Series: Thornton #1
Published by Pocket Books on June 1995
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Narrator: Flora MacDonald
Bestselling author Andrea Kane deftly interweaves her sensual love stories with breathtaking intrigue -- a touch of danger amid glorious romance.
Lady Daphne Wyndham is the only child of the brutal Marquis of Tragmore. Risking a beating each time she sneaks away to help the local vicar, Daphne fantasizes about the legendary Tin Cup Bandit, who robs the rich to aid the poor. His scandalous exploits inflame her rebellious spirit and fire her romantic imagination. And when he appears in her bedroom, she suspects all her wild dreams may come true....
Pierce Thornton grew up in a British workhouse, and now thirsts for vengeance against the nobility -- and the Marquis of Tragmore. As he plots to ruin Tragmore, a twist of fate opens an unexpected door, allowing him to fulfill his life-long crusade: bringing the fashionable world to its knees. But in the process he encounters a far greater peril...losing his heart to Daphne Wyndham.
Back when I first started reading romance novels, I came across Andrea Kane. She doesn’t read historical romance anymore, but for awhile I really enjoyed reading her books. And my favorite was The Last Duke. I have read this book so many times, and I know why I love it so much. That said, reading it again after many years, there are a lot of problems with this book, too.
What I Liked:
- Pierce Thornton, the hero, has always been the reason I’ve loved The Last Duke so much. He is a a self-made man, pulling himself up from having absolutely nothing and becoming a very successful, wealthy man in Victorian England. I do love a hero who works hard, and that’s certainly Pierce.
- Pierce is also a nice guy. Well, I guess I should say that he is a nice guy to people who deserve it. He isn’t a player, or afraid of getting married or any of that stuff that pops up in romance novels so often to add conflict. When he meets Daphne, he is instantly intrigued and attracted. And as he gets to know her more, he falls for her, and that’s that. I really love that.
- I have always loved the Robin Hood feel to parts of the book, too.
- Daphne is a nice person, and I liked that too. I do have some issues with her characters, but overall I really like how kind and caring she is, especially given the way her father is.
- I really feel the connection between Daphne and Pierce. I can see exactly why they are so good together. They have chemistry, but also souls that just mesh so well together.
What I Struggled With:
- I cannot express enough how much I did not like the narrator, Flora MacDonald. I know she narrates many audiobooks, but this is the first I’ve ever listened to her, and I did not like it.
- The language is so flowery. It even creeps into the dialogue, and doesn’t sound natural at all.
- Daphne is almost too good a person. It’s over the top, what a good person she is. How much she will risk to help out the poor. And I understand that that is part of the reason Pierce and Daphne connect so well, but holy cow, it’s way too much here.
- The nicknames were a bit corny. All this Snowflame, Snowdrop business. She has a perfectly lovely name. Use that!
I still love The Last Duke by Andrea Kane, but it is not a book for everyone. I love the hero, but the flowery language and too angelic heroine could be turn-offs for today’s romance readers.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: