➽ [Reading] ➿ The Dressmakers Duke By Jess Russell ➲ – Agedanna.info
It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel because Ms Russell weaves such a compelling and intensely emotional story with complex and flawed characters that I really cared about.Rhys is such a fascinating hero and I like how Ms Russell gradually develops his character allowing us to see the lonely, insecure man beneath the mask of sobriety and aloofness a man who has forgotten what happiness is Happiness He was not even sure what it was any The feeling had eroded to almost nothing A vague shadow lurking at the edges of his heart.The cruelty and terrible humiliations Rhys endured at the hands of his depraved father, shown in flashbacks, were so heart breaking but revealed just how much they had forged him into the introverted man he became I felt so much revulsion for Rhys s father who should have loved and nurtured his son.I love how during the story we discover unexpected things about Rhys his lovely, deep, resonant bass singing voice and his passion for making automatons They somehow emphasise his vulnerability.Forced to flee the traumatic events of her past, Olivia knows there are few options for someone who is seen as ruined in the eyes of society I admire her tenacity in using her talents as a dressmaker to clothe men s mistresses rather than becoming one herself Although she is strong, determined and independent, there is a moment of vulnerability in which she describes her secret yearnings and her words touched my heart Her love of painting was an extra facet to her character and it plays quite a significant role later in the story.There are some delightful touches of humour which helped relieve the dark and intense mood of the story My favourite is Olivia s imaginary harassment of Mrs Battersby Rhys s former mistress which conjured up such a comical picture Take that Creating a mental series of feints and parries, Olivia had the woman huffing and puffing in no time.Slice one sleeve gaped Slash the other soon followed Now the poor lady s bodice lay gaping, her bosom a tad less buoyant now.Ms Russell took me on an engrossing and emotional roller coaster of a journey before Rhys and Olivia finally attain their hard earned Happy Ever After Here are a few of my favourite moments from that journey He wanted to be than a bloody title He wanted to be than a rutting beast This woman made him want but he didn t know how how to make her see To see him To see him as Rhys.They had danced They had waltzed to Vivaldi He had held her within his arms and, heaven help her, it had been magic.They did not speak They only loved Simply touching and learning each other Words were too harmful and too much a source of misunderstanding Words were for later Much later Now there was only love.Then she saw a slight miracle He smiled It was by no means a full fledged smile, but as he gazed intently up into the clouds, his lips curved and his eyes crinkled.I loved the secondary characters, especially Olivia s dearest friend and her rock, Eglantine Egg and Rhys s Uncle Bertram who has always had his nephew s best interests at heart.It s not difficult to guess the identity of the villain who has Olivia in his sights but he does provide a heart stopping climax when both Rhys and Olivia s lives hang in the balance.Ms Russell than fulfilled my longing for a heart melting Epilogue with these beautiful words Tiny fingers, soft as new churned butter, gripped his own with surprising strength Could there be anything perfectly beautiful in this amazing world Could God be so generous Then his wife his Olivia looked up at him, closed her hand over theirs, and smiled Yes, by heavens, the answer was a resounding yes.My Verdict If you enjoy a well written, compelling story with fascinating characters and plenty of angst, I can definitely recommend this book.REVIEW RATING 5 5 STARSI received copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review Rhys Merrick, Duke Of Roydan, Is Determined To Be The Antitheses Of His Depraved Father, Repressing His Desires So Severely He Is Dubbed The Monk By Society But When Olivia Weston Turns Up Demanding Payment For Gowns Ordered By His Former Mistress, Rhys Is Totally Flummoxed And Inexplicably Smitten He Pays Her To Remove Her From His House, And Mind But Logic Be Damned, He Must Have This Fiercely Independent Woman Olivia S Greatest Fear Is Becoming A Kept Woman She Has Escaped The Role Of Mistress Once And Vows Never To Be Owned By Any Man Rather Than Make Money In The Boudoir, She Chooses To Clothe The Women Who Do But When A Fire Nearly Kills Her Friend And Business Partner, Olivia S World Goes Up In Smoke And She Is Forced To Barter With The Lofty Duke As Their Lives Weave Together, Olivia Unravels The Man Underneath The Monk, While Rhys Desires To Expose The Lady Hiding Behind The Dressmaker Will His Raw Passion Fan A Long Buried Ember Of Hope Within Her Can This Mismatched Pair Be The Perfect Fit I couldn t read this fabulous book fast enough Rhys and Olivia s romance was one romping good romance, and I adored them from the beginning Ms Russell s vivid