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Desperately Seeking a Duke (Heiress Brides #1)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  1,464 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
A USA Today bestselling author delivers the first novel in a brand-new series about three young women looking for love--and upward mobility--in Regency England. Original.
Hardcover, Large Print, 491 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Thorndike Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Laura V.
Sep 18, 2016 marked it as abandonados-para-no-volver  ·  review of another edition
Demasiado complicado se presenta (un drama que no es, obstáculos que no me importan) para un romance planteado desde un comienzo como inconsistente. Gracias pero no gracias.
Love at first sight, a horrendous misunderstanding, some angst, mediocre side characters, dumb villains, and you've made a romance novel. Or at least, Ms. Bradley thinks so. It was not really a terrible book, I mean, the characters were likable (Rafe being utterly hot and normal, while Phoebe had some sins up her sleeve), the angst was easy enough to relate to, the sex was pretty hot, and the writing was above average. Actually I loved how the characters were given real flaws, like the ones we s ...more
May 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's this old fart who made a lot of money and wanted his daughters to marry dukes, but they were all snippy and too proud (or something) and so none of them did. So the old fart is mad and changes his will demanding that one of his granddaughters or great-granddaughters marry a duke. The first one that succeeds will get the whole pot of money. If it doesn't happen by the time his greats all get married, the money's going to whiskey smugglers. So the story opens with the old fart's three gran ...more
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love how the first thing Phoebe noticed about Rafe is his arse! and then found out that everything else that was attached to his wonderful arse is just as good to look at... And that by openly staring at his arse in a ballroom full of people is a good way to meet said owner of such a great body part.

I definitely think that this book is a better read than the 3rd book which i read a couple of days ago. This one has a lot more chemistry and both characters are so easy to love. Rafe is a darling
Reading with Cats
This book made no sense. Some wtf the moments:

At the very beginning, the crotchety old patriarch makes it very clear that he dislikes the aristocracy. BUT, in order to gain his inheritance, his female relatives must MARRY A DUKE.

Idiot Phoebe accepts a marriage proposal from someone who's first name she doesn't know!

Even more idiotic Calder proposes to a woman he's NEVER EVEN MET! Then invites this stranger AND HER FAMILY to move in with him...that day!

Maybe this thing made more sense after the 1
D.W. Nichols
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primera entrega de la trilogía Herederas. Buena novela, divertida en algunos momentos, de esas que emocionan e incluso en algún momento, a pesar de saber que es romántica y que, por lo tanto, ha de terminar bien sí o sí, lo dudas. Hay quien le podría pegas por el hecho que los protagonistas se enamoran a primera vista, pero yo no soy de esas porque sé bien que es pasar por eso jijijijiji (y llevo 30 años pagando las «consecuencias» jajajajajajaja).
J.D. Stroube
I was surprised to find that I did not like this book very much. I usually enjoy Celeste Bradley, but I hated how she had the main characters fall in love within minutes of meeting one another. This could just be my personal belief that "love at first sight" does not exist. I prefer books that leave the reader questioning when the main characters will finally realize that they love one another...
leído en Nov 2010
This author's voice is amusing, but I just don't like a story that is based so much in misunderstanding and self loathing.
May 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fue entretenido, pero no puedo dejar pasar sus fallas. Ni siquiera voy a comenzar con lo del enamoramiento instantáneo. El libro es una historia llena de cliches. Amor a primera vista. Libertino reformado solo con conocer a la indicada. Chica inexperta en sexo que mágicamente es muy buena en eso. Casi pienso que se salto el cliche de la chica virginal y devota. Incluso le di crédito por eso, pero NOP. Muy a mi pesar el libro me gusto. Fue entrenido y rapido de leer. Aunque en las zonas en donde ...more
Helen Bassett
A very amusing story. Phoebe is an interesting girl. Sophie a very likeable one. Aunt Tess... not so much.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Goofy premise, but somehow works. I'll look for other two in the trilogy.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A winning cast of characters, and brilliant subplots.
Elis Madison
Sir Hamish Pickering died a couple generations ago, but not before making a ridiculous will. He somehow had scads of money (dumb must've paid well in those days), and his will settles twiddle on his female descendants and even less than twiddle on the males—unless…

The first female descendant who marries a duke, or marries a guy who eventually becomes a duke, inherits the whole bundle. And if anybody speaks of the terms of the will outside the family, the money goes to pay the fines of smugglers
Dec 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfiled
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Ok, I was desperately needing humor when I pulled this book so the rating is somewhat adjusted accordingly.

Our h, at the tender age of 15ish, was seduced by a dancing master who apparently had a distinct lack of control, thus she assumed she was deflowered but the hymen remained intact. Whatever, her father clamped down on her and pretty much locked her in what passed for a tower at a vicar's cottage. Thus, she's spent the last 10 years being a glorified housekeeper. Of course, there are two thi
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, regency
Author: Celeste Bradley
First published: 2013
Length: 5189 locations, 332 pages
Setting: England, 1815
Sex: explicit, not frequent.
Hero: Illegitimate son, with a rake reputation.
Heroine: Daughter of a vicar with a secret past liaison. Desperate to be loved. Possible heiress.
Series: Book 1 of 3
Includes: Excerpt from The Duke Next Door.

A push-and-pull story with no one being able to make up their mind. Some humour but lots of backstabbing and unwillingness to truly commit. Phoebe is very conflicted. R
Estance Moriarty
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quite-good
In truth, one is able to ascertain the veracity of a love's story if the following component are in place:
- tragic backstories for the main protagonists leading them deeply imbedded trust issues.
- one of the parties MUST be engaged/promessed/involved/attached to a third party (now, that can a deceaced person, mind you, those shadow is a constant barrrier to our lover's affections).
- a incident (pirates, international spies, assassins, storms or highwaymen, traditionnaly a step-something or cousi
Desperately Seeking a Duke
3 Stars

Three cousins are in competition for the same inheritance - the first to marry a duke will inherit a fortune. Vicar's daughter, Phoebe Millbury, is at a disadvantage due to a romantic scandal in her youth but then she meets Rafe Marbrook and accepts his proposal. The only problem is that it is Rafe's older brother, Calder, who is in line for the dukedom and whose proposal she has unknowingly accepted. Will Phoebe abide by her duty or give in to her heart'
After recovering from a scandalous past, Phoebe comes to the season to start looking for a Duke. Her grandfather put a clause in his will that if any of this grandchildren could marry a duke the estate fortune would go to that granddaughter, otherwise only £15 annually.

Phoebe meets and, in one night, falls in love a rake with brotherly competition issues. It's the older and serious brother that is slated to become a duke. So when a suitor asks for her hand in marriage, she assumes it is her rak
Mia Marlowe
Jun 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all romance readers
This was the first Celeste Bradley title I've read. Since my work was compared to hers by RT BOOKReviews, I thought I'd better see if there was a resemblance.

Ms. Bradley is witty and sharp and several shades of naughty--all qualities I aspire to, but may fall short in. She had me wondering how she'd manage to spin this tale out since the hero and heroine fall into nearly instant love/lust with each other. But she managed it with several layers of conflict, both inner and outer, deftly woven thr
Apr 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Mackenzie Bushy
Shelves: romance
I was told that this book had elements of fairy tales in it, and I have to admit I smiled whenever she quoted Jack Zipes. (I read many of his books and articles when I wrote my JP on the Deerskin tale.) This book certainly did reference bits of the Sleeping Beauty tale, but the story itself is only recognizable within the book after you go back and try to fit characters into the elements of the tale.
It was a quick, light read, but it certainly wasn't the best romance I read this week. I had a
Rebecca A
It was rather hard to get into this book, but seeing as it was my first EVER adult romance novel I'm not surprised. It was still a pretty good book.

I'm not usually a big fan of insta-love but Rafe and Phoebe were absolutely captivating from the moment they began. I found myself constantly hungry for another moment with them. The more they were together, the more tension there was? I was ripping at the seams for them to be together. The author did a phenomenal job of writing the give and take of
I read this book without previously read its synopsis nor its reviews. It's fun sometimes to have myself guessing which "romance formula" would be applied to a book... at least until chapter 2.

