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The Duchess

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  915 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In this lush new novel, Bertrice Small has created a moving story of consuming passion and undeniable love set against the noble splendor of Georgian England. . . .

As the daughter of the richest man in England, Allegra Morgan attracts a number of fortune hunters willing to overlook her flawed pedigree to gain her enormous wealth. Her most ardent suitor is the arrogant but
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 3rd 2001 by Ballantine Books (first published July 1st 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,407)
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Pretty much nothing happens for the first three quarters of the book, then the author crams a mini Scarlet Pimpernel adventure (rescuing an Aristo family from the clutches of Madame Guillotine) and a mini Oscar Wilde play (the (view spoiler) was really her long lost mother, pass the smelling salts!) before concluding with an entirely unnecessary epilogue. Not one of my favorite Bertrice Smalls to be sure. Lots of skimming.
Jan 13, 2008 Tina rated it it was ok
Although I loved the wonderful Skye O'Malley by Ms. Small, I had begun to shy away from any more of Ms. Small's books because, frankly, I was sick of Skye's many children and grandchildren. I'm gratified to see that Ms. Small has gotten away from the O'Malley saga and has turned her attention to creating other characters far and away from Skye.

Having said that, however, The Duchess isn't one of her best efforts. Allegra is beautiful, rich and accomplished. But she's almost too perfect. She's in
Sandra Dagg
Jan 07, 2013 Sandra Dagg rated it it was ok
Just finished this book. I enjoyed it, although I don't think I would read it again. It was well written, and I was always interested in the storyline, although it wasn't what you would call and 'exciting' story. There was only one part you could call suspenseful, and it wasn't highly so. If you like historical fiction, with more emphasis on the day-to-day life of the incredibly wealthy, then you would enjoy this book. If not, then I would pass and choose something else to read. I would give it ...more
Dec 02, 2010 Donna rated it did not like it
Would very much like to rate this lower than 1.

I was hoping for a silly trashy romance when I grabbed this off my mothers bookshelf. What I got was SO EFFING BORING that I got halfway through and gave up -- and I NEVER quit reading books halfway through...

Don't waste your time.
Feb 13, 2014 Anna rated it liked it
Recommended to Anna by: goodreads
interesting fairy tale set in the high society of Georgian England during the season of the Husband Hunt. The story's central characters are Quinton, the man with the bluest blood in England, and Allegra the daughter of the richest man in England and a very enlightened parent.
It's written with a light touch and a good sense of humor. The only unnecessary and really jarring note in the story is the Pimpernel-like escapade in France.
A good quick read.
Lilith Noir
Apr 16, 2015 Lilith Noir rated it really liked it
I had so much fun with this book. It has all these great classic romance elements - headstrong heroine, couple starting off with a major misunderstanding, a little bit of adventure, fancy dresses, and of course a happy ending.
It's really not at all realistic, but that is part what I enjoy about books like this. It's the best kind of escapism there is!
Nancy Donaghue
Mar 23, 2014 Nancy Donaghue rated it did not like it
This. was. terrible. No discernible plot, a ridiculous amount of meandering, no crisis point, shallow immature characters...I kept reading thinking that something, anything was going to happen to rescue the book from itself, but it didn't. Thank goodness I'm a speed reader, so I'm only out a couple of hours, but I'd still like that time back.
Nov 17, 2015 Mell rated it liked it
I read this back when I had an entire summer to fill with reading. I used to allow myself a certain allotment of, ahem, so called trashy romance novels. This one actually had historical detail and a good story.

But I've burned out on the genre. The sexism of historical eras (and modern writers) makes me gnash my teeth.
Tabetha Waite
Sep 07, 2015 Tabetha Waite rated it it was ok
I have to say that while this book was likely one of the most historically accurate, unfortunately, the plot got a bit tedious for me. Allegra seemed like a spoiled, rich girl, which I suppose she was, while her husband, Quinton, a duke, was proud, but rather dull. Took me awhile to read and since this was my first Bertrice Small book (R.I.P.) for a best selling author, I was expecting more.
Oct 19, 2012 Joycee rated it it was ok
Shelves: romances-read
So far, it's so-so. My biggest gripe with this novel is the stilted dialogue. Perhaps it's intentional - to be consistent with the pragmatic nature of the relationship between the hero & the heroine ... Then again, I'm only about 40% of the way done (according to my Kindle) - maybe it'll pick up or I'll change my mind about the rating by the time I'm done.
No such luck ... even the adventure they had in France seemed anticlimactic. Towards the end Allegra just came off as a petulant l
Elaine Mcdonald
Jan 13, 2011 Elaine Mcdonald rated it it was ok
Shelves: bertrice-small
I used to like Bertrice Small when I read the first Skye O'Malley books. But they too get old when they are written about all of her children and grandchildren. I thought I would enjoy this book, but I think I wasted my time reading it. It just wasn't that exciting or well written. In this book she spends way too much time describing trivial things. She has a page and a half describing the food served. She also has a page and a half describing the bedroom. I like good descriptive authors like Li ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
After a couple of chapters, this felt very formulaic. The author would use about a page of text to describe all of the foods served at a banquet. Then she would use about a page of text to describe the clothing worn by various characters. I can understand doing this once or twice to establish a setting...but this was repetitive and dull. It read like the diary of a housewife, describing what she ate or sewed that day.
Towards the end, there was a pretty graphic description of a minor character be
Brittany Ann
May 16, 2015 Brittany Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pam P
Jan 31, 2015 Pam P rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

