Early Book Review: The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie

The historical romance and suspense novel The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie is the sequel to The Guardian Duke. It is set for release on July 1 2012. In The Guardian Duke, Alexandria Featherstone began her quest for her parents, a pair of treasure hunters that are confirmed to be missing and assumed dead. The Duke of St. Easton has been assigned the task to be her guardian, but Alex is determined to find her parents. Events led her to agree to marry Lord John Lemon, the path of least resistance, in order to stay on the hunt. As The Forgiven Duke begins, Alex and john are off the sea, leaving the frustrated duke behind on Dublin's shore. She wants him to come after them, but still fears the consequences if he does. John and Alex set out across Iceland, following the clues left by Alex's parents with the Duke does his best to follow them, though beset by the Prince Regent, Spanish soldiers that want what Alex's parents are searching for, sea sickness, and his own loss of hearing. meanwhile, Alex comes to love the residents of Iceland and find her parent's trail. She also discovers the truth in her own heart, and the hidden depths of John's. It is only in time and looking to God’s plan that will see Alex through to find love and safety.

When I requested The Forgiven Duke from NetGalley I was not aware that it was a sequel. So, I started this novel a little lost, but enough background was given to get me on track. I think it was handled so that it would not bore the readers of the first book, but since I did not read it I can not say that with certainty. There are strong christian aspects, suspense, and mystery. I really enjoyed the chasing down of clues, and the interesting characters and intrigue that pop up through the story. The characters were deep and well-defined, with consistent motives and actions.

Alex is a religious character, trying to follow in God's path, feeling lost and uncertain when she fails to do so. It is in those moments that things go wrong for her. John does not seem to have any religious convictions, and is unhampered for doing anything that does not suit his larger purpose. The duke seems to be struggling between the two. He faces many conflicts and obstacles in his search for Alex. The duke and Alex spend much time pondering the fate and motives of the other, but not in a way that becomes annoying. Although, for some the religious moments will cross the annoying line, and as far as I am concerned John's actions well surpassed that line.

I recommend The Forgiven Duke to readers that enjoyed The Guardian Duke. Readers that enjoy mysteries and suspense that involve chasing down clues in search of people or objects will also enjoy this story. Readers that enjoy well researched and written Regency era historical novels will also like this book. However, I feel that I would have enjoyed The Forgiven Duke much more if I had read The Guardian Duke. So, if you like mysteries, Regency era historicals, and religious fiction I recommend starting at the beginning, and then following up with the third book in the series, A Duke's Promise, when it is released in September of 2012.
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