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The Duke (Knight Miscellany #1)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  7,098 ratings  ·  268 reviews
Acclaimed author Gaelen Foley begins a new series of fresh Regency-set historicals with "The Duke".. Driven to uncover the truth about the death of his love, the Duke of Hawkscliffe will go to any lengths to unmask a murderer. Even if it means engaging in a scandalous affair with London's most provocative courtesan, the desirable but aloof Belinda Hamilton.
Mass Market Paperback, 396 pages
Published November 28th 2000 by Ivy Books (first published November 1st 2000)
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Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenOutlander by Diana GabaldonDevil in Winter by Lisa KleypasJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëGone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Favorite Historical Romance Novels
90th out of 2,162 books — 4,136 voters
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Dukes... Bring 'em on!
10th out of 352 books — 560 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 17, 2010 Shawna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a good romance and happy endings!
Shelves: historical-romance, historical-romance-regency, author-gaelen-foley, heroine-courtesan-prostitute-escort, rt-book-reviews-top-pick, aar-top-100-romances, 2010-reads, angsty-dark-heavy-lotsa-drama, best-top-favorites, brothers-sisters-cousins-family, enemies-to-lovers-opposites-attract, favorite-romance-couple-hh-pairings, favorites, friends-to-lovers, hero-abused-scarred-tortured-angst, hero-darcy-paragon-haughty-staid, hero-expert-skilled-voracious-lover, hero-im-gaga-over, hero-mix-of-alpha-beta, hero-stud-mantel-hall-of-fame, hero-stalk-me-baby-possessive, hero-celibate-virgin-virginesque, heroine-abused-traumatic-past-rape, heroine-chaperone-governess-teacher, heroine-i-adore, heroine-naïve-virgin-like-a-virgin, hh-social-class-wealth-matters, i-read-own-faves-keepers, made-me-cry, revenge-deception-secrets-lies, satisfying-secondary-romance, sizable-packages, sweet-romance-left-smile-on-my-face, hero-beta, series-knight-miscellany-spice, favorite-romance-series, hero-i-wanna-marry, heroine-kickass-spirited-strong, hh-politician-diplomat, fairytaleesque-bb-cinderella-theme, heroine-beautiful-bombshell, hh-aristocracy-nobility-royalty, best-fave-reads-of-2010, 5-stars-plus, heroine-mistress, hero-duke-heir-to-dukedom, hh-across-the-tracks, star-crossed-lovers, heroine-badgirl-improper-scandalous, hero-daddy-warbucks-wealthy, hh-love-commitment-marriage-phobic, hh-rags-to-riches, controversial-memorable-event-scene, favorite-hottest-love-scenes-nookie, heroine-commoner-lower-class, heroine-destitute-poor, mystery-intrigue-espionage-subplot, hero-besotted-so-smitten-its-sexy, hero-titled-wealthy-lord, heroine-bad-reputation-fallen, best-endings-epilogues, masquerade-hide-your-face-identity, a-all-time-best-top-fave-dik-reads, hero-starchy-loosen-up-buttons-babe, a-all-time-best-top-50-fave-dik
5+ stars – Historical/Regency Romance

The Duke is such a beautiful, thoroughly romantic story. In fact, it’s pretty much the embodiment of why I’m an ardent romance reader. Because I just love being swept away in a moving, passionate story of two people who against all odds find deep, fulfilling, healing love and live out their happily ever after. Call me an overly sentimental sap...I don’t care...because love makes everything in this crazy merry-go-round of life worthwhile. And this charming, he
UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick

5+ Stars!! The Duke has earned a place of honor on my keepers bookshelf!

This was my first read of author Gaelen Foley and I was more than pleasantly surprised, I was WOW’ed and am finding myself, once again, indebted to my Goodreads friends who encouraged me to read this book.

