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Book Club Discussion: What I Did For a Duke


November 2, 2012

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I have been completely unabashed in my love for this book since I first read it last year. Completely unabashed. I’ve read it countless times since then and my appreciation for it hasn’t waned a bit.

Okay, enough of my gushing–and please don’t let that sway or influence your impression of the book–let’s discuss the book already. To get us started, I’ve listed some talking points below more as a guideline than anything else.

  • Opening scene of the book, did it suck you in or not?
  • What did you think of Alex’s way of exacting revenge against Ian Eversea?
  • Was there a twist in the plot you didn’t see coming?
  • Alex, what did you think of him as a hero?
  • Genevieve, what did you think of her?
  • Favourite scene in the book?
  • Funniest scene in the book?
  • Sexiest scene in the book?
  • A part in the book that drove you nuts?
  • Most heartwrenching scene in the book?
  • What’s your impression of Harry? Do you think he’ll get his own book?
  • At the end, whose story are you dying to read next?

I’ll go ahead and start by addressing two of my talking points. Hands down for me, my favourite and sexiest scene in the book is the scene when Genevieve is searching the house for Alex.  After an initial tour, she opens the door to her bedroom to go back out to look for him and he’s standing right there. In the ensuing exchange, Genevieve discovers Alex was watching her as she was searching for him.

“I see. It’s not because you darted to peer out into the garden. And then took a circuitous lap about the library while you were at it. And from there, toured the green parlor, and the gray parlor, though you didn’t take a peek behind the settee. And then all but bolted outside my chamber door and hovered an instant before stalking back to your own bedchamber. Nothing at all like that.”

With every sentence her temper increased ten degrees.

“You spied on me?” she hissed.

“I simply wondered what you were doing, dashing all over the house like that. Since you weren’t…looking…for me.” He was diabolically amused. “Perhaps you’d left something in one of the rooms? A book of some sort? Although I did wonder why…you called my name.”

Love, love, love this scene. I’ll be posting interesting comments as they come in throughout the day.

Okay, let the discussion begin. Three (3) commenters will each win 2 books a piece fromThe Stash“. Also, one of the winners will receive a digital copy of Julie Anne Long’s brand new release, A NOTORIOUS COUNTESS CONFESSES

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What Readers Are Saying

LSUREADER says

I loved this book. A big reason for that is the characters. Harry isn’t a bad guy, he’s just the wrong guy. Genevieve is wonderful. She’s a good sister, daughter, and friend, but she’s so real. When she hurts, we hurt. Alex, though, is the scene stealer. His plan for revenge against Ian is just like how Alex is at the beginning of the book–straightforward, cold and exacting. But as his plan must change, so does he.

My favorite scene in the book, also the one I’d call the most heart wrenching, comes in Chapter 26. Shortly after the engagement is announced, Genevieve gets the painting and realizes how Harry has come to win Rosemont. And she knows she has to go to Alex.

The humor is great…Ian jumping at everything Alex does, the wordplay between Alex and Gen. It adds to the specialness of a very special book.

I am very interested in reading Ian’s story. He seems to have a lot to answer for!

~~~

 LAURA HELMS says…

Gosh, how I loved this book. I love Alex & Genevieve, but I’m going to start with the sexiest scene in the book. It had to be the first kiss, I swear I could feel it in my bones. Don’t we all want our first kiss to be like this, like Alex had previously described. “A Kiss to nearly destroy the memory of all other kisses, and become the benchmark against which all future kisses would be measured?” I think that is one of the best lines every written in a historical romance novel. Their chemistry jumped off the page in this scene. *sigh* So sexy and romantic.