descriptions and beautifully woven plot carried me along page after page As an avid fan of historical romances, the attention to historical detail in THE DRESSMAKER S DUKE cannot be praised enough I eagerly look forward to stories from this gifted author I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review. Just barely 3 stars And only because the beginning was good I slowly started to become disappointed with the book after the 50% mark.The build up was a bit slow, but I m ok with that if there s a payoff And here s my BIGGEST gripe about this book that pretty much sunk it for me Very little of the book had main characters together and interacting When I got to the halfway point, I kept thinking now is when they ll really talk , now is when he ll open up to her , now is when they ll spend time together But that never happened There were some lukewarm romance scenes where they barely even spoke to each and that was about it.Also, the way this author writes, with scenes oddly spaced apart by days or weeks, was a little hard to follow at times.I m just really disappointed with this one No, not just disappointed, I m angry Angry because this had real potential and just kind of flopped I really thought I had discovered a new favorite author and at the end, I realized it just wasn t gonna happen. This book a major page turner that I could not put down from cover to cover lost some sleep but was so worth it Bravo Jess Russell for this is her debut book but she writes as if she had been an established author for decades I would give a bazillion stars if allowed I absolutely loved this beautifully written, fast paced regency I am looking forward to books by this wonderful New York City author The Dressmaker s Duke by Jess Russell5 5 starsReviewed by Barb Batlan MassabrookSetting End of March, 1810, London, England Heroe of this story is the handsome but all aloof Rhys Alistair James Merrick, The Duke of Roydan who has many insecurities for loosing his mother at age eight, a woman who had showered him with love and then being brought up by an above his cold selfish mean evil, the former Duke of Roydan, hisfather His allofness is really a shyness and insecurities and he never wants to grow up like his cruel father who was always whoring and mistreating others So the ton and the papers have decided to make fun of him as in character drawings as the Monk He did have selfish vain mistress he recently ended and that is how he meets up with the dressmaker as Daria Battersby former mistress of five years ordered five gowns and other female flipperies as he calls them, but his association had already ended, but Olivia demands payment He agrees only if she she will model and walk with them on As some parts are hilarious for example comparing her walk to just looking at lines of a fine horse without seeing it run he might be purchasing I love when humor pokes it s head from such serious lonely type of character made it that much fun to read The reader will find that Rhys is actually a very complicated, lonely human being whom you can t help but feel empathy, and fall in love with Who wouldn t want to heal this handsome abused Duke s wounds He can tell those who only befriend him for his title and then there is Olive only a dressmaker that does not care a bit about his title and refuses his over generous offer to be a contracted mistress though he is honest stating he is to be married soon It is only to save his mother s favorite estate and lands which you will have to read the reasons and why as this would be a major spoiler which I don t want to do so the readers will enjoy even Let s just say this marriage is just your usual ton arranged marriage where each party us unsuitable and even desire the marriage Just seems it s the family relations that are definitely pulling for this marriage especially the harpy mother law to be who is a definite piece of work The heroine of this book widower Mrs.Olivia Jane Weston some would lower class is an independent young woman determined to make it on her own and not be some man s property or else have no choice but to make money on their back in the oldest profession as a prostitute This is not even option for this straight laced young beautiful young dress designer, seamstress and secret painter.Olivia has had such a tragic life, loosing a parent at such a young age and as she had been married to a young soldier who dies unexpectedly in an unusual accident during his military training Olivia is widowed at the young age 25 and at the same time lost a baby due to premature birth Afterward she was told she could no longer have any children and was now barren Olivia knows the choices are very slim for a woman without a protector it s either prostitution or go into to trade, she chose the later As she is an extremely talented dress designer and seamstress, but new to town as she hasn t been in London in thirteen years for reasons she keeps to herself She befriends the older nurse caring for her and also a widower Mrs Eggatine Wiggins she call Egg affectionately When Olivia lost her baby Egg become a mother figure in her life