Read The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville Online


Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . . Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a wayWanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . . Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation . . . Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn't seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke's relatives is responsible for the death of her family—and take her revenge. She certainly can't afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her. But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she's faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she's sworn to kill?...

Title : The Duke of Dark Desires
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062243348
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Duke of Dark Desires Reviews

  • Caz
    2019-03-12 04:01

    I've given this an A- at AAR, so 4.5 stars.Miranda Neville’s books have been a bit hit and miss for me in the past. I wasn’t too keen on the first book in this series (The Importance of Being Wicked), although I loved the prequel novella (The Second Seduction of a Lady) and while it had its weaknesses, I enjoyed her last book (Lady Windermere's Lover). But The Duke of Dark Desires hands down worked for me and then some. It doesn’t hurt that the story pushes some of my favourite buttons; bad boys made good are like catnip, and I’m also partial to an aristocrat/governess story (although this is a bit more complicated than that). Ms Neville also picks up the plot threads she left unresolved at the end of the last book (although it’s not absolutely necessary to have read it, as this works as a stand-alone) and ties everything up in a nice big bow, presenting readers with a very satisfying conclusion to the series. Julian Fortescue has travelled extensively and made his living as an art dealer – a fairly successful one with a real passion for the wheeling and dealing involved in buying and selling as well as for the works of art themselves. As the scion of a minor branch of the family, he never expected to inherit anything – but became the Duke of Denford because of a completely unexpected and unfortunate series of illnesses and accidents that befell his numerous male relations. The trouble was, given that he was very much the black sheep of the family, his remaining (mostly female!) relatives decided to contest his accession, meaning that for the past two years, he’s been a very impoverished duke. When the book opens, he has finally reached a financial settlement with them which means that he now has the funds necessary to live in style and maintain his estates.Finding himself suddenly responsible for his three younger half-sisters, Julian decides he needs to hire someone to look after them so he can have as little to do with them as possible, so he advertises for a governess. He takes one look at Miss Jane Grey and decides she can have the position – although the positions he has in mind are principally horizontal ones!But the prim, proper Miss Grey is not what she seems. In reality, she is Jeanne de Falleron, the one surviving member of a family of French aristocrats whose parents and two younger sisters were guillotined during the Terror. She has travelled to London in search of one particular Mr. Fortescue, the man she believes responsible for betraying her family a decade earlier, and is determined to exact a terrible and final revenge. She believes that by taking a position in the home of the head of the Fortescue family, she will be able to find the man she seeks.The relationship between Julian and Jane is brilliantly written and hits its stride right off the bat. Their verbal cat-and-mouse games are a real delight, and because it’s very clear that Jane knows exactly what Julian is up to – and feels the pull of the intense physical attraction between them every bit as much as he does – there’s none of the power imbalance between them that can make a master/servant romance a bit difficult to take. Jane responds in kind to Julian’s flirting and challenges him - and obviously enjoys it - even though she knows that ending up in his bed is probably not a good idea. Jane is an engaging and well-developed character whose pragmatism has sustained her through some terrible times. After she lost her family, she had to make some horrible decisions in order to survive, but she refuses to feel ashamed about them or see herself as a victim. The relationships she develops with Julian’s sisters are well-drawn and are not overly sweet or twee; she recognises that while they need affection, they also need someone to set boundaries. Each of the three girls (aged nine to fifteen) is a recognisable individual, even if they’re perhaps just a teeny bit stereotypical; there’s the one who will soon enter society and become a young lady, the sullen middle one and the young moppet – but despite that, they’re all very likeable. Julian is a great hero – smart, sexy and under no illusions about himself. He doesn’t have the best of reputations; in fact he spent most of the last book in the series trying to seduce his former best friend’s wife! He had a wild, rebellious youth, and his good looks and charm have ensured him plenty of female companionship over the years. But he’s not your typical rake who shags his way through town in order to assuage his man-pain or because he doesn’t want anything to do with that touchy-feely-emotional -girly crap. Julian is more the sort of man who simply enjoys good living and pleasurable activities, and he’s pleasantly self-aware, especially when it comes to his immediate desire to get Jane into bed. ”Besides, no one expected Julian to behave properly, least of all himself”He’s cultivated his mad, bad and dangerous to know reputation, but deep down, he’s a decent man, haunted by his (unwitting) part in a tragic event, and who recognizes that he now has responsibilities that he needs to fulfil. Not least of those is that to his sisters, although he has no idea exactly what he’s supposed to do with them! But as the book progresses, Ms. Neville creates a really warm and caring relationship between them, with Julian pretending not to be interested while teasing them in a “big brotherly” kind of way that shows them the complete opposite.The romance is sensual and well-developed, and I particularly liked the comfortable domesticity that evolves between Julian and Jane during their after-dinner meetings. There’s plenty of humour and the plotline concerning the paintings and Julian’s guilt over the events of a decade ago is intriguing and satisfactorily resolved. My one reservation about that aspect of the story is that the way the villain is disposed of is a little over the top, but other than that, The Duke of Dark Desires is a terrific read, and one I recommend most highly.

