Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Distracting the Duchess by Emily Bryan

Distracting the Duchess (Leisure Historical Romance)Genre: Historical Romance
Published: 2008
Pages: 306
My Rating: 4.5 stars

 "I'm going to have to shorten his willie." With such witty promise in the opening sentence, Distracting the Duchess does not fail to deliver. It is an amusing romp through the world of art, romance & espionage.

Lady Artemisia, widowed Duchess of Southwycke, shocks polite society in her passion for painting nudes. She is independent, sassy & smart. Knowing society's intolerance of females in business, Artemisia conducts her dealings behind a nom de guerre, Mr. Beddington. 

When Trevelyn Deveridge, the youngest son of an earl, arrives at the Duchess' home masquerading as Thomas Doverspike, Artemisia mistakes him for her new life model & commences work on Mars, the God of War. Looking for an entre to the Duchess' man of business, Trevelyn figures this is as good a way as any to get information but he may just have met his match in the Duchess of Southwycke. 

Emily Bryan's characterisation in Distracting the Duchess is delightful, also a strong point in her 2nd novel, Pleasuring the Pirate (my first read from this author.) I thought the secondary characters were well developed & enjoyable. My one small criticism was the language used to simulate Ambassador Kharitonov's Russian accent; slightly annoying but a very small irritation in the scheme of things. 

The intimate scenes in Pleasuring the Pirate may be a little more polished but I loved the humour & innuendo in Distracting the Duchess. The witty banter between Artemisia & Trevelyn had me laughing out loud & Artemisia's 'naughty' thoughts at the most inopportune moments were downright hilarious & refreshing. 

I'm not knowledgeable enough to cast an opinion on whether Distracting the Duchess' historical details are accurate (as other reviewers have) & I don't particularly care. I read Emily Bryan's novel for the pure, light hearted entertainment value that I'm sure the author intended & the fact that Trevelyn pops into my thoughts after the last page has been turned means the author has done her job, and well! 

Sizzling romance, suspense & intrigue made this one a winner for me. 

I can't wait for my copy of Vexing the Viscount to arrive.


  1. I love to read stories with humor, this one sounds like a good one!

  2. PS
    I left an award for you at my place :)

  3. Really, painting nudes you say, sure doesn't sound like something you did then :)

  4. This sounds like a great book--thanks!!

    emvark at gmail dot com

  5. Sounds interesting especially the historic aspect. Lovely cover


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