Duchess by Deception

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I actually really enjoyed Duchess by Deception. Marie Force is a new author to me and I loved her writing style and the storyline.  It was fun, fast paced, easy to follow and full of emotion.  Literally my only problem with this story is the glaringly similar personalities between all of the characters. Catherine and Madeline , the only real noticeable difference between their characters was their name.  The Duke, Simon, Enderly, Jack Bancroft, and Michael (The Grandfather) it was literally like reading about the same person.  Then there was Lindsey, Lord Brisbane, and Anthony... the same thing.  That said, I did love the hero and heroine, there was a depth to their characters and they were easy to like and as a result I liked the rest too because they were so similar.  I hope this all makes sense, I’m having a hard time trying to describe it.  I don’t want to detract from the quality of the writing or anything because it IS a good story... I just wanted to explain why I gave 4 stars instead of 5.  I would definitely read another story by this author.
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In her first attempt at historical romance, contemporary writer Marie Force gets a lot of things right. Setting her scene in 1902 is nicely unusual, and it gives her great scope to talk about technological advances of the day, which is all very interesting. Her Duke in Disguise plot is also quite enjoyable (though WHY does he lose his Dukedom if he doesn’t marry by the deadline? And also HOW?), and her On the Run heroine is a treat. But the rapidity with which the two fall for each other – not to mention the beta couple, who do likewise – and the odd sense of anachronism here and there (it’s like the book was originally written as a Regency, and then brought forward in time but the attitudes weren’t fully updated), mar the experience all out of proportion, making it a disjointed and not entirely satisfactory read. Which is a shame, because in many ways this is an excellent story well told. Still, there are flashes of burgeoning talent in the genre to be seen here, and it will be worth sticking with her, should Force continue to try her hand at it. – Rachel Hyland

This review appears in Romantic Intentions Quarterly #4.
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This was a great a read.  The book is full of, just as the title would suggest, deception.  All of it really meant to be helpful, but a lie, even by omission, can still be harmful.  
Catherine McCabe is a strong, determined woman, who has absolutely no use for the aristocracy.  To escape an unwanted betrothal to a horrible man she runs away from home, to the Duke of Westwood's country estate, in the search for a treasure her Grandmother had left there many years earlier.  It is here that the Duke finds her obviously sick, dirty, and digging while dressed as a man, and this is where the deception begins.
Derek Eagan is struck by the beauty of the dirty, fevered woman he find on his property, but after she awakens and he discovers her hate for the aristocracy he decides to take on a new identity to keep her safe.  He vows to do whatever he needs to keep her safe, and soon they are hopelessly in love, but when the truth comes out that he is none other then the Duke of Westwood, and one of the very people that she has vowed to stay away from, their love is tested to the max.  
Great read, with two romance stories, as you also get to read the story of Catherine's sister, and Derek's cousin.  I would definitely recommend Duchess by Deception, and cant wait to read more from Marie Force.
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A relationship faster than a speeding bullet.  Derek and Catherine went from strangers to love in seconds.  And there is a parallel story line with Simon, Derek's cousin, and Madeleine, Catherine's sister, who also go from 0-60 in seconds!  Also, they just let Anthony go when they find out everything he did.  Just because they tell him to stay away doesn't mean they can trust him.  He's a criminal for goodness sake!
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Duchess by Deception by Marie Force is the first book in her new Gilded series. Force is well-known for her romantic suspense and contemporary romance, so this historical romance is a departure for her. 

Derek Eagan, Duke of Westwood, must marry before his thirtieth birthday, or he’ll lose his title and inheritance. The problem is that his birthday is eleven days away and none of the high-brow debutantes he’s met this season appeal to him. 

Catherine McCabe, daughter of the new Earl of Brisbane, despises the aristocracy. She’s fleeing an arranged marriage with a viscount thirty years her senior and has no desire to be involved with any titled gentleman. 

When Derek finds Catherine on his property he pretends to be Jack Bancroft, his property manager. Catherine is devastated when she learns that her beloved “Jack” is actually a duke. Derek must now find a way to win back Catherine’s love, while protecting her from the danger posed by the rejected Viscount.

Marie Force has done an admirable job in her first foray into the historical romance genre. She cleverly injects references to newly-developed technology, such as electricity, motorcars, and manned flight. I found Duchess by Deception hard to put down and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book to all readers of historical romance. Those who dislike descriptive sex scenes will want to give this one a pass. 

My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in  this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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Marie Force has been a prominent and well-loved figure in the contemporary romance and romantic suspense scenes for years, and this is her move into the historical romance genre.