~~~

 ANASTASIA CARTER says…

I may not have been sucked in from the opening scene but Ian climbing out of the window naked is definitely entertaining. I was completely hooked by time Ian came face to face with the Duke with his missing boot in hand. I think Alex’s plan for revenge may have been harsh and I did not think that the punishment fit the crime as he had told Ian, because Genevieve was innocent and had nothing to do with the crime but it did make an excellent story in the end because I thought I had the book figured out from there. I was sure that Alex would follow through on his scheme for revenge and Genevieve would fall for him and then be devastated after she found out what his intentions were. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Genevieve called Alex out on his plot and decided to help him torment Ian. I liked both Alex and Genevieve, they were both strong characters and both were funny, witty, and mischievous. I loved the dialogue between them and was very happy that Genevieve was not a shy blushing miss and that she gave as good as she got in their verbal sparring.

My top five favorite scenes were; Ian climbing naked out the window, Ian coming face to face with the Duke with his missing boot in hand, when the flowers were delivered at breakfast and everyone was speculating on who had sent them, their first kiss (which also happens to be one of the sexiest moments of the book), the visit to Rosemont where Alex taunts Harry with the Titian painting and a visit to the greenhouse.

The funniest parts of the book was Alex and Genevieve’s’ verbal sparring, her pawning him off on the other ladies, and their tormenting Ian.

The top three sexiest moments were; the meeting in the garden after the visit to Rosemont, their first time making love, and the sex scene after her frantic search for him.

The most heart wrenching scene was learning about Alex’s wife and son.

The part that drove me crazy about this book was her continuing to be hung up on Henry even after her and Alex made love. I did not like Henry much at all; he was weak and petulant and scared. I hope if he does get his own book that he has learned his lesson and is honest and has more backbone! I don’t think I would actually be interested in a book about Henry unless he had changed…from the beginning though I wanted to know what happens to Ian.