The Duke is not merely a romance novel, it’s a truly wonderful love story, rich in detail and emotionally compelling characters. We’re given a closer look than we usually get in historical romance novels, at English societ
Tammy Walton Grant
4.5 stars

February must be 'courtesan' month at my house. Somehow I've managed to read three in a row, all with variations on the same theme. All with a different spin, all wonderful.

When I joined GoodReads and starting reading reviews I noticed that lots of people have issues with 'courtesan' romances. I don't get it, myself. It's a plot device, no different than the spinster, or the rake, or the wallflower. The courtesan is never really a courtesan; she is almost always forced into it due to c
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2009 Rane rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with a romantic bone in their body!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Through a series of very unfortunate events, Belinda Hamilton found herself in a situation where she had no option but to offer herself for hire as a courtesan. Her father was in debtor's prison and she couldn't earn enough money to take care of both of them.

Belinda decided that she had certain requirements in a protector, the most important being that he wasn't married. Robert Knight, the duke of Hawkscliff fit the bill perfectly. He was unmarried, handsome, and the most eligible bachelor arou
The first book in Gaelen Foley's Knight Miscellany series. Sometimes a book comes along that you think you might not like but you give it a chance and then it becomes a favorite and it ends up on the keeper shelf to be enjoyed over and over again. That's what happened with this one. Gaelen Foley has written some good stories but none have overly wowed me until this one. Someway, somehow she managed to take a theme that I'm not in love with and write a beautiful love story that I will treasure fo ...more
This was my first Gaelen Foley novel and it definitely won't be my last. I have read so many wonderful reviews about her writing that I was looking forward to starting this series. I initially hesitated to start it because I generally do not like storylines with courtesans in them. The description of the book really does not go into depth about how this happens with the heroine and I think that was why I waited awhile to begin it. I am not going to summarize the story other than to say I really ...more
I love books that step outside of the box and push the boundaries of what we are used to reading. The Duke by Gaelen Foley definitely fits that description. This book doesn't stick to the typical romance formula and the result is a spectacular 5 Star read!

A string of horrible events lead proper young lady Belinda Hamilton to reluctantly join the ranks of London's fashionably elite courtesans. Under the guidance of Harriette Wilson, a real life courtesan pulled from the history books, Bel become
"4.5 stars" The Duke is the best book I have read in while. I really enjoyed this Cinderella-type story of a young woman who was reduced to a penniless state by a greedy, obsessed suitor and the gallant duke who became her rescuer. Even though I liked this book very much it was not quite the perfect, grand romance I expected. Instead it bore a bit more resemblance to the historical reality of that era. That's not to say I didn't like it. It simply was different than what one might expect from a ...more
I loved this. It was so easy to read, the words just seemed to flow and I was engrossed by the story....Definitely a keeper! I would have easily finished this in one sitting if life hadn't got in the way!

After years of refusing to read HR's I am now heavily into this genre and am loving the books/authors that my friends here on GR's have been recommending.

Off to find the next in the series :)
Blacky *Romance Addict*

This book has one of the most selfish heroines I've read.  photo 798186.gif

I actually wanted to slap her a bit for being so idiotic in the end.
Considering what she is, and what she demanded of him in the end, knowing that it would RUIN him completely...  photo 927261665.gif

She's a moron. He isn't any better. This is one of the rare situations where I'd have preferred a non-HEA (and I want HEA EVERYWHERE!!!), or one where she stays as his mistress. This uber-jolly, absolutely non-realistic ending just ruined the book for me.  photo 750195.gif
4.5 stars
The Duke is my first Gaelen Foley book - and the first time I've read a book where the heroine was a courtesan. That fact kind of put me off for a long time. How in the world can there be a happily ever after? Well, this book took me for quite a ride and I was mesmerized from the beginning till the end. It's beautifully written, full of romance and suspense, kept me wanting more - I even had these little funny flutters in my stomach! Remember Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts? Kind of sim
QiJia 치쟈
4.5 stars

This is my first read by Gaelen Foley and absolutely loving it!!!!

This book has been on my shelf for a looooong time but it was tucked away until recently I was cleaning out my bookshelves. So glad I read this.

