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Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan, is determined to be the antitheses of his depraved father, repressing his desires so severely he is dubbed "the Monk" by Society. But when Olivia Weston turns up demanding payment for gowns ordered by his former mistress, Rhys is totally flummoxed and inexplicably smitten. He pays her just to remove her from his house, and mind. But logic be dRhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan, is determined to be the antitheses of his depraved father, repressing his desires so severely he is dubbed "the Monk" by Society. But when Olivia Weston turns up demanding payment for gowns ordered by his former mistress, Rhys is totally flummoxed and inexplicably smitten. He pays her just to remove her from his house, and mind. But logic be damned; he must have this fiercely independent woman.Olivia's greatest fear is becoming a kept woman. She has escaped the role of mistress once and vows never to be owned by any man. Rather than make money in the boudoir, she chooses to clothe the women who do. But when a fire nearly kills her friend and business partner, Olivia's world goes up in smoke and she is forced to barter with the lofty duke.As their lives weave together, Olivia unravels the man underneath the Monk, while Rhys desires to expose the lady hiding behind the dressmaker. Will his raw passion fan a long-buried ember of hope within her? Can this mismatched pair be the perfect fit?...

Title : The Dressmaker's Duke
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781628304763
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 373 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Dressmaker's Duke Reviews

  • Melinda
    2019-04-17 06:33

    A wonderful story filled with passion, undeniable chemistry and love between an unlikely pair – a Duke and a dressmaker. Both suffer from painful stormy pasts, cracks yet mended as the two headstrong, independent souls attempt to avoid a collision of their hearts.The attraction between the two protagonists is evident from the start, it slowly builds momentum as they both resist and deny their muted attraction. As the story unravels the reader learns of their tumultuous pasts, both suffering in unknowingly similar ways causing the plot to increase in drama and suspense. Twists and turns fuel the passion as you frantically turn the page to discover the ending.The plot thickens three quarters of the way through the story as these two reach an impasse of sorts regarding their feelings and attraction towards one another. It’s always exciting when two strong individuals relinquish their power to fate and each other.Detailed characterization weaves an intricacy to a romantic storyline swiftly building a enthralling theatrical narrative. Romance lovers will appreciate Russell’s deft writing and wily effort.

  • Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
    2019-04-24 23:22

    It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel because Ms Russell weaves such a compelling and intensely emotional story with complex and flawed characters that I really cared about.Rhys is such a fascinating hero and I like how Ms Russell gradually develops his character allowing us to see the lonely, insecure man beneath the mask of sobriety and aloofness…a man who has forgotten what happiness is.Happiness? He was not even sure what it was anymore. The feeling had eroded to almost nothing. A vague shadow lurking at the edges of his heart.The cruelty and terrible humiliations Rhys endured at the hands of his depraved father, shown in flashbacks, were so heart-breaking but revealed just how much they had forged him into the introverted man he became. I felt so much revulsion for Rhys’s father who should have loved and nurtured his son.I love how during the story we discover unexpected things about Rhys – his lovely, deep, resonant bass singing voice and his passion for making automatons. They somehow emphasise his vulnerability.Forced to flee the traumatic events of her past, Olivia knows there are few options for someone who is seen as “ruined” in the eyes of society. I admire her tenacity in using her talents as a dressmaker to clothe men’s mistresses rather than becoming one herself. Although she is strong, determined and independent, there is a moment of vulnerability in which she describes her secret yearnings and her words touched my heart. Her love of painting was an extra facet to her character and it plays quite a significant role later in the story.There are some delightful touches of humour which helped relieve the dark and intense mood of the story. My favourite is Olivia’s imaginary harassment of Mrs Battersby (Rhys’s former mistress) which conjured up such a comical picture.Take that! Creating a mental series of feints and parries, Olivia had the woman huffing and puffing in no time.Slice— one sleeve gaped. Slash— the other soon followed. Now the poor lady’s bodice lay gaping, her bosom a tad less buoyant now.Ms Russell took me on an engrossing and emotional roller-coaster of a journey before Rhys and Olivia finally attain their hard-earned Happy Ever After. Here are a few of my favourite moments from that journey.He wanted to be more than a bloody title. He wanted to be more than a rutting beast. This woman made him want more but he didn’t know how… how to make her see… To see him. To see him as… Rhys.They had danced. They had waltzed to Vivaldi. He had held her within his arms and, heaven help her, it had been magic.They did not speak. They only loved. Simply touching and learning each other. Words were too harmful and too much a source of misunderstanding. Words were for later. Much later. Now there was only love.Then she saw a slight miracle. He smiled. It was by no means a full-fledged smile, but as he gazed intently up into the clouds, his lips curved and his eyes crinkled.I loved the secondary characters, especially Olivia’s dearest friend and her rock, Eglantine (Egg) and Rhys’s Uncle Bertram who has always had his nephew’s best interests at heart.It’s not difficult to guess the identity of the villain who has Olivia in his sights but he does provide a heart-stopping climax when both Rhys and Olivia’s lives hang in the balance.Ms Russell more than fulfilled my longing for a heart-melting Epilogue with these beautiful words…Tiny fingers, soft as new-churned butter, gripped his own with surprising strength. Could there be anything more perfectly beautiful in this amazing world? Could God be so generous? Then his wife— his Olivia— looked up at him, closed her hand over theirs, and smiled. Yes, by heavens, the answer was a resounding yes.My Verdict: If you enjoy a well-written, compelling story with fascinating characters and plenty of angst, I can definitely recommend this book.REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS**I received copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. **

