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The Duke of Shadows

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  7,107 ratings  ·  780 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 int
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Pocket Books
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kim Park Lee Julia, this is so brilliant. How didnt I think about it before???...
Leslie Noyes By now, you probably know the latest book is The Sins of Lord Lockwood. I loved it--as I do all of Ms. Duran's novels. Reading about Lord Lockwood ins…moreBy now, you probably know the latest book is The Sins of Lord Lockwood. I loved it--as I do all of Ms. Duran's novels. Reading about Lord Lockwood inspired me to read The Duke of Shadows again. It was as wonderfully ntense as the first time. And, just as good. (less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  7,107 ratings  ·  780 reviews

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 Danielle The Book Huntress
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
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

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
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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Meredith Duran is an author whose works I really like but wouldn't really say I love. That said, I've had so many people recommend this book, THE DUKE OF SHADOWS, to me, that I kind of felt like I had to read it. THE DUKE OF SHADOWS was Meredith Duran's debut work and an incredibly daring one: in some ways, it's a throwback to the globe-trotting bodice-rippers of the 80s, when everything was tinged by the threat of violence, and love and
 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
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
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read The Duke of Shadows for the first time some years ago – before I started reviewing – and I remember being blown away by the quality of the writing, the richness of the setting and the passion and intensity of the romance.  I don’t get much time for re-reading these days, but I decided one was in order prior to reading and reviewing The Sins of Lord Lockwood (Lockwood is a major – and very intriguing – secondary character in The Duke of Shadows), and I was once again awed by the author’s t ...more
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.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'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.'

This book was excellent. I was hooked from the beginning. I loved the history. I really felt I was in India, during the time of the British Raj. Being Irish, I suppose I would have an affinity with any country that was taken ov
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: perfect, 5-stars, hr
Reread January 2018

I have nothing to add. Only: roll on February 27th.


Original review

The Duke of Shadows is the debut book of Meredith Duran, which at the time I read it, simply floored me. How can a debut book be this good? How can history and romance be put into a context where everything just fits into the right places? I came back to reading HRs after a break of about 10 years. When I left the Historical Romance genre, it was all about the fluffy writing style of Julia Quinn and he
Lady Nilambari Reads HR
4.5 Stars

Goodreads asks you to update your progress on the book, and when you're done with it, you click - 'I'm finished'. Well, that seems to echo exactly how I feel, finished, drained out, the kind you feel after an exhilarating experience.

Disclaimer - English occupation of India is a very touchy subject, and I've tried to view this book as a fictional account that it is, even though the atrocities described in the context of The Uprising of 1857 hit a little too close to home. But it was war,
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
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: already-own-read
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,
h o l l i s
Always, she thought. He said "always," but he had forgotten to say finally. Finally you are here. Thank God, finally at last.

I think I need a t-shirt that says "I survived DUKE OF SHADOWS". It's not that this story is traumatic, though it's occasionally hard and brutal and emotional. It's not that this story is overly violent, though it does take place during the revolution in India against the British and so there is war and inhumane actions and of course all the usual harassment and violence a
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to read DUKE OF SHADOWS, Meredith Duran’s much-praised 2010 debut novel, because I was totally swept away by this powerful and beautiful love story.

Accompanied by her parents, Emmeline (Emma) Martin is on her way to Delhi to marry her fiancé Marcus Lindley, an army colonel employed by the British East India Company. Tragedy strikes when the ship sinks in a storm, leaving Emma as the sole survivor. She is rescued by a passing freighter, but the knowledge t
Fani *loves angst*
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
Joanna Loves Reading
When I read this about four or more years ago, before joining Goodreads, I enjoyed it, but it was a bit too angsty and heartbreaking for me. With this re-read, I decided to move it up a star. Knowing some of the difficult parts ahead of time helped me be prepared and see it for the growth needed in the characters as they battled personal and shared demons. Things I love about this book:

1. Emma - she was an independent thinker, who didn't care what others thought, BUT she was still raise by Briti
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: victorian, favorites
Update 09/23/17:

While waiting for February (!) release of The Sins of Lord Lockwood, I decided to re-read The Duke of Shadows. Sometimes, re-reads can be disappointing. Not so on this occasion. I actually loved the story more. When I first read it, I thought the first part deserved 10+ stars but the second part paled in comparison. This time around, the second part had a huge emotional impact on me. Intense, unique, gripping, spellbinding and I can go on and on… It's hard to believe it was the a
Ⓐlleskelle - That ranting lady ッ
Dear Meredith Duran's fans.
It's with utmost concern and heartfelt empathy that I must relate my elopement with the Duke of Auburn. Julian sends his deepest sympathies.
It's not you dear, it never was— it's me. 😉
#TheDukeOfShadows #HesMineNow

More reviews and book talk at :

You can find me here too ☞

Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit, I was not impressed with other Duran's works I've tried so far. I thought they were formulaic and attempted, not very successfully in my opinion, at humorous banter.