The Duke is heart wrenching and I am so damn proud of Bel! She doesn't cowers but takes on the hardships and challenges life drops onto her, in the meantime she has a loving heart to help out those poor kids in the flash house. She's courageous and considerate and she thinks so m
Lady Wesley
I just finished reading a book about which I complained that nothing happened. Well, lots of stuff happens in The Duke.

What I Liked
The plot. This is a romance with lots of plot!

The characters. Lots of characters too. Besides the main ones, I enjoyed the way the author worked in real people, such as Lord Castlereagh and Harriette Wilson.

Belinda. She's one of the strongest heroines I've read about. And she shows lots of gumption when she leaves Hawkscliffe (for a darn good reason too).

I read this because of recs here, so I thank whomever the rec was. It was a great book!

Stuffy, straight-laced Robert, the Duke of Hawkscliffe, was a man on a mission. He was driven to find out who murdered a woman that he loved. The only way that he is going to find out, is to hire the talents of the lovely courtesan, Belinda Hamilton. She agrees to the deal with trepidation in her heart, but with her father in debtor's prison, she hasn't much choice.

Especially after losing her house, her very
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I really liked this book for 2/3's of the book. I loved Bel & Robert and all the other minor characters. However, the last 1/3 of the book became so predictable that I literally guessed what would occur with each character about 2 pages before it happened.

I'm still giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars just because I loved the main story, the romance and the sexual tension. I have book 2 and will eventually read it.
 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
Still recovering from my rollercoaster feelings to review just yet. This was the "McNaught-esque" book I was longing for. An emotional and satisfying read.
Yomi Milanesa
Rating Clarification: 4.5 stars

What an amazing read, this is one of those books that I will continuously re-read. The only reason I'm giving it a 4.5 is because I found the ending to be rather abrupt, I wish there had been an epilogue.
Sophie ♥
I think I've been reading too much romantic suspense and anything that isn't sending my stomach into nervous spasms is boring me to death. Or maybe this one just missed the mark for me. I'm hoping it's the latter - I do adore historical romances and I would hate to start losing interest.
Brenda (b)
I read a number of glowing reviews for this book and I just had to see what all the fuss was about. I'm glad I did because I truly enjoyed it. Robert was the "Paragon Duke" and he had to struggle with himself about that image and whether he truly wanted to keep it. Desperate times called for desperate measures and Belinda did what she felt she had to do to continue on. I may not have agreed with all of her reasoning, but I still liked her character. I found the Knight family's dynamics intriguin ...more
Grace Cieleen
Yes! I am glad that my first book from Gaelen did not disappoint. This story is full of angst, heartbreak and conflicts but the h/h were just amazing together! I am so glad I finally read this--thanks to Andrea for recommending! I cannot wait to read on the rest of the series!
Jun 27, 2008 ChloeLeeNH rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Regency Era fans
I liked this book a lot. I thought the relationship given its barriers was very true and sweet. I loved he truly saved her and changed her life. I am glad that I gave this one a chance and now I am off to read the Lord of Fire.
Robert Knight, the ninth duke of Hawkscliffe, is a man of integrity, power and honor; he is otherwise called the paragon duke. He is a responsible brother, a competent duke, and an eloquent man. In other words, flawless. Miss Belinda Hamilton is a loving daughter, an intelligent beauty with a giving heart, a principled and dignified woman. It is important to remember who they were, to understand who they become, and to know who they truly are. Because when their lives converge, it is not through ...more
This is the story of a paragon of a man brought down to his knees by a little slip of a girl. He is the duke, and she, his bonny blue...

I’ve been told to read The Duke for quite some time now, but have always hesitated. I hate being disappointed by a book everyone else just loves. It’s so disheartening and can sometimes put me in a real reading funk for days. However, I resolved to finally read this much recommended book by Ms. Gaelen Foley and I am not in any way disappointed or disheartened. A
Mary B.
Really liked this book. Loved all of the layers of this plot that were continually peeled away during the course of reading the book. Belinda Hamilton is one of the very BEST heroines I've ever read in a romance novel. I was so wowed and dazzled by her strength of character and her unwillingness to compromise herself or to settle for less than what she deserved. She stood up for herself. She was strong and intelligent - and it was real. She didn't put up a big show of strength and then crumble a ...more
How do I analyse my thoughts? I started out prejudiced against Gaelen Foley which was of no help at all. This is probably her most highly rated book and was recommended to be by my secret santa so it was my best chance to get over my dislike of her previous books (I'd read The Pirate Prince, Princess and The Wicked Marquess).

I think that she puts together a good plot (not great, but good). Her characters don't particularly grab me but I'm willing to accept that for a decent plot. My major proble
This is one of those books that I started reading and just didn't stop till it was done. It was excellent.

I knew before I started to read this book that the heroine was a courtesean. I didn't know what to think of this idea, but after meeting Belinda and learning of the circumstances that led her to the decision to become a courtesan, all my questions disappeared. Belinda's character was really wonderful. A perfect combination of sweetness, sass, and loyalty/devotion.

Robert Knight, the Duke of
I loved this book despite having a grim start and being dramatic, with a not-so-riches-to-rags theme and about survival instincts. There's a lot of tension and interpersonal conflicts, but characters are likable and series of events plausible. I loved the characters and how they developed, an added mystery piqued my curiosity. Although the book is titled as such, the story focused more on the heroine and her struggle to survive the cruel world without money, and her last resort was whoredom sugg ...more
Jane Stewart
4.5 stars. Good story. Good ending.

I felt happy after reading it. It put me in a good mood. I liked the heroine. There was a twist that I hadn't expected. The separation after they got together was well done. Bel leaves him and I was glad, cheering her on. For many romance novels, I am disappointed in how the author separates the lovers. It's a treat when I agree with the reasons one of the lovers leaves.

Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: six. Setting: 1814 London. Copyright: 2000. G
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Gaelen Foley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of twenty historical romances set in the glittering world of Regency England. Her books are available in sixteen languages and have won numerous genre awards, such as the Bookseller's Best, the NJRW Golden Leaf (three times), the CRW Award of Excellence, the National Reader's Choice Award, the Beacon, and the ...more
More about Gaelen Foley...

Other Books in the Series

Knight Miscellany (7 books)
  • Lord of Fire (Knight Miscellany, #2)
  • Lord of Ice (Knight Miscellany, #3)
  • Lady of Desire (Knight Miscellany, #4)
  • Devil Takes a Bride (Knight Miscellany, #5)
  • One Night of Sin (Knight Miscellany, #6)
  • His Wicked Kiss (Knight Miscellany, #7)
Lord of Fire (Knight Miscellany, #2) Lord of Ice (Knight Miscellany, #3) Lady of Desire (Knight Miscellany, #4) Devil Takes a Bride (Knight Miscellany, #5) My Wicked Marquess (The Inferno Club, #1)

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“I’ll never leave you. I’ll never mistreat you. I think you know that by now. Try with me. Let us find what we
may find.”
“What do you expect to find, Robert?”
“How should I know? I’ve never experienced anything like this before in my life.”
Tears shone briefly under her graceful long lashes before she blinked them away and glanced at him
again with a reluctant twist of a smile. Sitting up, she wrapped her arms around her bent knees and
sighed. “You are asking us both to set ourselves up for great hurt when it comes time for me to leave.”
“Leave? Don’t speak of leaving, angel. You must stay forever.”
“As your mistress.”
“As my love,” he countered insistently.”
“You could be a gambler. A thief, for all I know. Besides—” He captured her hand and stopped
her from walking on, holding her in place.
“Besides what, you insufferable prude?”
“Prude, eh? Do you need another kiss to remind you what a prude I am?”
“Don’t you dare.”
“Then don’t call me names.”
“You started it.”
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