The first book of the much anticipated 1797 Club series from USA Today Bestselling author Jess Michaels. The Dukes are coming!
The wild and charismatic Duke of Abernathe is the kind of friend anyone would wish to have. He even formed the 1797 Club, consisting of ten men who would all be dukes. But he has full-throatedly declared he will never marry and no one understands why.
But Miss Emma Liston doesn’t care why. A long-time wallflower with an absentee father who is a scandal waiting to happen, she needs to marry. Now. She decides to take a wild chance and ask the help of her friend Meg’s brother James. She asks him to pretend he’s interested in her just long enough to gain the attention of others. He agrees but is quickly taken aback by how easy everything is with Emma.
When her father returns, threatening her with a terrible future, their courtship swiftly becomes all too real. Will James ever reveal the true man beneath the outer shell? And can Emma discover her own worthiness before it’s too late?
At the tender age of fourteen, James is continuously harangued for being a disappointment by his bullying and controlling father. James feels so depressed about his family life and how his parents treat both him and his sister, his only refuge is his band of brotherly, best friends and soon to be Dukes at school. It is here that James gets the idea to start a club where those that are in need of help and advise and who like him are set to be powerful Duke’s can band together. This is the 1797 club.
Years later, James is now the Duke of Abernathe and the most eligible bachelor in England and unfortunately for him, he is now inundated with society mama’s pushing their spoilt little misses his way, but James has news for them, he has decided that he is never going to marry.
After rescuing his mother and sister from an embarrassing situation, Emma comes to the attention of James. He had obviously seen her around, and like so many men of the Ton he has never paid her much attention. That is until his sister and Emma become good friends and she starts being invited to house parties, it is at one of these tea parties that they come up with their plan.
James doesn’t have any intention to marry, the only way he can keep himself well and truly off the marriage market he has to be courting another. Emma because of her situation with her scandalous absent father and her mother pressing her towards marriage to save them, she can see only one way to land the much sought after security, the only way a wallflower like her can get that is to be seen getting courted by a dashing Duke. So their plan is set, they are going to pretend to the world that they are a courting couple, so that they can both get what they desire.
Their plan is going brilliantly well, that is until Emma’s father appears with news.
This new series has started off with a bang In the form of James and Emma. Since Jess Michaels announced that she was making this series, I like a lot of her readers was very excited to read the 1797 Club. This has the Michaels’ magical touch that we have come to know and love. The many devastating Duke’s that we have in attendance in this series is astounding , and if James is anything to go by we are going to be losing our heart to these aristocratic rogues over and over again.
Emma has got a losing hand, her pushy and bullying mother only want’s Emma to marry well – not for Emma’s happiness – but what she can get out of the match. Violet Liston is just as self-centred as Emma’s father. Speaking of her father; well the less said about that waste of space the better, he is a nasty piece of work and the worst kind. He is a blaggard. I just love that word! Emma’s father really is a sly, manipulating cad. He buggers off to who knows where leaving Emma and her mother to fend for themselves, on the fringes of society and when he finally does decide to show his face again, it is only to make a deal with the devil to save his own skin all at the expense of his poor daughter. Harold Liston is a shameless, selfish and spineless excuse for a man, the way he treat’s his wife and daughter is atrocious. That is the beauty of Michaels writing she creates characters that you fall in love with and equally the really nasty pieces of work, such as Harold Liston.
He swallowed hard before he spoke. “That is not what I said, Emma. I said what I did was wrong. I did not say I regretted it.”
She gasped and shook her head. “What do you mean?”
“I wanted you,” he whispered. “And that wanting took over my reason, which was wrong. I put you in a situation where you could have been damaged greatly by my actions. But as far as touching you went, as far as making you come… that was a pleasure.”
“You liked it?” she asked, shocked.
He nodded slowly. “Very much. But I know I must apologize because I am far more experienced than you are. I never should have coerced you into allowing me such liberties, no matter how strong my desire for you was.” She moved forward again, and now they were dangerously close. Not quite inappropriately, but edging toward it. And she didn’t give a damn.
“James,” she whispered, breathless. “What happened last night… that was the first time I have felt alive in… in a very long time. I didn’t even know it was possible to feel like you made me feel.” He lifted a hand, and in that moment everything slowed. He clearly wanted to touch her and she so desperately wanted him to do just that. But then his gaze slid to the door and he lowered his hand with a frown.
“I’m glad you don’t regret it,” he said softly.
Emma is stuck between a rock and a hard place, all she want’s from life is to marry someone – not for what she and her family can get out of the match – but for love, she wants him to cherish and love her. She really does deserve to have things work out for her, Emma is a kind and gentle young woman who doesn’t deserve the hardship that she has to live with. Emma has a lot placed upon her. she isn’t allowed to be the happy and cheerful, young woman she should be and when we meet her she is a shell of the woman that we know she will become – with a little bit of the Abanathe charm sprinkled over her, she just shines.
James is psychologically scarred from his past, he so averse to marriage and he has built these huge walls around his heart and no one can brake them down, that is until sweet-natured Emma comes along. After rescuing his mother and sister from a scandalous situation, James starts seeing wallflower Emma in a whole new light. James is a charismatic, sensual man who is, just like Emma deeply unhappy, he has his reasons why he is, how he is. And when you find out all his little laws and the reasons for them, I can guarantee that you will fall even further in love with this charming, tempting man.
There is some fabulous characters in this too many to mention them all but the dukes we do meet in this one are so thoroughly entertaining and charming, Simon and Graham – James’ best friend Are two of the most different men you could want, each dashing and roguish in their own way. This series is going to be an absolute hit and I am very much looking forward to getting to each and every one of our Dukes. The Daring Duke is sexy, fun, witty and devastating all at once.
Highly recommended and very entertaining!
This was an ARC version from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
The Daring Duke is released 14th March, buying links below.
More information about The Daring Duke can be found at Jess Michaels WEBSITE (Link in Pink)