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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 12 star ratings
6 reviews
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4.3 out of 5
12
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    A Doomed Duke and a Wanton Widow...

    I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader Copy of Shana Galen’s sixth Survivors book, A Duke a Dozen and the views expressed are my honest opinions. The Doomed Duke, Phineas Duncombe, ninth Duke of Mayne meets the Wanton Widow, Annabel Countess of Longstowe due to the peculiar circumstances his four elder brothers passed away. After a rocky start, Phin realizes that the beautiful Countess is far more different than the ton believes. Despite the age gap, it does not take long for Phin to fall for her. When Annabel approaches Phin requesting his help to locate her daughter, she expects him his help at a price. But kind-hearted Phin who didn’t want or expect the dukedom surprises her by offering his help and friendship with no strings attached. Their journey to the country sheds light on the Countess’ marriage and the cruel, sadistic ways an elderly Earl had ensured his young Countess would remain faithful to him. During the journey, it also becomes apparent that the Dukes of Mayne might have been targeted by an enemy. Will Phin convince Annabel that it’s never too late for love or will he realize that he needs to do his duty to secure the line? I commend Ms. Galen for her creativity in providing diversity in her books. Initially, I thought that an older heroine would not work. But the reader gets entranced with the plot and getting to know Annabel as the story progresses, one cannot help but feel for her past marriage years. Ms. Galen also includes an assortment of secondary characters, two of which having special needs. I love that Ms. Galen has included the perspective of one of them in the book, giving her a fierce spirit. Unfortunately, as with the Countess’ daughter, people with disabilities would have been locked away at the time. Ms. Galen has included a cute furry animal, this time a rabbit named Twitchy which needed saving from the pot. Towards the end of the book, we also get to meet Colin FitzRoy, another Survivor.
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    4 Stars!!

    4 Stars! This was a good read! It’s an older woman, younger man, standalone book. I loved that the main characters had servants that had a little point of view love story of their own- Reynolds and Meg/Mrs. Slightly. They were a cute couple. I loved how it was an older woman love story instead of the usual! I’ve read 2 of the other books in this series & I enjoyed them as well! *I received this book at no charge from the publisher and I voluntarily left a review.*
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    Loved Phin and Annabele

    Another wonderful story in the Survivors series and I loved it. Annabel, Countess of Longstowe was married to an abusive, horrible old man and is happy to be a widow. The only thing she needs now is to find the daughter that was taken from her at two years old because she was “defective,” according to the old Earl. She’s hoping the Duke of Mayne, Phineas Duncombe, can use his position and influence to help her find her daughter, and he decides to help her, since he was known as “the negotiator” during the war. Phin is much younger than Annabel, but that doesn’t matter to him, he’s intrigued by the beautiful woman known as the Wanton Widow. Annabel is so emotionally scarred from her experiences as a wife, she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to let a man get close to her, and despite her reputation, she’s no wanton anything. Phin was the fifth brother and didn’t think he would ever become the duke, but all four of his brothers met untimely deaths that may not have been accidents and now he’s beginning to think someone is out to harm him as well. I’ve always liked road trip stories, and this one didn’t disappoint. There are plenty of incidents that allow them to grow closer together, and I loved the secondary romance between the valet and housekeeper, that was wonderful. There wasn’t much interaction with the rest of the survivors, and I would have liked to learn a little more about the future for Annabel and Phin, but hopefully there will be more in the next book that addresses both of those things
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    Love Found

    An intriguing addition to this series with the hero, Phineas (love that name), the new Duke of Mayne one of the soldiers who survived the war. Unfortunately as the title he now held was going, he may not live long enough to do anything. After all, his four brothers had all met their demise and he was left. He had to find out what happened to his last brother and retrace his steps. Was that what he really wanted when he went to visit the "Wanton Widow", Annabel, Countess of Longstowe? He had seen her and his brother together and thought she might have been one of the last people to talk to him. But is that really why he wanted to visit her? Oh yes his knees almost buckled when she came into the room. Annabel hardley remembers how she earned that moniker, but after being married to a cruel man for years, she is not about to give her heart to any man. She just wants to find her daughter and she asks him for his help. Such a truly wonderful story of second chances at happiness no matter their age differences and a journey to find answers and true love.
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    He was not expendable

    Phineas Duncombe was supposed to be expendable, the fifth son, but now as the Duke of Mayne, he wasn't. Still, he wanted to speak with one of the last people to see his brother Richard alive: the Wanton Widow, Lady Annabel Longstowe. He thought her ravishing, and if he were honest, he hoped to seduce the Wanton Widow. Phin did not accomplish anything he set out to do. However, when she asked for his help in finding her daughter, she left him utterly flummoxed. And probably no more than I was, because my first impression of Annabel was not a good one. Although the reasons for her behaviour became clearer later on, her nickname seemed a little too fitting for a little while at the beginning, and I couldn't fathom why she couldn't wait and see how he would react first. Phin is almost delirious with lust, but thankfully an honourable man. She is far from immune to his considerable charms, but she will not succumb. She deems him too young, and there is are fifteen years between them. As much as I enjoy a younger man-older woman romance, I too perceived that chasm. He seemed in some ways rather immature in spite of being thirty-two, and she did act older. "Perfect Phineas" was precisely just that; he's awfully sweet, but she is one frustrating woman. To be honest, I thought Annabel's housekeeper Mrs. Slightley and Reynolds, Phin's valet, just about stole the show; what fabulous characters! Not a scene with them was superfluous. I also very much appreciated how Ms. Galen chose to show us the plight of those with mental and physical challenges in eras gone by, and Theadosia - Annabel's daughter - was another highlight of A DUKE A DOZEN. It's a very moving part of the story. I will again differ from the norm, I suppose, but I would have wished fewer lustful musings and sex scenes and more on the subject of the Doomed Duke. However the few action sequences were fabulous, and I loved the teasers for what will be next for The Survivors, namely The Bachelors of Bond Street, with Thomas Gaines, a minor character in a previous book whom I loved to bits.
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