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the-duchess-hunt

Simon Hawkins, Duke of Trent, is no stranger to scandal. Rumours and innuendo have darkened the House of Trent for decades, and it has fallen to Simon to restore his tattered family name. He lives by a strict code of honour, but when he is called home to investigate his mother's disappearance, the distinguished duke will tangle with temptation. For there waits the only womSimon Hawkins, Duke of Trent, is no stranger to scandal. Rumours and innuendo have darkened the House of Trent for decades, and it has fallen to Simon to restore his tattered family name. He lives by a strict code of honour, but when he is called home to investigate his mother's disappearance, the distinguished duke will tangle with temptation. For there waits the only woman he has ever loved - and the last woman he should desire . . . Sarah Osborne has spent her life dreaming of Simon's touch. But dukes do not long for lady's maids - or so Sarah believes, until a stolen kiss sparks a passion that could be her ultimate undoing. As the couple begin a forbidden romance, a cunning enemy plots to destroy the duke and everything he loves. Now, caught in a blackmailer's web, Simon faces an agonizing choice: sacrifice his family's future or break Sarah's heart. 'An author to watch!' Nicole Jordan, New York Times bestselling author...

Title : the duchess hunt
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 21327433
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the duchess hunt Reviews

  • Khanh (the meanie)
    2019-01-26 18:25

    "'I...Sarah, I want you. But I don’t want to hurt you. I’m not the kind of man who...uses women.' Simon flinched. 'I don’t want to ruin you.''I know,' she whispered. 'But sometimes I wish you did.'"This was such an enjoyable book. Tastes are all subjective, I know, but ultimately here's what really makes a romance novel enjoyable for me: mature, rational, likeable characters who behave realistically. They do not have histrionics, they are not spiteful, they do not play games with each other. This book has that, and so much more.The barrier between true love in this book is that of social class. Simon Hawkins is the Duke of Trent. He is not a rake; he is nowhere close to a rake. Simon is the model of propriety, and has been his entire life. I loved him from the moment we first see him as a child, when he rescues the crying, frightened Sarah from a blackberry bramble, in which she became stuck. Despite their vastly different social status, Sarah and Simon has been friends ever since. Simon, as well as his entire family, treats Sarah (who is the estate gardener's daughter) with utter kindness, with no condescension whatsoever. She received a genteel education alongside the children of the ducal household, and they have always considered her less a servant than a sister. Simon himself has always considered her a close friend and a confidante until one day she became something more."So pretty.Something clenched inside him at that thought. He’d thought of Sarah as pretty for years, but in a detached way. She’d been pretty to him like a painted landscape might be pretty, or even like he might describe his sister as pretty.But this kind of pretty was altogether different. This kind made his body harden in places it should damn well be prohibited to harden in her presence."Simon loves Sarah, wants her badly, desperately, but he cannot have her. His parents were infamous throughout the ton for their promiscuity and their impropriety, and ever since he was old enough to understand that, he has behaved like a model Duke in order to rectify their bad deeds and redeem his family's name in society. Everything he does is with his family in mind, it is why he must behave with utter respectability and seemliness. In his mind, that makes Sarah completely forbidden to him. He cannot have her as a wife because it would be utterly scandalous for a duke to marry a gardener's daughter, even a properly-raised one. He does not look down on Sarah at all, not for being a female, not for her low status. He respects her judgment and her intelligence; instead of hiding things from her, he shares the details of his investigation and his difficult situation as they unfold, and that is so refreshing to me.Simon's own code of morals, his self-restraint, and above all, his respect for Sarah, prevents him from seducing her or making her his mistress. Furthermore, he has decided to marry this season, and he must choose an appropriate candidate; after his marriage, he will never be unfaithful to his wife, even if it is with his only love, Sarah. Simon's upright character and his respect and love for Sarah made me love him so much, in return.Sarah is such a well-written character. She is beautiful, strong, and competent. Sarah is not prone to hysteria, she does not act out. Despite her low birth, she is as genteel as any lady (probably more so, actually) in the Ton. In fact, she probably behaves more correctly and properly because of her self-awareness as a person of unequal status to Simon. Another reason I respect her: she is not ashamed of her attraction to Simon. She does not set o ut to seduce him for his title, she is not mercenary, she is not malicious. She wants him because she loves him. Sarah knows she will never be able to marry Simon, and she knows he is too respectful of her to seduce her or ask her to become his mistress. Yet, Sarah wants him, and she is not ashamed for it. Sarah know this is her last opportunity to have him before he gets married, and she takes it, because like Simon, she will never willingly help him cheat on his future wife. Sarah is attracted to Simon, she desires him physically, and she is not ashamed to feel such."...And yet, she did not feel like a whore. No bolt of lightning had struck her down where she slept. No pang of conscience had overtaken her. She was still Sarah Osborne. Her feelings about the world hadn’t changed. Only her feelings about Simon had grown stronger."Simon and Sarah love each other, they acknowledge it, and the implicit understanding that they cannot have each other is painful for both."'I wished it had been me,' she said softly. 'When you were dancing with Miss Stanley and the others. I wished you were dancing with me.'He gazed at her unspeaking for a moment. Then he said, 'I did, too.'"There are two subplots in this book, and they are both extremely well-done. The mystery unfolds realistically, believable, and does not feel like it is a weak disguise to get the two protagonists together. It makes sense, and it is compelling. The way the mystery unfolds and the investigation were well-done, there is no outrageous attempts at making Simon or his siblings into Sherlock Holmes; they are merely competent men with the money and resource to undertake an investigation of this sort. I truly enjoyed the subplot. There is a leeeeettle bit of religion in this book, but even for me (who runs away in righteous anger whenever religion is mentioned), it was not pushy in the least, and it did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book whatsoever. In fact, it probably takes a nitpicky person as I to even notice the infinitesimal details like that.Usually I cringe when the first book in a series is such an obvious setup to the sequels, but in this case, it got me screaming MORE MORE MORE. I absolutely loved the Hawkins family, the enfant terrible & prodigal son Lukas (who is as big a rake as you can imagine), the illegitimate, hard-working Sam, the younger brothers Mark and Theo, and the sweet, shy, utterly lovable Esme. Their obvious love for each other and their respect and acceptance of Sarah and Simon were wonderful to read. I cannot wait for the rest of the stories, particularly Esme's.Here's what ultimately kept me from giving this book a 5:- The scandal in Simon's family: supposedly the main reason Simon is such a model of propriety was to repair his family's reputation. It was mentioned many times in the book that his parents were the image of scandal because they were promiscuous, etc. I didn't feel like enough of a background was given on that, and I didn't think that was a good enough reason. The aristocracy commonly had lovers on the side, so even if it wasn't socially acceptable, it was far from uncommon, and the high status of Simon's ducal family wouldn't (and really wasn't) ostracized from society for that. Furthermore, Simon's mother was so loveable in the scene in which she did appear. She's not your typical cold, steel-butterfly Duchess, but the image the reader has of her from what we see is not the image that Simon presented to us at all. There's a disconnect there, and I would have liked more of an explanation.- The portrayal of the antagonists: I would have liked to see a little more depth given to the bad guys. Furthermore, I felt that Georgina was a little bit tropey as the perfectly beautiful, deviously mercenary socialite out for Simon's title. I know she was one of the difficulties between Simon & Sarah's relationship, but it would have been nice for Georgina to have a little more dimension and vulnerability than how she is written.- The wrap-up: I will not spoil the book, but ultimately the book's ending fell flat for me. The climax, the dénouement just wasn't there. It was a beautiful story that ended predictably and unsatisfactorily in some parts.

