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The Accidental Duchess (Fairbourne Quartet #4)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  780 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Madeline Hunter comes this seductive tale of a headstrong young lady, a scandalous manuscript, and the iron-willed duke determined to save her from her ruin. For fans of Mary Balogh, Eloisa James, and Julia Quinn.

When Lady Lydia Thornton is blackmailed over the shocking contents of a manuscript she once wrote, she must go to the most
Mass Market Paperback, 389 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Jove
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,152)
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

I really enjoyed this book! There was something so fresh and compelling about Lady Lydia and Penthurst's relationship that I just couldn't help but be drawn in and held captive by their story!

When Lady Lydia Thornton is blackmailed over the shocking contents of a manuscript she once wrote, she must go to the most desperate of measures to raise the money to buy back the ill-considered prose: agreeing to an old wager posed by the arrogant, dangerous Duke of Penthurst. At least Penthu
Ana Elisa
Jan 16, 2014 Ana Elisa rated it it was amazing
I'm rating it five stars to compensate the fact that a troll gave it one star, and the book isn't out yet. This is utterly ridiculous (and, apparently and unfortunately, quite common with this specific troll).
John Hennessy
Feb 11, 2015 John Hennessy rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read a historical romance. Some may even wonder why I do read this genre, given I tend to write horror. Well, dear friends, sometimes we need a break from what we write, and read something that is relaxing, fun and whimsical.

Now that may sound boring and trite, but the figures don't lie - sales of romance books are through the roof!

Madeline Hunter is a best selling author and this was my first read of hers. I have to say I started it in 2014, so actually this has been a
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Sometimes I feel like I should be awarded a medal for slogging through some of the tiresome tripe I bother to read. Then I realize I've only myself to blame and any awards would just be a sad confirmation of my limitless drive to torture myself.

When I first started this book, I had high hopes for how it was going to turn out. Yes, Lydia is immature (kind of annoyingly so), but one expects that in a tale about a sheltered virgin. There were some short feminist diatribes I was quite happy to read
Jun 14, 2014 Jessica rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but honestly, it was terrible. I am not a fan of this series, but I do like this author and the premise seemed interesting to start with. With that said, the heroine is supremely annoying. I like girl power as much as the next chick but she's arrogant and willfully so. The plot is clunky at best and the pieces of it are never fully interwoven together (ex: Lydia's charitable efforts). And don't get me started about the bedroom scenes, no emotion and very ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Jackie rated it liked it
2.5 I've been unimpressed with Hunter's latest regencies, and this one struck me as weaker than the others in this current series. The blackmail plot that brings the hero and heroine together struck me as rather ridiculous--would a halfway intelligent woman truly believe she could be accused of being a spy based on something she'd written as part of a novel? This feeling was exacerbated by the fact that the heroine doesn't seem to take her blackmailer very seriously, or feel very threatened or i ...more
Jun 10, 2014 Tracy rated it really liked it
I gave the book 3.5 stars (rounded up because it is Madeline Hunter and I love her work- usually) because it was well written and we final get some answers to questions that have been lurking since the first book.

I liked Penthurst. I thought he was a good strong character and an honorable man. Lydia on the other hand was acting like a spoiled child for most of the book.

I cannot reason out why she kept so many secrets and why she wouldn't confide in either Penthurst or her brother. Or at the ve
May 23, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
THE ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS: Comprising Positions — Has Not Confiding Helped or Hurt?

There are many reasons for me to recommend this well-crafted, interesting and romantic story to you; but the biggest is that I loved it and didn’t want to put it down at all! I have come to believe that if I forget to take notes while I read then a book is so good, I get so caught up in it that I just read and enjoy it. And, that more or less happened here!

Rarely have I encoun
Eskimo Princess Jenkins
OMG I can't believe I didn't write up a review for this right away.

I did find this book just a great as all of Madeline Hunter's work. I was thrilled to be chosen to receive an ARC of this book.

Lady Lydia is just very headstrong, and wishes to be completely independant. So much so, that when she finds herself in deep trouble she refuses to ask for help, going so far as to sneaking around trying to fix the situation. Which as you can imagine, just makes matters worse.

Penthurst, well he seems at
Apr 22, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: fv, hunter
Lydia and Penthurst

I felt like I stepped into an ongoing story. I missed out on some previous stuff by not reading the first three books in the series. Even with that I liked Penthurst but not necessarily Lydia. Full review to come on Fiction Vixen Book Reviews
Aug 30, 2014 Ilze rated it really liked it
Madeline Hunter's "The Accidental Duchess"
Nice conclusion to the Fairbourne Quartet series. At first the heroine, Lydia, is a little TSTL, especially when she sneaks off to another town to meet her blackmailer (she is being blackmailed for something that she wrote in all innocence but that looks like she was spying on the English navy in port). And Penthurst, the hero, always manages to turn up in time to save her from her mistakes, although at first Lydia thinks he is just being an annoying, i
Katinka (Unquietly Me)
I have read this book three times already in just the past year because I thought it was perfect and I happened to love the characters. Madeline Hunter is one of my top 5 favorite historical romance authors. My favorite romance trope is the arranged marriage or "marriage to save heroine from social ruin".

In The Accidental Duchess, Penthurst marries Lydia to prevent her from being ruined by a villain. When Lydia and Penthurst were children, their mothers arranged for them to be married. But when
Jul 10, 2014 Jill rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Thanks to the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program for a copy of “The Accidental Duchess” by Madeline Hunter.

This Regency romance follows young Lady Lydia Alfreton as she visits gambling tables, is blackmailed for a scandalous manuscript she’s written, and eludes a kidnapper. The culmination of these poor choices results in her marriage to her childhood acquaintance, the Duke of Penthurst; it is an initially undesirable union for both of them.

While I appreciated the headstrong and independen
Sonya Heaney
Originally posted HERE .

I continue to consider Madeline Hunter to be one of the absolute best historical romance writers around. Apart from some odd Americanisms turning up here and there (snuck, ass, etc.) she makes the time period come alive more than almost any other author in the genre. She does this by working with the attitudes of the time to create the conflict, rather than having her characters be totally anachronistic and ridiculous. The Accidental Duchess is the fourth in the Fairbour
Jun 07, 2014 P. rated it it was ok
A disappointment. The heroine is immature - juvenile really - self-centered and not too bright, often TSTL, but she does anyway, more's the pity. The hero of whom we were shown brief glimpses in previous books in this series seemed to be an interesting character. Turn out he's not. A bit tiresome really, although Hunter does tie up all the knots. Too bad that wasn't enough.
Aug 09, 2014 Cecilia rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Basically the entire plot would have been averted if the heroine had just turned for help to one of the many extremely powerful people in her life. None of her reasons for not doing so seemed that compelling. And her methods of trying to get herself out of trouble just seemed increasingly stupid. Tough to care about these characters as a result.
Jun 05, 2014 willaful rated it liked it
Too samey. :-( My review at "Dear Author":
May 29, 2016 Beachreader rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This is the best book of the series. Lydia remained a strong well-developed character throughout the four stories. She was a likable woman who displayed strength and determination. She was not afraid to change her mind about the people she had misjudged. I liked her best of all the women.

The Duke is portrayed throughout as a man of character who is concerned for the reputation of others. He and Lydia seem well suited. Their relationship moves through several stages, and each seems rea
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Angeline‘s review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

2.75 STARS

Review copy provided for an honest review

The Accidental Duchess is book 4 in Madeline Hunter’s Fairbourne Quartet Series. These are not stand alone books, in my opinion. There is an underlying plot that is in each story that builds until the conclusion.
Lydia is an Earl’s sister who never wants to get married. Penthurst is a Duke who has been too busy with his duties to want/find a wife. The two have been at odds with each other f
Jul 09, 2014 Sheila rated it it was amazing
Lydia lives her life as a woman of the world according to her. Because of a novel she began several years earlier she is being blackmailed. Consenting to meet the blackmailer out of town she is compromised but rescued by Penthurst. He marries her and learns her grievance against him. When she discovers the truth she also discovers her true feelings for Penthurst.

About halfway through this book I thought, "Oh, no. Penthurst is going to suppress Lydia's bluntness and lack of foresight." That did n
Jul 08, 2014 Nikita rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. When I picked it up, I had no idea it was part of a series (oops!), but after reading The Accidental Duchess I am going out to the bookstore at the next available opportunity to purchase the other three (followed by a re-read of this delightful story).

Lydia Alfreton is a slightly older heroine, headstrong, and independent, but also aware of the limitations society places on her - and how to get around those limitations! Lydia has no problem circumventing her l
Anna's Herding Cats
Oh I thoroughly enjoyed my first read from Madeline Hunter. The Accidental Duchess wasn't quite what I was expecting but I loved it. From set up to frustrations to a dreamy hero and lovely though cocky heroine. It was a delightful historical jaunt as a blackmailer forces Lady Lydia to do something she never thought she her virginity in a game of cards to a man she really can't stand because he took someone from her in the past. Scandal, steam and all kinds of salacious goodness! Just ...more
Jun 22, 2014 Gayle rated it really liked it

This is Number 4 in the "Fairbourne Quartet" series. Although it is part of a series, it can be a stand alone. The previous books were THE CONQUEST of LADY CASSANDRA, THE SURRENDER OF MISS FAIRBOURNE, and THE COUNTERFEIT MISTRESS.

Once again, the author has written a wonderful, seductive story of a stubborn Lady Lydia Alfreton and a strong willed Duke of Penthurst. Lady Lydia has been blackmailed and has to keep the story she wrote from being seen.She takes the Duke up on an old bet. Playi
Lady Lydia Thornton has been through a lot in this series. Her brother got married and she's been looked at strangely because of her gambling habits. And she experienced the loss of a friend when Lakewood was killed in a duel with the Duke of Penthurst. Now, she's being blackmailed over a novel (journal?) she wrote when she was younger.
Clayton Galbraith, Duke of Penthurst, has always known Lydia. In fact, before he put his foot down, they were supposed to be married (childhood engagement). But
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: joanne

Brought to you by OBS reviewer JoAnne

Lady Lydia Alfreton loves gambling. So much so, she forgoes other obligations to do so. Even though she is very good at winning, in fact ‘never losing,’ she does this with her brother’s knowledge and his hope that she will lose a great deal and stop it. Yet it appears he has absolutely no power over her to keep her from doing so.

When Lydia is accosted one night at the gambling hall by Algernon Trilby, claiming he has he
My Book Addiction and More MBA
THE ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS by Madeline Hunter is an exciting Regency Historical Romance. #4 in the "Fairbourne Quartet: series, but can be read as a stand alone. See, "The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne", "The Conquest of Lady Cassandra", and "The Counterfeit Mistress".

This is Lady Lydia Alfreton and the Duke of Penthurst's story. What happens when you cross a head-strong lady with a iron- willed Duke? Why a scandalous, and seductive tale of romance, ruin and love.

With a secrets or two, a little black
Jen Sako
Sep 25, 2014 Jen Sako rated it it was amazing
I'm now officially addicted to Regency Romance.
Aug 25, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
When Lady Lydia Thornton is blackmailed over the shocking contents of a manuscript she once wrote, she must go to the most desperate of measures to raise the money to buy back the ill-considered prose: agreeing to an old wager posed by the arrogant, dangerous Duke of Penthurst. At least Penthurst is a man she wouldn’t mind fleecing—and she’s confident she’ll win.

Penthurst long ago concluded Lydia was a woman in search of ruinous adventure, but even he is surprised when she arrives at his house r
Linda Rae Sande
Jul 19, 2014 Linda Rae Sande rated it it was amazing
THE ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS (Fairbourne Quartet Book 4) by Madeline Hunter was, by far, the best book I've read so far this year. Set in 1799, this well-crafted story centers around Lady Lydia, a 24-year-old, unmarried sister of an earl. She enjoys gambling for the thrill as well as the money it provides for her charitable giving. But she makes one bet too many when she's blackmailed by someone who claims to have an incriminating manuscript she wrote years ago. The arrogant, dangerous Duke of Penthur ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Jaci rated it really liked it
The fourth book in the series is as great as the first three. She writes her stories at just the right pace. She doesn't rush her characters through the story. I love her prose and the lyrical style of her writing. The Duke of Penhurst is back with Lydia Alfreton and they were both as strong willed as ever. Lydia gets herself in trouble and Penhurst finds out and they make a deal, but she doesn't tell him that she is being blackmailed. Penhurst tries to teach her a lesson about the choices that ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 23, 2015 06:50PM  
  • The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior (Dukes Behaving Badly, #1)
  • That Scandalous Summer (Rules for the Reckless, #1)
  • Let It Be Me (The Blue Raven, #5)
  • Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7)
  • Misadventures in Seduction (Masquerading Mistresses, #3)
  • To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield (Wicked Wagers, #1)
  • Moonlight On My Mind (Second Sons, #3)
  • The Duke in My Bed (The Heirs' Club of Scoundrels Trilogy, #1)
  • Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend (Jewels of the Ton, #3)
  • My Notorious Gentleman (The Inferno Club, #6)
  • The Duke of Dark Desires (The Wild Quartet, #4)
  • A Dance in Moonlight (Fitzhugh Trilogy, 2.5)
  • I Adored a Lord (The Prince Catchers, #2)
  • How to Master Your Marquis (A Princess In Hiding, #2)
  • When the Rogue Returns (The Duke's Men, #2)
  • Vixen in Velvet (The Dressmakers, #3)
  • The Scoundrel's Seduction (House of Trent, #3)
  • Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard (The Renegade Royals, #1)
Madeline Hunter is a nationally bestselling author of historical romances who lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. Her books have won two RITA awards and seven nominations, and have had three starred reviews in Publishers Weekly. In a parallel existence to the one she enjoys as a novelist, Madeline has a Ph.D. in art history and teaches at an East Coast university.
More about Madeline Hunter...

Other Books in the Series

Fairbourne Quartet (4 books)
  • The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne (Fairbourne Quartet, #1)
  • The Conquest of Lady Cassandra (Fairbourne Quartet, #2)
  • The Counterfeit Mistress (Fairbourne Quartet, #3)

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