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When a Duke Says I Do

(Lords and Ladies #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  801 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Miss Elsie Stanhope resided in Nottinghamshire, an area so rich in titled gentlemen, so felicitous for marriage-minded mamas, it was called "the Dukeries." Indeed, Elsie had been betrothed since childhood to the heir of a dukedom. She had no expectation it would be a love match. Still less that she would enter into a shockingly scandalous affair with an altogether differen ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 369 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Zebra
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  801 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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This started out with so much promise. Not without flaws: heroine Elsie is too impishly cute, and there was an awful lot of time suddenly given to secondary characters for no apparent reason, unless it was very clumsy sequel baiting. But the premise and conflict were fresh and I was enjoying it a lot. Sadly, the book then went completely off the rails.

It begins as a love story between two wounded people. Elsie is a beloved, much indulged Baron's daughter whose twin died in her sleep at a young a
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of rave reviews have come out for this book, but this will not be one of them. The main problem that I experienced as I read this book was the feeling that the characters were chess pieces, being arranged around a board for someone else’s purposes, swept off without explanation, lacking all self-will.

The story started off very appealingly, with the heroine, a cheerful young lady of privilege, the daughter of a baron, meeting the famous muralist who has come to paint in her home, and his a
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it
-- A Romantic Book Affairs Review

How do you rate a book that made you smile, made you laugh, made you cry... And yet, for a too long period - made you bored.

I adored the impish Elsie and the stoic Alexander for the first third of the book. They had a cute and impossible romance brewing. And, while it is completely obvious exactly who and what Alexander is - I won't bother spoiling it. His crippling shyness was endearing, and Elsie's constant insomnia was intriguing. I enjoyed how they were each
Lady Wesley
Feb 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lendable
Proper Miss Elsie Stanhope falls in love with the assistant to a famous painter who has been commissioned to paint a mural in the Stanhope ballroom. She has been betrothed, however, from birth to marry the heir of the Duke of Kingston; if the marriage is called off her father will be financially ruined. What to do . . . ?

What I Liked
The first half of this book.

What I Didn't Like
The second half of this book.

Seriously. The first half or so was a lovely love story, but the second half was a mess.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jane-goodger
This one has started out so good that I can't stop reading it! At 17% and loving it!

Alexander is the son of a Duke. A Duke that is so demanding and hateful his children are terrified of him. Alexander is so shy he actually throws up when he has to be around or talk to anyone. After his older brother drowns, his father has Alexander taken to an Asylum and left there. When the Dr realizes that there is really nothing wrong with Alexander he slips him out to live with a famous mural painter. He li
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Do you ever read a synopsis and just something you can’t really put your finger on precisely calls to you and you just want to read this book?

That’s what happened to me with this one and I’m glad I listened to ‘the call’. I really enjoyed When a Duke Says I Do. In these times of fewer historical reads, this book helped to remind me why I used to enjoy them so much.

Elsie is a naturally happy young woman. Betrothed since she was very young, she doesn’t really want to get married and move away from
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this book for Romance Reader At heart website:


You know what attracted me to this book? It was the title. If I had read the above blurb first, I would have taken a pass, and that would have been a shame.

Miss Elsie Stanhope is a beautiful, young woman living with her father and their servants in the country estate of Nottinghamshire. In the anticipation of her Birthday Ball, her father hires a very famous mural paint
Heather Book Savvy Babe
I love historical romance books, and I love the Victorian England setting because the characters have a set of rules and expectations that intrigues me. The characters have to work around those rules and expectations to discover themselves and to achieve happiness in their lives. When A Duke Says I Do is one of these books where the characters have to navigate the rules of society and challenge long-standing expectations.

The heroine of When A Duke Says I Do is Elsie Stanhope and she is a lonely
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I really enjoyed reading "When A Duke Says I Do". This story had a different storyline then most Historical Romances. Yes there were some flaws in editing but it didn't bother me, becasue the storyline was very interesting. Lots of twist and turns.

Alexander the rightful heir to the Duke of Kingston was placed in a asylum for idiot's at age 10. Alexander was so traumatized by the death of his eldest brother Henry and the abuse of his father he just couldn't speak. His father
Mar 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Props to this story for introducing botulism as a plot device.

This books was something. I realize he was probably a hunky dude, and you've lived a sheltered life, but girlfriend, come on! Do you think a guy who pretended to be unable to speak and turns into a raging jerk while contemplating suicide is the best bet?
Book Gannet
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you like your historical romance to have atypical characters, then you might just enjoy this one. Elsie is a young woman who is too afraid to fall asleep in her own bed for fear she won’t wake up just as her twin sister did when she was ten years old, while Alexander is a man so crippled by shyness that he’s spent more than twenty years pretending to be mute. On the surface there’s nothing to connect the two of them – she’s a rich gentleman’s daughter and betrothed to the heir of a duke, whil ...more
Melanie Adkins
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Miss Elsie Stanhope has an unusual habit..she falls asleep most anywhere. There is a reason for it. She's a pleasant young woman who has lost her mother and her twin sister. She and her father are all that's left. Miss Stanhope has been betrothed since birth and she is on pins and needles waiting to hear when her groom will claim her in matrimony. Alexander then happens into her life. He's a mute but very strong and handsome. Miss Stanhope feels there is something he's hiding and she's determin ...more
Lita Bouquard
I read book 1 and 4 in this series and both have characters with disabilities. Engaged since birth, Elsie isn't that excited to marry. She loves her home and taking care of baby sister Mary. Unable to sleep in her bed, Elsie sleeps everywhere around the house- and has since her twin died. She hires a painter to create a mural, and discovers his silent assistant working at night. Elsie chats the night away with Alexander who everyone thinks is mute. He suffers panic attacks and anxiety so severel ...more
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, kindle-library
2.5 stars

I actually liked this book but found some things to be problematic, the first thing being that as soon as Elsie and Alexander got down to the nut-cuttin' before the halfway point, I got bored. I was enjoying the sexual tension, the relationship-building, but then this somewhat sexually naive girl pops up with, "Make love to me." Um, well. That was out of the blue for several reasons. Bye bye interesting parts and hello inconsistent characterization.

Then after skimming the sex (which too
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I loved the first half of this book. What an original plot. Elsie is a bit too perfect but Alexander is hunkalicious! But then the second half happens and the story just got messy, boring and confusing. I was really disappointed by the ending. (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
More holes in the plot than Swiss cheese. Unlovable childish heroine made unbelievable decisions. The author couldn't guide her on a steady course and seemed to arbitrarily create twists that had me wanting to hurl this bad book at the wall. But with ebooks, ah well, this review will have to do. Didn't finish, don't recommend.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(sigh) A story of pain, sorrow, tragedy, perseverance, accomplishment, romance and love. I adored the characters Elizabeth (Elsie) and Alexander (Andre). They are passionate, lively, realistic and emotional. The storyline is heart-wrenching. When Elsie was very young her twin dies in her sleep unexpectedly. She is deeply affected to the point that she has trouble sleeping in a bed afraid the same thing will happen to her. Other than her fear of sleeping in a bed, she is normally an extremely hap ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it

When I began this book, I got this feeling that I had already read the book. I remembered a story with a mute assistant painter not being so mute after all, the mural he painted with the boys. Pretty sure I didn't read the whole thing, just the sample. Oh, I remember, I probably read it on my phone, Google book samples.

This book made me want to cry (I didn't but I wanted to). I thought it was so horrible how Elsie began to doubt Alexander's real identity, I was like noooo girl, how could y
Christine Seybolt
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Author Jane Goodger has blown this reader away with her magnificent, engaging and charming Regency, WHEN A DUKE SAYS I DO, released this December from Kensington Zebra.

