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When a Duke Says I Do (Lords and Ladies Series #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  679 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Miss Elsie Stanhope resided in Nottinghamshire, an area so rich in titled gentlemen, so felicitous for marriage-minded mamas, it was called "the Dukeries." Indeed, Elsie had been betrothed since childhood to the heir of a dukedom. She had no expectation it would be a love match. Still less that she would enter into a shockingly scandalous affair with an altogether differen ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 369 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Zebra
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148th out of 335 books — 655 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,297)
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This started out with so much promise. Not without flaws: heroine Elsie is too impishly cute, and there was an awful lot of time suddenly given to secondary characters for no apparent reason, unless it was very clumsy sequel baiting. But the premise and conflict were fresh and I was enjoying it a lot. Sadly, the book then went completely off the rails.

It begins as a love story between two wounded people. Elsie is a beloved, much indulged Baron's daughter whose twin died in her sleep at a young a
Jan 29, 2012 Cecilia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of rave reviews have come out for this book, but this will not be one of them. The main problem that I experienced as I read this book was the feeling that the characters were chess pieces, being arranged around a board for someone else’s purposes, swept off without explanation, lacking all self-will.

The story started off very appealingly, with the heroine, a cheerful young lady of privilege, the daughter of a baron, meeting the famous muralist who has come to paint in her home, and his a
Feb 16, 2012 Letitia rated it liked it
-- A Romantic Book Affairs Review

How do you rate a book that made you smile, made you laugh, made you cry... And yet, for a too long period - made you bored.

I adored the impish Elsie and the stoic Alexander for the first third of the book. They had a cute and impossible romance brewing. And, while it is completely obvious exactly who and what Alexander is - I won't bother spoiling it. His crippling shyness was endearing, and Elsie's constant insomnia was intriguing. I enjoyed how they were each
Elaine Mcdonald
Jul 31, 2012 Elaine Mcdonald rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jane-goodger
This one has started out so good that I can't stop reading it! At 17% and loving it!

Alexander is the son of a Duke. A Duke that is so demanding and hateful his children are terrified of him. Alexander is so shy he actually throws up when he has to be around or talk to anyone. After his older brother drowns, his father has Alexander taken to an Asylum and left there. When the Dr realizes that there is really nothing wrong with Alexander he slips him out to live with a famous mural painter. He li
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
Mar 04, 2015 Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb" rated it it was amazing

I really enjoyed reading "When A Duke Says I Do". This story had a different storyline then most Historical Romances. Yes there were some flaws in editing but it didn't bother me, becasue the storyline was very interesting. Lots of twist and turns.

Alexander the rightful heir to the Duke of Kingston was placed in a asylum for idiot's at age 10. Alexander was so traumatized by the death of his eldest brother Henry and the abuse of his father he just couldn't speak. His father
Nov 14, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this book for Romance Reader At heart website:


You know what attracted me to this book? It was the title. If I had read the above blurb first, I would have taken a pass, and that would have been a shame.

Miss Elsie Stanhope is a beautiful, young woman living with her father and their servants in the country estate of Nottinghamshire. In the anticipation of her Birthday Ball, her father hires a very famous mural paint
Lady Wesley
Feb 17, 2012 Lady Wesley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lendable
Proper Miss Elsie Stanhope falls in love with the assistant to a famous painter who has been commissioned to paint a mural in the Stanhope ballroom. She has been betrothed, however, from birth to marry the heir of the Duke of Kingston; if the marriage is called off her father will be financially ruined. What to do . . . ?

What I Liked
The first half of this book.

What I Didn't Like
The second half of this book.

Seriously. The first half or so was a lovely love story, but the second half was a mess.
Jan 28, 2012 Kristiej rated it really liked it
Do you ever read a synopsis and just something you can’t really put your finger on precisely calls to you and you just want to read this book?

That’s what happened to me with this one and I’m glad I listened to ‘the call’. I really enjoyed When a Duke Says I Do. In these times of fewer historical reads, this book helped to remind me why I used to enjoy them so much.

Elsie is a naturally happy young woman. Betrothed since she was very young, she doesn’t really want to get married and move away from
Heather Book Savvy Babe
I love historical romance books, and I love the Victorian England setting because the characters have a set of rules and expectations that intrigues me. The characters have to work around those rules and expectations to discover themselves and to achieve happiness in their lives. When A Duke Says I Do is one of these books where the characters have to navigate the rules of society and challenge long-standing expectations.

The heroine of When A Duke Says I Do is Elsie Stanhope and she is a lonely
RomReader *Spoiler Giver*
Apr 25, 2012 RomReader *Spoiler Giver* rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Baron’s daughter encounters silent Hero during her nightly roamings painting her ordered mural instead of the famous French artist who she commissioned. She suffers from a sleep disorder since her twin sister died when they were 12 and she comes to view Hero as her silent evening companion. What she doesn’t know is that Hero is not mute as everybody thinks and he begins speaking to her in her later visits. They establish an honest companionship which soon becomes a secret love affair. They know ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Molly rated it did not like it
Props to this story for introducing botulism as a plot device.