as well as her best friend and decided to go into the dressmaking business together The business is hurting after spending so much money and time on the former mistress s garments Olivia and Egg are near starving and need help as her business partner and as Egg is very sick and the Duke has dumped her best customer his mistress Daria who owes her for five gowns and other smaller garments she had made and assumed would pay for and spent a fortune on Sometimes slipping meals just to pay for the garments materials Of course the greety and vengeful ex mistress claimed he would pay and thinks they will get back together In Olivia s defense how would she know that arrangement had ended and demanded payment Rhys pays her after realizing it was the attractive woman he had met earlier an oddity pawn shop and helped her not get robbed from the owner who had been Lording him up and down and ignoring nobody Olivia After all only the titled seem to count to this owners eyes, but to Rhys Duke of Roydan felt the stirrings of something he did not know what, bit wanted to further examine about the mysterious Mrs Olivia Weston Once his usual empty feeling returned he would leave it at that and move on.Then due to Rhys instant attraction to this mere tradeswoman either to find out she is nothing special ask for the gowns he had paid for back which sets Olivia in a panic as the ex mistress Daria Battersby has them and Olivia has nearly spent all the funds So Rhys tells her she must compensate in some other way The rest you the reader will have to read this exceptional book and expect to be dazzled The attraction and chemistry between these two is instant as you can feel it as well as their past heartaches, hardships, and secrets They are both two good people trying to make the right choices yet aren t exactly honest and forthcoming plus their are villains in the midst besides a spiteful ex mistress determined to get him back and ruin Olivia The sad part besides Both the couple hardships and abuse in the past is Rhys has only loved his mother and not sure what s love even is so it was wonderful to watch his heart starts to open and how these two finally resolve their differences and secrets and mistrust and find love.It has every element you want in a beautifully written historical regency romance suspense, drama, humor, revenge, mystery, betrayal, unrequited love, and of course love Plus riveting scenes and adventure with so many twist and turns the reader is never sure what is going to happen next, I always love that is an exceptional book I also loved the secondary character like Rhys Uncle Bertram and Olivia s friends Jeb and Hazel Just have a hankie or box of Lenox nearby as some scenes are a wee bit emotional, again that tells me I am reading a very special and powerful book to get that kind of emotions out of me.All in all this was a spectacular book I enjoyed immensely I can t praise The Dressmakers Duke enough it is the rare book that will touch your heart and steal your soul Absolutely loved it I absolutely loved reading The Dressmaker s Duke What a wonderful romance story about two damaged individuals who find each other and fall in love.This is a story of Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan A man so determined to be everything his depraved self serving father was not by repressing his desires so severely he is dubbed the Monk by Society But when Olivia Weston turns up demanding payment for an ex mistress gowns Rhys is totally flummoxed and inexplicably smitten He pays her to remove her from his house, and mind But logic be damned, he must have this fiercely independent woman I highly recommend this book, passion level I would put at a 7, not so graphic but plenty of lovely passion I hope we see books by this author. Loved this book Rarely have I seen a debut book so well written I loved both the hero and the heroine as they struggled together to overcome each of their pasts I am a sucker for a tortured hero and this one just fit the bill Jess Russell is off to a fabulous start and I cannot wait to read from her It was an extremely fast read for me always a very good sign I highly recommend this one to Regency readers I bought this book last winter on my kindle and forgot about it until a FB group had a review which reminded me of it It is an amazing first book I could not put it down It s a romance with wonderful depth to the characters The hero and heroine have flaws, but as you read you learn about their lives and it all makes sense It has some sex scenes but they are not graphic I don t write plot spoilers but if you miss this book you are missing a good one I can t wait for by Jess Russell I loved love loved loved the smart, sexy, slightly prickly hero and the lovely, capable heroine of THE DRESSMAKER S DUKE And I loved the descriptions of the dresses, especially the one with the very vital ribbon Read the book to find out what it does THE DRESSMAKER S DUKE is perfect for fans of Elizabeth Hoyt and Amanda Quick I loved it Strong, yet vulnerable and caring heroine, and appealing hero Engaging plot, suspenseful and satisfying A fun read.