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The Duke of Shadows

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  3,340 ratings  ·  347 reviews
In a debut romance as passionate and sweeping as the British Empire, Meredith Duran paints a powerful picture of an aristocrat torn between two worlds, an heiress who dares to risk everything...and the love born in fire and darkness that nearly destroys them.

From exotic sandstone palaces...

Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into
...more
Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Pocket Star (first published March 25th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
The Duke of Shadows was a meaty, involving historical romance, the kind I love! I admit I put off reading this book because I wanted to be in the right mood for it. I was hesitant when I started it, feeling it would be too much for me right now. However, it turned out to be a good book to read at this time, because I was completely focused on the storyline.

I completely respect the way Ms. Duran addressed the setting of the British Raj in India, mid 1800s. She showed the complex issues at work: n
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 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
Mar 05, 2011 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a rich, dark and emotional Historical Romance, or in the British-India setting
Recommended to Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* by: Dhestiny's Review
5+ Stars!!! - Also reviewed at: Lady Jayne's Reading Den

(Note: I had such a hard time letting this one go, that I just had to read it twice in a row!)

Some reviews seem to come easier than others, but it seems the books that touch me the deepest are the hardest to write about. This was my first read of Meredith Duran’s work and it certainly won’t be my last! I LOVED this!!! AMAZING!!!

For me, The Duke of Shadows was like a rich, beautiful and complex tapestry. A tapestry depicting the tale of an e
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UniquelyMoi ~ The 1-click Diva

I’m really indebted to my Goodreads friends who encouraged me to read The Duke of Shadows because it turned out to be a very, very good experience. Sometimes, though, the best books are the most difficult to review because they evoke such deep emotions or cause me to examine, and maybe question, my own beliefs. This is one such book.

In some ways this is a typical historical romance because we’re still dealing with British society, protocol, etc., and yet the first part of the story takes place i
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Catherine
Every once in a while I will find a book that will move me. It's more than just enjoying the storyline or characters or even just the beauty of the prose. It's all that and more. It's some indefinable spark in the story that draws me in and makes me feel transported. I love when I find that quality. It varies from person to person, but wherever it's found it's something to be treasured. I found that quality in this book. I know that it is one that I will be able to read again and again and still ...more
Angelc
I read this book because of all the great reviews of Meredith Duran's writing. But after struggling to finish, I realized this book was just not for me. Duran is an excellent writer, and wrote a very well developed plot, but I didn't care for the descriptive violence that permeated the book.

At the start of the book, Emma Martin has been through a tragedy, the first of many, and emerged wanting to truly live life. Julian Sinclair, the Duke of Auburn, feels at home neither in India or in London,
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valee
MASTER PIECE.
Is there a better way to describe this book? I don't think so. I just can't believe I've never heard a thing about it before a week from now, it amazes me to realize such an amazing read might have been forever lost to me if I it wasn't for one of the most amazing friends I have here on Goodreads (Ally I will be FOREVER GRATEFUL to you). I will say this is a book beyond compare in this genre, which is a lot to say as I have read a lot of hist-romances. OMG, where to start? I can't r
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Fani
AMAZING!!! I couldn't read another book for a day and even went back to re-read the best parts as soon as it was over.

Part One: Delhi, India as the Indians' revolution against the English begins.
Emmaline and Julian have known each other for a few days but have taken a liking on each other. They are both outcasts: she has been tainted after been saved from drawning from a boat full of men while he has a half Indian mother. Unfortunately she is also betrothed to Julian's cousin and life-long enem
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Crista
Sometimes in life you read a book that is so great, you wish you would've been more discriminate with 5 star ratings. This is definitely a 5 star read, and it makes me wish I had more stars to give it the credit it's due. This one was remarkable.

Told in 2 parts, the first half of the book is set in Delhi, India. This begins the story of Emma Martin and Julian Sinclair.

Although Emma is engaged to Julian's cousin, it is with Julian that chemistry sparks. Emma's fiance is a true villain. Selfish, u
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Quinn
Nov 19, 2010 Quinn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Quinn by: Lady Jayne, Catherine
Firstly, I must thank Lady Jayne for recommending this wonderful book, and Catherine for endorsing Jayne’s rec. For some reason, this excellent read is not one that I have seen come up in discussion very much, or if it has, I have missed it. Given the buzz that surrounds other books, I’m surprised this worthy title has not generated more chat and am grateful that it was brought to my attention.

