What I Did for a Duke

Julie Anne Long
What I Did for a Duke
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Harper Collins Inc
Release Date
February 2011
Book 5 of Pennyroyal Green Series
Historical Romance

For years, he's been an object of fear, fascination . . . and fantasy. But of all the wicked rumors that shadow the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he'll seduce Ian's innocent sister, Genevieve—the only Eversea as yet untouched by scandal. First he'll capture her heart . . . and then he'll break it.

But everything about Genevieve is unexpected: the passion simmering beneath her cool control, the sharp wit tempered by gentleness . . . And though Genevieve has heard the whispers about the duke's dark past, and knows she trifles with him at her peril, one incendiary kiss tempts her deeper into a world of extraordinary sensuality. Until Genevieve is faced with a fateful choice . . . is there anything she won't do for a duke?

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jan 31, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
346 people found the following review helpful
On the high seas or in the drawing rooms in Sussex, Julie Anne Long captivates with her addictive writing, unforgettable characters and intriguing plot. WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE is another extraordinary read in the Pennyroyal Green series! A rare treat, indeed.

Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, is out for revenge for the grievous wrong that Ian Eversea has done him, and the object of his revenge is Ian's sister, Genevieve. But he didn't account for Genevieve's kindness or that the seducer would turn out to be the one seduced...

Genevieve is a kind and thoughtful woman, always concerned for others, but oh, so bloody clever and more than a match for Alex. In the first half of the book, I was on tenterhooks to see if she would be seduced and ruined (and if she were, I'd have hated the duke), but she cleverly turned the tables on him. It's to the credit of Ms Long's excellent plotting and storytelling that I literally felt the power shift. Where before Genevieve was the inferior one (due to her lack of knowledge), they were now equals, and Alex couldn't help but notice her as such. Ironically, that was when the real seduction began.

Alex, oh Alex, what can I say? I'm a sucker for vulnerable heroes and he is as vulnerable as they come. Not only that but there's something about him that touched me, and I can't get enough of him! He makes me wish I were Genevieve, and that's not something I ever said before! He is not a kind man, or so he says, and perhaps he really isn't, for him to hatch such a plan of revenge. But I wonder, if Genevieve hadn't charmed him, would he have gone through with it?

Anyway, he really caught my imagination, this image of a wealthy, much older, coolly confident man, and I was afraid at first there'd be issues about the age gap, but no there wasn't! I'm ecstatic, and perhaps, this wasn't much of an issue in historical times. Nevertheless, it was obvious Genevieve is more than capable of handling him, and for all his not-so-good reputation, he has a good heart and he takes care of his own.

The ending--Alex's gesture--is one I saw coming, but it still floored me, especially when I think of the meaning behind it, the reason that he dared to do it. To risk so much, when it could all have ended in misery for him.

A book in this series wouldn't be complete without cameo appearances from the members of either the Eversea or Redmond clan, and here we get to see Colin and Madeline, Jacob and Isolde (the Eversea parents), Olivia, and of course, the man who set everything in motion, the rakish-following-in-his-brothers'-footsteps, Ian Eversea.

The plot was simple, but the execution phenomenal. Ms Long upped the ante at just the right pace, and she kept me turning page after page and glued to my seat when I should be doing something else.

You know the story is magnificent when I stayed up late to finish it, something I rarely do these days, not to mention the fact that I have to wake up early the next day for work. Not only that but Genevieve and Alex stayed with me long after I closed my reader, and I replayed their story over and over in my head.

I love love love WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE. It certainly is a great read and a keeper, and I'm already eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the series. Ms Long, please write faster!
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BOOK INTERVIEW on March 2011
Hi Julie, thanks for taking the time for this interview. WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE is so awesome that we wanted to know more!

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for the Pennyroyal Green series?

