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Desperately Seeking a Duke (Heiress Brides #1)

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,181 ratings  ·  71 reviews
The only way for vicar's daughter Phoebe Millbury to inherit a family fortune is to find herself a duke—just as her late grandfather demanded in his will. But Phoebe, who's still trying to make good after a romantic scandal, also has her two cousins to contend with. They're all competing for the same money, maybe even the same men. ..until Phoebe meets her match in the ter ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 332 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2008)
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Dark Lover by J.R. WardThe Duke and I by Julia QuinnSecrets of a Summer Night by Lisa KleypasMine Till Midnight by Lisa KleypasOutlander by Diana Gabaldon
Best Romance Series
93rd out of 747 books — 1,294 voters
The Duke and I by Julia QuinnA Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaughtWhitney, My Love by Judith McNaughtSomething Wonderful by Judith McNaughtEleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Dukes... Bring 'em on!
148th out of 331 books — 594 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,138)
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Nisha
Love at first sight, a horrendous misunderstanding, some angst, mediocre side characters, dumb villains, and you've made a romance novel. Or at least, Ms. Bradley thinks so. It was not really a terrible book, I mean, the characters were likable (Rafe being utterly hot and normal, while Phoebe had some sins up her sleeve), the angst was easy enough to relate to, the sex was pretty hot, and the writing was above average. Actually I loved how the characters were given real flaws, like the ones we s ...more
Gail
There's this old fart who made a lot of money and wanted his daughters to marry dukes, but they were all snippy and too proud (or something) and so none of them did. So the old fart is mad and changes his will demanding that one of his granddaughters or great-granddaughters marry a duke. The first one that succeeds will get the whole pot of money. If it doesn't happen by the time his greats all get married, the money's going to whiskey smugglers. So the story opens with the old fart's three gran ...more
D.W. Nichols
Primera entrega de la trilogía Herederas. Buena novela, divertida en algunos momentos, de esas que emocionan e incluso en algún momento, a pesar de saber que es romántica y que, por lo tanto, ha de terminar bien sí o sí, lo dudas. Hay quien le podría pegas por el hecho que los protagonistas se enamoran a primera vista, pero yo no soy de esas porque sé bien que es pasar por eso jijijijiji (y llevo 30 años pagando las «consecuencias» jajajajajajaja).
Abi
I love how the first thing Phoebe noticed about Rafe is his arse! and then found out that everything else that was attached to his wonderful arse is just as good to look at... And that by openly staring at his arse in a ballroom full of people is a good way to meet said owner of such a great body part.

I definitely think that this book is a better read than the 3rd book which i read a couple of days ago. This one has a lot more chemistry and both characters are so easy to love. Rafe is a darling
...more
Cruth
Author: Celeste Bradley
First published: 2013
Length: 5189 locations, 332 pages
Setting: England, 1815
Sex: explicit, not frequent.
Hero: Illegitimate son, with a rake reputation.
Heroine: Daughter of a vicar with a secret past liaison. Desperate to be loved. Possible heiress.
Series: Book 1 of 3
Includes: Excerpt from The Duke Next Door.

A push-and-pull story with no one being able to make up their mind. Some humour but lots of backstabbing and unwillingness to truly commit. Phoebe is very conflicted. R
...more
J.D. Stroube
I was surprised to find that I did not like this book very much. I usually enjoy Celeste Bradley, but I hated how she had the main characters fall in love within minutes of meeting one another. This could just be my personal belief that "love at first sight" does not exist. I prefer books that leave the reader questioning when the main characters will finally realize that they love one another...
Tapley
This author's voice is amusing, but I just don't like a story that is based so much in misunderstanding and self loathing.
Lauren
Desperately Seeking a Duke
3 Stars

Synopsis
Three cousins are in competition for the same inheritance - the first to marry a duke will inherit a fortune. Vicar's daughter, Phoebe Millbury, is at a disadvantage due to a romantic scandal in her youth but then she meets Rafe Marbrook and accepts his proposal. The only problem is that it is Rafe's older brother, Calder, who is in line for the dukedom and whose proposal she has unknowingly accepted. Will Phoebe abide by her duty or give in to her heart'
...more
Patria
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Crystal
Ok, I was desperately needing humor when I pulled this book so the rating is somewhat adjusted accordingly.