And then there is this book. And it’s her debut.

I was hooked from the prologue. It starts with our heroine stranded in the middle of the sea after surviving shipwreck that killed everyone including her entire family on their way to India. Because of that you are instantly on the heroine's side and want her to succeed.
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
Sam (AMNReader)
Reread 10/28/18: I have no more words nor desire to try to sum this up. I’ll keep my 50+ quotes to myself for now.


There are a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head. First, I caught this book as a BR - I was having trouble bringing myself to read it otherwise for some reason so it was just the push I needed.

I'll probably recycle some thoughts from that forum as well as borrow upon others as a result. Also, spoilering for sake of that...

(view spoiler)
A very enjoyable book that is split into two halves. The first half takes place in 1850s India, during the dramatic and dangerous period when native Indians were rebelling against the harshness of the British regime. Emmaline is a young and naive Englishwoman, whose journey out to join her English military fiancé in India takes a dramatic turn. In India she also meets (and falls for) her fiancé's cousin Julian, a future duke, who is torn between two worlds, as he is one quarter native Indian. Th ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
As often happens lately, I'm in minority here...

I found the book interesting because of the hystorical moment it was happening in, not for the romance...

The Sepoy Mutiny was a very bloody and the horrors inflicted on the innocent were terrible...

From both sides...

first from the Indians ...

and, as retribution, from the British...

I loved how the hero, Julian, understood this horrible fact. He, as a half (or quarter) blood, saw how the Indian people were suffering under the British heel and, even
Lauren Reads Romance
3.5 stars

A truly unique HR. Heiress Emmaline Martin travels to India to meet her long-time betrothed Colonel Marcus Lindsley. While settling into expat life in Delhi, she meets Julian Sinclair, heir to the dukedom of Auburn and Marcus’ mixed race British Indian cousin. Their love story is tried and tested over racial prejudice, unspeakable violence, trauma, and years of longing and separation.

Part 1 takes place in India, where there are quite a few foreign-to-me terms and phrases. Part 2 is set
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 up
Addie H
(Tropes: Forbidden Love, Opposites Attract, Unrequited Love)

I thought the 1st half was way better than the 2nd - the latter is challenging as they are both in very dark places - but on a whole another fascinating read.

- “You do not frighten me. You alarm me.”

- “You’re not meant to be grateful, Emma; you’re meant to be flattered. And perhaps a small bit flustered, if you can manage it. That would give me the advantage I seem to need one where you’re concerned.”
She eyed him warily. “You’re being
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Th last half of this book had me up ALL hours of the night last night. Fortunately for me, Sunday is a day of rest. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to read it for some time, but got caught up an audio format kick for a while..
This story is beautifully written with relevant (and meticulously researched) details throughout. It was surprising to learn it was the author’s first. Anyone who’s done a little preliminary discovery knows this book has won awards, and after finally reading it I can understand
“You are not the only one who took that journey”

4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars.

A fabulous Read!!!

I always liked Historical Romances, no matter how complex or simple the story is, I always liked its essence. But, This Historical Romance is something else. AND I loved it.

The first part of the book holds in Indian Subcontinent and the second part is on British land. The plot is based on the Sepoy mutiny of British Raj in 1857.

I loved the story. I liked Emmaline but I loved Julian.

Emmaline is e
Jac K
Jan 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
This one (atleast for me) didn’t have a ton of angst or drama, but the writing is very good which made for an enjoyable read. The book is divided into two parts, and the majority of my book group either loved one part or the other. (I found the first part more interesting, but the second part more emotional) I honestly don’t know much about the British Raj, so I can’t comment whether it was accurate or not, but it sure sounded good, and I found it very entertaining.

Emma meets Julian while she’s
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MEREDITH DURAN blames Anne Boleyn for sparking her lifelong obsession with British history. She is the author of twelve novels, all published by Pocket Books. Her debut, The Duke of Shadows, has been translated into thirteen languages and was ranked among the top 100 romances of all time by NPR and All About Romance. Her other books include RITA award winner Fool Me Twice and her February 2017 rel ...more

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