There is more detail and depth in the descriptions of the food than there is of the heroine. It's just dumb lol
Jul 02, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
If you are new to the author you would probably rate this higher. If you have read her earlier books you may be a tad bit disappointed.
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the book. I just didn't feel this book was up to Bertrice Small's high standards. Perhaps she had intended it to be a series and instead crammed it into one book instead. Thus leaving it to feel a little rushed. I felt the main characters, who were newly wed, should have had a little more conflict. And there were a couple of incide
Jan 19, 2015 Cat rated it it was ok
strange ending and not accurate to period
Jun 09, 2013 Jane rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, m-f
Not one of her best, and I've read a lot of them. Too lazy to look them up but many of the phrases used seemed anachronistic. Okay, I looked one up; trip the light fantastic. Although it's attributed to Milton, that exact phrasing is about a century after this book is set.

It was just boring, to be honest. No real drama, no real enemy to thwart, and a heroine who seemed a spoiled brat. Romance by the numbers.
Trudi Jorda
May 30, 2013 Trudi Jorda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing to clear out books from my shelves I happened upon another Beatrice Small-- This one was fun-- romantic, exciting, unpredictable and sexy-- what more could a book be? England's wealthiest woman marries England's bluest of bluebloods- neither believing in love but finding out that like the Easter Bunny and Father Christmas-- it really does exist-- somewhere deep in your heart! Enjoy!
Aug 20, 2011 Victoria rated it it was ok
I used to read Beatrice Small back in the 80's. The writing hasn't changed much. This is a standard regency-style romance, and, frankly, not very exciting. Surprisingly little happens in the plot of the story. She spends way too much time describing the clothing and the food, not enough making the characters interesting.
Apr 16, 2010 Jenny rated it really liked it
I dont think this is THAT bad of a book---the reviews were bad, but I dont think that it was horrible. Not Small's best work, and definently NOT Skye O Malley---but entertaining enough, if not a little bit unbelievable when they go to France to rescue someone.
Nov 21, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
There's no conflict in this book until maybe the last 15%, and then it is only because the heroine starts acting wildly out of character. It is both bizarre and lame. The author also spends way too much time describing food. And the characters eat a lot.
Jan 06, 2011 Luthien rated it did not like it
I didn't like it. The plot practically didn't exist, and the book read like a long description of clothes and food, with a couple of textbook-like info about different buildings or historical characters. I couln't care less for Allegra and her duke.
Oct 03, 2011 Doreen rated it really liked it
This was the perfect weekend read for a cooler day with coffee outdoors. The characters were likeable, the storyline well thought out, and I adored the descriptions of the food and dress of the 18th century! Definitely an enjoyable read!
Oct 27, 2013 Darcy rated it liked it
Really a 2 1/2.

The names are irritating. Allegra. Pandora. Sepetimis. Olympia. Honor.

A common trait among romance is the determination of the main characters to not fall in love. Then they do.
Samie Kauchis
Apr 20, 2012 Samie Kauchis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
While I did find the main female character a little frustratingly stubborn on occasion it wasn't enough to take away from the book at all. I loved it. :)
Pretty corny, even for a hist-romance AND there was lots of gratuitous use of the word "fucking" in a cringe-worthy parents-having-sex context.
Kats Burn
Nov 14, 2013 Kats Burn rated it liked it
Not your usual Bertrice Small, however, I enjoyed the book. It was slow in some parts but I'm glad I continued reading.
Jun 21, 2011 Kas rated it did not like it
This book was a DNF for me, which was so dissappointing as I usually love Bertrice Small.

It was very slow moving.
Feb 23, 2009 Deb rated it liked it
Diverting 1794 mind candy. I just like historical romances.
Mar 29, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing
I liked this book. definitely a good read.
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Bertrice Williams was born on December 9, 1937 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, the daughter of Doris S. and David R. Williams, both broadcasters. She studied at Attended Western College for Women and Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School. On October 5, 1963, she married George Sumner Small, a photographer and designer with a History Major at Princeton. They had a son Thomas David. She has ...more
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