Cover Image: Duchess by Deception

Duchess by Deception

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Member Reviews

This is the first book I've read by Ms. Force and while I enjoyed parts of the book, there was a lot of other parts I didn't like. I really dislike the "instant" love plot used by authors. No one can "love" someone in 1 day and it's not the least bit strange that the heroine is willing to marry the duke after only knowing him for a few days. While it was bad enough that the hero was instantly in love, his cousin and best friend falls for Catherine's sister the same way and in that instant, he's a reformed rake. Really? Not a fan of this additional plot point. This wasn't a horrible book, but it certainly wasn't my favorite regency romances.
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Duchess by Deception is the first historical romance by Marie Force. It’s also the first book I read by this author that I very well knew by name only. For my first incursion in Marie Force’s work and for her first historical romance I only have one word: great. It was a very cute story as I love them with two very likeable heroes. It’s the first volume in her Gilded series.

The story takes place in 1902 in the United Kingdom and even if the author doesn’t dwell on historical details, rather preferring the evolution of the love story, she includes real elements so we can’t believe we’re in another time or another town.

I really loved the hero, Derek Egan, a duke, who imperatively has to marry within a few weeks. We have here a hero who’s not against marriage but who is exasperated and tired of the young single women he’s been meeting. Debutantes who don’t meet his expectations at all. And even if he knows he has a time limit, he prefers taking a break and going back to his country home to think about it. That’s where he meets our heroine, Catherine McCabe. She fled her home and she’s looking for a treasure on the duke’s estate.
Immediately they are attracted to each other but Catherine shows such contempt for aristocracy that the hero decides not to tell her who he really is. Then begins a fool’s game in which we wonder when the heroine will discover the truth and where we know it will be complicated for our at time gauche hero to gain her favors back.

There are two parts in this book:
- the first about the moment the heroes meet, discover each other, fall in love: the hero is very very frustrated to be called by another name but as we say “you've made your bed, now you must lie in it” LOL
- the second part is about the moment the heroine discovers the truth and the hero must wins her heart back.
Catherine has excellent reasons to be annoyed with members of aristocracy and the hero is right not to reveal everything. The story contains a lot of sensuality and love scenes well described and we want to shake the hero and the heroine in the second part because of their obstinacy, but at the same time we understand their decisions. In any case that doesn’t prevent a very big tenderness between them and moments of emotion.

The author also has secondary characters stepping in the story with two I especially liked but I won’t say more here in order to let the readers discover them. The second volume, Deceived by Desire, is planned for August and will feature Aubrey Nelson, one of the characters met in Duchess by Deception, and already I can say I really liked the synopsis so I’ll be there. I also have an idea for a third hero but I’ll wait and see if my intuition is confirmed.

To conclude it’s a book I loved and I highly recommend.
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I loved this first historical romance by Marie Force. The story has heart and romance with a little bit of sinister family drama to add to the adventure. Ms. Force certainly knows how to tell a story.
Derek Eagan, Duke of Westwood, must marry before his thirtieth birthday or else his uncle inherits the Dukedom. Since his uncle is particularly unsavory, Derek hopes to find someone he can tolerate being married to. Unfortunately, all of the women that he meets are not interesting. He finds their simpering conversations about fashion and the weather tedious. Imagine his surprise when he meets a young woman digging on his estate and finds himself intrigued.
Catherine McCabe hates the aristocracy. She wants nothing more than for life to go back to the way it was before her father inherited the title of Earl. She hates the wastefulness and the lack of caring that her father shows his family now that he has money. When he forces her to become engaged to an odious man, Catherine takes off. She plans to find the treasure her grandmother told her about and to on wild adventures.
Catherine and Derek’s romance begins with a little white lie about his name which leads to further complications. They have to learn how to trust one another and to figure out how to make a relationship work. As secrets from Derek’s past surface and Catherine learns more about what he isn’t telling her, the strain is real.
I really liked that Ms. Force sets her story in the early 1900’s rather than in the Regency era. It allows her to bring in the innovations that were happening at that time and to show how old fashioned ideas were changing. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book.
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It is so good to find another author to follow, and Marie Force’s “Duchess by Deception” was a great read. The story follows Derek Eagan, the Duke of Westwood, who must marry before his 30th birthday or his title goes to his uncle. It seems near impossible that he can find someone to marry who he can actually have a conversation with. When he meets Catherine McCabe, the daughter of the Earl of Brisbane, who fascinates him from the start, all seems to be going well for Derek. However, Catherine is trying to escape the aristocracy and an arranged marriage to a hideous Viscount. Hence, Derek decides to take on the persona of his estate manager. From there, events become very interesting with his deception, threatening his relationship with Catherine. 
This was a fast-paced story, fully charged with emotion. Both Catherine and Derek are strong minded people, but with a gentleness to Derek that were so in his favour! The intensity of their romance made it a book that I read in one sitting. I particularly enjoyed the introduction to the book, seeing Derek interact with Simon, his cousin as well as his other friendship, plus the reference to his monetary interests. Not only was it interesting to hear of new discoveries for the period but these were done quite seamlessly, adding to the historical perspective. Consequently, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was the author’s first historical romance as she has integrated these technologies as well as providing a rich backdrop of the surroundings, into the story.
I received an advanced review copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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I was surprised I love historicals and I have enjoyed Marie's books in the past and it is not that I hated the book because I didn't but I didn't love it. So we meet Derek a Duke who needs to marry soon or he forfeits his title. Unfortunately for him the woman of the ton don't do it for him. However he meets a lady on his estate digging for something but she was really sick and he saves her, he is instantly and I mean instantly attracted to her, and when she wakes up she is also strongly attracted to him, but he lies to her and doesn't let her know he is a duke since she strongly does not want someone from the realm. We have betrayal and lies and eventually love overcomes.
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Love at First Sight for Two Couples 3.5*