Well, I wanted to create a kind of panoramic premise—Regency playground for me as an author if you will ;), a world that readers would want to visit time and again—and one that would allow me enough delicious latitude to do what I hope I do best, write unique characters who will inevitably fall in love in memorably passionate ways. I wanted it to theoretically yield countless stories—like, oh, a long-running television series. And I loved the notion of two powerful, feuding aristocratic families at the center of it bound by ancient secrets and one juicy alleged curse: that an Eversea and a Redmond are destined to fall in love once per generation with disastrous results.

Colin Eversea's story (in The Perils of Pleasure) helped me launch the series, because I pictured him going to the gallows, and the two families waiting for him to hang—each with entirely different feelings about the whole thing, and lots of undercurrents, thanks to Lyon Redmond's disappearance, all allegedly because Olivia Eversea broke his heart. It all unfurled from there!

Q: Will we ever see the main characters in the previous books taking a meatier role in future books? For example, we'd love to see more of our favorite couples, Violet and Asher, and of course, Genevieve and Alex, in more substantial roles in future installments!

I'd love to do that! In fact, Even as I focus on central story and romance for a particular hero and heroine, I can feel the town and the characters that bind it together, their back stories, their future stories, on the periphery of my awareness. I know all about Samuel Heron, the hot young gypsy who flirts with Violet in a brief role in Like No Other Lover, for instance. ;) I know Mr. Culpepper has a scandalous niece. I know what's going to happen to the hot vicar (Adam Sylvaine) who possesses a mysterious talent. And so forth. But I'd love to take Miles and Cynthia (from LIKE NO OTHER LOVER) to Lacao on a ship, for instance. I have lots and lots of ideas; some stories might show up as novellas. We'll see how it goes!

Q: Please tell us something about Genevieve, about what is it like to be the youngest Eversea and to live in the Eversea family.

Anyone with siblings can probably relate to the notion that "roles" are early on assigned to family members—"she's the quiet one," or ‘she's the popular one" or "he's the smart one" or "she's the screw-up" and so forth. And while these perceptions often contain a grain (or more) of truth, they can be confining and frustrating. Families can have blinders on when it comes to what's in front of their noses.

Genevieve loves her family—they're a lively lot, that's for sure (a politer way than saying "scandalous lot")—but they consistently refuse to—or are unable to—see her fully. (I bet, however, that other members of her family feel the same way. ;) If you've read the earlier books in the series, then you know how each Eversea is generally perceived by their families, and how they really are. ) When her world starts to fall apart, beginning with Harry, is when this really begins to chafe. And she's not entirely faultless in this. She assumes Harry sees her the way she sees him. Her own self-control (which evolved in part a defence against the unpredictable family members) is working against her.

It takes just the right man to unravel that control. ;) And to bring out her finer qualities—and those qualities might just be intrinsically Eversea qualities. Courage, passion, a certain recklessness and willingness to indulge her passions.

Q: Alex is such a great hero, especially when he said that his greatest pleasure was to make sure his woman is safe and happy! How has his past shaped him to be the man he is?

I'm so glad you enjoyed him! Well, he's very proud; he's a duke, so that pride is bred into the blood. He's always had a distinct, almost black and white sense of right and wrong, and a powerful sense of self and honor. He loves and loathes with the same passionate commitment. He commands respect effortlessly, and not just because of wealth and rank; he's earned it, and the dangerous, mysterious reputation he's garnered in some ways as a result of testing his power and demanding respect has become useful camouflage; he's a private man. And as this question is somewhat related to the next question, I'll finish the answer there…

Q: Why did you decide on an older hero (Alex is nearing forty) for Genevieve?

I wanted to write someone who was…genuinely mature. And by that I don't mean in terms of the number of years he's been alive; I mean in the way he's processed his life experiences—how he's integrated his triumphs and mistakes, his conquests and scandals and losses and his loves, into his character, tempering it like a sword. He's a truly formidable man as a result of his experiences. At this point in his life, he sees himself with unflinching (and sometimes dryly witty) clarity, and he genuinely doesn't care what anyone thinks of him (even when they think he poisoned his wife) because he has such a strong sense of self. And I think when you take a man like this who personifies power and danger and maturity make him vulnerable to love...well, to me, nothing's sexier.

And Alex is no fool for love, either: he falls in irrevocably, but with great dignity and ultimately enormous honor and courage: he risks everything for it, because all he genuinely wants is for Genevieve to have whatever she wants. Her happiness is his. He doesn't manipulate her or compromise her; he wants her to choose for herself. His actions toward the end of the book are what help her realize what she wants. And only a truly mature man would be able recognize just how to show her.

But also: when it comes to true love, age means very little. I like how he comes into view gradually for Genevieve: at first she just perceives him as "that older duke" with the dangerous reputation and notices very faint lines and a sprinkle of gray hairs when she dances with him; then as he comes into focus as a person she recognizes (unnerved) how devastatingly attractive he is; and then she sees only him. They see only their truest selves. Fundamentally, they're very similar: controlled, private, very passionate, very honest.

Q: Who was easier to write--Genevieve or Alex? Why?

They're honestly of a piece—I know them well, but I don't view either of them as easier or harder to write, as they're not possible without each other, and the relationship they're building between them is almost its own character.

Q: How far was Alex going to take his scheme of revenge if he wasn't outed? What does it say about Alex's sense of honor that he could cook up such a scheme? Was he prepared to bear the consequences, if let's say, he was found in a compromising situation with Genevieve?

I know readers are already speculating about this, which I love. And I'd love for everyone to draw their own conclusions about what he might have done based on their own interpretations of his character after they've read the story. ;)

But I'll say this: in that first scene we know he was willing to commit fully to his fiancée and learn to love her before she betrayed him, because he'd known love once before, cherished it, understood the value of it. In a perhaps typically analytical male fashion, he thinks he can eventually create that elusive thing called "love" from a series of qualities he admires in a woman. But we know when his icy, controlled fury at his fiancee's betrayal ebbs, what's left is anger, beneath which is hollowness and disappointment at yet another loss. The loss of promise. He wants to love and be loved; this is a man who knows how to do both, and does both passionately and permanently. His revenge was in part a reflex born of pride. But given what you now of him, at this stage in his life, is this a man who will ruin a young woman to make a point about her brother's transgression? What do you think?

Q: What was your favorite scene or line of exchange in the book?

Ohhh….that's a tough one! I like different scenes for different reasons. One of the most pleasurable and interesting scenes for me to write was that first walk they took—Genevieve newly devastated by a secret heartbreak and trying to disguise it, the duke calculatedly determined to charm and win her the way he's always been able to charm any woman he chooses to charm…but gradually they disarm, surprise, then actually almost enjoy each other's obvious subtle wit and intelligence. This is where they begin to recognize each other as people who may not be quite what they seem, and as equals. And this is the beginning of defences coming down. You get clues in this scene, too, about the duke's vulnerability: she whips out his former fiancee's name as a weapon (because Genevieve is no milksop and she's fighting dirty, if subtly) and it stops him in his tracks.

Q: What's up for you in the coming months?

The next book up in the series is HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON—out January 2012! I'll tell readers more about it in the weeks ahead. Join me on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieAnneLong), follow me on Twitter (@JulieAnneLong) or stop by my website to sign up for my newsletter if you want me to keep you posted.

Thanks a lot for the insights into Alex and Genevieve, Julie!

Check out Julie and her books at http://www.julieannelong.com/

Julie's giving away a signed print copy of THE PERILS OF PLEASURE, the first book in the Pennyroyal Green series.

Mechanics of the contest:

You can do either or both of the following to enter the drawing:

1. Write a comment or question below in the comment box (3 chances to win) from now to March 31;


2. Check out our contest page from March 28 to 30 to enter your email address (1 chance to win).

The winner will be announced in the comment box in April.
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