; two children – twins – Marlowe (Thorn) and Gwyn with her second husband; two children, Sheridan and Heywood with her last husband. The series revolves around solving the mystery introduced in this book, the children learning more about their fathers, and each of them pursuing and finding their own HEA’s. I found each of them intriguing and can’t wait to get to know them better in their own stories. The next story (featuring Heywood) will be a novella, A PERFECT MATCH released in an anthology (Seduction on a Snowy Night) with authors Madeline Hunter and Mary Jo Putney. Then, in February of 2020, we get Gwyn’s story – The Bachelor.
Fletcher Pryde, the 5th Duke of Greycourt, had a lovely family life until he was ten years old. He lost his father when he was very young, so he didn’t remember him, nor does he really remember his first step-father. However, his second step-father created a happy, loving family for all of them. That idyllic family lasted until Grey was ten and the uncle his father had named as his guardian came to claim him. He even thought he might want to go with him. Then he saw his aunt and uncle’s true colors and his nightmare of a life began. He quickly walled off his heart and all emotions. He became cold and always, always in control. He also distanced himself from his family and had little interaction with them – even after his uncle died.
We first meet Grey as he’s receiving word that his step-father, Maurice, has died. He doesn’t want to, but he leaves for Armitage Hall. He’ll do his duty and then leave as soon as he can. However, he’s not prepared for what he finds when he gets there. He meets a sassy young woman standing in the hall and immediately starts making demands – as dukes do. She was having none of it and gave as good as she got. He had to wonder who that sharp-tongued woman was. Then, his brother arrived and introduced them. Uh-oh – he’d assumed she was a servant or merchant of some sort.
Beatrice Wolfe is the granddaughter of a duke, but she is penniless. She and her brother, Joshua, live in the dower house at Armitage Hall. Joshua was severely wounded in the Peninsular wars and he now acts as head gamekeeper for the estate. He is grouchy, uncommunicative, etc. – all those things we associate with PTSD today.
Beatrice has handled all of the arrangements for the funeral of her uncle, the Duke of Armitage, who has just died. She loves the family and wants to ease their way as much as possible. As she’s standing in the entryway arranging the funeral cookies, a man approaches and starts making demands and berating her. She knows he has to be the Duke of Greycourt just from what she’s heard of him. Well – he’s not going to speak to her that way.
Grey and Beatrice bicker right along with all of the other siblings in the house. It was so much fun to read because I’ve known big loving families who bickered just that way. Grey can’t believe he’s attracted to Beatrice – but he is – and he just won’t allow it. He’s in full control of himself and will absolutely not allow it. Right . . . We all know how that’s going to end.
With a mystery to solve, an acerbic brother to manage and a cruel aunt still reaching out to cause trouble, you begin to wonder if they can truly find their way to their HEA. Never fear, Grey is up to the task of assuaging Beatrice’s fears and concerns – it just takes him a while to get there.
This was an excellent read and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.