  • Bj
    2019-03-19 04:47

    *I gave this audiobook an A- for the story and B for the narration at AudioGals*The Duke of Dark Desires proved to be a delightful mix of a historical romance (poised among the backdrop and life-changing consequences of the French Revolution) and an intriguing romantic suspense title. Do not be fooled by blurb though, there is so much more to this addicting romance than just the duke and the nanny seduction story that is immediately apparent from the book’s description. Moreover, Shaun Grindell’s adept narration of this romantic tale makes it an all-around good choice for an audiobook selection.See the full review at AudioGals.

  • Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
    2019-03-15 04:44

    Oh I love a good Governess story. This might actually be only my second one that I have read in my lifetime and I am oh so glad that I did.Jane Grey is really Lady Jeanne de Falleron, a woman who is out for revenge after witnessing the fall and death of her family, including her little sisters. She finds herself at Fortescue home posing as a governess because she remembers that it was a member of that family that has betrayed her family and sent them to their deaths.Julian inherited dukedom because everyone else in the family seemed to have met some sort of misfortune, leaving him a sole male heir that the rest of the family does not approve of. He must take care of his half-sisters and doesn't really want anything to do with them, so he looks for the governess to keep them off his hands. The last thing Julian expected was for Jane Grey to be so attractive, and now getting her into his bed seems to be one of his top priorities, unknown to him the real reason the woman has tricked her way into his home.The characters in this story were so much fun. I like Jane and I liked Julian's sisters, as well as her interactions with them and how she bought them out of their shells and dealt with their behaviors. I loved Jane's spirit, despite being one of the few de Falleron's left. Thought she had some obstacles in the way, especially in a male form, she continuously kept her mind wrapped around her mission and the revenge she was seeking. I also love how she tried so hard to get Julian to get along with his sisters, who at first he wanted nothing to do with.Julian was an interesting character as well, a little brooding, had no interest in his sisters. It was nice to see his character open up thanks to Jane. Their interaction was fun and the chemistry was sizzling and clear between these two. It was almost heart-warming watching him slowly warm up to his sisters, who admired him so much.The plot line was fun and entertaining. I found myself completely hooked and wanted to know what was going on, how was Julian involved in Jane's families death, what does he know about it and did he really do it? It kept me on the edge of my seat and the twist in the end was a bit surprising, did not see it coming. Thought I am not sure how I feel about it completely, I did like it! I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

  • Alyssa
    2019-02-24 05:41

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda NevilleBook Four of The Wild Quartet seriesPublisher: AvonPublication Date: December 30, 2014Rating: 4 starsSource: eARC from Edelweiss***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***Summary (from Goodreads):Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . . Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation . . . Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn't seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke's relatives is responsible for the death of her family—and take her revenge. She certainly can't afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her. But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she's faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she's sworn to kill?What I Liked:Well, this book wasn't quite what I expected. It was so much more than whatever I thought it would be. I love lord/governess stories (though I feel like there aren't many), so I couldn't wait to dig into this romance. As many of you know, I didn't really like The Ruin of a Rogue (book two of this series). This one (book four) caught my attention because of the lord/governess thing. But there was so much more to this book!Jane Grey isn't a governess - she is a French aristocrat, fallen from grace. Everyone believes that she and her family are dead, murdered nine years ago when an English lord betrayed them, stole expensive paintings from them, and left them to hang. She has known for years that a Mr. Fortescue was behind it all... potentially the same Duke of Denford, Julian Fortescue, her new employer. Jane has every intention of getting her revenge, but she doesn't expect to fall in love with the man...Ahhh, this book was so complex! It's not just a romance novel. There is so much scheming and betrayal and even politics in this book, it's fabulous. I didn't like a lot of things about The Ruin of a Rogue, but I'm glad I wasn't deterred by that novel. The complexity and depth of this novel was fascinating!Jane is the model of a perfect governess. She schools Julian's three half-sisters into proper ladies, all while keeping up pretenses that she is an Englishwoman from St. Lucia, with an excellent reference and a mysterious past. I really like Jane! She is direct and forward and proper and ladylike. She has no problem telling Julian exactly how she thinks things should be done, but it's not done in a stuffy or bossy or annoying way.I like Julian a lot. That man is sinful, but he is also sweet and kindhearted. At first, it seems like he's kind of a meanie, because he doesn't want to take in his three half-sisters as his mother and her latest husband gallivant across the globe. Honestly, I feel for him, and understand. But he slowly begins to really like his sisters. I love seeing this progression. I also love seeing him fall for Miss Grey.The romance is fabulously slow-burn. It's all sorts of wrong, for the duke and his governess to be doing anything improper, but Julian knows no boundaries, and Jane has no honor to lose. She wants to kill him, anyway, but she also wants to kiss him. Tough decision...I thought I would be constantly annoyed by Julian's younger half-sisters, but I really liked them! The oldest is fifteen, the youngest is... seven? Nine? Somewhere around there. The author does a really great job of making sure that readers really like the girls, in addition to Julian and Jane.I won't go too deep into Jane's past and the huge conflict that made her go after the Fortescue family and how everything comes down to her and Julian. But trust me, it gets twisted. And intriguing! I really liked how much bigger it was than Jane's family and Julian's family. There was a country involved, in a time of war. You really have to read the book to know what I mean! Overall, I really enjoyed this book! The characters were really likable, the chemistry was sizzling, and the mystery/story was captivating. What I Did Not Like:The cover. Haha. Not that the author can do anything about that. But anyway - I wanted one or two scenes more between Julian and Jane... Would I Recommend It:I really liked this historical romance novel, so yes! It's not the most amazing historical romance novel of the year, but I am so glad that I didn't miss this one (especially after how I felt about The Ruin of a Rogue).Rating:4 stars. I haven't read books one or three of the series, but I'm glad I read two of the four books! This last book is probably the best (in my opinion).