Set in the early years of the Twentieth Century, Derek Eagan is under pressure to make a suitable marriage and continue the line. When her father is intent on marrying his daughter to a lecher in honour of a debt, Catherine runs away from home and seeks the treasure that belonged to her grandmother. The two meet but due to Catherine’s dislike of peers, Derek lies about his title which decision of course comes back to haunt him.

There is also love for rakehell Simon (Derek’s cousin) who falls madly in love with Catherine’s sister.

There were some oddities in this story - the second son of an Earl making his living as a blacksmith seemed extremely unlikely; a Duke carrying the plebeian name Derek; a second floor veranda; but by far the largest was the main premise under which the story was written. The author should change the story so that perhaps the Duke will not inherit some unentailed property that is of particular significance, or money if he does not marry by thirty BUT it is impossible for him to lose his title under the rules of primogeniture.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Suspension of disbelief required

I will most probably be accused of being mean-spirited or petty, but the moment I saw the blurb, I knew I had to read this book. The blurb says that the duke will lose his title if he is not married before his thirtieth birthday. The thing is, this is impossible: a dukedom is a matter of birthright and no cockamamie scheme can deprive the rightful heir of his title. No one chooses who will bear the title or not, not in the past, not today. The only reason a duke might lose his title is if he dies or is accused and condemned of treason, then the next in line inherits. Case closed. It is akin to someone writing a novel set in 2019 where Barack Obama had been re-elected for a third term; if the law has not been changed, it cannot happen. I was hoping that it had been a mistake in the blurb, but unfortunately, it isn’t. The whole foundation of the story is built on quicksand. I find it disconcerting that, for an author of Marie Force’s stature, apparently no one cared enough to ensure that her novel was not based on a fallacy, when it would have taken only a few minutes of googling to fact-check first. The worst is that the story could have easily been written otherwise without fabricating this preposterous premise. The fact that Catherine was found by Derek – the duke – was entirely sufficient to make the romance happen.

The writing is good, the pace is steady, and I was pleasantly surprised that I did not fine one single typo, although the book is riddled with inconsistencies of all sorts. The romance is fine although it happens much too quickly: there is instalust and instalove, which did not feel particularly realistic for 1902. However, it was easier to digest than the rake whose miraculous metamorphosis into a perfect gentleman happens literally within 5 minutes, which is the basis for a second – it was rushed but it was a clever plot twist, and because of that, again, the preposterous clause in the will could have been dispensed with. However, I was astonished that when Catherine learns that Derek has lied about being the estate manager, she does not give in to histrionics, and that the misunderstanding did not last for ages. This was handled much better than it usually is, even when it happens a second time. Because, of course, the first time Derek had forgotten to tell Catherine about the ludicrous “clause in the will”. The reason for Catherine’s presence on Derek’s estate – her quest – turned out to be entirely anticlimactic, which I thought was a shame because it could have been more fully exploited instead of the absurd premise of the will. 