  • Samantha
    2019-02-02 16:06

    I had a hard time with rating this one. I would round it up to 3.5 stars. I really felt the love from Sarah and Simon. I had a hard time digesting that she was willing to be his mistress to get her one night with him. The forbidden romance because of social ranking was a nice twist but Simon pissed me off because he didn't necessarily jump out to claim her. The mystery surrounding their mother's disappearance added a nice touch and I want to know more so I will continue the series.

  • Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
    2019-02-01 17:11

    This is my first time reading Jennifer Haymore and I really enjoyed THE DUCHESS HUNT, the first book in her House of Trentseries. A charming story, it features two of my favourite tropes, friends to lovers and a cross class romance.When Simon Hawkins, the Duke of Trent, receives news from his sister, Esme, that his mother has mysteriously disappeared, he returns home to Ironwood Park to investigate, aided by his three brothers and his half-brother. Honour, integrity, decency and propriety are the principles by which Simon Hawkins has lived since becoming Duke of Trent. His parents’ scandalous behaviour has brought the House of Trent into disrepute and Simon has spent all his life trying the restore the Hawkins’ family reputation. However, these principles are tested when, after an absence of three years, he sees Sarah Osborne again.His body came instantly alive at the sight of her, even after all this time. Even under the circumstances. Lust. Desire. Need. All of it barreled through him in a hot rush.Damn. She was more beautiful than ever.Sarah Osborne was eight years old when she went to live at Ironwood Park with her father, who is employed as the Duke of Trent’s gardener. After being rescued from a blackberry bush by the thirteen-year-old Simon, he takes Sarah back to the house to have her injuries attended to. Simon’s unconventional mother takes a shine to the girl and arranges for Sarah to be raised and educated with her own children. What starts as a friendship between Simon and Sarah soon develops into a strong attraction which culminates in a passionate kiss. Shortly after, Simon leaves for London but now, after an absence of three years, he is back. Sarah knows that, as a housemaid, there can never be any future for them but……she was as besotted with the Duke of Trent as she’d ever been. More so, probably.Fearing for Esme’s safety, Simon decides to take her to London with Sarah acting as her companion. As circumstances throw them ever closer together, how long will it be before Simon and Sarah succumb to the passion that burns between them ?I sympathised with Simon, torn between his strong sense of honour and his overwhelming love for Sarah. He knows that having such feelings for someone who works for him and is under his care is morally wrong but…His body paid no heed to his strict attempts at discipline, to his notions of honor and responsibility.He wanted her. God help him.Even so, he respects Sarah too much to make her his mistress and I also like the fact that, when he finally does marry, he intends to remain faithful to his wife.I like Sarah very much. She is kind, honest, loyal and compassionate and understands Simon and loves him for himself and not for his title. She is pragmatic enough to appreciate the vast gulf that lies between them and knows that one day Simon must marry. She accepts this but I love her boldness in wanting to experience making love with Simon. “No regrets, Your Grace. I offer you this with my eyes wide open. I know” – she took a deep breath – “our time together will be limited. But it can be for now. Just for now, we can offer each other comfort.”I like how she truly cares about Simon’s socially awkward sister Esme and tries to help her overcome her fears.The romance provides a satisfying blend of emotional and sexual tension. There is potential heartbreak when a blackmailer threatens to keep the lovers forever apart but, when the blackmail threat is thwarted, Simon realises that nothing matters more than the woman he loves and refuses to live without…honour and responsibility be damned.Sarah Osborne was the only woman who moved him. Who he admired. Who could engage him, body, mind, and spirit. He loved her. And he wanted it all.I love the rest of the Hawkins family, particularly Lukas, the apparent black sheep of the family; Sam, the hard-working, illegitimate, half-brother; quiet, studious Esme who is keeping a rather scandalous secret. I’m definitely looking forward to reading their stories. I love the dynamics between the brothers and their bond is obvious. I also like how they show their support for Simon and Sarah.The deeper they dug into the mire that was his mother’s disappearance, the murkier it became.I am definitely intrigued by the mystery surrounding the duchess’s disappearance and, as there is no resolution at the end of this book, it appears that the mystery is set to continue throughout the series…definitely an added incentive to read the other books.MY VERDICT: This was an enjoyable introduction to this series and I will definitely be reading the next book, THE ROGUE’S PROPOSAL, Lukas’s story.This review is also posted on my Rakes and Rascals blog:https://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com...

  • Lover of Romance
    2019-02-02 19:04

    Simon, is the Duke of Trent and that position comes with much responsibility. Three years previous he fell in love with Sarah, a woman who was raised along side with his siblings. Now she is a maid, having been the gardeners daughter. Sarah Osborne, has always known the wide gulf that separates herself and Simon from each other. Even though she cares for Simon more than anyone knows, she also knows that they have no future together. She is merely a maid, and Simon a Duke. When Simon's mother disappears, all of them are frantic, trying to find a trace of her and find none. When Sarah was young, Simon's mother took her in and loved her and Sarah would do anything to find her. As Simon and his brothers start to investigate, they find a variety of clues to their mother's disappearance, and Simon and Sarah start a affair even knowing it can't go anywhere. But then when Simon starts to come to the realization on his feelings for Sarah and willing to sacrifice everything for her, he ends up being blackmailed. Now he will have to make a choice save his family from the largest scandal known to the Ton or sacrifice everything for his love for Sarah.The Duchess Hunt is the first in the House of Trent series, and I have always liked this author. I have never had a problem becoming engaged in her stories and her style of writing is addictive and draws in the reader from the beginning. After reading The Duchess Hunt I was impressed by this story, my favorite of her books so far. As the first in the series, The Duchess Hunt introduces us to the Trent family. It begins with a charming beginning of when Simon and Sarah first meet and finding Sarah hurt Simon brings her home to his mother, who immediately takes a liking to Sarah even though she is the gardeners daughter. So she does what any Duchess would do right? Have Sarah learn alongside with her own children. Having grown up in a loving atmosphere where despite her rank and birth, she feels accepted, but deep down she knows she will never be good enough for Simon.One of my favorite parts of this story was the way the Trent family accepts her. The relationship that forms between Simon and Sarah is tender and sweet and passionate. Both Simon and Sarah have shared intimate feelings with each other but haven't given into them until now. With the disappearance of Simon's mother, there is a mystery to be solved. But when Simon ends up being blackmailed into marrying a woman he barely knows and sees him as the Duke to be have at all costs, he knows he is making a mistake and hurting the one woman he loves more than life.The Duchess Hunt is a story that engages the reader until the very end. I had the hardest time putting this one down and I would highly recommend this one to anyone that loves a stimulating historical romance. There is such a unbridled emotion portrayed in this story, the characters so vividly written it makes them come alive for the reader. I did feel like there could have been a bit more emphasis on the missing mother, but I did like the "Blackmail" theme to the story. I do love a strong conflict especially when it seems like unbeatable odds for the couple involved to stay together. The side characters were lively and fascinating and I just fell in love with the siblings of Simon. The bickering and bantering between them reminded me of my own family, and I love a series that involves a big family, so I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series.The aspect of the unorthodox Trent family was intriguing, and I enjoyed seeing the varying degrees of originality between each member of the family.I think that overall, The Duchess Hunt was a charming story of a couple that have loved each other but live on different sides of the tracks. The love story was well done and the plot was thick with intrigue and mystery and conflict. Richly filled characters, and a witty enough read to charm your socks off. A Sensational story with enough zest and sensuality to make you fall in love from beginning to end.

  • ♥Aicha~high~on~books♥
    2019-02-18 17:15

    The only reason that I did not like to this book was that I found the heroine a little horny and then trying to look helpless because of her lower social rank.

  • Issa
    2019-01-30 16:13

    3 - 3.5 stars.Jennifer Haymore’s new House of Trent series begins with young Sarah Osborne, the gardener’s daughter, falling into a blackberry bush. Fortunately the young Duke of Trent, Simon Hawkins is handy to save her and brings her to meet his mother, a Duchess unlike most duchesses...she’s open, engaging, and caring and treats Sarah more like a member of the family then a servant.Many years later, Simon returns to the family home, as his mother has disappeared without a trace. In the years between the prologue and the beginning, Sarah has become the head house maid and Simon has joined parliament and lived a non scandalous life in London to live down the scandal his mother and father and their numerous affairs caused the family name. Three years prior to Simon’s return, he and Sarah shared a kiss that left them infatuated with each other...but a maid and a duke have no future and they both know this.The book continues with the search for the Duchess. We meet the rest of the siblings, 4 brothers and 1 sister, all of whom will likely get their own stories. The mystery of the Duchess is not solved in this book and during the search Simon encounters even more mystery, murder, lies, deceit and secrets that will change his life and the lives of his siblings. To save them Simon needs to make a choice, protect his family, or embrace Sarah.Things I liked.The mystery of the missing duchess, an interesting new twist.The emotion of from both Simon and Sarah when Simon makes his choice and from Simon as he debates what to do. I felt it right down to my toes.The characters. I liked both Sarah and Simon and found the family itself enjoyable (except for brother Luke, a man with a huge chip on his shoulder. Rude and an all around jerk, but no explanation is given as to why).Things that didn’t work.We are told early in the story that the Hawkins names was buried in scandal due to their parents infidelity, and as a result Simon lives by a strict moral code. His siblings mention it often. But we are only told about this. Not one single example is shown and quite frankly, I couldn’t believe either part.Not enough emphasis was placed on the missing duchess. The search was a little weak and it didn’t seem like the siblings cared all that much about her disappearance. Again, another aspect told but never shown.I give the book 3.5 stars mostly because there was too much telling without show. I also found the ending to be a bit odd. But it’s a good start to a new series and I look forward to the next one.

  • Lorka
    2019-01-21 13:25

    My first book by this author and it wasn't bad at all. The writing was done well enough.... it was just story preference for me that made me stop half-way thru. This book basically starts off with the hero and heroine already madly, secretly in love with each other. I much prefer to watch the H/h fall in love, to watch the chemistry as it builds, to watch the hero finally realize that he is in love and can't live without his little lady. Not so here unfortunately. And when they did have some steamy moments, I found myself not interested or caring at all, because it just all fell flat for me. Once it got to the mid-point and the hero was blackmailed by the father of some debutante that wanted to marry him, I stopped reading. It had reached the too much unnecessary angst level for me. But once again, the author did a good job, I just didn't like this particular theme.

  • Angie
    2019-02-06 12:06

    This really sums up my feelings about this book: it was AMAZING. Really, this book was pure historical-romance perfection. The writing and prose was absolutely beautiful and worked to transport you directly into the world of the Trent family and the emotions each character goes through in the search for their missing mother, the Duchess of Trent. I really enjoyed and connected with each and every member of the Trent family, including Sarah. Her romance with Simon was bittersweet to read because--like Sarah--the fact that their relationship couldn't last was always floating menacingly in the back of my mind. But I just could not get enough of it. And the mystery surrounding the Trent matriarch's disappearance added a wonderful and suspenseful air to the entire novel. There were so many unexpected twists and turns throughout, which simply made this book unputdownable (yes that's a word). The Duchess Hunt is a definite must-read, and I cannot wait to continue this series with The Rogue's Proposal! Jennifer Haymore, you have become one of my favorite historical-romance authors, along with the lovely Tessa Dare. This book was simply perfection, way-to-go love!

  • Amy Alvis
    2019-02-05 18:17

    Originally reviewed for: Historical Romance Lover blogSarah Osborne has been in love with Simon Hawkins, the duke of Trent, since she met him. Being the gardener's daughter, Sarah knows that nothing could ever come from it.A forbidden kiss leaves Simon wanting more, but his strict moral code keeps him from pressing Sarah for more. When the Duchess of Trent goes missing, Sarah is promoted to lady's companion. Simon wants someone to help his sister while they are in London investigating his mother's disappearance.Simon knows that it is time to get married and produce the needed heir, but he can't stop thinking about Sarah. Unfortunately, he needs the proper bride and soon becomes betrothed.Between the blackmail, the missing Duchess and all the secrets being kept, will Simon and Sarah find happiness?I LOVED this book. Simon tried so hard to keep his family from scandal, but it seemed to just come knocking at his door. I loved that he finally did something for himself and not to save the family name. I found myself laughing out loud and loving every minute of the love story. I have definitely fallen in love with the Trent family and can't wait for the remaining stories in the series. Next in line is Lukas, the family bad boy! I can't wait to see who tames him.

  • PointyEars42
    2019-01-22 19:03

    He's a bit of a dick and she's a bit of a ninny and this makes the book as a whole more than a bit dull & predictable - not just the HEA, but every scene unfolds like something you've read a 1000 times before. They are both not terribly likeable: they behave like teenagers in the flush of hormones rather than the smart, repercussion-wary adults we're told they are, and by the end you're just glad they aren't inflicting themselves on anyone else. The writing isn't bad, but the author wastes her talents on stupid things of the my-cock/vagina-knows-you're-The-One-even-if-I-don't variety. Those sorts of devices make for several cringe-worthy moments throughout the book. I couldn't help but think less of Sarah for giving her virginity away - and Simon for taking it - and not thinking about the consequences, even though they live in a house (and a society) where servants are fired for sleeping with their betters and the girl bore all the shame of an affair and any resulting pregnancy. If the coachman had turned out to be the true love interest, it might have been interesting, but this book sticks to the tired old ideas I thought we'd left behind in the Old Skool romances of the 80's & early 90's.

  • Mafi
    2019-02-14 14:26

    Estreei-me com Jennifer Haymore em 2011 (parece que foi no século passado!) e gostei bastante do que li, algo que voltou a repetir-se com a 2ª obra em 2012. Este ano estranhei não terem lançado nada dela e ainda estou ligeiramente aborrecida por, a próxima obra dela ser de uma nova série, ficando a trilogia anterior incompleta (por enquanto). Até porque este volume é de uma nova série que estreou em inglês em Junho deste ano,apesar de já ter saído 2 contos e o 2º livro (o_o) portanto não vejo muito o sentido de lançar já esta, quando ainda havia outra para acabar mas *suspiro* já há muito tempo que deixei de tentar compreender as editoras.Opinião completa aqui - http://algodaodoceparaocerebro.blogsp...

  • Ruth
    2019-02-10 19:21

    Yay for mature, responsible​ heroes and heroines doing the best they can in the situations that they have to deal with. yaaaaaaaay so much. I love good guy heroes. I much prefer the. to rakes and scoundrels.

  • Jess
    2019-02-12 18:28

    Tried really hard, still couldn't get into it. Which sucks because I normally love Jennifer Haymore's stuff.

  • (Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
    2019-02-18 12:29

    Originally posted at http://smexybooks.com/2013/06/review-...Favorite Quote: “My reputation has no importance when it comes to you…”Sarah Osborne is the daughter of the Hawkins family gardener. Having been raised and educated with the Hawkins children, she straddles a very fine line in the family. Not their equal as head chambermaid, but held in higher regards than the average servant. She has loved Simon since she was a child. He rescued her from a mishap with a blackberry bush and he became her knight in shining armor. Sarah had no idea Simon felt the same until they shared a passionate kiss but then Simon fled to London the next day and she has not seen him since.Simon Hawkins has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. Having held the title of Duke since a young man, he has weathered scandals, rumors, and innuendos concerning his family for years. His main goal now is to bring respectability to the House of Trent. Summoned home when his mother suddenly disappears, he is unsure whether she let of her own accord or through nefarious means. This brings him back into Sarah’s life and he is unhappy to see that his feelings for her have not faded. He stayed away from the family estate for years, ashamed for what he saw as taking advantage of Sarah. He knows he and Sarah have no real chance at a true relationship but his heart doesn’t care.With his mother’s disappearance in mind, Simon decides to move his sister, Lady Esme and Sarah to London for safety reasons. The move puts Simon and Sarah into closer contact and their passion for one another only burns brighter. Their already doomed love affair is further tested by a very determined debutante and papa who sees Simon as her way to become a Duchess and uses any means necessary to achieve their goals. As Simon struggles to maintain status quo and do the right thing by his family and Sarah, the choice is suddenly taken from him and he finds himself hurting them all.The Duchess Hunt is a Cinderella-esque story that tells of the forbidden love story between a duke and a servant. As these two destined soulmates navigate the shark filled waters of the ton and its social rules, I was astounded by the poise and depth of emotion Ms. Haymore is able to impart into their story. I admit to being wary to how Ms. Haymore would pull this off. Dukes do not marry servants. Dally, maybe, but never marry. Complex and seductive, Haymore gently peels apart the layers of their feelings, expectations, social obligations to being us the true hearts of Sarah and Simon.Sarah and Simon are honorable strong individuals who despite their respective stations in life, truly love one another. Sarah’s strength is especially noticeable as we watch her very realistic mannerisms and emotions. Though Sarah is well aware of her station in life, she is not one to settle on what is expected of her. She knows who and what she wants and while she may never get it, she won’t accept second place from or for anyone. She has a quiet boldness to her that made her a heroine worthy of a Duke.Simon is just as wonderful as we get an intimate look at his true emotions and the agonizing choices forced on him. His wants and needs war with his unbending honor, yet he’s not so embroiled in society’s rules that he isn’t willing to bend or break a few when needed-especially when it comes to the woman he loves. His love for his family is heartwarming as are the sacrifices he makes for their happiness.I loved how Ms Haymore didn’t allow Sarah and Simon an easy HEA; it’s quite dramatic in its unfolding. The sexual and emotional tension keep you on edge and becomes almost unbearable as Haymore introduces even more angst and hard decisions that test our protagonists and their resolves. The mystery behind the Duchess’s disappearance is ripe with intrigue and speculation. It blends seamlessly with the romance and brings us a deeper understanding of the House of Trent and it’s inhabitants. I did wish we would have gone little more deeper into the mystery and the reasons behind it as I felt we really didn’t learn much once the book ended.The secondary cast of characters add delightful depth and balance to the story. Ms. Hayward crafts them each with such vivid individuality that each begs have their very own story told. The Hawkins family is delightful in their love and camaraderie. We learn so much about them as a family unit and as individuals. Luke’s story is next and I am anxious to divulge deeper into his secrets.The ending brings us a predictable outcome but the journey there was anything but. The mystery is ongoing so don’t expect a resolution in that storyline. I suspect it will continue to the end of the series; each book giving us more clues and insights into the Duchess, her deceased husband, and the problems festering in the House of Trent. I look forward to more of the series and will continue to keep Ms. Haymore on my list of must read historical romance authors.Rating: B

  • Heather C
    2019-01-24 17:17

    Jennifer Haymore is a very new to me author whom I recently discovered when I read and reviewed An Affair in Autumn as part of A Year Without a Duke series. It just so happens that the hero from that book, Markus, is one of the brothers of the heroes in the Trent House series…and I just HAD read more about the Hawkins family and all the scandals surrounding them. Simon Hawkins, Duke of Trent, despises scandal and has spent many of his years trying to right his family’s reputation after his parents’ many sordid affairs. After receiving a message from Trent House that is mother has gone missing, Simon rushes home to investigate the matter. After a few days of searching without success, Simon and his brothers decide it is best to separate and continue investigating on their own hoping that no one from London society will discover the duchess is missing. Simon feels it is safest for his young sister Esme to return with him to London, along with her newly promoted companion Sarah Osborne. It has been three years since Simon has kissed Sarah on their bench by the stream. Three years since he has kissed the housemaid…the woman that Simon has trusted and admired since they were both young. Three years, and Simon still can’t get Sarah out of his mind and stop thinking of all the things he wants to do with her. But he could never compromise her in that way. Sarah has loved Simon ever since he rescued her from a blackberry bush attack sixteen years ago. But Simon could never love her back. Of course he couldn’t, he is a duke after all, and Sarah is a maid. But when Simon asks Sarah to travel with him to London and move into the role of his sister’s companion, Sarah reluctantly agrees. It doesn’t take long before Simon can no longer control himself when it comes to Sarah…and Sarah has no plans to stop him knowing he will break her heart in the end. I really enjoyed this book as it has all the things I love when reading this sub genre: romance, a little mystery, and lots of scandal. I liked Simon and Sarah together, even though “noble” Simon liked to piss me off with his determination to protect the reputation of his family from further ruin. Constantly sacrificing himself for those he loved, while hurting the one person he loved the most. Their passion for each other was believable and I never doubted Simon truly loved Sarah, he just took forever to finally realize and accept he could live his own life with the ONE woman he would ever want. Extra points to Simon for figuring out what he needed to do on his own…mostly. I don’t want to spoiler all the “scandals” involved, but they were your typical plot devices commonly used in Regency Romances to keep the hero and heroine from riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after. I liked ALL of the Hawkins family…especially Sam, Lukas and Esme. I really hoped I could like Robert Johnston, but he turned out to be as miserable of a character as every other non-Hawkins in the book. I will point out that I’m using “non-Hawkins” loosely! I was really enjoying the mystery of the missing duchess. I truly have no idea what has happened to her!!! (I can’t remember if it was revealed in An Affair in Autumn since that story takes place later on chronologically in this series.) I even like that I STILL do not know!!! Thank gods for series!!Speaking of series, I can’t decide if I’m more excited for Lukas’s or Esme’s story. It looks like Lukas will be up next in The Rogue’s Proposal, but first I need to read Esme’s next naughty novella His for Christmas. 3.5 StarsReviewed for The Blogger Girls

  • thuy
    2019-02-14 11:03

    I have only been recently introduced to the work of Jennifer Haymore. I had previously read the prequel novella to the House of Trent series which, while showing potential, did not wow me. However, the novella did include a lengthy excerpt for The Duchess War which sounded really promising and I was glad to see it pop up on Netgalley a few weeks later.The Duchess Hunt is the first book in a new historical romance series by Julie Haymore featuring the unconventional Trent family. Rumor and scandal follow the Trents wherever they go. Simon Trent, the Duke of Trent, has spent his whole life trying to undo the damage that his parents did. He has a strict moral code and works tirelessly to restore his family's good name. When Simon's mother disappears without a trace, he must work quickly and quietly with his siblings to find her before the ton finds out and scandal once again darkens their door.Called in to help is Sarah Osborne, the gardener's daughter and now head housemaid. The Duchess of Trent raised Sarah almost as one of her own and she and Simon share a special bond and friendship. They also share a deep attraction, which both of them have been fighting. A maid and a Duke cannot be together, and both of them know it. But investigating the Duchess's disappearance throws Simon and Sarah closer together and their feelings for each other become harder and harder to ignore.This was such a wonderful romance! I loved both Simon and Sarah and thoroughly enjoyed their story. Sarah is a great heroine. I love how smart she was and stoutly loyal and devoted to the family. As a gardener's daughter, she has realistic expectations of her life but still has aspirations. She's already reached far ahead of what most people in her position could. Simon was great as well and I loved how kind and loyal he was. He always tried to do the right thing for the family, even if it was detrimental to himself. He always treated Sarah with care and respect even though she is far below him in social status.Sarah and Simon had fantastic chemistry. Every time they were in a room together, I could feel the tension in the air. Years of denying their attraction to each other really amped up the energy between them and when they finally get together - wow. While the love scenes are extremely passionate and hot, there were also a lot of really sweet moments between the two. It's clear that they have a special connection born from years of friendship and I loved some of the small moments they had together.Overall, I was really impressed with The Duchess Hunt. The romance was great and I loved the main characters. The mystery aspect of the story did fall a little flat however. It wasn't quite as exciting as I was expecting, but I really didn't care because all I really cared about was what was going to happen to Simon and Sarah. I was also really intrigued by the rest of the family. They each have very distinct personalities and I cannot wait to read their stories. The Duchess Hunt included a short except for the next book in the series, The Rogue's Proposal, which follows the surliest Trent, Luke, as he searches for his mother. The excerpt is very promising and I have added it to my TBR list. If you like historical romances with emotional punch and great characters, don't hesitate to pick up The Duchess Hunt.*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

  • Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks
    2019-02-12 14:32

    I must begin by saying that I was extremely skeptical about reading this book. When I read the blurb and found out the hero was a Duke and the supposed heroine a lady's maid, I scrunched my eyebrow and shook my head. Yes, it is fiction, but as I have said before, I do like my fiction with a smidgen of reality, and a Duke and a lady's maid actually ending up together was a bit far fetched to me. I even polled my friends, some of whom had similar feelings as I did, until I actually sat down and read the Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore.Ever since little Sarah Osborne, the gardener's daughter was saved from the thorns of a blackberry bush by young man, Simon Hawkins, duke of Trent, he has been her knight in shining armor.From that very day forward, Sarah was taken into the family fold as much more that one of the servant's children. She was educated along with them and grew up side by side with most of the Hawkins family, in thanks to Simon and his mother, the Duchess of Trent.Years later, after a forbidden kiss that remains with her always, Sarah knows no one will ever equal Simon in any way.Now it is sixteen years since Sarah has been a part of the Hawkins family. Her situation has changed a bit, for now she is one of the house maids, she is also dear friend to Esme Hawkins, the only daughter in the Hawkins family. When Esme finds that her mother, the duchess has disappeared from Ironwood Hall and it's surrounding property, most of the siblings rush home to hear news and attempt to get to the bottom of her suspicious disappearance. It has been several years since Sarah has seen Simon, now mostly called Trent by those who know him. Even after the time apart and their social differences, sparks still fly between the two, and Simon has returned home to fins his mother, but this situation continually place both Sarah and Simon together and it's difficult for the both of them to resist the temptation. Simon has elevated Sarah's position to companion for his sister Esme and taken the them to London, hoping to keep the two out of harms way. While in London Trent finds himself in the interests on one Georgina Stanley, who has decided she wants Simon for her husband, for what would be better than having a Duke for a husband. At first Simon is torn, he does not want to marry the beautiful Georgina since he has feelings for Sarah, but nothing but scandal would ensue should he pursue his relationship with his beloved Sarah. He decides not to marry at all until he is been given an ultimatum by Georgina's father, Lord Stanley to either marry Georgina, or secrets that will rock the Hawkins family and all of England will be revealed ruining the reputation that Simon struggles to keep in check. So not only does Simon have the mystery surrounding the missing Duchess of Trent, but he has an impending marriage to a spoiled Georgina which of course is hurting the woman that Simon actually loves, Sarah Osborne.The story continues with more than one mystery afoot and the entire Hawkins family shaken in more than one way, leaving the reader with so many questions with its progression. I clearly enjoyed The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore. There was obviously more than meets the eye when reading this blurb and I am extremely glad that I decided to delve between the pages and envelop myself in the mystery and the romance of it all... In order to see if the lady's maid gets her Duke, I strongly suggest you read The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore for an entertaining as well as touching journey.~KIMBERLY~4 Stars (Brilliant)

  • Ivy H
    2019-02-10 19:30

    I loved this novel ! It was a beautiful tale of a handsome sexy duke who falls in love with his maid. It was so sad to see the heroine always on the sidelines and feeling insecure because she doesn't belong to the Ton. The OW is a super annoying bitch, who is nasty and spoilt. The hero's absent mother is part of the mystery plot and I suppose her story will be developed further in the second novel that deals with the hero's brother. I can't say I cared much for the hero's absent mother or his brother so I won't be reading any more novels in this series. I am just happy that the H and h got their well deserved HEA . I don't give a flying F about whatever happens to his dumbass mother in the next novel.

  • Callixta
    2019-02-18 15:17

    Nice story, a very goo idea but its a bit simple and easy between the heroes. Not very passionate and the love each other from the very beginning.http://www.blue-moon.fr/spip.php?arti...Jennifer Haymore n’est plus tout à fait une petite nouvelle. Elle publie avec discrétion et régularité et ce premier tome d’une série très alléchante montre son évolution et la solidité de son talent. Notons aussi que l’intrigue générale de la saga est particulièrement palpitante et bien traitée dans ce premier livre.En effet, nous allons découvrir la famille du duc de Trent a un moment difficile. A la surprise générale, la fantasque duchesse douairière a disparu sans laisser de trace. Cette mère de six enfants qui a mené une vie loin d’être conformiste pour une dame de cette époque n’est nulle part et n’a prévenu personne de son absence. Plus ou moins inquiets ses enfants vont se rassembler pour la chercher. C’est l’occasion pour le duc de Trent de revenir chez lui et de revoir son amie d’enfance, la fille du jardinier, Sarah.Il n’y a pas vraiment de surprise sur cette histoire d’amour, sans doute la plus réaliste qui soit étant donné les normes de l’époque. Sarah et Simon, le duc de Trent s’aiment depuis très longtemps. Chacune de leurs rencontres d’adultes a révélé davantage de cet amour mais il est évidemment impossible pour un duc très respectable et chargé de fonctions de se rapprocher d’une simple domestique et Sarah a bien conscience de son infériorité sociale. Jennifer Haymore montre admirablement combien cette liaison est impossible et pourtant irrésistible. C’est particulièrement émouvant de voir s’épanouir cet amour qui finira par triompher malgré toutes les impossibilités. Et il y en aura beaucoup. La seule chose que l’on peut peut-être reprocher à cette très jolie histoire est qu’elle est presque trop raisonnable et sage mais elle est douce et plutôt réaliste et très jolie.Mais ce qui est totalement réussi est le mystère qui entoure la mère de Simon, une duchesse qui elle, contrairement à son fils n’a jamais fui le scandale bien au contraire. Le livre regorge de révélations sur cette femme qui pourtant n’est jamais présente puisqu’elle a disparu. Le portrait qui se dégage d’elle est nuancé. Cette femme follement indépendante a visiblement fait des choix lourds de conséquences. Le mystère s’est un peu éclairci à la fin du premier tome mais il reste de nombreuses zones d’ombres qui permettront de suivre le frère cadet de Simon, Luke.De façon très classique, ce roman permet de présenter la large famille Trent, bien plus compliquée qu’elle n’y paraît. Luke est l’opposé totale de son frère : séducteur, buveur et violent, il a été la source de scandales et de bien des soucis pour son frère si avide de calme. Lui aussi aura sans doute sa part dans la levée du mystère de la disparition de la duchesse.Voilà une très bonne romance historique qui ouvre sur une série qui semble vraiment très intéressante. La très jolie histoire d’amour impossible entre Simon et Sarah illumine le roman et le mystère apporte l’action et le piment nécessaire. Un parfait équilibre.

  • Bibliothekerin
    2019-02-14 15:31

    Sarah and Simon are both genuinely likeable characters, both torn by the difference in their social status and what it will mean to the others in their family. Perhaps it's more fair to say Sarah is more torn than Simon. (Isn't that always the way? Woman pay a much higher price than men for social transgressions?) BUT.... I just can't ignore the author's penchant for choosing awkward or odd names. Once again, she has done so for one of her main characters. How could she name a DUKE "Hawkins"?? How could she not know that is a working class name? The polar opposite of aristocratic? This is appallingly ignorant, and I knocked my rating down to 2 stars just for that. Seriously lamebrain stuff like this incenses me, because someone on the publishing staff at least should have caught the gaffe. The fact that none of them did means none of them are qualified for their positions. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's true. An English duke named Hawkins strains credulity. Any educated reader knows this. A Regency author should certainly know this. I am new to this author's books, so I took a look at her website and saw that the word "sexy" is front and center on her homepage. I guess I can surmise that most of Ms. Haymore's intended audience probably won't give a toss what the hero's name is. But I hope someone else does, because it's a doozy.I looked to see where this was published, and sure enough, it was in the US. I suspected as much. Just because we (I include myself) live in a supposedly classless society doesn't mean we should not be aware of class differences elsewhere. I suspect that if this had been published in the UK, someone would have caught the incongruity immediately, which makes me feel embarrassed as an American. (We're not all this ignorant, I swear!) You just can't write about England and the English without knowing anything about the culture, history, class system and names.This is the 2nd book of yours I have read, Ms. Haymore, and in each one, one of the unfortunate protagonists is saddled with a nitwit name. Do I dare read a third? PLEASE--next time take the time to ASK someone if you don't know. Ask a reference librarian. A British lit professor. Ask a Brit, for that matter! Ask ME. Just please do not insult your readers like this again. It reflects badly on you.

  • Melanie
    2019-02-01 16:24

    This is the first of Ms. Haymore’s House of Trent novels.Sarah Osborne lives in a small cottage with her father, the gardener for Ironwood Park, which is the large and sprawling home of the Duke of Trent. As a child, Sarah was allowed to play on the grounds of the estate but was cautioned by her father to stay away from the House of Trent. One day, Sarah falls into a blackberry bush and is rescued by none other than young Simon Hawkins, the Duke of Trent. He takes her into the house for his mother to minister to her wounds. She is welcomed by all members of the Trent family. Later, she finds a position as housemaid with them and after as companion to their daughter, Esme. After many years of absence, Simon returns to Trent House to fulfill his obligation to marry and settle down. Simon’s past kindness to Sarah has resulted in a friendship and attraction to one another. However, as Sarah is not a titled woman, they cannot marry. Thus, Simon must look for another bride while Sarah’s heart is breaking.In to it all, enters a devious blackmailer who threatens to destroy their lives unless Simon agrees to his demands. Torn by wanting to follow his heart and be with Sarah or marry someone else to ensure his family’s security, Simon is an unhappy man.The novel weaves together the lives of all the members of the Trent family, in addition to scandals involved with each of them. This was very well written combining their individual stories all together. I liked the characters of Simon and Sarah as they are intelligent, kind and real. The second novel, ‘The Rogue’s Proposal’ is due to be published November 26, 2013.Connie for b2b

  • Lindsey
    2019-02-06 11:11

    From their first meeting Simon and Sarah have this connection that only has strengthen through the years. However, Simon being the duke of Trent must keep his true feelings for Sarah at bay, his reputation pristine, his siblings out of trouble and the gossiping ton quiet about his unconventional parents. When his mothers disappearance calls him home to the family estate after three years, his feelings for his trusted confident and love Sarah will push Simon to make hard decisions.Simon and Sarah are beautiful together. She is his yin to her yang. They fit splendidly and every secret encounter is fantastic, but sadly Sarah is not of the nobility and therefore not suitable for Simon. Simon could care less about Sarah’s roots but the world cares and to protect his family and to find his mother he must go against everything he wants.“‘I wished it had been me,’ she said softly. ‘When you were dancing with Miss Stanley and the others. I wished you were dancing with me.’ He gazed at her unspeaking for a moment. Then he said, ‘I did, too.’”I enjoyed this read. There is a lot of family dynamics in this book which makes it very fun and interesting. The love story of Simon and Sarah is wonderful and there were moments I was laughing and the next in tears, because life isn’t fair sometimes. This is powerful family story with lots of secrets and I look forward to reading the next book in this series to learn more about the Hawkins’. Well done Ms. Haymore.Check out my blog: http://romancereadergirl.com/

  • Carla Geraldes
    2019-01-31 16:16

    é mais um 3,5* ;)

  • pmatch1104
    2019-02-04 14:17

    This was my first book by this author, and I found it well written on the whole. I did think the surname of the Duke of Trent seemed a little common for a member of the peerage, but perhaps that’s just me. It seems more like the name of an innkeeper, blacksmith, or the village idiot. I was really enjoying the story right up to the point where it is revealed the Simon, Duke of Trent, is the only legitimate offspring out of the six children of his father and mother. WTF!?! Seriously, you’ve got to be kidding me, right? Especially when the old duke married the current duke’s mother even though she already had a two-year-old illegitimate son because he just had to have her. If he had to have or loved her enough to disregard the social repercussion of marrying a woman with a bastard son, why on God’s green earth were the two of the cheating on each other so often. One illegitimate sibling would have been enough of a scandal, but four additional bastards? Classic case of an author not knowing when to say when so I took off one star.Another minor observance I had when I started reading this book was it was difficult to picture the characters. In the Prologue, other than telling the reader that Sarah is a young girl and Simon is a boy, you don’t get a definite picture of them. And then Chapter 1 starts out sixteen years later and they are all adults. I was finally able to figure out that Simon was around 13 and Sarah was around 11 or so in the blackberry bush scene. Not a big deal but it made it harder to get a feel for them.I deducted another star because after reading the book and expecting to find out why the duchess disappeared and what happened to her, the reader is left hanging with the third son riding off into the early morning sunrise on his way to Cardiff, Wales. He’s volunteered to follow up on a lead regarding their mother’s whereabouts. Blatant cliffhangers like this really piss me off because it’s nothing but an obvious hook to make you buy the author’s next book in the series. The author literally wraps everything up in a couple of paragraphs at the 91% mark so she can include the first sneak peak of the next book. Not cool in my opinion … so much so that I’m not sure I want to continue reading the series if the other six books are like this. Not worth the $7.99 ebook price tag. Do yourself a favor and check it out of your local library via the OverDrive app.

  • Anna
    2019-01-26 13:19

    A única coisa que me surpreendeu nesta história foi Sarah ser mesmo criada do inicio ao fim: normalmente nesta linha de história descobre-se sempre que a criada é a filha desaparecida de alguém poderoso. E se a linha de história parecia interessante inicialmente, ao longo da leitura percebi que houve várias coisas que não me faziam sentido. Primeiro: não senti química entre Sarah e Simon. A relação deles é muito pouco desenvolvida, pressupõe se que estão muito apaixonados desde a página um, mas para mim quanto leitora é difícil perceber como e porquê. É como se aqueles sentimentos caíssem do céu e fossem completamente lineares. Estes dois protagonistas parecem só ter uma dimensão.Segundo: Ás vezes comportam-se mais como dois adolescentes tontos do que como adultos. Estaria à espera que neste género de história os seus dilemas interiores fossem mais explorados, mas na verdade foram pouco explorados e tratados de forma a meu ver, demasiado leviana. Bem como as consequências do seu "felizes para sempre" numa sociedade tão rigida.Terceiro: a linha da história é muito previsível. Não deixa de ser uma leitura agradável, e na maioria bem escrita, mas a verdade é que não é surpreendente e todas as personagens são pouco exploradas, sendo a Esme (a irmã de Simon) a única com a qual senti alguma empatia.