The Duke of Shadows is not your average historical romance. It has elements that I adore in romance - h
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KatLynne
5+ Stars

“I am half sick of Shadows…said the Lady of Shalott”…Tennyson

Another amazing story that held me prisoner until the last page!

This is my second book by this author. Ms. Duran’s writing is like a form of poetry; it's lyrical and smooth, full of dialog and emotion. And this is an emotional story; no fluff here.

The story begins in Delhi at the beginning of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Ms. Duran has done an amazing job reminding us of the horrors, the prejudice, and the tragedy of this upr
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AH
Thoroughly enjoyed this one...

This book came to me highly rated by my Goodreads friends. I’m not usually a historical romance reader. Occasionally I do like a break from the paranormal world. What better place than 19th century India and England?

It’s hard for me to imagine life in the late 19th century. The formality, the need for chaperones, the sequestered life of women, not to mention the restrictive layers upon layers of clothing – just don’t do it for me. Corsets? No thanks. Yet there is so
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Felicia
Ok whatever, I'm not gonna apologize for reading the occasional historical romance novel (although the fact I preface the whole review with this probably indicates a modicum of self-consciousness, but I'm overcoming that by posting a public review, so progress maybe?)

I am a sucker for the corset ones, I got hooked on Eloisa James a few years ago (Right after I got my Kindle and could hide the covers), but then I started browsing around other authors and there are a LOT OF BAD ONES, GUYS! Like co
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Ruth
This is a very different historical romance - expansive, horrific, violent, and very profound. It is not a wallpaper HR, and if you're looking for a piece of entertaining fluff, this isn't for you. It chooses some of the worst moments in British history as it's backdrop - the repressive British Raj - and the romance is almost secondary to the sights, sounds and smells of India. The hero and heroine are at the mercy of Fate, and appear to survive despite their experiences, and a long separation. ...more
Rhonda
I have really turned this book over in my head, trying to come up with a review, and hoping I can do it some justice. A book this good, and so well written deserves something from me.
I can hardly believe this a first novel from Meredith Duran!! I’m not going to go into the plot. I feel like it’s best left to unfold for the reader in the pages of this remarkable book.

The characters were written perfectly, primary as well as secondary.
Emmaline Martin is an heiress who is beautiful, smart, courageo
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Penny Reid
This is one of those books where, after you read it, you think to yourself: "I don't know if I can be friends with someone who doesn't love this book."

To say I loved this book would be a gross understatement.

I don't know if it's because I've been in a deep, persistent reading funk recently, where every book I pick up strikes me as trite and poorly formed, second rate garbage, but this book felt like FINALLY drinking a cool glass of water after being forced to swallow brackish sludge for weeks.
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Jane Stewart
Excellent plot and events, but I was frustrated with the heroine. Motivations and characters could have been better.

STORY BRIEF:
Emma is a wealthy heiress. Her parents arranged her marriage to Marcus, who was stationed in India. Emma was on a ship going to India when it sunk. She was the only survivor, floating on the sea. An Irish ship picked her up and took her to India. She doesn’t love Marcus. She knows he is sleeping with other women. He only wants her for her money. Julian is ¼ Indian and ¾
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Readdiction
May 10, 2008 Readdiction rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Readdiction by: The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Duran's use of language leaves me breathless, anticipating the unraveling of the story and the love between two strong and emotionally scarred people. She effectively brings to life not only their world but their emotions and personalities enabling a reader to become fully absorbed into the world. Their pain becomes your pain. And you cannot help but feel such joy in their much deserved happy ending.

The excerpt of The Duke of Shadows' first few chapters lured me into a world so adeptly described
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Kathleen
I love it when I discover a new author and a book that grabs me and keeps me thinking about it long after it is finished. I want a story you can sink your teeth into and one that makes you feel that ache in your chest. This book was just that. Each time I could get a moment to read, I couldn't put it down and only did so because I had to. I am so glad I gave this book a try and would suggest others do the same. I look forward to many more by this author and hope they are every bit as good
Cheryl
Wow! What can I say about this book that has not been said already? I think I'll skip describing the plot, for it has been done in other magnificent reviews, instead I'll describe my feelings for it the best I can. In one word, this book is sublime!

This book put me through a broad range emotions -laughter, anger, sadness and anxiousness. I loved the conversations between Julian and Emma, some of them were so funny -especially when Julian was taunting Emma!

The scenes in India were so vivid to m
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Steffi
My first book by Meredith Duran and I was instantly blown away! WOW! This was a 5+++ read for me.

Emmaline Martin is supposed to meet her fiance in India. The journey ends fatally for her parents but Emmaline survives, barely! Finally in India, she is confronted with a culture that is so new and different from what she was used to and the British colonial society doesn't help much. When war breaks out and her fiance leaves her behind, Emmaline has to turn to the one man who is considered a traito
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skein
in-the-middle-of-the-book-review:
You know how you'll be reading something and someone comes and you have to sort of ... hide the cover? or immediately issue a disclaimer: It's not like THAT! Happens to me with romances and the Bible, mostly. (Although I have since sold my copy of the Bible.)
Yeah, that.
This book shouldn't be a romance. Or maybe it should: the story of its world -- our world -- is sorrowful and dark and agonizingly recognizable. Maybe it needs the junk-licking and fast heartbea
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Kinga
Meredith Duran and I are just not meant to be. While she seems to be a skilled writer, I never know what her characters are on about. I liked the Duke of Shadows slightly better than the other one by her that I’ve read but still I think Ms Duran and I will just have to start seeing other people. It’s not her, it’s me.

First of all, I read romance novels for escapism. I do like some historical context and background in them but when Duran decides on Indian Rebellion of 1857 and consequently provid
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Keri
A really good read. Just sorry that it sat on my TBR for such a long time. Very emotional book and not your typical British historical. Wish we could have had a bit more time with them being a happy couple. It seemed like they were always having to love one another under some gun or another.
Regan Walker
Stunning, Complex Love Story in India!,

OK, let me say at the outset, I loved this book, hence my 5 star rating. It kept me reading late, late into the night so you know it's intriguing and I guarantee it will hold your interest. It's also different, an emotionally rich tale of love lost and found, set in India (and London) in 1857 and 1861. (There are four years between the first and second halves of the book.) But I wasn't far into the first half when I realized I needed (1) a glossary (for ter
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Katyana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
TJ
I'm not usually enamored with British/India set stories but this one was so highly praised, I had to find out what all the hoopla was about. What did I find? A story that is totally unique, engaging, heartbreaking yet uplifting all at once! We see the atrocities of a bloody and senseless war, we follow the aftermath in the lives of both Emmaline and Julian who lived through it. We also see the tragedy of depression, the fickleness of fate and above all, the deep and enduring nature of true love ...more
Nikki
3.5 stars.

I'm pretty relieved to have finally finished this one. Up until about 45% The Duke of Shadows was a solid 4 star read for me and then the plot delved into some different arcs and things sort of went downhill from there.

Despite having been the sole survivor of a shipwreck (that also killed her parents) whilst on the way to meet up with her fiance in India, Emmaline seemed a very level-headed, strong and sweet heroine. Her attraction to the hero, Julian, was almost instantaneous and real
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Vidya-BooksAreMagic
This is my first real historical romance novel and its about my country, India, and I finished this on our Independence day. Speak of the coincidence! :)

Now to the review, I loved this book, not because of its strong story, the beautiful portrayal of the background and the unique lead characters, but because of the pain, it caused during the second half of the book.

When Rhonda said, "This book is so good, kinda dark. I think my chest ached for the entire second half of the book.", while I start
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Denise
This book is not the fluffy type of historical romances you see so much of. This book is dark, rich and powerful. It was recommended by a friend here after I asked if anyone knew of something less fluffy, something with more angst. This book fit the bill perfectly. The writing was so good, you felt as if you were there with Emma or Julian. You could feel what they felt for each other and those around them. You could see Emma's powerful paintings. Wow! This book will be re-read many times over a ...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I was fairly unimpressed with this book. It was one of those ones that was completely ruined by the female lead. She's such a selfish brat that I couldn't like her. Not even a little bit. She threw a tantrum because she didn't get her way and then (view spoiler). No.

Just no.
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MEREDITH DURAN grew up enamored of British history. At thirteen years old, she made a list of life goals that included writing romance novels, trying sushi, and going to London to see Holbein’s portrait of Anne Boleyn. Now a doctoral student in anthropology, she is happy to report that all three goals have become her favorite things to do. When not studying, doing fieldwork in India, or working on ...more
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“Words are not the only way we communicate, you and I. They never were.” 23 likes
“In love my temperament found a new taste for life: it found a cure for the pain, and a pain without cure.'" –Ghalib” 8 likes
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