Our h, at the tender age of 15ish, was seduced by a dancing master who apparently had a distinct lack of control, thus she assumed she was deflowered but the hymen remained intact. Whatever, her father clamped down on her and pretty much locked her in what passed for a tower at a vicar's cottage. Thus, she's spent the last 10 years being a glorified housekeeper. Of course, there are two thi
...more
Elis Madison
Sir Hamish Pickering died a couple generations ago, but not before making a ridiculous will. He somehow had scads of money (dumb must've paid well in those days), and his will settles twiddle on his female descendants and even less than twiddle on the males—unless…

The first female descendant who marries a duke, or marries a guy who eventually becomes a duke, inherits the whole bundle. And if anybody speaks of the terms of the will outside the family, the money goes to pay the fines of smugglers
...more
Brianne
After recovering from a scandalous past, Phoebe comes to the season to start looking for a Duke. Her grandfather put a clause in his will that if any of this grandchildren could marry a duke the estate fortune would go to that granddaughter, otherwise only 15 annually.

Phoebe meets and, in one night, falls in love a rake with brotherly competition issues. It's the older and serious brother that is slated to become a duke. So when a suitor asks for her hand in marriage, she assumes it is her rake
...more
Mia Marlowe
Jun 11, 2008 Mia Marlowe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all romance readers
This was the first Celeste Bradley title I've read. Since my work was compared to hers by RT BOOKReviews, I thought I'd better see if there was a resemblance.

Ms. Bradley is witty and sharp and several shades of naughty--all qualities I aspire to, but may fall short in. She had me wondering how she'd manage to spin this tale out since the hero and heroine fall into nearly instant love/lust with each other. But she managed it with several layers of conflict, both inner and outer, deftly woven thr
...more
Colleen
I struggled to finish this book. The prologue caught my attention but the character development and how two main characters fell in love was unbelievable even in the world of romance novels. I kept reading because I already bought the book but I didn't start to enjoy it at all until I was 2/3 of the way through. The ending was okay but again, unbelievable. Sometimes I don't need a happy ending THAT bad.
Laura
Apr 19, 2008 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Mackenzie Bushy
Shelves: romance
I was told that this book had elements of fairy tales in it, and I have to admit I smiled whenever she quoted Jack Zipes. (I read many of his books and articles when I wrote my JP on the Deerskin tale.) This book certainly did reference bits of the Sleeping Beauty tale, but the story itself is only recognizable within the book after you go back and try to fit characters into the elements of the tale.
It was a quick, light read, but it certainly wasn't the best romance I read this week. I had a
...more
Joyce
Light romance that may be better in print than in audio, as the narrator doesn't improve a weak, rather silly story. In some ways it reminds me of lesser YA novels with bad adults, way too many plot complications, and not a great deal to recommend the sometimes annoying protagonists. Steamy sex scenes, if that's a recommendation. 2008 title just out in audio.
Miley the Book Junkie Reads . . .
Love upon first encounter can lead to blind mistakes and simple/complex heart break when torn by family guilt or obligations. Phoebe Millbury meets her match in the terribly handsome and charming Rafe Marbrook. The next day she receives a marriage proposal from the Marquis of Brookhaven, Marbrook. The thing is that its not the right Marbrook. The ups and downs of this little debacle almost ends with one man losing his life and his love.
Rebecca (Vicariously!)
It was rather hard to get into this book, but seeing as it was my first EVER adult romance novel I'm not surprised. It was still a pretty good book.

I'm not usually a big fan of insta-love but Rafe and Phoebe were absolutely captivating from the moment they began. I found myself constantly hungry for another moment with them. The more they were together, the more tension there was? I was ripping at the seams for them to be together. The author did a phenomenal job of writing the give and take of
...more
Ritsky
I read this book without previously read its synopsis nor its reviews. It's fun sometimes to have myself guessing which "romance formula" would be applied to a book... at least until chapter 2.

It's a funny book and the writing engages me to keep reading till the end. I realize this is a first book of a trilogy, so it also serves as introduction to characters of later books, and it does well. The characters are unique, they have their own distinct personalities and flaws.

On the downside, some d
...more
April
I was hoping I could find the next book in the "Liar's Club" series, but when my local bookstore didn't have it, I thought I'd try this new series by Celeste Bradley. I hate to say it, but this series wasn't as good as the "Liar's Club" or "Royal Four" series in my opinion. It seemed to be missing something (maybe the mystery from the other two series???) and although I finished it, I wasn't as hooked to the storyline as I was to the other series' books. The characters seemed kind of flat and th ...more
Julia
I liked this book more than I thought I would from reading the back, but I am not in love with it. It was a good, quick read with two mail characters who I thought were well developed.