I can’t wait to read Julie Anne Long’s newest book!!!

~~~

LANDRA GRAF says…

Alex was my hero! He was more mature and wiser. Alex has an eloquent way of speaking and he’s patient when it comes to getting what he wants. I loved how Genevieve made him feel young again. His revenge against Ian seemed fair enough, but even better was the fact Alex was present in his house and putting Ian on edge.

One of my favorite scenes is when Alex and Harry talk and Harry is miserable about losing Genvieve. I love Alex’s heartfelt musings and you can tell then and there he loves Genevieve beyond desperation. Yet, he’s willing to give her up. I didn’t really think he would, a plot twist I didn’t see coming, and I don’t believe he thought he would lose at his gamble.

My other favorite scene was the very end when Genevieve shows up at Rosemont. OMG! I still remember the goosebumps that broke out on my arms when she walked into the study all indignant anger at Alex for tempting fate and giving her up. It was marvelous! One of the most romantic finales, next to Pride and the Prejudice, I’ve ever read.

This was my favorite book of 2011. That finale sticks out in my mind even to this day and I’m constantly trying to convince my other romance reading buddies to read this book. Plus, this was my first Julie Anne Long book. I was amazed and delighted. I also haven’t missed a release yet. She’s an author I’m always willing to review for.

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LORI MEEHAN says…

I enjoyed this book. I wanted to love it though.
I was very sucked in by the opening screen of this book. The way Alex acted and what he did to Ian and Abigail. Was fabulous. I thought oh this is going to be a great book…but it got slow for me. If it hadn’t gotten slow my 3* would of been a 4*.
I loved that the best lid plan can back fire on you. Alex didn’t know what he was getting into with Genevieve. I have to say I really loved the main characters. Alex and Genevieve.
I totally enjoyed Alex’s torment of Ian. It’s was fabulous to see how just a look could make him sweat.
Favorite twist: I guess that Genevieve saw through Alex’s walls he had built around himself and knew he was up to something. It was because she was far smarter then anyone gave her credit for.
I loved both Alex and Genevieve’s characters. They both were so different then people thought they were. What surprised me the most was how wrong Genevieve’s family was about her. They were both great.
Favorite scene: was when Genevieve realized that she loved Alex, what he did for Harry and that Alex loved her. The painting said it all.
Funniest scene: the swan and Millicent.
Sexiest scene: I agree with Beverly. I loved that scene.
What drove me nuts the most was how slow the book was for me.
The most heart wrenching scene was what Harry did to Genevieve in the beginning but even more was when I found out that it was part of his grand plan to woe her. I wanted to shoot him myself. So this also goes for liking him NOT!!! At this point I’m still angry with him so I don’t think he should find love right now so no book for him.
I’m looking for Millicent or Ian’s book. I liked Millicent’s character and Ian needs to find out what one might do for love.
I very much enjoyed being in the book club and I can’t wit for the next book. Thank you for allowing me to participate.

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30 Comments

  1. I liked the opening scene, but I went into it excited to start so that possibly helped it be even better.
    I also loved this scene, how he taunts her a bit. And how he knows she was calling his name, I can just picture his smile as she is wandering aroud clueless. It would be nice to know someone wanted to find you SO badly.

  2. I really like the beginning and it did suck me in. I didn’t think Alex’s way of revenge was very original but it surprised me Genevieve figured it out and played along. I liked Alex and Genevieve. My favorite scene of the book is at the end when she realizes she loves Alex. The funniest scene of the book to me was when Ian had to climb out the window naked in the beginning. The sexiest scene for me also was when she was looking for Alex and he was waiting for her. I think Harry should have his own book. I REALLY want to read Ian’s story.

  3. I liked when Genevieve try’s to figure out how to pretend to swoon, it made me laugh. I think the dialogue between Genevieve and Alex was great. The banter between the two made the book flow for me. I liked the fact that it was a true romance not jump into bed in the first chapter. Don’t get me wrong, they are s smoking hot couiple when it counts, lol

  4. I LOVE this book–it is one of my all time favorites. After all Alex had been through he never believed love was going to happen again so he was really thrown for a loop when he fell in love with Genevieve. He was willing to let her go if that would make her happy. I happened to love the ending–when they both found peace and rest and were fast asleep by midnight.

  5. I loved this book! Right from the start of the book I was captivated and didn’t put the book down until I was done. I was totally fooled by the author, I really thought Harry wanted to marry Millicent and I thought Harry was just being egotistic and wanted the attention of both ladies when i notice he was getting jealous over the attention Genevieve was getting from Alex. Now I know that Harry was a big fool he should had never pretended to like Millicent, he alone pushed Genevieve to another’ s Mans arms but I’m so glad he did that because Alex and Genevieve had a very happy ending.

    > Ann Sheiring I agree with you I loved the fact that it was true romance and they didn’t just sleep together right from the the get go it was believable for that time in history.

    Oh yeah, before I forget I would love to see the continuation of Ian Eversea’s story. I want to know that he will also find true love instead of going around with engage women and possibly get shot next time he gets caught :-D

  6. I loved this book. A big reason for that is the characters. Harry isn’t a bad guy, he’s just the wrong guy. Genevieve is wonderful. She’s a good sister, daughter, and friend, but she’s so real. When she hurts, we hurt. Alex, though, is the scene stealer. His plan for revenge against Ian is just like how Alex is at the beginning of the book–straightforward, cold and exacting. But as his plan must change, so does he.

    My favorite scene in the book, also the one I’d call the most heart wrenching, comes in Chapter 26. Shortly after the engagement is announced, Genevieve gets the painting and realizes how Harry has come to win Rosemont. And she knows she has to go to Alex.

    The humor is great…Ian jumping at everything Alex does, the wordplay between Alex and Gen. It adds to the specialness of a very special book.

    I am very interested in reading Ian’s story. He seems to have a lot to answer for!

  7. This was one of my favorite books of 2011 and in the series. It had humor, angst and a great story. I didn’t think that I would like the age difference between the h/h, but it really worked in this book. I was somewhat surprised that JAL didn’t use the big misunderstanding trope for more of the book to cultivate Alex’s interest in Genevieve. It was refreshing that Genevieve caught on so quickly that Alex was out for revenge.

    I had more than one favorite scene in this book. I liked the scene where Genevieve searches the house for Alex; the scene where we learn the sad reason why Alex stays up late at night; and the scene where flowers arrive for Genevieve, but everyone assumes they are for Olivia. The last example gives the reader a clue into how much Alex cares about Genevieve. Early in the book, I also liked the humor at the dance where Genevieve is trying to get rid of Alex and everyone assumes Alex is a murderer. Ian’s fear of Alex is another humorous thread running throughout the story.

    Finally, it’s great how each book gives us a slight clue into Olivia and Lyon’s relationship. There’s a real build up for whenever that story is written.

  8. Gosh, how I loved this book. I love Alex & Genevieve, but I’m going to start with the sexiest scene in the book. It had to be the first kiss, I swear I could feel it in my bones. Don’t we all want our first kiss to be like this, like Alex had previously described. “A Kiss to nearly destroy the memory of all other kisses, and become the benchmark against which all future kisses would be measured?” I think that is one of the best lines every written in a historical romance novel. Their chemistry jumped off the page in this scene. *sigh* So sexy and romantic.

    • Oh gosh! That line! I loved it. I honestly loved the way Alex talked. So descriptive and insightful. You could bottle up a lot of his lines and create your own ‘quote a day’ calender.

  9. I loved this book and am a self proclaimed Julie Anne Long fan girl. Genevieve made me smile and cheer for her in nearly every scene she was in. I loved that her character was smart but not the trite typical bluestocking. I loved the frankness between the H/h. I am going to stop the gushing and just say thanks or picking this book so I could have another excuse for rereading it!

  10. I thought this book was too cute. I loved the hero/heroine’s sparring, and let’s face it, an older hero was a blast to read about. I had nothing but fun while I read, and will be going back in the series to start from the beginning. Also: How stunning is that cover????

  11. I may not have been sucked in from the opening scene but Ian climbing out of the window naked is definitely entertaining. I was completely hooked by time Ian came face to face with the Duke with his missing boot in hand. I think Alex’s plan for revenge may have been harsh and I did not think that the punishment fit the crime as he had told Ian, because Genevieve was innocent and had nothing to do with the crime but it did make an excellent story in the end because I thought I had the book figured out from there. I was sure that Alex would follow through on his scheme for revenge and Genevieve would fall for him and then be devastated after she found out what his intentions were. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Genevieve called Alex out on his plot and decided to help him torment Ian. I liked both Alex and Genevieve, they were both strong characters and both were funny, witty, and mischievous. I loved the dialogue between them and was very happy that Genevieve was not a shy blushing miss and that she gave as good as she got in their verbal sparring.

    My top five favorite scenes were; Ian climbing naked out the window, Ian coming face to face with the Duke with his missing boot in hand, when the flowers were delivered at breakfast and everyone was speculating on who had sent them, their first kiss (which also happens to be one of the sexiest moments of the book), the visit to Rosemont where Alex taunts Harry with the Titian painting and a visit to the greenhouse.

    The funniest parts of the book was Alex and Genevieve’s’ verbal sparring, her pawning him off on the other ladies, and their tormenting Ian.

    The top three sexiest moments were; the meeting in the garden after the visit to Rosemont, their first time making love, and the sex scene after her frantic search for him.

    The most heart wrenching scene was learning about Alex’s wife and son.

    The part that drove me crazy about this book was her continuing to be hung up on Henry even after her and Alex made love. I did not like Henry much at all; he was weak and petulant and scared. I hope if he does get his own book that he has learned his lesson and is honest and has more backbone! I don’t think I would actually be interested in a book about Henry unless he had changed…from the beginning though I wanted to know what happens to Ian.

    I can’t wait to read Julie Anne Long’s newest book!!!

  12. I was hooked from the very beginning. I felt Alex was a dashing hero and Genevieve an excellent match for him. Reading Alex and Genevieve conversing at times was like watching a ping pong match – absolutely brilliant. The funniest part for me was right in the beginning when Alex started taking off his clothes and was getting ready to get into bed with Ian and Alex’s fiance. The sexiest scene was when Genevieve was searching for Alex and then ran into him. There were several scenes when I cried. One of them was when Genevieve realized how much Alex loved her because of what he was willing to sacrifice for her happiness. I cried and had goosebumps at the same time. I feel Harry was a decent sort and hope he gets his own book. He still acts like a boy and needs to be a man. I guess I would love to see a book about Ian and the woman who could finally tame him.

    All in all, this was one of the most enjoyable books I have read this year. It is going on my keeper shelf and I cannot stop recommending it to all my reader friends.

  13. Where have I been? I have yet to read this one. Got to get to the bookstore soon.

  14. Alex was my hero! He was more mature and wiser. Alex has an eloquent way of speaking and he’s patient when it comes to getting what he wants. I loved how Genevieve made him feel young again. His revenge against Ian seemed fair enough, but even better was the fact Alex was present in his house and putting Ian on edge.

    One of my favorite scenes is when Alex and Harry talk and Harry is miserable about losing Genvieve. I love Alex’s heartfelt musings and you can tell then and there he loves Genevieve beyond desperation. Yet, he’s willing to give her up. I didn’t really think he would, a plot twist I didn’t see coming, and I don’t believe he thought he would lose at his gamble.

    My other favorite scene was the very end when Genevieve shows up at Rosemont. OMG! I still remember the goosebumps that broke out on my arms when she walked into the study all indignant anger at Alex for tempting fate and giving her up. It was marvelous! One of the most romantic finales, next to Pride and the Prejudice, I’ve ever read.

    This was my favorite book of 2012. That finale sticks out in my mind even to this day and I’m constantly trying to convince my other romance reading buddies to read this book. Plus, this was my first Julie Anne Long book. I was amazed and delighted. I also haven’t missed a release yet. She’s an author I’m always willing to review for.

  15. I meant 2011, not 2012. Silly fingers and my speedy typing :) So happy to read all of the other comments too. Love the book club idea Bev!

  16. This is my favorite Julie Anne Long book after Like No other Lover. I laughed and I cried.

    I loved how Alex tortured Ian. :) Especially the way he leaves that book in the library for Ian to see. :) I also love the way Alex and Genevieve talk to each other. Their conversations always make me laugh.

    Most touching scene for me was how Alex was willing to give Harry the entire house so that he can marry Genevieve and make her happy. I thought how great it was that he loves her enough to let her go if it will make her happy. :)

  17. My favorite scene was the ending, where Alex was trembling when Genevieve finds him to tell him she chooses him. I don’t know if it was on purpose but I liked how it reminded me of Romeo and Juliet but backwards since Genevieve is in love with someone else when the story opens.

  18. Don’t throw anything at me, but I’m afraid I’m a dissenting voice here. I thought the writing was great and I loved Alex. However, I just couldn’t get past the fact that Genevieve spent all of her rational moments mooning over Harry. I know, it was a habit for her to think she was in love with him, but I just wanted to snap her out of it and make her acknowledge her feelings for Alex.

  19. What I Did For A Duke was the first book I read by Julie Anne Long, and I immediately bought everything else she had published! It was my favorite book of last year, and will remain one of my top historical romances forever. I was quickly drawn into the story. I loved Alex and Genevieve. My favorite scene was when he describes “a proper kiss”. I thought it was the best bit of foreplay I have read. I also loved the end when she storms into his study, the entire scene is so romantic, but the last bit where he says “Blame me. Everyone thinks I’m an evil bastard anyway.” And she replies “I will kill anyone who dares say it aloud.” I just loved that fierce protective devotion. I felt the funniest scene was when they were on the walk the first day Alex arrived at the Everseas’. I loved the banter between them. For me the most gutwrenching scene was when Alex asks Genevieve to marry him, we know he loves her, but she doesn’t and she is careless with his feelings in her ignorance. I didn’t like Harry enough to want to read his story. His cowardice was a big turn off to me. I do want to read Ian’s story and ofcourse the final saga for Olivia.