  • Collette Cameron
    2019-04-10 02:38

    I couldn't read this fabulous book fast enough! Rhys and Olivia's romance was one romping good romance, and I adored them from the beginning. Ms. Russell's vivid descriptions and beautifully woven plot carried me along page after page. As an avid fan of historical romances, the attention to historical detail in THE DRESSMAKER'S DUKE cannot be praised enough. I eagerly look forward to more stories from this gifted author! I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review.

  • Barbee
    2019-04-09 00:45

    This book a major page turner that I could not put down from cover to cover lost some sleep but was so worth it! Bravo Jess Russell for this is her debut book but she writes as if she had been an established author for decades! I would give a bazillion stars if allowed. I absolutely loved this beautifully written, fast paced regency. I am looking forward to more books by this wonderful New York City author. The Dressmaker's Duke by Jess Russell5/5 starsReviewed by Barb Batlan-MassabrookSetting: End of March, 1810, London, England Heroe of this story is the handsome but all aloof Rhys Alistair James Merrick, The Duke of Roydan who has many insecurities for loosing his mother at age eight, a woman who had showered him with love and then being brought up by an above his cold selfish mean evil, the former Duke of Roydan, hisfather. His allofness is really a shyness and insecurities and he never wants to grow up like his cruel father who was always whoring and mistreating others. So the ton and the papers have decided to make fun of him as in character drawings as 'the Monk. He did have selfish vain mistress he recently ended and that is how he meets up with the dressmaker as Daria Battersby former mistress of five years ordered five more gowns and other female flipperies as he calls them, but his association had already ended, but Olivia demands payment. He agrees only if she she will model and walk with them on! As some parts are hilarious for example comparing her walk to just looking at lines of a fine horse without seeing it run he might be purchasing. I love when humor pokes it's head from such serious lonely type of character made it that much more fun to read. The reader will find that Rhys is actually a very complicated, lonely human being whom you can't help but feel empathy, and fall in love with. Who wouldn't want to heal this handsome abused Duke's wounds. He can tell those who only befriend him for his title and then there is Olive only a dressmaker that does not care a bit about his title and refuses his over generous offer to be a contracted mistress though he is honest stating he is to be married soon. It is only to save his mother's favorite estate and lands which you will have to read the reasons and why as this would be a major spoiler which I don't want to do so the readers will enjoy even more. Let's just say this marriage is just your usual ton arranged marriage where each party us unsuitable and even desire the marriage. Just seems it's the family relations that are definitely pulling for this marriage especially the harpy mother-law to be who is a definite piece of work!The heroine of this book widower Mrs.Olivia Jane Weston some would lower class is an independent young woman determined to make it on her own and not be some man's property or else have no choice but to make money on their back in the oldest profession as a prostitute. This is not even option for this straight laced young beautiful young dress designer, seamstress and secret painter.Olivia has had such a tragic life, loosing a parent at such a young age and as she had been married to a young soldier who dies unexpectedly in an unusual accident during his military training. Olivia is widowed at the young age 25 and at the same time lost a baby due to premature birth. Afterward she was told she could no longer have any more children and was now barren. Olivia knows the choices are very slim for a woman without a protector it's either prostitution or go into to trade, she chose the later. As she is an extremely talented dress designer and seamstress, but new to town as she hasn't been in London in thirteen years for reasons she keeps to herself. She befriends the older nurse caring for her and also a widower Mrs. Eggatine Wiggins she call Egg affectionately. When Olivia lost her baby Egg become a mother figure in her life as well as her best friend and decided to go into the dressmaking business together. The business is hurting after spending so much money and time on the former mistress's garments! Olivia and Egg are near starving and need help as her business partner and as Egg is very sick and the Duke has dumped her best customer his mistress Daria who owes her for five gowns and other smaller garments she had made and assumed would pay for and spent a fortune on! Sometimes slipping meals just to pay for the garments materials!Of course the greety and vengeful ex-mistress claimed he would pay and thinks they will get back together. In Olivia's defense how would she know that arrangement had ended and demanded payment! Rhys pays her after realizing it was the attractive woman he had met earlier an oddity pawn shop and helped her not get robbed from the owner who had been Lording him up and down and ignoring nobody Olivia. After all only the titled seem to count to this owners eyes, but to Rhys Duke of Roydan felt the stirrings of something he did not know what, bit wanted to further examine about the mysterious Mrs. Olivia Weston. Once his usual empty feeling returned he would leave it at that and move on.Then due to Rhys instant attraction to this mere tradeswoman either to find out she is nothing special ask for the gowns he had paid for back which sets Olivia in a panic as the ex-mistress Daria Battersby has them and Olivia has nearly spent all the funds! So Rhys tells her she must compensate in some other way! The rest you the reader will have to read this exceptional book and expect to be dazzled. The attraction and chemistry between these two is instant as you can feel it as well as their past heartaches, hardships, and secrets. They are both two good people trying to make the right choices yet aren't exactly honest and forthcoming plus their are villains in the midst besides a spiteful ex mistress determined to get him back and ruin Olivia! The sad part besides Both the couple hardships and abuse in the past is Rhys has only loved his mother and not sure what's love even is so it was wonderful to watch his heart starts to open and how these two finally resolve their differences and secrets and mistrust and find love.It has every element you want in a beautifully written historical regency romance: suspense, drama, humor, revenge, mystery, betrayal, unrequited love, and of course love. Plus riveting scenes and adventure with so many twist and turns the reader is never sure what is going to happen next, I always love that is an exceptional book! I also loved the secondary character like Rhys Uncle Bertram and Olivia's friends Jeb and Hazel. Just have a hankie or box of Lenox nearby as some scenes are a wee bit emotional, again that tells me I am reading a very special and powerful book to get that kind of emotions out of me.All in all this was a spectacular book I enjoyed immensely! I can't praise "The Dressmakers Duke enough it is the rare book that will touch your heart and steal your soul. Absolutely loved it!

  • Anne in VA
    2019-04-11 03:31

    Just barely 3 stars. And only because the beginning was good. I slowly started to become disappointed with the book after the 50% mark.The build up was a bit slow, but I'm ok with that if there's a payoff. And here's my BIGGEST gripe about this book that pretty much sunk it for me: Very little of the book had main characters together and interacting. When I got to the halfway point, I kept thinking 'now is when they'll really talk', 'now is when he'll open up to her', 'now is when they'll spend time together'. But that never happened! There were some lukewarm romance scenes where they barely even spoke to each and that was about it.Also, the way this author writes, with scenes oddly spaced apart by days or weeks, was a little hard to follow at times.I'm just really disappointed with this one. No, not just disappointed, I'm angry. Angry because this had real potential and just kind of flopped. I really thought I had discovered a new favorite author and at the end, I realized it just wasn't gonna happen.

  • Lovetoread
    2019-04-14 01:17

    I absolutely loved reading The Dressmaker's Duke. What a wonderful romance story about two damaged individuals who find each other and fall in love.This is a story of Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan. A man so determined to be everything his depraved self serving father was not by repressing his desires so severely he is dubbed ""the Monk"" by Society. But when Olivia Weston turns up demanding payment for an ex mistress gowns Rhys is totally flummoxed and inexplicably smitten. He pays her to remove her from his house, and mind. But logic be damned, he must have this fiercely independent woman. I highly recommend this book, passion level I would put at a 7, not so graphic but plenty of lovely passion. I hope we see more books by this author.

  • Diane K. Peterson
    2019-04-25 07:17

    Loved this book! Rarely have I seen a debut book so well written. I loved both the hero and the heroine as they struggled together to overcome each of their pasts. I am a sucker for a tortured hero and this one just fit the bill. Jess Russell is off to a fabulous start and I cannot wait to read more from her. It was an extremely fast read for me -- always a very good sign. I highly recommend this one to Regency readers!

  • Donna
    2019-03-28 01:33

    I bought this book last winter on my kindle and forgot about it until a FB group had a review which reminded me of it. It is an amazing first book! I could not put it down. It's a romance with wonderful depth to the characters. The hero and heroine have flaws, but as you read you learn about their lives and it all makes sense. It has some sex scenes but they are not graphic. I don't write plot spoilers but if you miss this book you are missing a good one. I can't wait for more by Jess Russell!

  • Mary Bass
    2019-04-21 03:18

    I loved love loved loved the smart, sexy, slightly prickly hero and the lovely, capable heroine of THE DRESSMAKER'S DUKE. And I loved the descriptions of the dresses, especially the one with the very vital ribbon. (Read the book to find out what it does!). THE DRESSMAKER'S DUKE is perfect for fans of Elizabeth Hoyt and Amanda Quick. I loved it!

  • Jennifer Taylor
    2019-04-21 00:35

    Strong, yet vulnerable and caring heroine, and appealing hero. Engaging plot, suspenseful and satisfying. A fun read.

  • Margaret Scholler
    2019-03-29 05:40

    Wonderful story with engaging characters and lots of suspense.Steamy and romantic.A must read.

  • Kagama-the Literaturevixen
    2019-04-14 06:39

    This bok didnt just tug on my heartstrings...but it nearly ripped my heart out. That is...figuratively.

  • Ursula
    2019-04-04 02:43

    A very solid 3.5 stars.I can't remember which of my GR friends talked about this book and new author but I was very glad they did!The hero is a somewhat tortured soul who had been horribly treated by his dissipated father and had become repressed and withdrawn emotionally. I found the Duke, Rhys, a bit off-putting at first, until I realised he found it almost impossible to relate to others in a natural, spontaneous way. As a result, he came across as brusque, cold and arrogant. It is only when we read about his sordid experiences as a child that we start to feel compassion and understanding for him.The dressmaker heroine, Olivia, is a great character. She was also horribly treated by her stepmother and struggled to survive after becoming nearly destitute. She happens to be an accomplished artist, too, and perhaps because of this, she is able to see past the cold facade of the Duke to the lonely, vulnerable and insecure little boy behind it.I was very engaged emotionally even though I initially felt disappointment at the manic insta-lust the two felt, but it really was the only way they could communicate their feelings for each other. They seemed unable to talk to one another, weighed down as they were by all their secrets. The relationshipdeveloped along with increasing trust but it took a long, rather dramatic series of events before their HEA.Some of the actions by the villain, and the things he said, were pretty yuk, but evil is vanquished in the end. If you like a bit of drama with a touch of violence in your HR, this could be a book for you. The sex scenes were reasonably plentiful but always involved respect and tenderness along with the passion. I do wonder why parents seem so determined to screw up their kids. Makes for good tortured MCs though :)