  • Haselbrox
    2019-03-05 00:04

    This is my first full length Neville (reading out of order) - I finished novella The Second Seduction of a Lady last night, and it was ok - although there was A Big Misunderstanding that kept the MCs apart for 5 years, not my favorite trope. I was really excited to start The Duke. The description sounded like something I could really sink my teeth into - a wronged lady seeks vengeance for her dead family! Should have been awesome - I was hoping for a Shana Galen or Joanna Bourne type story, but came away bummed out by the weak characters and storyline. The male MC, the Duke, put me off right at the start by being a nasty sleazeball, and I never really came around to liking him - although he did less overtly awful shit as the book progressed, he also didn't really do anything nice for the female MC, Jane. Posing as the governess for the Duke's sister, he coerces her into making out with him in exchange for behaving nicely to his sisters. I honestly just didn't understand what was attractive about him. He was SUCH AN ASSHOLE. On the other hand, Jane's character actually got weaker (loss of confidence, loss of self-worth, increased self-doubt and self-hatred, etc) as the story went on, and he didn't really do anything to shore her up. I'll be reading Lady Windemere next, having purchased it in a fit of optimism. Maybe I will like it better?

  • Sammy Loves Books
    2019-03-16 03:04

    Julian Fortescue

  • Angelc
    2019-03-11 02:55

    4.5 Stars This was a very enjoyable historical romance. The plot and time period were just different enough to stand out from the pack of historical romances. A lot of times with romances, I find the 'mystery' plots so forced and over the top. However, in this book, I genuinely cared about just who was truly responsible for what happened to Jane's family, something that Julian had always blamed himself for. I also was on pins and needles waiting for the moment that Jane and Julian would discover each other's true identities.The cover captures Julian's character especially well. Julian wears all black, he's a bit of a grouch, and wants everyone to think he is horrible, but he isn't the least bit horrible at all. His relationship with his three young sisters proves that he's a caring, tender person.I loved the three girls so much, each of them had a distinct, well-rounded personality, and they were never used for their cute factor. The girls were their own characters, not just children thrown in to move the story along. Family was such an important part of the book, and both Jane and Julian had such great relationships with the three girls. It was wonderful to see their relationships grow.I loved this historical romance, the lead characters were strong yet tender, and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat. This one definitely stands apart from other books in the genre.reviewed for http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.comebook sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  • Zoe
    2019-03-03 05:09

    I think this particular plotline is just not my cup of tea. a governess who was hired on the spot because the hero has decided to sleep with her from the moment he sets eyes on her. out of nowhere the author flings 2 ex- lovers from the heroine, to give her more depth as a character. but I was just unprepared for it. and how is the hero thinking something like: "she is definitely not a virgin" romantic? I mean, is that supposed to be hot???I stopped at 40% and have no intention of going back to finish the book. I hate leaving books unfinished but my free time is limited. I much rather spend it on a good book.

  • October
    2019-03-15 00:45

    The summary makes the book sound a lot more interesting than it actually is. If the plot had a tighter pacing and the characters were more adventurous, it could've been a 4 star read. *Minor spoilers ahead.*The heroine is the only surviving member of her family, her parents and sisters were cruelly guillotined during the French revolution. She believes one of the hero's relatives is responsible for her family's deaths and poses as an English governess for the hero's family to investigate the culprit.Things I liked about the heroine:-She is not a virgin. Granted, she's 27 years old, but that never stopped HR writers from making ~pure~ heroines before, so this is refreshing. She had been with two other men before meeting the hero and I liked that very much. Things I didn't like:-The heroine has a dark past with some heavy baggage. I was expecting a strong woman dealing with survivor's guilt, covert investigations the hero's background and thinking clever schemes to carry out her revenge. All I got instead was a heroine who is far too taken by the hero's "startling sky blue eyes" and his three bland sisters and barely does anything for the majority (75%) of the book. It was actually the hero who sets things right and makes it his duty to avenge her family. And I have to say, he's got a lot more done in the last quarter of the book than the heroine ever did in the rest. I loved the hero. He was very charming and his character growth kept things interesting. He starts as a wastrel with a selfish attitude but he gradually matures throughout the story and is very likeable by the end. One thing I adored about the hero was that he was never showed double standards and wasn't a hypocrite. Take the scene where (view spoiler)[The heroine confesses to him that she was coerced into becoming a mistress for a soldier. She thinks she's not good enough. -- And now you know that I am not as I should be.”“Don’t say that. Never say that.” The self-disgust in her voice twisted his heart. “You are exactly as you should be: clever, kind, witty, and beautiful. Even had you not surrendered your virginity by force, it wouldn’t matter to me. It would be deeply hypocritical for me, or for most men, to condemn your so-called lack of virtue.”(hide spoiler)]And he stays true to his character throughout the story. It's fantastic to see a hero who isn't an insecure dickhead to the heroine for her past relationships. There's also none of that horrible MINE. MINE. MINE jealous/ possessive love that I absolutely detest. You’re very beautiful today, Jane. You always are, but it’s a pleasure to see you in such fine gowns as you wore last night, and now. I don’t miss your governess attire.”She countered the caress of his voice with a remark perversely designed to wound. “Henri liked his mistress to be well dressed. It flattered his importance, you understand.”“It would be unreasonable to be upset because your clothes were the gift of another man. He is the other side of the English Channel and I am here. I would like to give you gowns and much more besides, but not because it flatters my importance.”["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Ilze
    2019-03-25 23:04

    The storyline was quite interesting and had lots of potential, but the story didn't grab me emotionally for some reason. Maybe because the hero Julian left a negative impression on me right from the start - the only reason he hires the heroine as the governess for his half-sisters is to make her his mistress. (He has no real interest in his sisters at first, because his mother basically dumped them at his house so she could go off to America with her latest husband.) And the heroine initially is no great character either - she is quite willing to go along with Julian's plan once she realizes he is attracted to her - her real motive is to find out which of the hero's relatives betrayed her family during the French Revolution so she can take revenge, and the methods she uses to achieve this are not important - basically she is willing to do anything. The characters of the hero and heroine improve as the book progresses, but not enough to completely change the negative initial impressions.

  • Lady Wesley
    2019-03-12 02:40


  • Keri
    2019-03-02 23:06

    3.75 Stars. It took me awhile to warm to Julian and Jane for some reason. Once the story caught me though, it was a really good read.

  • Maya Rodale
    2019-03-26 03:44

    Duke + Governess + Dark Secrets From The Past = Win.

  • Manda Collins
    2019-03-17 03:53

    Satisfying end to The Wild Quartet, with equal parts humor, drama and poignancy. It's one of those books where the romance just feels inevitable. Only Jane could have managed to bring the wicked, worldly Julian to his knees and only he could lift Jane from the darkness that had followed her since the nightmare of the Revolution. I especially enjoyed the comic relief Julian's sisters brought to the story and how despite the way they paralleled Jane's own sisters they were dull characters in and of themselves. The only thing better than seeing Julian and Jane get to HEA was seeing a certain villain get his comeuppance. I'm looking forward to wherever Miranda Neville decides to take us next.

  • LibraryDanielle
    2019-03-17 03:50

    blah blah blah. he wants to bone her she wants to kill him.

  • Late To Romance
    2019-03-23 06:06

    I was pretty bowled over by this book- I picked up a copy for $1 at my local Op Shop. I thought given the cover that I was going to get a frothy, sexy romp (and nothing wrong with that!) but instead I found myself reading a very engaging, heart-rending emotional journey of 2 people whose lives have been overshadowed by tragedy.Set in the aftermath of one of the French Revolutions. The hero Julian had promised to arrange the safe passage of heroine Jeanne and her family. However someone betrayed them and Jeanne’s parents and 2 younger sisters were executed. Julian although personally not to blame, has carried the guilt over his involvement in the tragedy for 12 years. Jeanne escaped at 15 by pretending to be a governess and survived by becoming the mistress of a soldier. She comes to London for revenge and seeks employment as a governess Jane Grey to Julian’s 3 younger sisters. She thinks one of Julian’s family members betrayed her family, but she is not sure who. The reader knows Julian’s involvement in Jane’s tragedy for the very start. As we watch Julian plotting to seduce Jane, and the two falling in love, it is with mounting dread and tension as we know sooner or later Jane is going to find out his involvement. I thought this was very skillfully written. Jane’s growing attachment to the sisters was also really quite lovely but laced with sadness as she is reminded of her own sisters. There was a toughness to the book too which I liked. Julian (now a duke) is more than happy to sleep with the governess, but doesn’t for a minute consider marriage- that would be out of the question for someone of her station. This was the fourth in a series and I wished I had read the earlier books as there were some business with secondary characters that would have meant more I think had I read their stories. The end did seem to wrap things up a bit quickly- but overall- I really did enjoy this and will watch out for more by this author.

