- Title: The Tattooed Duke
- Author: Maya Rodale
- Publisher: Avon
- Pages: 371
- ISBN: 9780062088925
So, browsing about Wegmans earlier this month, I of course was looking at their selection of books and ended up buying two, one of which was this one. The Tattooed Duke I really picked up on a whim. The whole tattoo thing caught my eye because come on, dukes didn’t rock tattoos back in the day, and then I flipped through it for a minute and noticed these funny little chapter subtitles. For example: “Chapter 5: In Which Scrubbing Floors is Romantic” and “Chapter 15: In Which the Duke Does Some Sleuthing”. It looked like fun, so I bought it and I’m happy to say it was really enjoyable.
Sebastian Digby has been trotting the globe having adventures when he’s called back to England because his father dies, and he is now the new Duke of Wycliff. He reluctantly returns home to find that the dukes before him have left the estate penniless, and that the elite of London scorn him for his wild ways, too-long hair, and small gold hoop earring. Once they find out about his wild tattoos and outlandish adventures overseas, they turn their back on him and refuse to fund the expedition of his dreams: a trip to the famed land of Timbuktu. Meanwhile, his pretty new housemaid almost makes him want to give up his dreams of exploring Timbuktu so that he can stay in England and flirt with her…
Eliza Fieldings is a writer for London’s favorite gossip newspaper, but she might not be for long if she doesn’t complete her latest assignment: to find out everything she can about the badboy duke. So Eliza poses as a housemaid in the Duke of Wycliff’s household, and she finds herself instantly attracted to him. As they grow closer, she’s torn between her desire to get the story so that she can keep her job, and her desire to give in to loving Sebastian.
As you can see this is not your run-of-the-mill historical romance, and I thought it was GREAT. I loved seeing a heroine that isn’t some rich heiress, but also isn’t some poor peasant girl who needs a great marriage to save her finances. She’s an intelligent girl who loves to write, and she has a job and works really hard. Eliza is independent, witty, and tough. She even carries a knife at one point! HELL YES FOR HEROINES WHO CARRY WEAPONS!!!!! That’s the first I’ve ever seen of that in a romance, or in most books really. It should definitely happen more often.
Sebastian is a fun hero too – he has a scandalous past, but nothing that he’s ashamed of. He’s also determined not to become just like all the other dukes of Wycliff before him, which means he tries to keep from falling into bed with Eliza, as much as he wants to. He has a sense of wanderlust and refuses to conform to society’s expectations of him, which made him really likable.
Besides the great characters, there was no insta-love! Sure, there was insta-attraction, but that’s okay. They actually had conversations and talked to one another a lot, which somehow gets left out of a lot of romances. There was a fun and unique plot as well. For those of you who read romance purely for the sexy times, I’ll warn you that there’s no sex until the end of the novel. That’s how I prefer my romance novels actually, but that’s cause I care more about the characters, story, and romance than the sexy bits.
All in all this was a successful and really fun fluffy read. And apparently it’s part of Maya Rodale’s “Writing Girls” series, so there are other books out about some of the secondary characters as well. I’m not too big on series in romance, but I may give one of the others a try.
Sarah Says: 4 stars
BTW… Doesn’t the tattoo on the duke look like a face? Luckily the tattoos as described in the book sound much cooler.