Did it work for me? Uh… no, not really. Ignoring the sexist opening chapter for a moment, my problem with Duchess by Deception is that it reads like a throwback to the books of the 1980s, and it doesn’t seem like Force has kept up with the changes in the genre since then.

Initially I was excited about the book’s description. Mystery unconscious woman doing suspicious things on the duke’s property? Uncommon Edwardian era setting? Sounded interesting. However, apart from some research info-dumps about technological developments, the feel of this one was no different to any century-earlier, Regency-set book (were leading strings not more an 18th century than 20th century thing? Why are they still being used in 1902?).

Also, the tired and silly trope of the hero who has to marry by a certain date or he’ll lose his title needs to be permanently retired. It’s simply not how the aristocracy works.

There is a serious case of insta-love (lust?) here. Even when the heroine is filthy, stinks, and is dressed like a boy (and unconscious!), the hero is so attracted to her he won’t let anybody else care for her.

And then when she wakes up we get lines like this:

She gave him an arch look, which, along with her fever-reddened cheeks, only added to her overwhelming appeal. 

As for the sexism? From the very first page, all the girls and women in London are referred to by terms such as simpering. (The heroine, of course, is “not like other women”.)

‘Is there one among them who cares about anything other than her hair or her gown or her slippers?’ 

Naturally, every woman in the book who isn’t the heroine is “annoying”, and they fawn all over the hero.

While Duchess by Deception isn’t a horrible read, it is also a throwback to things most HR writers and readers moved on from years ago. Force will shoot to prominence in the genre simply because she comes in with an already established name as an author, but I’ve read lesser-known historical romance books by lesser-known authors that are surely as worthy of the attention.
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I am not a fan of historical romance but really enjoyed this book. I loved Derek despite his lies knowing that he did it to protect her. I loved Cat for so many reasons and was so happy that they found there happily ever after. I look forward to reading more of this series. I believe Marie Force may change my way if thinking towards historical romance.

I received an ARC from netgalley in return for an honest review
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I am a longtime fan of Marie Force and her first foray into a historical romance is a very intriguing read.  You can tell this is not her normal genre, but Catherine and Derek's story is well told and I feel the strong  secondary set of character's stories will only improve as Force gets more comfortable with historicals.  This is  strong first outing for Force.  Fans will want to support her as she deviates from her more popular series.
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I have mixed feelings about this book. It definitely kept my interest throughout the whole book, but parts of it seemed unnecessary (such as Simon & Madeline's side love story). I liked the romance between Derek (or should I say Jack) and Catherine, but the dialogue felt forced and wooden at times. The book didn't flow as well as other historical romances I've read. The plot was pretty straight forward and there wasn't much in term of conflict/heartache. The steamy scenes were done well and brought a lot of heat to the book. I would consider reading another historical romance from this author and I also look forward to reading her contemporary novels. **ARC provided by NetGalley. All opinions are my own**
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Very enjoyable change of passe  for me, quite enjoyed the difference.   Little too much sex involved but thats understandable during the times!
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Marie Force does it again. Duchess by Deception is one of those books you pick up and can't put back down. Trust me you'll be reading into the wee hours with this one.
#DuchessByDeception #NetGalley
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This is my first Marie Force book, but it will not be my last.  I loved her story.  Derek is a really wonderful hero.  He's been a Duke for as long as he can remember...but he just wants to be loved for the man he is.  Catherine hates the nobility because when her father became an aristocrat her life changed for the worse.  The story flows beautifully and the secondary characters are very interesting.  

I love that the characters are all strong.  This story is well written and I encourage you to get it and enjoy.

I received a complimentary ARC via NetGalley, and this review is my personal opinion.
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In my opinion a good book is one that you don’t want to put down once you have started reading it. This definitely fits that definition. The story has romance, alpha heroes, mystery and of course an HEA. This is the first time I have read a historical romance by this author and hopefully not the last .
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The title is very fitting to the plot of this book. I am not a fan of deception plots, and this deception is a doozy! That being said, Marie Force is a superb, thoughtful writer whose style keeps you glued to the book, eagerly turning pages in anticipation of what happens next. She even pulled me into this plot, and I ended up really enjoying the book. I really liked that there was a secondary love story that tied in perfectly to the main characters' story!
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Such a wonderfully enjoyable read.  I loved it. I thought the historical setting was really well done and Derek was so lovely. 

There’s a wonderful cast associated with this story so I suspect this is just the start of a series.

