The Secret Duke
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The Secret Duke (Mallorens & Friends #10)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  682 ratings  ·  58 reviews
A thrilling new historical romance from the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Secret Wedding"
When Arabella Barstowe is kidnapped, she believes her life and virtue are forfeit-until she's rescued by the notorious rogue Captain Rose. Bella never expects to see him again. But years later she learns the wicked truth behind her abduction, and she seeks out the only...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Signet Book (first published March 31st 2010)
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It's been a while since I read anything by Jo Beverley and I had forgotten how good she can be.

This is a well written romance with interesting characters and although in some respects it could be described as light hearted it would not fall into the category of badly written sex filled fluff that seems to be fairly standard fare at the moment.

This is a tale of multiple identies - it is set in Georgian times ( Malloren connection) - and we have an overall Masquerader theme.

Thorn Duke of Ilthor...more
Elis Madison
I guess JoBev had so much fun with the labyrinthine plot (complete with multiple aliases) of The Secret Wedding that she decided to do it again.

It’s the night George II died. Captain Rose, a ship’s captain and sometime smuggler, rescues a damsel in distress from a mob of rapey drunks. Then he rescues her again from the abductors she’d escaped earlier that night (only to find herself facing the mob of rapey drunks). By way of reward, the captain steals a kiss. He's hoping for a little better......more
Lynn Calvin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lynne Tull
Of the three books in this trilogy this was by far the best. I guess Ms. Beverley saved the best for last. A Lady's Secret and The Secret Wedding tended to be more on the frivolous (read silly) side. The story of Ithorne and Bella took on more of a serious tone without any deep angst. As always with this genre, there is a happy ending and all of the objections/problems/rescues take place in the last 30 pages of the book. After reading this as a trilogy I find that these three books are nos.7, 8,...more
Meg Myers
Clearly this book has a great story line. My only problem with it was that I consider it a "slow" read. It was really hard to keep reading. I liked the purpose, the people, and even the plot. I just kept feeling really bored, and wanted to stop reading it. When you put the story in prospective it could have been really good. I think I blame the publisher not the writer. The story about a girl who is oppressed that eventually has something good to her in which her rotten family wants to take it a...more
I’ve been less and less satisfied with Beverley with each successive book; I had some hopes at first that this one might be a streak-breaker, but I’m now at the halfway mark with no inclination to finish it. The meandering plot feels to me like the author wrote several scenes using her favorite devices -- masks/disguises/masquerade balls--and then wrote the rest of the book around them, squeezing the scenes in any way she could. Consequently there are multiple plotlines, but not one that compels...more
It was a little hard to get into the story at first, but once I got past the "set up" chapters, I enjoyed reading this one. I thought the story had some clever twists. Of course, it was not very believable, but that was part of its charm. I also liked that this wasn't really a "bodice ripper" - the moments between Bella and Thorn were more subtle.
Lisa (Reading to the Moon)
I really liked it. The story is far-fetched (with the Duke and his pirate half-brother trading places) put it was fun. Both the hero and heroine enjoy disguises so they both get chances to play dress up. I like Jo Beverley's romances.
Rachel C.
Mediocre. Bella is a featherhead and Thorn is surprisingly uninteresting for a part-time pirate and spy. The plot was cluttered with too many secret identities, both his and hers.
Slow. How a book about a kidnapping, revenge, love and a Duke can be boring I have no idea. But it is.
Another solid book from Jo Beverley. I love the way she uses actual historical figures (like King George III) in her books, bringing them to life in a historical setting. The mix of real history with the growing make believe world she's created is a lot of fun, especially since it doesn't bog down the story like some other books that attempt to do the same thing. It just copmliments it.

The romance here was standard, trustworthy Jo Beverley. In this one, the Duke of Ithorne, pretending to be his...more
An Odd1
Follows The Secret Wedding, read before my Goodreads reviews. Modern language, clever witty Georgian romantic adventures, cognizant of real difficulties for females in society, with a soupcon of exposed bosoms. Action deviates in some excess around other series' characters, but never drowns by inner waffling about secrets. An excerpt from the next book (more intro chapters on the author's website) repeats a rescue sequence. Why mess with a formula for success? Especially casts who surprise.

In a...more
Love is in the air when Captain Rose rescues a damsel in distress who keeps getting herself in distress and Rose keeps on rescuing her. But it really is the duke, not the Captain.
Great fun. Lots of skullduggery.
Tenía expectativas con este libro, quizás por eso me dejó tan vacía. Hacía tiempo que no leía un histórico y cogí este con ganas... pero me dejó como si nada. Se entretiene en descripciones y diálogos totalmente innecesarios y que no tienen sentido. No necesito que cada vez (que son muchas) que dice que la protagonista se despierta, se lava de esta forma, con este objeto, luego se peina de este modo con esto.... y así con cada paso que todo el mundo hace por la mañana. Todo muy predecible, no ha...more
Now, THIS is the Jo Beverly that I know and love! "The Secret Duke" is the last book in her three-book Rakish trilogy, which includes the lively, impossible Mallorens and which is set in Georgian England. I was sadly disappointed by the second book in the series "The Secret Wedding" because of certain storyline elements that disturbed me. "The Secret Duke," however, fulfilled every promise beautifully for the Duke of Ithorne's story. All of the elements Ms. Beverly uses so cleverly and masterful...more
OK, not my favorite, I just couldn't warm to the characters very much, despite the hero being an on again, off-again pirate and trading identities with his bastard half-brother.
Caitlin Lord
This book started out VERY slow, and quite confusing. I almost gave it up. But towards the end, things melded together and wove themselves into an interesting ending which made me glad I stuck to it.
When Arabella Barstowe is kidnapped, she believes her life and virtue are forfeit-until she's rescued by the notorious rogue Captain Rose. Bella never expects to see him again. But years later she learns the wicked truth behind her abduction, and she seeks out the only man who can help her take revenge.

What she doesn't know is that Captain Rose is just a disguise for the formidable Duke of Ithorne, who is intrigued to hear from the mysterious woman from his past. Their lives are soon entangled...more
Lady Grey
I really enjoyed this book (the third in a trilogy about three related friends). It involves a lot of action and intrigue and in the case of this one, revenge. It's the type of historical romance that makes me want to read more about the time period during which it takes place. I was hoping there was going to be a bit more action at sea being that the main character moonlights as a sea captain at times but most of the action takes place on the road.

It was a nice enough end to the Malloren series, however there were so many lose threads from other stories woven in that it felt stretched and strained. Unfortunately it was a long time since I read the previous books that it was difficult to piece all the random pieces from the previous novels together.

PS: Even though Beverly says this is the final book in a note at the end of this novel, I just found two more Malloren books on Goodreads.

Samanta Bićanić
"We'll fly high, you and I, but when the hights weary us, we'll be outrageous in another way. We'll run away to the Black Swan - Captain Rose and Buccaneer Bella, free on the high seas." :)
Set in Georgian England, part Jo Beverley's Malloren family, the Duke of Ithorne comes to the rescue of Bella Barstowe. She has been kidnapped for ransome and Ithorne, as Captain Rose, saves her from drunks in a wharf-side tavern.
She is rescued from 4 years of her father and then her brother's house isolation when she inherits money and leaves her home.
Bella's life is filled with changes and rescues, her own and others.
Another great read from this author. I always love to return to the Malloren World I somehow lose myself in the pomp and ceremony of old England once again. This is the finale of the Rakish trilogy set in the Georgian world. If you start with this one you might want to also read "A Lady's Secret (Robin and Petra) and "The Secret Wedding" (Christian and Caro).
Brandi Larsen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's almost as if this book never happened. or at least the best kept secret. It's only when I realized that An Unlikely Countess is Malloren book 11, did I dig to find Malloren book 10, aka The Secret Duke.
I enjoyed this one quite a lot, despite all the coincidences and the multiple identities for the main characters. But you have to have read "The Secret Wedding" and maybe one from the Malloren series prior to this one to be able to keep all of the characters in the story straight and to appreciate the plot element of the "cat-rabbits".
Close to 3 stars, but a little convoluted at times so I won't give it the full 3. I am not sure if I'd have finished it, but I was out of books so I continued. Some parts were good, but others dragged. I haven't decided if I'll try this author again.
This was my third Jo Beverley book and I was very disappointed. The first 200 had very little dialogue or interaction between any of the characters. The hero and heroine were in their own head for the most part. Lots of contemplation and flashbacks.
Cathy Rodriguez
I grabbed this book at Target when my husband and I were traveling. I usually love Jo Beverley's books, but that wasn't the case with this one. I really had to force myself to finish it. It has already gone in my Half Price Books box to resale.
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Mary Josephine Dunn was born 22 September 1947 in Lancashire, England, UK. At the age of eleven she went to an all-girls boarding school, Layton Hill Convent, Blackpool. At sixteen, she wrote her first romance, with a medieval setting, completed in installments in an exercise book. From 1966 to 1970, she obtained a degree in English history from Keele University in Staffordshire, where she met her...more
More about Jo Beverley...
My Lady Notorious (Malloren, #1) An Arranged Marriage (Company of Rogues, #1) An Unwilling Bride (Company of Rogues, #2) Something Wicked (Malloren, #3) Devilish (Malloren, #5)

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