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Monday, August 5, 2013

ARC Review: Taken by the Duke by Jess Michaels

Taken by the Duke (Pleasure Wars, #1) was a fast-paced, erotic Regency tale of love and revenge in the vein of Romeo and Juliet. It was very sexual, but deeply emotional as well. I liked that there was a lot of interplay between the hero and heroine, followed by an action-filled finale. The story was well crafted and the transformation of their relationship was gradual and believable.

The stage is set when Matilda Rothcastle runs away with Liam Windbury. These star-crossed lovers are chased by her brother, Christian Rothcastle. A horrific accident occurs in which both gentlemen are seriously injured and Mathilda is killed and the long-standing feud between the two families becomes worse. Both Liam and Christian are filled with anger and guilt. Revenge is foremost in their minds. Christian concocts a scheme to kidnap Liam’s sister, Ava, and keep her long enough to ruin her. As Christian takes Ava to a remote estate they are both surprised to find they are attracted to each other. Ava bargains away her innocence to prevent further violence against her brother. Thus begins three weeks of sexual and emotional discovery as a tenuous relationship builds. Can intimacy build a bridge over a deep river of hatred?

There were many things I liked about Taken by the Duke. Ava was reasonable and rational, even when she was first abducted. She was tired of the senseless, harmful battle between the two families and did what she could to stop further trouble. Christian and Liam were some very angry, guilty, confused guys. The issues were not easily resolved; in fact, some were not resolved at all. There was a truly surprising twist at the end. The ending also provided a very nice setup for the next book in the series, which I very much look forward to reading. Regency readers that enjoy a good bit of spice will want to read this enjoyable and intriguing book.

**ARC provided by Author**

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