Catherine is a more interesting character than Derek, but my favourite was by far Simon – Derek’s cousin and friend. There are also several sex scenes, for the most part rather uninspired. DUCHESS BY DECEPTION is the first book in the Gilded series, which sounds more like a saga than the type of series we usually see, if I judge by the last pages.
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First in a new series and first time to publish a historical romance. Marie Force jumps right into the historical romance field with a familiar trope and a different time period. Set at the turn of the century she blends some of the new inventions into the story line using Derek Eagan, the dashing Duke of Westwood, as a character who invents in things we will see in the future. She also uses a familiar trope when Derek hides his true identity from Catherine McCabe. That is not all he hides and those secrets drive the plot in Duchess d\by Deception. I have loved Force's Fatal series and this one looks like it could be just as good.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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A delightful story of love and lies. 
Filled with sweet heat and wonderful friends. I enjoyed it. Looking forward to more in this new series.
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I don't read regency romance much these days but I was excited to see Marie Force coming out with a new series. I have read a lot of her contemporary romance novels and enjoyed them all. While I liked the setting of the story and the characters had an instalove romance. I also feel some things were explained in a rushed sort of way. Almost like info overload, which sometimes happens with the first novel of a new series. Overall, it was ok.
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Typical historical romance, handsome hero with flaws ,pretty heroine in trouble. Lots of bumps along the way before the happy ending.
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I don't know if this is the author's first historical of just my first by the author but she successfully makes a transition from her contemporary romances into a historical romance. Derek became duke at the young age of 6 and must marry by his birthday in a few weeks to keep his title. Alas the current crop of debutantes bore him and he's seriously considering walking away from everything until fate delivers his ideal mate digging in his extensive grounds?  Ironically Catherine hates the aristocracy,,, a match made in heaven? or not? 
Felled by cupid's arrow at first sight, Derek takes over the name of his estate manager and proceeds to woo his lady love who as it turns out is an earl's daughter and running away from a marriage. Derek quickly takes her to Gretna Green and marries her across the anvil and retreats to a cottage on his grounds having given his estate manager leave. But as we all know be careful when you weave a tangled tale because truth will be out and when it's out all the new found love and happiness gets buried under it. 
In the meantime Derek had dispatched his cousin to investigate the London scene but it seems his cousin is also felled by cupid and ends up running away with Catherine's sister. It's a sweet romance with Derek pulling out all stops to court his love. Threaded throughout the story is a sinister thread of danger that surrounds Derek. This is a fun romance that readers will enjoy.
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This was one of those stories that I was so looking forward to that the actual deliverance left me truly disappointed. 

So we can end on a positive note, let me begin with all of the faults I found in this story. The insta-love between both Catherine and Derek, as well as her sister Madeline and Derek's cousin is something that I wish would die. It is so overdone these days, and more often than not its insta-lust not love. How do you truly love someone you don't know (and no that isn't a dig at Derek for lying to her).

The main issue however, was despite the horrible things Catherine's "boorish Viscount" did, despite the mistreatment she suffered both by her father and the man he tried to force upon her, in the end, nothing was done about the threat. Sure a short term plan was enacted, but what happens next? A threat is nothing when you think of all the ways the Viscount could hurt Catherine. I feel like there should have been more closure where that story-line was concerned. I would also have liked to see some form of private reconciliation between Catherine and her sister and their parents especially. It seemed a huge thing for them to overcome (even with the passage of time) that I would like to know HOW it happened. Did their father mend his ways? Did he apologize? If there is one thing I hate, its loose ends and this book had too many for my liking. 

