Wednesday 19 February 2020
#CBR12 Book 5: "What I Did for a Duke" by Julie Anne Long
Audio book length: 9 hrs 23 mins
Rating: 5 stars
I first read and reviewed this book back in 2011 (when it came out), during Cannonball III. My original review, which among other things contains a plot summary, can be found here.
If you do take a look at my previous review (or just check my rating of this book), you can see that the rather unlikely romance between Miss Genevieve Eversea Lord Alexander Moncrieffe, the Duke of Falconbridge is one of my absolute favourites. I loved it utterly when I first read it back in 2011 and when re-reading several times since then. While I used to be a bit unnerved by listening to romance in audio format, I have had a change of heart in recent years, and especially like owning books I particularly enjoy in audiobook as well, so I can listen to the book when I want a comfort re-read.
Sadly, this has not been possible with Julie Anne Long's popular historicals before now. For years, literally, I've been looking for and bemoaning the fact that Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green books were not available in audiobook. However, this changed towards the end of 2019, when once a month, another book in the series became available, and at the end of December, What I Did for a Duke was finally released (you had better believe I clicked that pre-order button the second the news was announced).
Checking Goodreads, I could see that when I started my current re-read, I hadn't really revisited this favourite for over five years. Many romances have been published since then, would it still retain its coveted position as one of my all-time favourites? Would Justine Eyre's narration add to or take away from my enjoyment?
I'm relieved to say that the book was just as good as I remembered it, if maybe a bit slow in the set-up (I mean, who really cares about dumb Ian Eversea?) and Ms. Eyre's narration is great. Considering how long I've been wanting an audio version of this book, it's good that I can have one that I can listen to repeatedly.
The quality of Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green books is variable. Some of them are merely ok, some are a delight, and a very few are absolute romance classics. This may be my favourite of the entire series (although I may have to revisit It Happened One Midnight and The Legend of Lyon Redmond when they come out as audiobooks too.
Judging a book by its cover: Goodreads didn't seem to have an image for the cover that accompanies my audiobook version (and is utterly dreadful), so I'll just comment on the original paperback cover for this instead. I don't even know where to begin with the WTF here. Not sure who these people on the cover are, but they seem very unlike the way Alex and Genevieve are actually described in the book. There is also no scene at any point where they make out in what appears to be a wind tunnel, with Gen wearing a sheet? A weirdly bunched up chemise? Something else entirely? It's such a bad cover - so, so bad.
Crossposted on Cannonball Read.