In typical Goodger fashion, untold secrets, hidden relationships, fascinating interaction, steamy passion, and an intricate plot add to the mix giving her fans an engagingly satisfying read from start to finish.

Engaged since the cradle to Duke of Kingston, Miss Elsie Stanhope is preparing for a dull unemotional life. With her twe
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Absolutely loved this story. The hero, dumped by his own father, to find release with an artist who raised him. The heroine who hired him to paint a mural. Love and finally his life, finds them both.
Janet Russell
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A difficult romance

“Like comedy and tragedy one cannot exist without the other”. A apt description of this romance. Both tragic and funny but love does conquer well almost all
Jen Marie
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lovely, breath-taking quote: (view spoiler)

Our heroine, Elsie, is effervescent on the outside. Bubbly and endlessly cheerf
Ellen Klock
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Romancing the Book
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
Reviewed By~Shannon
Review Copy Provided by~Publisher

Jane Goodger is an author who is new to me, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this historical romance. Let me say, I was pleasantly surprised and will now look for other Jane Goodger books to read.

The story for When A Duke Says I Do revolves around Elizabeth (Elsie) Stanhope and a muralist’s apprentice, Alexander. Elsie, betrothed to the heir to a dukedom, is quite taken with the mute apprentice as she watches him paint her mural. She finds
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kensington-arcs
Elise Stanhope’s life is all planned out for her. She has been engaged since was a child and soon she will be married to her betrothed. She couldn’t be more unhappy about it. While she is reserved to know that she will do her duty for her family, she feels like there is more to life. She knows that feeling is true the moment she sets her eyes on her muralist’s assistant. There is something about the man that makes her feel alive. Too bad there is nothing she can do about it…or is there?

Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
The first part of this book was perfection. Great brooding hero with an even greater secret, he is the assistant of a famous muralist but he is the one who actually does the painting - the muralist has some decease and cannot paint anymore. Alexander is actually the rightful heir to a dukedom.
Sent as a child to a place resembling a hospital for children with various deficiencies because of his acute shyness.

Elsie cannot sleep in her bed because her twin sister had died on it, even though the be
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the 2nd book I’ve read by this author. I liked When There is Hope, a great deal more than this one, but When A Duke Says I Do was good. I was going to give this story 3 stars because I liked it but it wasn't anything I "couldn't put down". However, I give this book 4 stars because of how much I loved Alexander!! I felt so badly for him. He was such a sweetheart and didn’t deserve the cruel things that were done to him. (view spoiler) ...more
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
Elizabeth ‘Elsie’ Stanhope has been betrothed since she was a child to the future Duke of Kingston. She is not happy about having her life planned, but is willing to do her duty so that her father and sister can continue living a comfortable life. Then Elsie meets a most unusual man. She falls in love with him and he falls in love with her even though they both know they are doomed to never be together. However, Fate just may have something else planned for them.

I loved this story! Well-written
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
While this isn't the best book the premise for this book is EXTREMELY original and very moving. Alexander suffers from selective mutism (in a time when such a thing was not known about or addressed). His story is absolutely heart wrenching. His mutism combined with the things he has suffered leaves him prone to bouts of depression (almost committed suicide twice in his life). Elsie is perfect for him due to her understanding & accepting character. While there isn't anything really WRONG with ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 19, 2015 05:25PM  

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I grew up in western Massachusetts and have lived most my adult life in New England. Thanks to my adventurous husband, I've also done brief stints in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Naples, Italy. Although I've written four contemporary romances under the name Jane Blackwood, my first love is historical romances set in Victorian times. I've written 17 of those with more on the way.
I have three ki

Other books in the series

Lords and Ladies (4 books)
  • The Mad Lord's Daughter (Lords and Ladies #2)
  • When a Lord Needs a Lady (Lords and Ladies #3)
  • The Spinster Bride (Lords and Ladies #4)