The only problem I had was that sometimes, when switching voices, there would only be a paragraph before it switched again. Now I know Ms Bradley was setting up for future novels, but some of it just seems unneeded. A secondary character who we already know spends a lot of time reading, is, for a useless paragraph
...more
Amber(Shyloh)
Phoebe Millbury must marry a duke in order to gain her family fortune.She meets with the handsome Rafe Marbrook.

When she receives a marriage proposal from the Marquis of Brookhaven, Phoebe is thrilled to learn that Rafe is headed for dukedom and accepts his offer.

There's only one problem: It's from Rafe's older, less captivating brother, Calder. Now Phoebe finds herself on the verge of yet another scandal as she faces a desperate choice: Marry Calder for his money or follow her own heart? Each
...more
Melanie S.
Klassischer Durchschnitt halt... vielleicht wird es mit den nächsten Bänden noch besser.
Carito Cárdenas guevara
me encantó Rafe, era demasiado cosito, aunque no me gustó mucho el final x la decisiones q tomaba Pheobe... aunque ese final sí q estuvo inesperado
Reading with Cats
This book made no sense. Some wtf the moments:

At the very beginning, the crotchety old patriarch makes it very clear that he dislikes the aristocracy. BUT, in order to gain his inheritance, his female relatives must MARRY A DUKE.

Idiot Phoebe accepts a marriage proposal from someone who's first name she doesn't know!

Even more idiotic Calder proposes to a woman he's NEVER EVEN MET! Then invites this stranger AND HER FAMILY to move in with him...that day!

Maybe this thing made more sense after the 1
...more
Sarai
Apr 27, 2008 Sarai rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical romance lovers
Recommended to Sarai by: katiebabs!
I really enjoyed this book. It was light hearted and fun. The story is as old as time but had a nice twist to it. Phoebe has to marry a Duke to get her family's fortune. She meets a young man and discovers she likes him. The next day she gets a proposal and believes its him. It turns out to be from his older brother. She doesn't want to call of the engagement for fear of scandal. After all she has already suffered from one.
On ensues is a classic historical romance with a wonderful HEA. I can't
...more
Tasneem
I enjoyed this book. Rafe is a wonderful hero and Pheobe is a heroine one ia able to love. She thinks she's been destroyed, that she's been cheated in love when she hasn't been. But her ability to dream when she meets Rafe is reborn and their love is beautiful. Even when Calder offers for her, she honesty is lovely. She is all for telling Calder that she can't marry him, and I loved the ending where Calder forges Rafe's signature. Marrying by Proxy was brilliant. I loved it.
May
I couldn't really get into this novel. Maybe it was the fact that the couple fall in love at first sight and we're suppose to believe it's some star-crossed romance even though there is nothing to indicate there is anything romantic in their relationship beyond lust. As I skimmed the rest of the book, I didn't find Rafe all that appealing as the hero and wanted to read Calder's story instead. Hoping the second book in the series will be better.
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Goodreads Librari...: Missing cover 2 14 Nov 28, 2013 10:04PM  
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  • Never Deceive a Duke (Neville Family, #2)
  • When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1)
  • Let It Be Me (The Blue Raven, #5)
  • Once a Gentleman (Ladies' Fashionable Cabinet, #3)
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  • What a Rogue Desires (Reece Family Trilogy, #2)
  • To Sin With a Stranger (Seven Deadly Sins, #1)
  • The Lady's Secret
  • Duke of Sin (Duke Trilogy, #1)
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  • Wicked Angel
  • Confessions at Midnight (Mayhem in Mayfair, #2)
  • The Seduction Of An Unknown Lady (McBride Family #2)
  • The Marker
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  • Love Letters From a Duke (Bachelor Chronicles, #3)
  • As an Earl Desires (Lost Lords, #1)
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Celeste Bradley is the author of Fallen, which was nominated for a RITA in 2002, and The Pretender, the first book in the Liars series. According to Bradley, the best thing about writing is that she finally gets to use the brain full of trivia she's collected over a lifetime of living in eight states, residing in over twenty homes, and changing her major five times. "It was research for my writing ...more
More about Celeste Bradley...

Other Books in the Series

Heiress Brides (3 books)
  • The Duke Next Door (Heiress Brides, #2)
  • Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides, #3)
The Pretender (Liar's Club, #1) To Wed a Scandalous Spy (Royal Four, #1) Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides, #3) The Spy (Liar's Club #3) The Impostor (Liar's Club, #2)

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“Love was not a drink one tasted and then rejected. Love was not something that could be avoided or arranged. Love was a highwayman, standing by the road of life, just waiting to strike at the reckless and the few.” 2 likes
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