  • MelodyMay (What I'm Reading)
    2019-03-03 03:51

    Posted on What I'm ReadingLet me express how much I loved The Duke of Dark Desires. What a fantastic story about one woman's pursuit for vengeance and a man living by his own rules. Oh my goodness, I didn't know what to expected when I started to read this book, other than "Yes, Julian's story." Seriously, an incredible journey. Okay, I better get on with the rest of my thoughts and why I thought this was fantastic. LOVE Julian! He's a marvelous character. I mean he paints himself as this dark, brooding man that people should be afraid to cross paths. However, if they got to know him they would see there is more to him than what he presents. I love that Jane sees right through him, and she even tells him what she thinks of him:"I wouldn't want you to be a saint, merely a halfway decent man. And I believe that you are and always were. You like to pretend to be devilish with your black garments and your long hair and your twisted smile but you don't deceive me. You were never black as you pretend. There is a soft heart underneath that alarming shell."Love that. He truly is a decent guy. However, certain events in his life kind of made him jaded, and who wouldn't after certain things in his life. Jane, where do I begin with her. Amazing character. Ever since her family was murder, she has been on the course to find the culprit and find justice and peace. However, we know that vengeance is never the answer, it just sounds like a great idea at the time. Having a character fueled for vengeance makes Jane an interesting character. Not only does she feeds off that, but she's intelligent and poise. This helps her guide Julian's half-sisters. We can't forget Julian's half-sisters, because they are kind of important to the story. After all if it wasn't for them Julian and Jane would probably have a hard time crossing paths, but I think Jane would have found another way. The dynamics between Julian and Jane are incredible. At first, there interactions feel like one giant cat and mouse game. Each one trying to outwit the other in the game of seduction, of course this intrigues Julian. During this cat and mouse game, they both start to respect one another and slowly enjoy one another's company; eventually it turns into foreplay. Here's the bottom line: LOVED The Duke of Dark Desire, because masterful story. I love how it all starts with one big cat and mouse game that transform into something more. There wasn't one dull moment, and at times had me holding my breath. I did get a knot in my stomach cause I was worry that Julian might seek out being a proper duke for his sister. We can't have that happen. By the end I was shedding those happy tears, because Julian and Jane found happiness amidst the darkness in their lives. Just beautiful and enjoyed every moment. Copy provided by Avon via Edelweiss

  • Farrah
    2019-03-09 23:01

    Started off slow, but turned out to be a lovely read, The Duke of Dark Desires was a great historical romance. Though it didn't engage me fully at first, it gained momentum as it went along and I ended up quite liking it.Jane was a determined heroine, to say the least. After someone betrayed her family and sent them to the guillotine, she was determined to have her revenge. Even if it meant years of tracking down the mysterious Mr. Fortescue. I liked her. I appreciated that she wasn't prone to overdramatics and knew when to let go and move on. I thought she was a great character.Julian, to be honest, came off as a complete ass at first. He earned my dislike in the previous book in the series, when he had to audacity to try to seduce his friend's wife. It didn't get better when, at the beginning, he remembers his actions and feels not a bit of remorse over them. I nearly didn't continue the book because he was getting on my nerves. But, I continued on and I'm glad that I did because he changed over the course of the book, stretching out his concern beyond himself and showing that he could be a kind and sweet man when he wanted to be. By the end, I still didn't absolutely love him, but I liked him fine.The romance was...okay. I didn't quite connect with it, probably because a spent the first chunk of the book annoyed with Julian. However, I thought it was nice how Jane was a positive influence on Julian and encouraged him to better himself. And they definitely had chemistry. So, I thought they were a good couple.The pace was my other big problem with the book. As I mentioned, it started off really slow and I was only vaguely interested for about the first half of the book. In some places, I even started to skim. But, as more secrets and tangles came into light, the plot became much more interesting and the pace picked up. From then on, I was kept interested the rest of the way through. I enjoyed the story and the ending was great.The Duke of Dark Desires was a lovely historical romance. Despite its slow start, it turned out to be a great read. Romance lovers, this is a book you might want to check out.*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  • Isha Coleman
    2019-02-25 22:46

    Jane is a woman of many secrets. Haunted by tragedy, she needs answers. Will the clues she follows lead her to yet another heartbreak? Julian is in over his head. This Duke is drowning in responsibility and lusting after the help does not a good Duke make. Can he rise above his past, to build a better future? Or is he doomed to repeat the sins all over again? Duke of Dark Desires, should be called: Maze of Curve balls. Ms. Neville is a master manipulator with some secrets of her own. Not only does she deliver a sensual dance of love but an intriguing game of cat and mouse as well.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-20 22:51

    I had a couple of problems with this book.The first is the tone. The heroine has had something really, really horrible and dark happen to her in the past that drives her throughout the book. But sometimes this dark thing is an all-consuming force driving her, and other times Jane just seems to forget about it. It gave me whiplash.The second issue is that it is, in essence, a workplace romance. Jane, the heroine, is the employee and has very little power. The duke who has hired her has all the power. The duke connives and manipulates Jane into bed. We know that she has some desire toward him because we see into her head, but she doesn't act like she wants him at ALL and yet he keeps persisting. No does not particularly mean no to him! The book did a good job of wrapping up the mystery that hung over from the last book. It would have been nice if they'd gotten characters from previous books involved earlier and a bit more embedded in the story. (Or, frankly, if they'd kept the bad guy from book #2 alive and had him be the bad guy for the rest of the series.)

  • Kusanagi
    2019-03-15 05:00

    Commencé parce que proposé par kindle et lu des nouvelles de l'auteure dans mes lectures de Noël. Et j'ai été plutôt agreablement suprise.L'histoire ressemble un peu à un des historiques d'Anne Stuart. Une jeune fille qui a tout perdu à la Révolution (y compris sa vertu ). Un duc iun peu par hasard et pas franchement dans les cadres des hautes sphères que du classique.D'autant que les heros ressentent une attirance charnel limite immédiate...à priori je n'attendais pas grand-chose.Mais...Même si l'héroïne a tout perdu déjà la Révolution n'est pas présenté comme un trou noir qui commence en 1789 pour finir à la chute de Napoléon...c'est bien plus spécifiquement 1793 ici et la Terreur qui sont utilisé.Les échanges entre le heros, l'héroïne et les soeurs du héros sont funs.Et j'aime bien l'héroïne qui reussit le tour de force d'assumer ses désirs sans perdre son but (jusqu'à quasiment la fin ) ce qui ajoute bien le côté "enquête" de l'histoire.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-07 00:53

    The Duke of Dark Desires had the potential to be really bad, okay, or amazing. It was quite wonderful, in my opinion. I do realize that most books have that same potential, but for me, books with such deception in identity, betrayal, and a plot centered on revenge, often fall flat. Either the romance doesn't work, or overshadows the entire plot. If you're going to give me the promise of forbidden romance and a protagonist's desire for revenge and all the complications and angst that inherently comes with it, I want EPIC. Miranda Neville won me over from near the beginning. All the elements I've mentioned were perfectly executed. I should also note that I began The Wild Quartet series with this book, and did not have a problem with not having read the previous three. Having said that, I'm now desperate to read them!The Duke of Dark Desires is book that is mysterious, intriguing, beautifully written, snd sensual. I highly recommend it!

  • Katharina
    2019-03-15 01:40

    Mhm, I guess it was an okay read?! I honestly don´t have any feelings about this one, left me completely untouched. The writing was not bad but somehow the whole storyline failed to engage me. I kept on reading in hope that it would get, well not better, but maybe more exiting? All the problems were resolved so effortlessly, the obstacles were cleared out quite fast and boooring, that summs it up.

  • Gail
    2019-03-19 02:06

    Good read. The hero is a new duke with a dark secret. The heroine is the last surviving member of her aristocratic French family and is determined to get revenge on the man who betrayed her family and got them all guillotined. The dark secret is revealed to the reader early on, except that the entire truth doesn't come out. It's a lovely romance, a nicely handled mystery and a lovely story. I liked it a lot.

  • Donna
    2019-03-27 06:01

    Miranda Neville saved the best for last. I have enjoyed this entire series and Julian has always been my favorite character. I wanted his story to answer all of the questions about him from the earlier books. It did and more! I couldn't put this book down. I do not write plot spoilers but I believe you will enjoy this book very much.

  • Shiv
    2019-03-13 04:53

    Oh dearie me, this was dire. Info dump exposition, no characterisation. Over the top plot, and both characters too stupid to plot their way out of a wet paper bag.And the grasp of the historical period was very very poor.

  • Johanna
    2019-03-10 21:55

    This book has some definite pluses including a heroine that is not a virginal ingenue. But the plot kind of fizzled 2/3 way through.

  • Kate Crowe
    2019-03-05 02:56

    It was okay. Duke, governess, mystery. All good in theory, but *meh* in practice. The author told us how they felt instead of showing it, and as a result I didn't feel it.

  • Malin
    2019-03-09 05:48

    No one ever expected Julian Fortescue to end up becoming a Duke, least of all himself. But after a series of tragic accidents, illnesses and old age kills off most of his male relatives, Julian finds himself as Duke of Denford. As this book begins, he is also actually a wealthy man, having come to a settlement with all of his relatives that means he has the money to support himself in style. This doesn't escape the notice of his dear mother, who promtly arrives on the doorstep of his rather bare and understaffed town house with his three younger half-sisters in tow. Julian never got along with his mother's second husband (who was very religious and liked to beat his step-son), and so has barely had any contact with his mother or younger sisters. Now his mother has married an American sea captain, and emotionally blackmails Julian into accepting guardianship of the three girls.Julian has absolutely no idea what to do with three young ladies. He's not exactly a great role model to them, with a history of womanising, gambling and drinking. While he may have become a Duke, he's not given up his former trade of art dealing, to the disapproval of much of the ton. He tries to get his neighbour's wife, Lady Windermere, to help him hire a governess, but she just laughs at him. So when the mysterious, but very sensual Miss Jane Grey shows up on his doorstep, wanting the position, and Julian instantly falls in lust with her, he hires her on the spot, figuring that she can tutor the girls by day, and warm his bed by night.Jane Grey is in England for revenge, however. She is in reality Jeanne-Louise de Falleron, only survivor of the Falleron family, who were arrested and executed during the Revolution. She knows that a man named Fortescue was supposed to help her father obtain the correct papers to allow the family safe passage out of Paris, in return for a share in the family's priceless artworks. Instead the family were betrayed. Jeanne only survived because she had the papers for the family's governess, the actual Jane Grey and one of the soldiers arresting the Fallerons saw an opportunity to get a grateful mistress out of the bargain. Having been Jane for so long, doing whatever she needs to survive, Jeanne is a far cry from the innocent, pampered French girl she once was. Her thoughts of revenge are what has kept her going. She knows that Denford is the head of the Fortescue clan and figures that being in his household will be the best way to tracking down the man who betrayed her family, so she can kill him.No longer a sheltered society virgin, Jane is used to men's desire and finds Denford as attractive as he does her. Sleeping with him will only complicate things, so Jane refuses to give in to his attempts at seduction, for a period at least. Of course she grows more attached to the girls she teaches with every day, remembering the younger sisters that she lost. She also spends every evening in companionable conversation with Julian in his library, under the guise of reporting on her work with his sisters. As the weeks pass, she no longer wishes to resist him.In her spare time, she tries to investigate the various members of the Fortescue family who may have been in France during the Revolution, and tires to ignore her fears that the man she's falling for, may in fact be the man she has sworn to kill.The fourth and final book in Miranda Neville's Wild Quartet series is the one I've really been looking forward to, because the hero has been such a fun supporting character in the previous books in the series. Throughout the series, Julian's dark past and clear remorse about something that happened in Paris years ago has been hinted at, and it's been mentioned in more than one book that he is in possession of the Falleron collection. So to those readers, it's no surprise at all that Julian is the Mr. Fortescue that Jane/Jeanne is looking for. Of course, it's not exactly kept secret for new readers for long either.Julian keeps his black hair long, despite the fashion for short hair in gentlemen. He wears unrelieved black and carries a silver-topped cane. He adores being seen as sinister, a bit cruel and uncompromising, and quite happily tried to steal his former best friend's wife away. Yet he's unable to turn his young sisters away and wants them to have the best care possible. He was young and a bit too naive when he was in France all those years ago, and he knows his carelessness was in part responsible for the Falleron family being arrested. He forced himself to watch the daughters being executed, and has never forgotten his complicity. He's not let it stop him from living his life, however. He plans to bring the Falleron collection from Belgium, where he has kept it safely hidden for years and use it to possibly win the favour of the Prince Regent himself. He's a known rake and because he has always been one of the black sheep of the Fortescue family, he feels no particular responsibility to take care of his many relations or take up the mantle of duty that comes with being a Duke.Jane was promised to a French Duke before the Revolution and was raised in an aristocratic environment, aware both of the privileges and the duties of the nobility. She's shocked at how lightly Julian seems to take his title and how little he seems affected by the importance of his position. As she gets to know him better, she comes to understand that that coincidence, blind luck and the laws of primogeniture all led to him becoming a Duke and having had to struggle to support himself for most of his life, without much if any support from his many distant relations, he feels no particular fondness for any of them, and doesn't quite see why he has to care for them just because he happens to be the nominal head of the family. It would obviously be inappropriate for a governess to lecture her employer, but Jane nonetheless tries to make Julian see that his position in now one where he cannot entirely act solely as he wishes, and that his actions have weight and consequence in a way they didn't when he was one of many mere Mr. Fortescues.While the relationship between the Duke of Denford and Miss Jane Grey could have been an uncomfortable one, considering that he is her employer, and has so much power over her. Yet because Julian is pretty up front about his desires and wishes from the start, and Jane is no innocent and frankly acknowledges the sexual attraction between them almost as quickly. Julian is very clear that he doesn't want anyone unwilling in his bed, and while he places Jane in the bedroom next to his, he also makes sure to give her the key to the adjoining door, so she will feel safe (and also because he realises how tempting having the key to his bedroom may be for her). It's quite clear to Julian that Jane is not who she pretends to be, and that there is something in her past she wishes to keep hidden. She claims to have worked as a governess for the governor of St. Lucia, but she speaks French like a pre-Revolutionary aristocrat, and their nightly conversations proves that she is far too knowledgeable in certain areas to be a common-born servant.Jane fights her attraction because she knows she and Julian have no future. Her mission is to find one of his relatives, murder him and then try to flee to the Colonies, where she will hopefully be safe from prosecution. Even if she wasn't set on revenge on the shadowy Mr. Fortescue, Julian is a Duke and she is a morally compromised nobody, no matter how grand her family once was. Having submitted herself first to the soldier who saved her from the guillotine and later been the mistress of a rich merchant, she no longer has the exclusive pedigree required of a potential Duchess. Julian, used as he is at ignoring social conventions begins to consider Jane a suitable wife long before he discovers her real identity. He clearly has no problems with the idea of marrying his governess/mistress. She's excellent with his sisters and she makes him feel better, in and out of bed. There is a lot more to this romance that I'm not adequately able to get across. Elyse over on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books does a much better job. It was her enthusiastic reviews of this book and Lady Windermere's Lover that make me pick up this series in the first place. While I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about the other three books, I'm glad I read them to get the background and history required to really enjoy this one. I shall keep a lookout for new books by Miranda Neville in the future.

  • Katinka (Unquietly Me)
    2019-03-11 04:46

    "The Duke of Dark Desires" is the fourth and final book in the Wild Quartet series by Miranda Neville. I read all four books back to back because they were that good. Miranda Neville's prose is effective, creative, and witty, and I love the way she uses subtext to convey complex emotions. Her Wild Quartet characters are well-drawn, unconventional, and conflicted. The sex scenes and lovemaking are both tender and erotic; in some scenes her characters get to play out their most erotic fantasies. Briefly, the series centers on four friends who were expelled from Eton and were known as being a wild set. They are not however typical "rakes" (except possibly for Robert Townsend, their ringleader) but are flawed men, whose weaknesses, mistakes, reckless and irresponsible behavior in their youth damaged their relationships and friendships and ostracized them from "Society."The first novel in the series "The Importance of Being Wicked" tells the story of Robert's widow Caro, while the sequels tell the stories of the remaining three men of the "wild quartet." Each of Robert's "survivors" undergo character transformations and question their values. They learn that love is not selfish, to make sacrifices for the ones they love, and to believe in their inherent goodness.I would give the entire series 5 Stars, though I rated the third book "Lady Windermere's Lover" 4, because the hero Darius had a lot to make up for, while the heroine Cynthia had to go through a complete makeover in order for Darius to notice and appreciate her. In contrast, the hero Thomas in "The Importance of Being Wicked" loved everything about Caro, even though he didn't approve of her friends and her parties. She didn't have to change so much in order for him to love her. What I liked most about the second book in the series "The Ruin of a Rogue" was the emotional depth and complexity of the hero Marcus and the great passion Marcus and Anne share. One of my favorite passages in the entire series occurs in the scene (view spoiler)[ in which Marcus's father dies:Marcus knelt beside his father and looked at that handsome face for the last time. All he could think of was that he was glad he didn't resemble his sire in looks, had taken after his mother. He was glad that this time he could see the body, be certain that Lewis would never rise again. He was glad that his father was dead. He was also glad he hadn't had to kill him himself.He felt a gentle touch on his shoulder. Anne knelt beside him, put her arms around him. He buried his head in her shoulder. (hide spoiler)]It was also lots of fun to see how Anne and Marcus's courtship played out and how they tried to outplay each other.Finally, Julian Fortesque, "The Duke of Dark Desires," is a man to die for (almost literally as it turns out). The way he is described from Thomas's point-of-view in "The Importance of Being Wicked" is so delicious:A tall figure stood in the doorway wearing a sneer that confirmed Thomas's impression of the arrival's voice. Arrogant and immoral. And though he didn't recognize him, he was oddly familiar. With his lithe body clad entirely in black to match ebony hair worn long and tied back in a queue, he looked outlandish, dangerous even, and quite unlike the sort of people Thomas encountered in rural Hampshire or the respectable confines of Nerot's Hotel. Where had he seen this man, with his prominent nose and blazing blue eyes, so incongruous in his tanned face? If he'd spoken with even a hint of a brogue, Thomas would have guessed him an Irishman, but his accents were quite English.This description of Julian's first appearance in the series is as good as Georgette Heyer's description of the Duke of Avon in the opening paragraph of "These Old Shades" and Jo Beverley's description of Lord Cynric Malloren in the opening paragraph of "My Lady Notorious" (both Georgian novels).Incongruous is an apt description, because Julian is a both cynical and beautiful man. When one of his sisters asks him why he never came to visit them, his reply is curt and his reaction shows the reader his vulnerability."I was busy," he said shortly, having no intention of going into the cruelty inflicted on him by a stepfather who resented any attention paid him by his beautiful mother and made it very clear he wasn't welcome in their home, with their new family. He'd locked the door on that part of his life, and Osbourne's death meant he could throw away the key. Withdrawing from the group, he stared out of the window with his back to the room. He emptied his mind, taking himself out of the company, even that of the delectable Miss Grey. The early spring garden in the middle of Hanover Square, a prosaic collection of trees and shrubs bearing their first leaves like a misty green veil, held no interest for him, and he let his mind drift to the limpid skies of the Italian Renaissance. No wonder England rarely produced decent artists. They might have the skill but they lacked the inspiration.The "delectable Miss Grey" is Julian's love interest. I love the way she both acknowledges his beauty and resists his advances: "When he came through the door she rose and curtseyed, keeping her eyes low so they wouldn't be seduced by his dark magnificence."(I love that phrase: "his dark magnificence.")And I love Jane's cheekiness:He let his gaze burn into hers, knowing full well the devastation his Irish eyes could wreak.Cynthia had always become adorably flustered when he exerted his wiles. Jane Grey was made of sterner stuff. She returned his stare gravely, tilting her head as though he were an interesting botanical specimen, then her lips curved into a smile."That's very good, Your Grace." Her intriguing, slightly foreign voice carried a note of amusement. "Do you find those blue eyes knock the ladies over like kittle-pins?""Sometimes. You remain distressingly upright."Made me laugh! And smile :)There is so much to say about Jane's inner strength. The author captured her character and Julian's great respect and admiration for her in a way that also expressed his intelligence:He stood in the doorway and watched for a while, trying to define what it was about her he found so fascinating. His reaction was akin to what he felt when he saw a great picture, an instant recognition of extraordinary quality. But while he'd often experienced that frisson in the presence of a painted masterpiece, he couldn't remember ever having such a feeling about a woman.5 Stars to the magnificent "The Duke of Dark Desires." It's a keeper and one I'll certainly reread.