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Distracting the Duchess (Leisure Historical Romance)
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Distracting the Duchess (How to #1)

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  345 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews

From the moment she saw the man on her doorstep, Lady Artemisia, Duchess of Southwycke, wanted him naked. For once, she'd have the perfect model for her latest painting. But as he bared each bit of delicious golden skin from his broad chest down to his--oh, my!--art became the last thing on her mind.

Trevelyn Deveridge was looking for information, not a job.
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Dorchester Publishing (first published February 26th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Julie (jjmachshev)
Apr 12, 2008 Julie (jjmachshev) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
A delightful historical filled with art, romance, and intrigue.

Lady Artemisia, Duchess of Southwycke, needs a nude paint. After marrying to please her parents, and becoming a young and wealthy widow, she returned to her childhood passion of art. She's the scandalous Duchess who paints pictures of naked, no that's nude, males.

Trevelyn Deveridge is the younger son of the Earl. Freed from the position of heir, he has embroiled himself in the intrigue of espionage. He appears at Lady Artemi
4.5 stars

"I'm going to have to shorten his willie."
With such witty promise in the opening sentence, Distracting the Duchess does not fail to deliver. It is an amusing romp through the world of art, romance & espionage.

Lady Artemisia, widowed Duchess of Southwycke, shocks polite society in her passion for painting nudes. She is independent, sassy & smart. Knowing society's intolerance of females in business, Artemisia conducts her dealings behind a nom de guerre, Mr. Beddington.

When Trev
Feb 20, 2009 ChloeLeeNH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! There were many funny parts to this novel and I really liked how the h/h end up together. You could tell that their attraction was true the whole time! Glad I finally picked this one up!
Sep 19, 2008 Slayermel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys Historical Romance
I'm not entirely sure why, but I just could not get into this book as much as Emily Bryan's other Romances, and I'm not saying this book was horrible or anything as it was actually good. I just think after reading "Pleasuring the Pirate" and "Vexing the Vice Count" where I loved the characters so much, it was hard for the Duchess to hold a flame to them.
Also I couldn't get past her name Artemisia, I kept stumbling on it while trying to read it until eventually I just referred to her in my head
Gaylin Walli
I'm normally all over romances with ties to the India of British rule. This romance had a good premise, in fact one that should have really clicked for me. As a celebrated child prodigy artist, the heroine flouted her disregard for the ton's opinion by painting nude (not naked!) models, but then adopted a persona for business, in order to do better business in a male-dominated word. Best yet were the ties to the British raj, with the spice of a spy network designed to avoid uprising and Russian ...more
Lady Artemisia is an artist and is looking for a subject to paint. A nude male subject. She mistakes Trevelyn Deveridge as the male model she was expecting and proceeds to request that he strip.

An entertaining, humorous, fun read. Lovely, interesting characters and nicely paced. I would recommend it to historical romance lovers.
Harlequin Historical
This was a fun book to read. The characters were well fleshed out and the plot was fast paced. I even enjoyed the servants and the role they played in the story. Highly recommend.
Jun 17, 2008 Terri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I read all of her books This is one of my Best historical authors who wrote this books wondefully . I Enjoyed read this book ..
C.L. Wilson
The opening line is a hoot! And Emily Bryan, whom I met at RT last week, is a delight!
Apr 28, 2014 Nenya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a big fan of the "spy" theme, which is thankfully not overdone here.

It has it's hilarious moments, alas, some of them unintentional. I know I'm nitpicking, but here goes...

Nit1: 'Larla' (h's nickname) means someone on whom you pour affection, love, someone to spoil. It is also only ever used for kids, so your parents, grandparents, favorite aunts and uncle might call you that, even when you grow up. But certainly not your spouse :|.

Nit2: Why do authors portray British India as having more r
Apr 16, 2012 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hero: 7/10
Heroine: 8/10
Sizzle: 9/10
Romance: 6/10
Humor: 7/10
Secondary Characters: 6/10
End: 8/10
Pace: 5/10

I liked this book a lot. The hero and heroine are endearing and I believed in their feelings for each other and the intimacy they share is all the hotter because of that belief. I loved the subtle humor in this story. As well as the suspenseful moments that had me on the edge of my seat a few times. The writing is great. This was a new-to-me author and I'm very happy I've discovered her books.
Apr 27, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this historical romance with a widowed Duchess, Artemisia Dalrymple Pelham-Smythe, who is a talented artist and undercover businesswoman and her artist's model, Trevelyn Deveridge, a nobleman spy in disguise as Thomas Doverspike. The story was exciting, with Artemisia becoming caught up in a search for the elusive Mr. Beddington's key along with Trev, who needs to find this key to keep it out of enemy hands and protect operatives in India. Dealing with Russian spies, a recalcitr ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Oh those spies in historical romance ;)

Artemisia is an artist and paints nekkid men, fine, nudes ;) They are still naked whatever you call it missy. So you can understand if the Ton is shocked, but she is a Duchess and she does not give a F*ck what they think.

Trevelyn is a spy, a second son, and at the moment posing naked in front of a Duchess and pretending he is a nobody. He was rather cocky, I mean hello, she only paints men! She does not sleep with them, and he is all I know you want this! *
Reading Haven
Sep 22, 2011 Reading Haven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Normally, I am not a big fan of historical romance novels that include espionage in the premiss but Ms. Bryan -or I should say, Ms. Marlowe, has turned that around and given me a change of heart and mind. This story has proven to me that while spies may need love and romance too, it can be done well, and not in a cheesy highly predictable manner, but a classy one. I enjoyed reading Distracting the Duchess and have no doubt others will too."

Reviewed at the Reading Haven.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 White
I started reading this book because of its premise and opening scenes -- a widowed woman is an accomplished artist, and uses nude men as figure models for her paintings and sculptures. A man comes to her house and she mistakes him for her figure model, and tells him to strip down... Hee. The only problem with this book was that the sex scenes SUCKED. They were so awkward! And forced! It's as if they were written by someone who doesn't enjoy sex or find it natural, which is certainly a possibilit ...more
Cristina Contilli
"Giacché lady Southwacke, ora Mrs Trevelyn Deveridege, metterà su casa nella lontana Bombay, ci chiediamo se non ci saranno più scandali a Londra. In ogni modo, Mr D. ha assicurato a chi scrive che sua moglie continuerà a dipingere e pertanto Londra rivedrà ancora la duchessa e i suoi chiacchierati quadri. Viviamo nella speranza."

Anche se il tema della donna che nella Londra dell'800 si veste da uomo per essere più libera è diventato frequente nel romance negli ultimi tempi ho apprezzato lo ste
This was such a fun story to read. An unconventional Duchess paired with a second son, who "plays the great game for Queen and Country". It was a nice change of pace to have the roles reversed (heroine rich - hero not so much). And it works!

Their initial meeting is a case of mistaken identity in which Artemisia assumes Trevelyn is just someone hired off the street to be a model for her nude paintings. Trevelyn immediately senses her error and plays along.

I would have given this book 5 stars exce
Mar 17, 2008 D.G. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody looking for a light read
The book was fun and sexy and not the worst read of my life but it had great flaws. To start, the author didn't take the time to do proper research regarding the titles and just bungled them so badly - going to the point of using her mistakes as plot devices! - that it totally turned me off. Then, the heroine was just unbelievable. She's a gifted artist, a cunning businessman (yes, businessman because she has a male alter ego that manages her business), a rich duchess and she was attractive to b ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This truly was a fun read. It got to where I would find reasons to stop and read just to continue the story. I would pause to get work done but think about the storyline and wonder what would happen next. I even stayed up later than I should have on a few nights just to get a few more sentences read.

I truly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance novels. The storyline is interesting. The sex scenes are steamy. And it is such an easy read that you will finish it without pause.
Aug 27, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure about this book it got mixed reviews but I glad I stuck with it. I'm not a fan of liars and did struggle with how easily Trev lied to people but Artemisia was a funny a lot more common then a duchess but I loved how she was a strong take no shit women. In the end I think they do suit each other and really like the slightly over top HEA but it wrapped it up well. DID NOT LIKE HER MOTHER OR THE FACT SHE MARRIED ONE OF DAUGHTERS OFF TO A LORD THAT HAS HUGE GAMBLING DEBTS.
Apr 09, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good friend of mine loaned this novel to me to have a read of, and anything I've ever read on her recommendation always turns out to be an enjoyable read.
Distracting the Duchess was a witty and refreshing novel. I really enjoyed the banter between Artemisia & Trevelyn and found myself laughing out loud throughout the story. I'm looking forward to my next Emily Bryan novel.
Jess the Romanceaholic
A sexy little historical, this one featured a rather scandalous duchess and a secret-agent lordling. While I did find it a bit obnoxious that our intrepid heroine would pursue an affair with the man who was presumably engaged to her sister, even IF she planned to put an end to the loveless match, I have to say that I enjoyed this one.

A solid 4/5, full review to follow :)
100% bodice ripper. Fun, fast read. A quirky, unconventional heroine, a dashing hero, lacking a royal title, nice for a change, a bit of espionage, a little bit of everything. Historically accurate, uh, probably not on any level with the exception of the wardrobe, but there's nothing wrong with a tasty bit of escapism that takes us away from a dreary reality.
Aug 13, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMG, right off the bat steamy, sexy and downright entertaining. A widow, an artist actually, a spy pretending to be a model, a nude model to tell the truth and all the shenanigans that occur throughout. Absolutely enjoyable. The dialogue, the deceit, the conniving, all in all quite distracting, in a good way. Looking forward to reading more from Emily Bryan.
Angelia Sparrow
Jun 20, 2013 Angelia Sparrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-f, challenge2013
Entertaining thriller about a young dowager duchess who is swept up in the Great Game. Some places run a bit unbelievable. The sex is very hot, the characters are great fun. (I know someone EXACTLY like Constance Dalyrimple) And there is actual plot around the sex. That's all I ask of a romance. This one delivered admirably.

(although it is "clambered out of the coach" and not "clamored".)
Rachel Costa
First off, the opening line made me do a double take and laugh out loud. The twists in the plot were pretty predictable but still fun, so I didn't mind terribly much. Overall the book was decent, no surprises but nothing particularly turned me off about it either.
Feb 14, 2016 Siona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book! Trevor and Artemisia (love her name!) were so amazing together! I loved the humour and witty parts as well! The side characters were good too! The action, the romance, the shocks and surprises were all just right. Great book! Now onto the next ;)
Apr 27, 2012 Marcris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanzi
E' bello, intrigante, con una trama originale, movimentata, due protagonisti all'altezza, spiritosi, cocciuti e coraggiosi. Lei è fuori degli schemi per l'epoca dell'ambientazione, lui intrepido. Anche i personaggi secondari danno un apporto notevole alla riuscita della storia.
May 15, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book it definitely kept my interest i didnt ever want to put this book down until i finished it. Which is exactly what i did i finished it in one day and was excited to read it again later
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Other Books in the Series

How to (4 books)
  • Pleasuring the Pirate (How To, #2)
  • Vexing the Viscount
  • The How To Series-3 Book Boxed Set

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