However, I did say that I would end this in a positive note, and that is that this story (when you get passed all of the eye rolling I am sure you will do as they profess their love for each other within days of meeting, then Catherine learns the truth and makes him jump through the proverbial hoop to reconcile) this is a fast paced read. I am sure that I am in the minority in my opinion of this novel, as do believe it will still appeal to some historical romance readers.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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I should start by saying that is my first historical romance. I am a huge fan of Marie Force and her other series so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try! I am so glad I did! I absolutely loved Derek and Catherine's story! They did start out obviously not ideally, a little matter of Derek not be completely forth coming but the story of them getting together and overcoming all of that was fantastic.  I loved the details about the characters and the surroundings. I feel like in a story set in the past you obviously need all of that to feel connected to the story, a little different than you do in a contemporary romance. As always the writing was perfect and I was captivated by the story she tells. I am definitely looking forward to reading more in this series.  I don't know if reading this one historical romance will have me changing genres forever but it is proof in what an amazing author and story teller Ms Force really is because you don't have to be a fan of this genre to enjoy!
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Even though I don't frequently read historical romances, I had to pick up this one because I truly enjoy other books that the author has written.  In my opinion, Marie Force did a terrific job with her first historical romance and I truly hope she continues even though my preference will always be the contemporary novels.  In this story we actually had two couples find love when they were least expecting it, in fact, three of the people had given up on ever finding love.  Between the terrific characters and an engaging story line, I had difficulty putting the book down.  Since the story ends with the characters discussing plans to spend the following summer in Newport, I do hope that we will see a second book in the series.
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Love Marie Force in all genre's but I am not a fan of historical romance in general. I think she bravely went into the series with characters who we could love or hate. It did seem quite rushed to romance and got very convoluted trying to follow two romances going on. I will always stick with my authors, however, and I know she will continue to grow in this area and can't wait to see the changes in the next story.
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Duchess by Deception has a duke pretending to be an estate manager because the woman he has found on his property hates the aristocracy.  With Catherine’s dislike and distrust of the aristocracy and Derek lying about being a duke, you know where this romance is headed.  But, add into the mix the need for Derek to marry before his thirtieth birthday and things become even more complicated.  This is my first Marie Force book.  So, I cannot compare it to her other writings.  This is an enjoyable read, although, at times, I felt there was too much going on.  

Derek’s uncle, who we know fairly early, caused the death of Derek’s parents and brother.  Derek’s cousin and the uncle’s son, Simon is a huge part of this book.  I cannot help but feel it would have been advantageous for Simon and Madeline to have their own book running simultaneously with this one, possibly as a novella.  

Catherine is found by Derek at the beginning digging for an item her grandmother told her to retrieve should she ever need funds.  Catherine is so sick she passes out literally in Derek’s arms. Thus leading to her being in his care.  Their connection is immediate and quick.  Maybe even a little too fast, but it meets the demands of the marry by thirty rule.  But, all of this goes back to causing problems between Catherine and Derek as she begins to believe she cannot trust anything he says.

All in all this is a light-hearted, enjoyable weekend read.  I am looking forward to  the next book in the series to see how Ms. Force handles the change in location and romance.
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With Marie Force’s trademark stamp of likeable characters, romance and steam by the bucketload and a Downton Abbey-esque setting, Duchess by Deception introduces us to Derek Eagon, Duke of Westwood and Lady Catherine McCabe whose feelings for one another move at a fair old clip. 

“I’ve never seen anything quite like the way the two of you went from confirmed bachelors to happy matrimony in the blink of an eye.”

My thoughts on this are mixed with parts I enjoyed and those less so. Overall it was an easy-going, low-drama historical romance and as the story moved along, my enjoyment increased. However it was impacted by the rapid speed at which Catherine and Derek fell for one another making it difficult to believe their feelings were real especially considering what she had experienced and some of the the narrative didn’t quite fit the period, for example endearments such as honey, don’t really belong in early 1900’s England. A little extra research wouldn’t have gone amiss either as with all the will in the world and a really fast horse, you’re not making a carriage journey from Essex to Gretna Green overnight.

“My whole life, Catherine, has led to you.”

However, there’s no taking away the fact that the romance is front and centre and it’s passionate and sexy which is one of the many reasons why Marie Force is one of my most-read authors. And although I may not have loved Duchess by Deception, the setup for Deceived by Desire has me curious enough to see whether a US based story works better for me and the author writing this genre.
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This is my first book I have read by Marie Force. While I know this is her first time publishing a historical romance, I felt she did a pretty good job. I feel that she should have stuck to the one romance of Catherine and Derek instead of adding her sister’s as well.
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This story grabbed my attention from the plot summary and  with its opening.  However, as the story continued on it became just a nice read.  I did not feel invested in the characters and their relationship seem rushed.  That said, I would read another story by Marie Force as I feel her writing has potential and her next read might be the one I love.
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