This books was something. I realize he was probably a hunky dude, and you've lived a sheltered life, but girlfriend, come on! Do you think a guy who pretended to be unable to speak and turns into a raging jerk while contemplating suicide is the best bet?
Lita Bouquard
I read book 1 and 4 in this series and both have characters with disabilities. Engaged since birth, Elsie isn't that excited to marry. She loves her home and taking care of baby sister Mary. Unable to sleep in her bed, Elsie sleeps everywhere around the house- and has since her twin died. She hires a painter to create a mural, and discovers his silent assistant working at night. Elsie chats the night away with Alexander who everyone thinks is mute. He suffers panic attacks and anxiety so severel ...more
Book Gannet
Feb 16, 2015 Book Gannet rated it really liked it
If you like your historical romance to have atypical characters, then you might just enjoy this one. Elsie is a young woman who is too afraid to fall asleep in her own bed for fear she won’t wake up just as her twin sister did when she was ten years old, while Alexander is a man so crippled by shyness that he’s spent more than twenty years pretending to be mute. On the surface there’s nothing to connect the two of them – she’s a rich gentleman’s daughter and betrothed to the heir of a duke, whil ...more
Jan 10, 2015 Moriah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, kindle-library
2.5 stars

I actually liked this book but found some things to be problematic, the first thing being that as soon as Elsie and Alexander got down to the nut-cuttin' before the halfway point, I got bored. I was enjoying the sexual tension, the relationship-building, but then this somewhat sexually naive girl pops up with, "Make love to me." Um, well. That was out of the blue for several reasons. Bye bye interesting parts and hello inconsistent characterization.

Then after skimming the sex (which too
Melanie Adkins
Nov 19, 2011 Melanie Adkins rated it it was amazing
Miss Elsie Stanhope has an unusual habit..she falls asleep most anywhere. There is a reason for it. She's a pleasant young woman who has lost her mother and her twin sister. She and her father are all that's left. Miss Stanhope has been betrothed since birth and she is on pins and needles waiting to hear when her groom will claim her in matrimony. Alexander then happens into her life. He's a mute but very strong and handsome. Miss Stanhope feels there is something he's hiding and she's determin ...more
Ellen Klock
Mar 06, 2015 Ellen Klock rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2012 RIF rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
More holes in the plot than Swiss cheese. Unlovable childish heroine made unbelievable decisions. The author couldn't guide her on a steady course and seemed to arbitrarily create twists that had me wanting to hurl this bad book at the wall. But with ebooks, ah well, this review will have to do. Didn't finish, don't recommend.
Mar 27, 2016 Sommertime rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
2.5 stars. I loved the first half of this book. What an original plot. Elsie is a bit too perfect but Alexander is hunkalicious! But then the second half happens and the story just got messy, boring and confusing. I was really disappointed by the ending. (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
A quick, enjoyable read. Good balance of plot and see scenes, and those can be easily skipped of you aren't into reading those bits. I'd sooner recommend "The Spinster Bride" because it's meatier with plot devices not normally found in hysterical historicals. This was fun, though, with well-developed multidimensional characters.

The title is all wrong, though. The Duke is the dad. His heir is the one who's going to say "I do." [And the hand-wringing fun comes when you wait as they unravel who ex
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
Elizabeth ‘Elsie’ Stanhope has been betrothed since she was a child to the future Duke of Kingston. She is not happy about having her life planned, but is willing to do her duty so that her father and sister can continue living a comfortable life. Then Elsie meets a most unusual man. She falls in love with him and he falls in love with her even though they both know they are doomed to never be together. However, Fate just may have something else planned for them.

I loved this story! Well-written
Christine Morehouse
Dec 02, 2011 Christine Morehouse rated it it was amazing
Author Jane Goodger has blown this reader away with her magnificent, engaging and charming Regency, WHEN A DUKE SAYS I DO, released this December from Kensington Zebra.

In typical Goodger fashion, untold secrets, hidden relationships, fascinating interaction, steamy passion, and an intricate plot add to the mix giving her fans an engagingly satisfying read from start to finish.

Engaged since the cradle to Duke of Kingston, Miss Elsie Stanhope is preparing for a dull unemotional life. With her twe
Dec 16, 2011 Toni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kensington-arcs
Elise Stanhope’s life is all planned out for her. She has been engaged since was a child and soon she will be married to her betrothed. She couldn’t be more unhappy about it. While she is reserved to know that she will do her duty for her family, she feels like there is more to life. She knows that feeling is true the moment she sets her eyes on her muralist’s assistant. There is something about the man that makes her feel alive. Too bad there is nothing she can do about it…or is there?

Sep 22, 2012 Christina rated it really liked it
While this isn't the best book the premise for this book is EXTREMELY original and very moving. Alexander suffers from selective mutism (in a time when such a thing was not known about or addressed). His story is absolutely heart wrenching. His mutism combined with the things he has suffered leaves him prone to bouts of depression (almost committed suicide twice in his life). Elsie is perfect for him due to her understanding & accepting character. While there isn't anything really WRONG with ...more
Oct 18, 2012 Maya rated it really liked it
The first part of this book was perfection. Great brooding hero with an even greater secret, he is the assistant of a famous muralist but he is the one who actually does the painting - the muralist has some decease and cannot paint anymore. Alexander is actually the rightful heir to a dukedom.
Sent as a child to a place resembling a hospital for children with various deficiencies because of his acute shyness.

Elsie cannot sleep in her bed because her twin sister had died on it, even though the be
Sep 29, 2014 Dayatara rated it really liked it
This is the 2nd book I’ve read by this author. I liked When There is Hope, a great deal more than this one, but When A Duke Says I Do was good. I was going to give this story 3 stars because I liked it but it wasn't anything I "couldn't put down". However, I give this book 4 stars because of how much I loved Alexander!! I felt so badly for him. He was such a sweetheart and didn’t deserve the cruel things that were done to him. (view spoiler) ...more
Lovely, breath-taking quote: (view spoiler)

Our heroine, Elsie, is effervescent on the outside. Bubbly and endlessly cheerf
Romancing the Book
Mar 15, 2012 Romancing the Book rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
Reviewed By~Shannon
Review Copy Provided by~Publisher

Jane Goodger is an author who is new to me, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this historical romance. Let me say, I was pleasantly surprised and will now look for other Jane Goodger books to read.

The story for When A Duke Says I Do revolves around Elizabeth (Elsie) Stanhope and a muralist’s apprentice, Alexander. Elsie, betrothed to the heir to a dukedom, is quite taken with the mute apprentice as she watches him paint her mural. She finds
Jan 02, 2012 April rated it really liked it
WHEN A DUKE SAYS I DO by Jane Goodger is an exciting historical romance set in 1862 England. It is a fast paced story full of love,romance,scandal,secrets,sweet sensuality,full twists and turns.When Elsie Stanhope meets the mysterious artist assistant,Alexander,sparks fly,and passions run high. Alexander is surrounded by mystery,secret,past hurts,and an inability to speak in front of strangers,but in order to gain Elsie's hand he must face his past,and beat his father at his own game. This is a ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this!

I actually read this book twice, I went back and reread it because I loved it. The story is about Elsie, the lovely aristocratic daughter and Alexander, the painters apprentice with several big secrets. The book is sad in places and a comedy of errors in others. It made me feel a myriad of emotions and that's what makes such a good book...that you feel something and can empathize with the characters. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Joan Osborne
Jan 19, 2015 Joan Osborne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a keeper!

This was a story that will remain with me for a long time to come. Elsie and Alexander were perfect for each other and I thoroughly enjoyed their romance. Could not help but find myself cheering Alexander on to win back his rightful place as heir to a Dukedom and feeling so happy for him when he finally did. Wonderful romance with characters that I truly enjoyed and will remember for a very long time. Highly recommend it!
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 19, 2015 05:25PM  
  • I Love the Earl (The Truth About the Duke, #0.5)
  • Forever and a Day (The Rumor, #1)
  • How to Seduce a Scoundrel (How To #2)
  • A Bed of Spices
  • One Night Scandal (The Spinster Club, #5)
  • In Total Surrender (Secrets, #3)
  • Romancing the Countess (Romancing, #1)
  • A Marriage of Inconvenience (The Arringtons and Wright-Gordons, #1)
  • Pride & Passion (The Brethren Guardians, #2)
  • What the Duke Desires (Billingham Bastards #1)
  • Nearly a Lady
  • Seven Nights to Forever
  • Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight, #1)
  • His Mistletoe Bride
  • A Perfect Scoundrel
  • Rake with a Frozen Heart
  • Passion Wears Pearls (Jaded Gentleman, #4)
  • Wicked Surrender (Wicked, #1)
I grew up in western Massachusetts and have lived most my adult life in New England. Thanks to my adventurous husband, I've also done brief stints in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Naples, Italy. Although I've written four contemporary romances under the name Jane Blackwood, my first love is historical romances set in Victorian times. I've written 13 of those with more on the way.
I have three ki
More about Jane Goodger...

Other Books in the Series

Lords and Ladies Series (4 books)
  • The Mad Lord's Daughter
  • When a Lord Needs a Lady
  • The Spinster Bride

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