  • Nightwitch
    2019-02-13 12:27

    I just couldn't get past the fact that the heroine is the head housemaid and the hero is a duke. Furthermore, she never did any actual housemaiding - yes, she talked about cleaning and dusting and whatever, but she never seemed to be busy doing housemaids' work (which, in a house that size, makes no sense) and she had no consequences of same - no wrinkled hands, no sore knees, nothing. Add in the fact that the overarching plot mystery - the disappearance of the duchess - (view spoiler)[is not resolved in this book, or even close (hide spoiler)], and this book was really not for me. The writing was good and the characters were engaging but it was just too much of a Romanceland romance novel for my taste.

  • Tin
    2019-02-17 19:27

    How this story begins confused me: the Duchess of Trent has disappeared, leaving no word and no trace. Simon, the current Duke, and his brothers were called home by their sister, Esme, and Sarah, the head maid, who also happens to be a Hawkins childhood friend. They are a family already steeped in scandal, and could not afford to weather through another one, so they all agree to keep their mother's disappearance a secret.I was a bit confused by Simon's plan: the family has agreed to keep the situation quiet, and pretend that nothing is amiss, so Simon decides to return to London for the Season, which isn't anything out of the ordinary because that is where he usually resides -- the strange thing is that he decides to bring Esme to London. Esme had a disastrous first Season and had decided not to return this year.1. Why leave for London when the disappearance happened at Ironwood Park? 2. Why bring your socially-awkward sister to London "to act like everything is normal" when everyone knows how much she dislikes society?I can't help but feel it was a thinly-veiled attempt of getting Simon and Sarah together, which was fine, by the way, because I really wanted to read about them. Sarah met Simon when she first moved to Ironwood Park with her father, who had been hired as gardener at the estate. The young duke rescues her after she falls and gets trapped in a blackberry bush, and brings her to the main house. From then on, Sarah's life has intertwined with that of the Hawkinses, and she and Simon grow especially close. The story touches on class stratification and how a Duke comes to fall in love with a housemaid. At first, Simon tries to narrow the gap between them, by promoting Sarah as Esme's companion. It's an eyebrow-raising moment, especially coming from Simon who is such a stickler for propriety, and Simon pretends, for a while, that it might work between them. Sarah knows nothing would come of their relationship, but she cannot help what she feels for Simon. She'd always been taught and told to "remember her place". In a sense, both of them defy social strictures for the sake of their love. Raising his hand, he bent his head and rubbed his temple, then blew out a breath and met her gaze again. "I shouldn't -- mustn't -- touch you. I want to do right by you, Sarah. It is morally reprehensible for me to have these feelings for someone who is under my care."If she were a London debutante, it might be different. But she was Sarah Osborne, his head housemaid, and she understood exactly why Simon felt like it would be morally reprehensible to touch her again. It had everything to do with those vast chasms that separated her social class from his.Damn them, she thought brutally. Why must it matter? He was hungry for her -- she could see it in his eyes, hear it in his words. And, Lord knew, she was hungry for him too.- p. 47* * *"Whatever you choose to give, I will take it gladly and hold it close. I have no expectations, Your Grace. I promise. I just want to live for today. Enjoy today. Let's for once, worry about tomorrow when it comes."- p. 130 The courtship part of this novel is nicely done, but it is the mystery of the missing duchess that really grabbed my attention and I had wished it had been made the central focus of the story. I'm currently reading the second book, The Rogue's Proposal, and, I have to say, I love how Jennifer Haymore has plotted/planned out the duchess's disappearance -- and how something so simple is expanding into an all-out conspiracy. I love how the clues are being uncovered and pursued. It really is a very clever mystery! ^_^ I'm also a bit invested and hope the duchess is found because I liked her when Sarah first met her. She seemed a wonderful mix of grand and down-to-earth and I loved how she always had her children with her. I also thought she was so open and kind in accepting young Sarah and allowing Sarah to study/grow up with her own children. However, when she disappeared, I was a bit surprised to learn that her children had thought she was flaky and unpredictable -- and I didn't see her as such that brief time we meet her at the beginning of the book. This aside, the mystery is fascinating because:1. There is no crime scene. The dower house was not ransacked. There was no sign of forcible entry or struggle or theft. The only thing missing is the duchess's cache of jewels. 2. It was just the duchess who disappeared, but also her two servants.3. When interviews were conducted, no one had seen anything unusual and no one could recall any strangers/new people around the area.The Duchess Hunt also delves into the story of the Hawkinses, which ties in the story of the missing duchess and Simon. They're a motley family, with an older half-brother and with both their parents known for their indiscretion. In his generation, Simon's brother, Lord Lukas, seems to be carrying out the family tradition of debauchery. Simon believes, as the head of the family, and, as a duke, that it falls unto him to save his family's reputation. He has been a model duke, very proper and very polite -- and has tried to keep the rest of his siblings in line, which has caused a lot of friction between him and Luke, his heir. As the story continues, more family secrets are revealed and more pieces of their mother's past comes to light. The travails of the House of Trent is really engrossing (and, honestly, rivals that of the real House of Windsor. ^_^)

  • Emma
    2019-01-23 11:05

    Cute, safe, and easy. There's some ridiculous "primal urges" and "innocent maiden" stuff in the beginning, the characterization and relationship are thin, and the sex scenes are nothing spectacular; but there's also no excess unchallenged sexism, dubious consent, or moral-less rakes. The lack of contraception is actually addressed (eventually). And the enthusiastic, no-holds-barred, ridiculous airplane chase ending warms my dumb romantic heart.I absolutely loathed Luke, though, so I won't be reading the rest of the series, and it irks me that the final lines were about him?? But this was exactly what I needed to read after a major letdown.

  • Rema
    2019-01-31 18:15

    I like the way Jennifer Haymore writes. She doesn't linger on overtly descriptive paragraphs about the weather, or a castle, or anything else of insignificance. It really helps the story move along. I liked the characters who were realistic and sensible. To an extent. Now as a matter of opinion, I found them both boring. I thought there might be some fire in either of their characters to liven things up but they were rather mild in their temperaments. I was more drawn to the character of Luke, Simon's younger brother. He definitely has some grey to his character. And he seemed infinitely more interesting. I found the life of Simon's mother, the Duchess, very fascinating. I wouldn't mind hearing more of her story.

  • Mary23nm
    2019-02-13 12:08

    Very enjoyable, despite the main characters behaving in a distinctly modern way about smex. Not for readers that like historical accuracy and detail.