  • Patty G.
    2019-04-16 03:19

    In, The Dressmaker’s Duke, Jess Russell weaves a multifaceted tale full of humor mixed with a touch of darkness. The story includes twists and turns that had this reader turning pages. I love a good chase, and the two steps forward, one step back dance of Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan and Olivia Weston, lady-turned-dressmaker, is a scintillating one.Rhys is so beautifully drawn from his OCD-like obsession with clocks to his heartbreaking isolation. His overwhelming passion for Olivia Weston pushes him to confront his fears. And Olivia is the perfect woman to challenge this monkish duke. She is funny, independent and fiercely loyal to those she loves. Ms. Russell’s greatest strength is her depth of characterization. Even the villainous ex-mistress (I must confess, a favorite) is chock full of rich detail.I read a lot of historical romance and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a darker, flawed Hero.I look forward to Ms. Russell’s next book!

  • L.A. Miller
    2019-04-04 06:17

    I loved this book. When a book can grab my attention from the first pages, carry me through till the end and take me for an emotional ride throughout, I find I not only want to reread the book again, but search out other works by this author. The characters were breathed to life, their emotions tugged at your heartstrings, the world they lived in jumped off the pages and the ending left you more than satisfied. Ms. Russell gives you a fine blend of intrigue, romance, sexual tension and relief. There was humor and pain, love and sorrow. What I think I loved best the seamless blending of Rhys, a man of power, wealth and distractingly handsome, with the uncertainties of a scarred youth that entrapped his heart from feeling till Olivia breaks through. Olivia has her own scars but her heart reaches out to Rhys, she risks it all for him. Touching love story and one that can be read over and over again.

  • Jenny Masters
    2019-04-23 23:22

    The Dressmaker's Duke was a FABULOUS read! I was sad to have it end and am looking forward to Jess Russell's next book. I was amazed to learn it was her first novel, as I would've guessed it came from a very seasoned author. The story was intelligently and interestingly told and still had that wonderful sweeping romance about it. Lovely and compelling. I've given it to my sister to read and decided to spread the word by writing a review. Thanks, Jess for treating me to hours of heaven! Really A+

  • Tess Darcy
    2019-04-20 01:45

    Many Regency romances are a bit like candy, you pop one after another in your mouth, consuming but never really tasting. This is a book you'll want to savor. Ms. Russell's characters are rich and multi-layered. No saccharine sweet here, but a well rounded menu which ends, of course, with the dessert of a happy ending! I will be back to dine at Jess Russell's table again and again. Looking forward to the next!

  • Firstpella
    2019-04-21 02:23

    Real talent here, I hope Russell continues to write/genre. There are issues with pace and inserting all in one chapter at the end a bad guy/murderer and storyline that was barely hinted at throughout the story but the intimacy and development of love between the H/h was so well done who cares. Only Stuart, Hoyt, and Ashley could make me cry during love scenes and now adding Russell to that list. You feel the love...takes true writing skill.

  • Laura Altom
    2019-04-02 07:35

    Though I VERY much enjoyed this story, and found the author to be incredibly talented with her historical voice and research, the ending confused me. You'll get a nice, happy wrap-up, but I was befuddled as to what had just happened. Regardless, it's worth a read. Jess Russell is an author to watch! Spoiler Alert: I also REALLY wanted to know if Olivia had a boy or girl?!

  • Helen
    2019-04-23 01:20

    A friend of a friend is a friend. A friend of a friend who likes books is a good friend.A friend of a friend who shares books is a great friend.And a friend of a friend who is also a regency writer, is a friend-in-waiting!?Recently, I discovered a new award winning author Jess Russell - and I am delighted to comment on her debut Regency romance novel The Dressmaker's Duke. Jess Russell has created a fascinating historical romance novel full of London high society, fashion, courtesans, village life, with complex characters. There are also interesting embedded stories which provide depth that include passion for painting, fashion and dressmaking (the author is also an accomplished seamstress!), the use of all our senses so accurately described which contribute to the story. This is not your standard debut novel. It is a well written and crafted combination of historical detail and rollicking romance. It showcases everyday life, primarily of the English aristocracy but has also some steamy intimate details characteristic of the new regency historical novel (now I understand there are even more regency categories: traditional, regency historical, sensual, paranormal (including Victorian steam punk) and Christian regency romance). This is well researched; you will find many familiar people and locations (Jackson's, Mr Crup's, Mrs Radcliffe's novels, Mrs Siddons). CharactersMr Rhys Alistair James Merrick, 6th Duke of Royden aka The MonkMrs Olivia Weston (née Olivia Jayne Ballard, father Earl of Stokesly, Mr Angus Allen Hartner)Her companion Egg (Mrs Eglantine Wiggens who has a flirtation with Merrick's Uncle Betram)Daria Battersby, courtesan Lord Oscar Biden, scoundrelPlotThe story takes place over the year of 1810. It is rather intricate, somewhat convoluted, with the usual melodrama and secrets. They each have past traumas that are slowly revealed, adding both dimension and substance to their relationship, while preventing straightforward courtship. I haven't recovered fully from the visual of the main character being described as an onion with many layers. But perhaps that was also due to all of the senses so well described in this novel: the gutter smells and intoxicating fragrances, stunning scenery, gorgeous dresses and feel of the materials, champagne bubbles and sensual trysts, with incessant rain, cobblestone street traffic and droning matron voices.The mistress was slightly caricatured. Imagine being a hag at 35?There are no spoilers here, remember this IS a regency romance, with which I automatically have predictable expectations. But it has fun dialogue, interesting back stories, familiar territory with accurate descriptions, and a most satisfactory ending.It is a pleasant distraction for an autumn afternoon. I have no recollection of the flight from Florida to Vermont as I was engrossed in this tale, marking hysterical comments and notes to share. 4 stars - open the champagne and celebrate this new author.Received as an e- ARC from the author.Publisher Wild Rose PressAuthor Jess Russell lives in New York (and not only loves power tools, but knows how to use them. I have found a kindred spirit who appreciated the gift of a chainsaw!). Her passions include dressmaking and batik. The Dressmaker's Duke came in first in the Fool for Love contest, Golden Apple Awards' Secret Craving contest, the Indiana Golden Opportunity contest, and finaled in the Great Beginnings, Emerald City opener, and Lone Star contests. Read on:If you like Mary Jo Putney, Mary Balogh, Jo Beverly, Marion Chesney, Georgette Heyer, Lisa Kleypas, Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn, Amanda Quick, Christina Dodd or Madeline Hunter.Favourite quotes "This particular shop was not for the faint of heart. Mr Crup specialised in the macabre.""Rhys raised an eyebrow, one of his surest weapons, and gave the man his most ducal look.""But the four full suits of armor, Sir Mutton, Sir Haggis, Sir Dunce-a-lot and last but not least, Sir Portly- she had named them all in the last hour- gave up no secrets.""Rhys waited and then raised an eyebrow ever so slightly. Wilcove (his secretary) used to reading volumes in the mere quiver of Rhys's nostril, rushed on.""Please don't resurrect that atrocity (a costume dress). Good lord, we need a patron not an arrest.""The ton had called her ruined. Ruined. What an odd word to associate with a human being, as if she were broken and no longer useful, something to be thrown away."

  • Gini Rainey
    2019-03-30 00:31

    This debut romantic novel by Jess Russell is set in England, but during the early 1800’s. It falls into the fairly new category of Regency romances which are a subgenre of romance novels set during the period of the British Regency (1811–1820) or early 19th century. Rather than simply being versions of contemporary romance stories transported to a historical setting, Regency romances are a distinct genre with their own plot and stylistic conventions.“The Dressmaker’s Duke” is definitely not your typical first novel attempt. Rather, it has the characteristics of a well written novel with a wonderful combination of excellently researched historical detail as well as being a really great and captivating romance.I don’t usually read romance novels, but this book that centers around the life of the Duke, Rhys Merrick, and the dressmaker, Olivia Weston, is one romance novel that I had difficulty putting down. Although Rhys and Olivia are from two separate worlds, the tangible sexual tension is apparent from the first moment they meet. Because Ms. Russell has the ability to create amazingly realistic characters, it didn’t take long to for me to develop a real interest in the passions that begin to build between the two main characters from the very start of the book.Not only does the book take place in London, but it also moves to the Duke’s seaside estate, where their blooming romance takes on a whole new intensity. With an unusual knack for describing, not only feelings, but also places, Ms. Russell is able to make the reader feel the ocean breezes, smell the fresh air and almost sense the cold water of the sea lapping around their ankles.I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and even though I had a sense of many of the mysteries surrounding the pasts of both the Duke and the Dressmaker, there were one or two surprises revealed at the end of the book that kept me reading straight through to their discovery.This is a great escape novel that is perfect for summer reading while curled up in a chair at home or stretched out in a chair by the pool or on the beach.

  • Lennie Loftin
    2019-04-06 06:29

    First time romance novelist, Jess Russell, has a flair for the funny, a flair for the theatrical, and a flair for the damn-it-I'm-just-all-beside-myself-here-because-there's-so-much-damned-steamy-sex-in-the-air! I loved the story and never felt I was being pandered to as a "reader of romance novels." Ms. Russell really seems to hold the material and her audience in high esteem, you can tell - for she's created complex characters for empathetic readers, and she's taken great care to build their histories so that they arrive on Page One... naturally, inevitably - as their choices, fates, and destinies would have it - thus, their character choices make perfect (if sometimes petulant and frustrating) sense throughout the book. The novel is filled with breathless passion, danger, adventure, consummated and unrequited love! - and it's all informed by the weighty human chains of learned social and familial patterns that the characters must break free of, in order to stake claim to their own identities and create truly fulfilling lives. As I said, the author has a flair for the funny - I chuckled and guffawed throughout the book! You can tell Ms. Russell is well versed (not only in romance novels but also...) in theater and Restoration Comedies, as she keeps the reader on his or her toes... and always breathless. She's very naughty - and it's lots of fun! This is her first novel? We should all be so blessed with this kind of budding talent. One thing I know for sure - Jess Russell has taken great care to craft a fine first novel - and in doing so has crafted a bright, shining future for herself as a romance writer. I can't wait to read her next effort!

  • Kimi Court
    2019-04-21 02:42

    I would like to start by saying this is not my Genre, though I have read books in this genre before it is not something I usually read. That said it is a good book. The story was strong, and well written. The plot is really good. I liked the side characters just fine. You always have your fav side character, and I had mine. Egg, just loved her.I think my only issue is with the characters. H/H were too deep/complex, and in the process I lost the connection of them. Do not get me wrong it is a good book and well done but at times I felt no connection with the H/H. The Hero was in this case tortured soul from a young age, I also felt the Heroine was a soft and sweet, yet standoffish sort. She of course had her reasons why and rightly so. There were times though, in the book, that was good between them. Like when they played their games who could out do the other.

  • Florencia
    2019-04-19 05:42

    Loved it, loved it, loved it! Great romantic story!!! First time I read a book by this author, and I'm so glad I did! The attraction between the characters , and the sexual tension through out the story was unbelievable. I could not put it down and this story had me hooked from the first page.

  • Toula
    2019-04-01 05:40

    Love ❤️ this book, and i read alot of historical romance. this is a very indept story about a Duke and a dressmaker Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan and Olivia Weston, lady-turned-dressmaker, is a scintillating one.Rhys is so beautifully drawn from hisobsession with clocks to his heartbreaking isolation. His overwhelming passion for Olivia Weston pushes him to confront his fears. And Olivia is the perfect woman to challenge this monkish duke. She is funny, independent and fiercely loyal to those she loves. She was isused as a lady in her first season and she went away . Rhys nickname is the Monk. His father was a degenerate rogue and Rhys dosent want to be anything like him. A string of things ( mishapps ) happen to Oliva and she has to turn to Rhys to right things . Rhys as payment preposes she becomes his mistress. Rhys reminds me a little of the Duke in Julia Quins The Duke and I. I loved the begginning where Rhys goes into the shop and demans the dresses he bought for his former misstress. Get the book to see if Olivia is indead a Lady and where her father estes is and do she and Rhys get together . love the Epiloge . Ms. Russell’s greatest strength is her depth of characterizationmaer who he is obsessed about .

  • N.W. Moors
    2019-04-07 02:23

    Rhys Merrick is known as "the Monk" because of his extreme self-control, a result of the licentious exploits of his depraved father. When Olivia Weston turns up to demand payment for dresses made for his mistress, he loses all restraints around her. I often find these "love/lust at first sight" stories too unbelievable, but Ms. Russell has woven a story with characters so realistic that I never had any doubt in the attraction between Rhys and Olivia. They are both strong characters with dark pasts, yet they are perfect for each other. They know it, too, but Rhys can't get past his belief that he must do the 'right' thing and marry someone of rank. I read this book in one sitting, biting my nails that they wouldn't get their HEA. Uncle Bert and Egg are fun secondary characters. It's a well-written book in the style of Anna Campbell or Robin Schone so there are some steamy scenes, but there's lots of romance and drama too. I actually read Mad for the Marquess first, not realizing that this was her first book, and I want more from this wonderful writer.

  • Jules2016
    2019-04-13 23:39

    Two what the hell did I just read stars?! First off the hero and heroine are never ever EVER together! They barely speak two paragraphs to each other the entire book. How does a romance develop from that? And when they do speak it is only about the weather or long stretches of silence. B.O.R.I.N.G.And then there is the sad excuse for a "hero." This guy is an emotionally stunted, indecisive cry baby who is constantly weeping throughout the book. What a complete and utter bitch. and a stalker to boot.The heroine only gets together with him when Her place Burns down and she needs to take care of her friend. Basically prostituting herself as his mistress in exchange for a roof over her head and a warm meal in her belly. Yeah, that was really romantic-NOT!and slave mistress she is - dutifully washing his "cock" post copulation, never saying more than two words to him and subserviently keeping her eyes glued to the ground when they're done- pulling my hair out now. 👎🏼👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽

  • Betty
    2019-04-12 01:24

    Story good, this author deserves a better editor.Would have been a four, except poor editing is an distraction. Put it on your read list, but be warned!

  • Lovetoread
    2019-04-12 04:44

    4-5 Stars. I give this book 5 stars for keeping my attention from beginning to end and admit that I pretty much inhaled it. The writing in this story really made you feel the emotions of all the characters. There are various POV's with the main one's our H/h. I thought the crossover between POV's was written well even though it may take a few sentences to realize which POV is being given. I loved being in both their head's to understand their feelings and think this is what really brought this romance to life. I was so enthralled with this book that I immediately looked up the author to see what other books she has and was very surprised to find this was the only one out by her. I love reading this type of book by a new author who's obviously very talented and personally kept me glued to this historical romance. I truly felt swept away by it(not to sound cliché) and would recommend it to anyone that likes the sample-it just gets better from that point. I gave it 4 stars for some of the details which seemed a little much(i.e.-watch)in some cases but not enough in others(the mask ball scene at the end seemed a little rushed). This did not detract from the story at all and I admit I haven't enjoyed a historical romance like this in awhile! The Dressmaker's DukeJess Russell

  • Marisa
    2019-04-21 06:29

    This was a passionate romance without overly explicit or erotic scenes that often put some people off when reading this genre. Russell does a great job balancing moving forward the romantic story, action and keepings us just a little on edge waiting to find out what is the FULL story of the character’s pasts. Both Olivia and Rhys have many more layers than I originally anticipated when reading the synopsis. The book could have easily been a shorter novel, but at 370 pages, we get to know all of the characters on a deeper level.While having the opportunity to get to know the characters on a more complex level was something I enjoyed, on the flip side there were moments I felt the book could have been shortened. Some interactions between Rhys and Olivia that felt just a bit too stretched for my taste, but I would anticipate complete hopeless romantics to enjoy it more. Overall this was a very enjoyable historical fiction romance with a touch of modern tendencies.Warning: Contains some violence and some reference to sexual activity.Who should read it? Hopeless romance fans looking for a historical setting, but some modern mannerisms.See all my reviews and more at www.ReadingToDistraction.com or @Read2Distract