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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Review: The Silent Duke by Jess Michaels

This series has me sighing and ALMOST swooning ;)

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Publisher: The Passionate Pen
Release Date: November 14, 2017

Born mute, Ewan Hoffstead, Duke of Donburrow was abused by his wicked father and wretched younger brothers until an uncle swept in to save the day. Still, he carries the scars of his past with him, including a terrible belief that perhaps a “person like him” truly doesn’t deserve the title his uncle fought so hard for him to earn.

Recently widowed Charlotte may be the proper Countess of Portsmith to Society, but when she is around Ewan, she still feels like the enraptured little girl who met him decades before when her brother was best friends with him and his cousin.

A planned trip to spend Christmas with their families at Ewan’s estate reunites the old friends. But when a storm keeps the others from arriving on time, Charlotte decides to stop living in fear and pursue the man she has desired and loved her entire life. Ewan cannot resist her seduction, but he fears giving in to his heart. Especially when the family that disposed of him returns and threatens not only his life, but that of the woman he loves.

What’s it About? As a child, Ewan Hoffstead was the victim of abuse from his father until Ewan’s uncle took him in and raised him. As an adult, he is now the Duke of Donburrow, a title that his uncle fought long and hard to make sure was his. Born mute, Ewan harbors a belief that someone like him isn’t meant to have the title or happiness until his old childhood friend Charlotte shows up at his estate for a Christmas gathering.

Widowed Charlotte ends up the first to arrive at Ewan’s home for the holidays but when a storm keeps the rest of the party from arriving on time, Charlotte sees it as her chance to pursue Ewan romantically. She’s always loved him, ever since they were young and she used to trail behind him, his cousin, and her brother. She gets so close to convincing Ewan that they belong together when his mother and brothers show up to cause trouble for him.

Overall reaction to the story? I really adore this series from Jess Michaels because even though each book is dedicated to each couple’s romance, there’s also this strong brotherly bond that exists between the men of the 1797 Club that carries over to each and every book. I love good friendships in romance and not just between the hero and heroine. In The Silent Duke I feel I got a double dose of friendship because Ewan had his brothers from the club AND he had Charlotte’s unwavering friendship. I loved the similarities and different nuances between Ewan’s two friendships because each one gave him something unique and invaluable. To me it just added to the emotional investment I have had in this series since the very first book.With this one there's a touch of suspense to it to go along with this friends to lovers romance.

Describe the hero in five words: Loving. Patient. Generous. Intelligent. Angsty.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Despite Ewan’s abusive early childhood, he grew up to be a very kind man who was loyal to those in his inner circle. I liked that Ewan made people love him just because of the way he was. He had such a huge capacity for love that was obvious to everyone who knew him. Ewan was the only one who was oblivious to how easy it was for him to love and care for someone. Which is another point in his favor. He wasn’t arrogant, in fact he was a very humble duke who saw the title as more of a responsibility to take care of the people around him rather than as a tool to get whatever he wanted. I also enjoyed the challenges that his being mute presented because things that other characters took for granted, like asking for tea, sharing his point of view, even just saying hello was something he couldn’t do and had to find his own way of doing.

Describe the heroine in five words: Patient. Kind. Intelligent. Determined. Brave.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Charlotte is very similar to Ewan in terms of how kind she is to those closest to her. She’s gentle, quiet, and loving but when she or her loved ones are threatened she showed a different side of herself that was as formidable as any duke. Her love for Ewan was something special, once again because he was mute, Charlotte had to find ways for him to communicate with her and for her to show him that she didn’t see him as anything less because he couldn’t speak. I loved Charlotte’s easy and natural way of showing affection not only to Ewan but to her brother, mother, and Ewan’s aunt and cousin. She was warm and welcoming without being a pushover.

Let’s talk about the romance: Ewan and Charlotte had a connection that went back to when they were kids and that connection didn’t fade even when they had been apart for a long time. I loved that their romance was built on such a sweet childhood friendship. Charlotte always cared for Ewan and they had this wonderful connection and chemistry from the start. There was never any question that these two were meant to be together and so I got frustrated right along with Charlotte every time Ewan made up reasons why they couldn’t be together! By the end though even Ewan could see that they were just made for each other and they were just the sweetest couple!

How about that supporting cast? I don’t think that there’s going to be a point in this series where I don’t mention how much I love these dukes and their loyalty towards one another. While all of them have yet to be in the same scene, I love getting the mini reunions and seeing how devoted they are to each other and how these men have become brothers in everything but blood.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. The whole series is great but a romance with a completely mute character like this one is something special.

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