It's a funny book and the writing engages me to keep reading till the end. I realize this is a first book of a trilogy, so it also serves as introduction to characters of later books, and it does well. The characters are unique, they have their own distinct personalities and flaws.

On the downside, some d
Amber Gray
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Phoebe Millbury must marry a duke in order to gain her family fortune.She meets with the handsome Rafe Marbrook.

When she receives a marriage proposal from the Marquis of Brookhaven, Phoebe is thrilled to learn that Rafe is headed for dukedom and accepts his offer.

There's only one problem: It's from Rafe's older, less captivating brother, Calder. Now Phoebe finds herself on the verge of yet another scandal as she faces a desperate choice: Marry Calder for his money or follow her own heart? Each
I liked this book more than I thought I would from reading the back, but I am not in love with it. It was a good, quick read with two mail characters who I thought were well developed.

The only problem I had was that sometimes, when switching voices, there would only be a paragraph before it switched again. Now I know Ms Bradley was setting up for future novels, but some of it just seems unneeded. A secondary character who we already know spends a lot of time reading, is, for a useless paragraph
May 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping I could find the next book in the "Liar's Club" series, but when my local bookstore didn't have it, I thought I'd try this new series by Celeste Bradley. I hate to say it, but this series wasn't as good as the "Liar's Club" or "Royal Four" series in my opinion. It seemed to be missing something (maybe the mystery from the other two series???) and although I finished it, I wasn't as hooked to the storyline as I was to the other series' books. The characters seemed kind of flat and th ...more
Apr 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical romance lovers
Recommended to Sarai by: katiebabs!
I really enjoyed this book. It was light hearted and fun. The story is as old as time but had a nice twist to it. Phoebe has to marry a Duke to get her family's fortune. She meets a young man and discovers she likes him. The next day she gets a proposal and believes its him. It turns out to be from his older brother. She doesn't want to call of the engagement for fear of scandal. After all she has already suffered from one.
On ensues is a classic historical romance with a wonderful HEA. I can't
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency
I enjoyed this book. Rafe is a wonderful hero and Pheobe is a heroine one ia able to love. She thinks she's been destroyed, that she's been cheated in love when she hasn't been. But her ability to dream when she meets Rafe is reborn and their love is beautiful. Even when Calder offers for her, she honesty is lovely. She is all for telling Calder that she can't marry him, and I loved the ending where Calder forges Rafe's signature. Marrying by Proxy was brilliant. I loved it.
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Goodreads Librari...: Missing cover 2 15 Nov 28, 2013 10:04PM  
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  • When Tempting a Rogue (Victorian Soap Opera, #3)
  • Never Deceive a Duke (Neville Family, #2)
  • What a Rogue Desires (Reece Family Trilogy, #2)
  • A Groom of One's Own (The Writing Girls, #1)
  • Once a Gentleman (Ladies' Fashionable Cabinet, #3)
  • A Perfect Scoundrel
  • Love Letters From a Duke (Bachelor Chronicles, #3)
  • Duke of Sin (Duke Trilogy, #1)
  • To Sin With a Stranger (Seven Deadly Sins, #1)
  • A Lady's Pleasure (Mistress Trilogy, #1)
  • A Man of Privilege (Lawyers in Love, #2)
  • Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride
  • Let It Be Me (The Blue Raven, #5)
  • Sins of a Duke (Griffin Family, #4)
  • The Kiss (Widows Club, #2)
  • The Lady's Secret
  • The Seduction Of An Unknown Lady (McBride Family #2)
  • A Season of Seduction (James Family, #3)
Celeste Bradley is the author of Fallen, which was nominated for a RITA in 2002, and The Pretender, the first book in the Liars series. According to Bradley, the best thing about writing is that she finally gets to use the brain full of trivia she's collected over a lifetime of living in eight states, residing in over twenty homes, and changing her major five times. "It was research for my writing ...more
More about Celeste Bradley...

Other Books in the Series

Heiress Brides (3 books)
  • The Duke Next Door (Heiress Brides, #2)
  • Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides, #3)
“Love was not a drink one tasted and then rejected. Love was not something that could be avoided or arranged. Love was a highwayman, standing by the road of life, just waiting to strike at the reckless and the few.” 4 likes
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