After a suitor, Dolph, arranges for her father to be put in prison and for Belinda to lose her job she becomes penniless. Coming up short on her fathers prison fee's, Belinda begs the warden for more time. He follows her home and rapes her. Feeling that she ruined morally, she becomes a courtesan. Robert Hawkscliffe becomes her protector and engages her in a scheme to find the killer of his long lost love. He is a Duke from a very "good" family and cannot fall in love with the beauitful Belinda. But they both cannot fight the feelings that they develope for one another. Robert will be ruined if he marries a courtesan in the eyes of society.
This report prepared by Andrea
Ivy, Dec 2000, 6.50, 416 pp.
Although he never touched her, Robert Knight, the Duke of Hawkscliffe loved Lucy O?Malley from the first moment he saw her. However, the aristocrat showed appropriate behavior towards the wife of elderly Lord Coldfell. When she suddenly died, Coldfell tells Robert that he believes his heir, Dolph Breckinridge, killed his spouse, but the septuagenarian feels too old to retaliate. Robert picks up the mantel of vengeance.
Robert decides he needs to check his facts. When he meets Lady Belinda Hamilton at Harriette Wilson?s house of ill repute, he is shocked by his attraction to her. He is even more stunned to learn how Dolph led to her ruin, rape, and her father?s jailing. They agree that he will protect her and she will help him prove Dolph?s guilt. However, neither one expected love to enter into the equation, but he is a rising politician who cannot afford the baggage of Bel as a spouse.
THE DUKE is an exciting Regency romance that shows the power of the aristocracy to ruin almost anyone including a peer of the realm. The story line uses mystery elements that enable the plot to captivate the reader. Using Wilson as a major player provides a taste of authenticity. With two strong lead charcaters and an enticing support cast, Gaelen Foley provides the sub-genre fans with a charming prince of a tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner