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Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2008
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This is the second title I have reviewed for a Jamie Carie book and, as before, I was not let down. This is the authors second title, following Snow Angel, a Best Books Award winner. Jamie Carie resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and three children.
The Duchess and the Dragon, set in Regency-era, is a historical romance. Drake Weston, Duke of Northumberland, England is set to be the heir upon his fathers passing, bringing with it influence and wealth beyond imagine. But when his poor temper causes a tragic mistake, Drake is forced from the country he loves and the life he knows, in to America as an indentured servant. Barely surviving the journey and horrid conditions, Serena Winter, a Quaker woman, finds him near death and rescues him by bringing Drake home and nursing him back to health. Thrown together by circumstance, these two individuals, from backgrounds that couldnt be more opposite, discover the consequences and power of what love can do. They must confront the web of deceit that threatens to destroy all that they hold dear, trusting in the power of prayer and their love for one another.
In all honesty, historical romance is my least favorite of the romance genre. This is a tough genre to write in, as I have done so myself, and to invent a story-line that has not been over-used or recycled is a daunting task. I am pleased to report that this was not the case in this book.
I find myself completely enamored by Jamie Caries ability to tell a great story, with strong characters to back them up. The backdrop and history was stellar, as was the language that tossed you into another time, another era, forgetting that this was fiction. The two very different religions added a great element for the plot and turmoil between the main characters. I liked the diverse family background, as well- One coming from deceitful and hateful surroundings, and the other from a warm and nurturing one. It added to the plot nicely. The characters were realistic and endearing. I especially liked that they were not without common human flaws, as we tend to see in this genre often. The plot flowed well and, at no time, did I find myself disinterested. Mostly, the ending was a sagacious one, in where I did not have to roll my eyes at an unrealistic happily ever after. It was happy all right, and gave closure to such magnitude everyone will be satisfied, but not in an impractical manner.
This was a heart-pounding and moving read. Jamie Carie is still new to the publishing world, but she wont be for long. She has immeasurable talent and I look forward to seeing her on a best-seller list some day. - Bookpleasures.com
Imperious and commanding Drake Weston, the Earl of Warwick, is betrayed by his father from the grave. Shattered and infuriated, Drake finds himself running from the law after a fit of aggression towards a conniving servant wanting to benefit from his misery. Ever resourceful, Drake concocts a plan to marry quickly, produce an heir, deceive the English court and regain his rightful inheritance.
Escaping to Philadelphia, Drake survives the frightful voyage and finds himself at the mercy of the Winters, a gentle Quaker family, as an indentured servant. Drake's intelligence and forthright manner has Serena Winter second guessing his story but she finds herself drawn to him as no other man before. Forsaking her church, but not her faith, and all that is familiar, Serena follows her heart only to discover Drake's shameful past and his bold plan that will destroy her trust and shatter her dreams forever.
The Duchess and the Dragon is a passionate tale of love and betrayal set in the early 1800's captivating me from beginning to end. Jamie Carie's characterisation is brilliant with both Drake and Serena having a depth and authenticity rarely seen in romance novels. Drake is charismatic and driven but his transformation to a life of servant hood is revealing as he chafes against his new found limitations but is at the same time empowered by the work of his hands. Serena's compassionate nature is palpable and her confusion over her attraction to Drake delightful. The scurrilous intrigue alongside discoveries of faith play out against the backdrop of their growing love and add to the appeal of this evocative and enchanting story. For those who love Deeanne Gist and Julie Lessman, Jamie Carie will not disappoint - with one book she has entrenched herself a place as one of my must read authors. - RelzReviewz
"The story is unique and well written, and you'll fall in love with her characters."
Quaker Serena Winter, though young and beautiful, isn't seeking a husband. She's turned a fair share of suitors away, and the only one she's kept is more of friend and companion in her eyes than a lover.
Drake Weston is the Earl of Northumberland, next in line for the Dukedom by right of birth. He's arrogant and commanding, a womanizer, and a shrewd businessman.
But the death of his father, the Duke, brings news that is not only bitter, but impossible for him to live with. It sends him into despair and rage, and brings about a terrible accident, the result of which is his leaving England for the colonies as an indentured servant. His money and belongings stolen, his life in tatters, and his health gone, he finds himself in the port town of Philadelphia, nursed back to health in the arms of an angel.
Jamie Carie's second novel, The Duchess and the Dragon, is a romance set in Regency England and the early days of America. While Im not a historical expert, it's obvious that Carie has done her homework in developing the ancient setting of London and of the new born Philadelphia. The Duchess and the Dragon stands head and shoulders above the c
rowd of others in its genre. Here, you will not find sappy saints prancing about and having all issues resolved with a kiss. In fact, parts of this novel are a bit racy, and not all issues are totally resolved by the end. Her writing is skillful, and well fleshed, and the choice to make Serena a Quaker lends a more interesting element than the more generic choice of simply Christian. The one thing that I felt was lacking was tension during dangerous places. The foreshadowing was excellent, but while the aftermath of certain scenes was intense enough, the parts leading up to it were almost glossed over. I also wish there had been more face time with Daniel, the boisterous Scotsman, but that may just be my own preference.
In all, I would certainly recommend The Duchess and the Dragon to both readers of romance and historicals (and historical romance). The story is unique and well written, and you'll fall in love with her characters. - Lori Fox- TitleTrakk
Serena Winter, the eldest daughter of a Quaker family, has always gone to nurse the sick that were on the ships. The new indentured ship that arrived at the Philadelphia harbor has the usual amount of sick people, but there is one man in particular that catches her eye: Drake Winslow. Even in his incoherent, fevered state he seems to command respect and attention from those around him. Who could he be? As she nurses him back to health, they both realize the depth of feelings they have for each other and get married. However, the restlessness and the thirst for his inheritance have not left Drake yet. Hearing the good news that the man he had thought to have murdered had not died, he convinces Serena to return to England and proceeds to put into action his original plan to out-maneuver his fathers will. Will his plan destroy their life? If Serena finds out his deceptions, will she still want him?
The story of Serena and Drake impacted me a lot. Ms. Carie has created characters that are so real and life-like, that I was able to identify with them on many levels. Serena, even though she is a Quaker woman, has a need to be more, which has led her to abandon her beliefs, for a while. And her return to her faith, though brought about through ordeals, is very genuine and poignant. The character of Drake is who I enjoyed the most. Usually Christian fiction would have transformed and redeemed the man as soon as he married Serena. But in this story the fact that he did not become an immediate believer added depth to his character and made his redemption at the end all the more real. I was able to see Serena mature, grow and become a woman leaving behind her naivety as she realizes the lie her life had become. My only problem with Serenas character is that she is too naive. She knows that Drake is hiding many secrets and is not who he claims to be, but she marries him anyways. On-the-other-hand, I guess this proves the popular adage Love is blind. The story is very fast paced as events occur in quick succession. It was a very compelling read that made me scrutinize my own life carefully and examine my motives. I am definitely looking forward to Ms. Caries next novel! - Reviewed by Jasmine Abraham, Rating: 4 ½
SLeeWilson, NCAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Interesting storyOctober 31, 2012SLeeWilson, NCAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Most of the book held my interest but it slowed down in spots. Over all it was a good story line