When a Duke Says I Do
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When a Duke Says I Do

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  62 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 (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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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...more
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...more
-- 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...more
Elaine Mcdonald
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...more
I reviewed this book for Romance Reader At heart website:http://romancereaderatheart.com/pubsa...


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...more
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...more
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...more
Lady Wesley
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....more
Melanie Adkins
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
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.
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...more
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...more
Christine Morehouse
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...more
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?

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
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...more
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
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
Lovely, breath-taking quote: (view spoiler)

Our heroine, Elsie, is effervescent on the outside. Bubbly and endlessly cheerf...more
Romancing the Book
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...more
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
Zrinka Jelic
I really liked the story and the its unexpected twists. The only thing that kind of bothered me was the continous head hopping and that the voice was tad too modern for a historical. Some things could have been explained, like how did the old Duke die, I mean where we left him he was just fine. And I thought that Alexander's treatmant of Elsie towards the end was kind of confusing. He couldn't have trully believed that Elsie was marrying his brother out of love and she forgot him in an instant,...more
I was drawn to this book by the fascinating premise. I love reading about heroes (or heroines) with some type of special need that isn't always understood during its historical era. Alex's selective mute nature was interesting to read about and I really felt for his plight throughout the book. I also enjoyed the character of Elsie and how she was able to understand Alex without pitying him.

The beginning was the best part with all the romantic moments between Alex and Elsie. The middle got too m...more
Lord Rose
3.5 stars

I really liked the beginning. Both characters were interestingly flawed, especially the hero. The hero was adorable. (Okay, maybe not quite the description for him, but I liked him.)

Then I got about half way through, and it started to drag. Too much happened, actually. The hero and heroine were already in love, so I suppose something else had to happen, but I think the book really could have done with dumping some of it and being shorter. The final conflict really dragged, and then was...more
This book has a lot to recommend it. The plot and the characters are a little different from your usual historical romance. The first half is about the hero and heroine and how they meet and fall in love. The rest of the book, which I enjoyed more, was about how the hero returns to his previous life. The author really shines in the last part of the book with vivid writing and a few tear-jerker scenes.

Why the three stars, really 3.8 stars? Something in the writing style was missing. I felt at a...more
There wasn't much I liked about this book. Despite having a promising premise, everything about it was flat. I never felt like I was in either the hero or heroine's head. Rather, it was like they were narrating their life in very broad strokes without much introspection or depth of emotion.
The plot felt disjointed and side characters would suddenly pop up for no discernable reason. At about the 50% mark, there was a POV from a character who I didn't remember. I had to skim backwards to figure o...more
Shh I'm reading!
The story reminds me of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie which I loved. A son is put away in an asylum by his father because of a deficient (in this case, a social anxiety that renders him mute) yet he escapes and finds love. While Jennifer Ashley's tale was beautiful and felt organic, this tale was forced and felt way longer than necessary given the lack of anything actually happening. My recommendation is read Jennifer Ashley's tale instead, it's a far more enjoyable read.
It was a good book, I enjoyed reading it but it had some big problems. Up to 40% , it was perfect but then...
It needed editing, there were some inconsistensies. At some places it seems big chunks of the story were cut out. And then there some parts that had nothing to do with anything.
The heroine had a big problem for years, her problem which was a big part of the story, just got solved by itself half through the book and there wasn't a mention of it for the rest of the book. the heroine's fathe...more
Loved the concept, but the execution didn't work for me - too much telling, IMHO. YMMV. :)
Although the lost identity premise wasn't new, Alexander's medical condition and Elsie's illness made this story original. The cruelty Alexander suffered in childhood was heart wrenching and because he was so vulnerable I couldn't help but find him immensely endearing. Elsie had a sunny disposition, maybe a little too rose-tinted, and her belief in Alexander wavered at a very crucial point with heartbreaking results. Sometimes the storytelling was somewhat abrupt but theirs was a very tender lov...more
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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. I've written seven of those with more on the way.
I have three kids, one who is in co...more
More about Jane Goodger...
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