Marie Force is a good writer and I was super happy to see her go with this genre.
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Ms. Force has done it again and in another genre; regency romance. Derek Eagan, the Duke of Westwood, is tired of the debutantes in London and heads to his country estate. He must be married by his thirtieth birthday or forfeit his title and holdings to his Uncle Anthony who has long coveted the title. As he arrives at his estate, he sees a young boy digging a hole in his land only to be confronted by a young lady. Catherine is ill and running from an arranged marriage to an odious Lord. She is looking for a key that her grandmother buried in a specific area on the Duke’s estate. This key would open a chest containing the funds that she needs to get away. She hates the aristocracy and has no idea that Derek is the Duke and not the estate manager as he claims. Will Catherine forgive him when she learns the truth? Will Derek be able to keep her safe when they are searching for her? Will he be married in time to save his title? What a fun, thrilling and hot romantic story as Derek tries to keep his secret as he falls in love with Catherine. Ms. Force is one of my favorite authors…she knows how to write a story that will keep you reading until the very end. I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to give an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
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I’ve read and enjoyed many of Ms. Force’s earlier contemporary books While this book is sweet, it may be a bit too saccharine for the genre. The leads, Derek and Catherine, do have chemistry, but the storyline felt too formulaic, making it rather boring.
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Marie Force debut's her first historical romance novel about a 29year old duke named Derek who must marry by his 30th birthday in order to maintain his title as the Duke of Westwood Manor. One day while out on the grounds he encounters what appears to be a young lad digging. The lad, as it turns out is not a lad at all, but a rather beautiful young woman,who suddenly falls ill. Derek decides in an instant that he will take this woman into his care and personally nurse her back to health. During the time that Derek is tending to the woman, he falls in love with the woman, and decides that he will conceal his true identity, and convince the woman Catherine to marry him,thus accomplishing saving him his title of Duke of Westwood.Catherine's background is a bit complex...her father had lost a bet, and had promised her hand in marriage to someone else, and the day that she was found on the grounds of Westwood Manor, she was actually trying to escape....she harbors very ill feelings towards aristocracy......so is the marriage between Derek and Catherine doomed to fail....how will Derek keep his true title hidden from Catherine???
This book was delightful and fun to read! It was filled with plenty of romance and intrigue right through to the very last page.
Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.
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Derek Eagan was saddled with the title and responsibilities of the Duke of Westwood when his parents were killed in a carriage accident when he was just six years old.  Now 29, he must marry his 30th birthday, just a couple short weeks away, or forfeit his title and responsibilities to his undeserving wastrel of an uncle.  Fed up with empty headed debutantes throwing themselves at him in yet another failed season, Derek decides to retreat to his country estate in Essex to clear his head for a few days.  On his ride in he encounters a man digging a hole on his property, except it quickly becomes apparent that this is woman, a sick one at that, who faints before Derek can get any answers from her.  Derek takes her to recuperate at his estate and is immediately captivated by the woman, who will only tell him that her name is Catherine.  

After fleeing an arranged marriage to a lecherous viscount and witnessing all the changes the inheritance of an earldom has wrought on her previously loving father, Catherine disdains the nobility and doesn't want anything to do with the duke or his hospitality.  Desperate to learn Catherine's secrets and get to know someone as himself for once, not as the Duke of Westwood, Derek lies and tells Catherine that his name is Jack and he is the duke's estate manager.  As the two grow closer and begin to rapidly fall in love and Catherine's betrothed widens his search for her, Derek realizes he'll do anything to protect his newfound love and his lie begins to spiral out of his control.  Derek longs to hear Catherine speak his true name, but he feels he can't be totally forthright about his true identity until he has assured her safety -- by marrying her.  

Meanwhile, Derek sends his cousin and friend Simon to London to ascertain as much as he can about Viscount Lindsey's whereabouts and Catherine's 'missing' status.  The moment Simon claps eyes on Catherine's younger sister, Madeleine, it's love at first sight and he, much like his cousin, will do whatever it takes to be with her, including a hasty marriage to save her from the viscount as well.

Derek continues to put off the revelation of his identity to Catherine after their instalust/love/marriage, which annoyed me, but I also saw that his reluctance came from a place of vulnerability and fear of rejection.  For someone who's never really had a family of his own and finally feels a real connection with someone, this does make sense.  Plus the fact that he genuinely was trying to protect Catherine from a fiance who definitely wanted to hurt her.  I also understand his desire to get to know someone without the cloud of his lofty title hanging over the encounter.  

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and couldn't put it down once I got into it.  Some of the dialogue was a bit repetitive and the emotions just a bit over the top, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.

I received a complimentary ARC via NetGalley.  Thank you! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I loved Marie Force’s Fatal series so when I saw that she was trying her hand at historic romance, I was all in. I think this is a well-written tale with a villain we love to hate and characters we love to cheer on. If you’re not a fan of insta-love or love at first sight, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re cool with characters who fall in love fast, this one if a great read.

I received an ARC of this book, from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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