  20. I enjoyed this book. I wanted to love it though.
    I was very sucked in by the opening screen of this book. The way Alex acted and what he did to Ian and Abigail. Was fabulous. I thought oh this is going to be a great book…but it got slow for me. If it hadn’t gotten slow my 3* would of been a 4*.
    I loved that the best lid plan can back fire on you. Alex didn’t know what he was getting into with Genevieve. I have to say I really loved the main characters. Alex and Genevieve.
    I totally enjoyed Alex’s torment of Ian. It’s was fabulous to see how just a look could make him sweat.
    Favorite twist: I guess that Genevieve saw through Alex’s walls he had built around himself and knew he was up to something. It was because she was far smarter then anyone gave her credit for.
    I loved both Alex and Genevieve’s characters. They both were so different then people thought they were. What surprised me the most was how wrong Genevieve’s family was about her. They were both great.
    Favorite scene: was when Genevieve realized that she loved Alex, what he did for Harry and that Alex loved her. The painting said it all.
    Funniest scene: the swan and Millicent.
    Sexiest scene: I agree with Beverly. I loved that scene.
    What drove me nuts the most was how slow the book was for me.
    The most heart wrenching scene was what Harry did to Genevieve in the beginning but even more was when I found out that it was part of his grand plan to woe her. I wanted to shoot him myself. So this also goes for liking him NOT!!! At this point I’m still angry with him so I don’t think he should find love right now so no book for him.
    I’m looking for Millicent or Ian’s book. I liked Millicent’s character and Ian needs to find out what one might do for love.
    I very much enjoyed being in the book club and I can’t wit for the next book. Thank you for allowing me to participate.

    • Yes I agree Lori, Harry’s plan of wooing Genevieve was a bit dim. Not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to love. Kind of reminds me of when my mother said little boys only bite you if they like you. I didn’t see the logic of it then and I still don’t.

  21. I absolutely adored this book. I’ve never read a book by Julie Anne Long, but I will be sure to read more. I loved her writing style- the pacing of the story, character development, the way she writes so descriptively and her use of simile and metaphor. Her words literally painted a picture for me and inexplicably drew me more into her tale. I liked that Genevieve and Alex weren’t your typical heroine/hero. I loved their witty repartee, and I think their conversations were the best part of the entire book- how their characters were developed and discovered during these chats, how you could almost feel the chemistry, how diabolical and funny they were, and how alluring and seductive they could also be.

    I think my favorite scene had to be that first kiss. Wow, was it a good one! There weren’t any plot twists that took me by surprise, but I didn’t need that to be intrigued and drawn in. I wasn’t annoyed by Genevieve’s continual devotion to Harry because I felt it was an integral part of her character and gave so much more meaning to her developing feelings for Alex. My impressions of Harry are not good, but maybe that’s why he needs his own book to mature and redeem himself. I just don’t care to read it right now! LOL. From the characters in this book, I would most like to see Ian or Olivia’s story next.

  22. I also loved this book. I hadn’t read any Julie Ann Long books before, and now I can’t wait to read all of the Pennyroyal series of books.
    I was sucked in from the first scene, but I thought Alex was too cold and intimidating to be the Hero of the book. But soon I fell for him. Loved his aloofness, how he enjoyed the way people reacted to him because he was a Duke.
    I thought Genevieve was too shy and should just tell Harry how she felt about him. She couldn’t see that Alex loved her because she was too distracted mooning over Harry.
    My favorite scene in the book was when the flowers were delivered for Genevieve, with the card that said to Venus, from Mars. Alex was so very intelligent. The way he spoke, how he described what a kiss should be, was poetry!
    The funniest scene was Millicent being chased by the swans. And I also loved how Alex tormented Ian, by leaving the book called Poisonous Plants Native to Sussex, by suggesting they all go hunting for grouse or some “other target”, by banging on Ian’s bedroom door in the night, by slowly cutting his slice of ham like you would slice someone’s throat….. so many funny moments!
    The sexiest scene in the book was when Alex described to Genevieve what a kiss should be. The scene where he gave her her first kiss was also so very sexy!
    And yes I think Harry should get his own book. But I can’t wait to read Ian’s book! I thought he was by far more interesting than Harry, because I always love a rake!
    I love the book club idea! I like having a chance to voice my opinion of a book, and read other’s opinions. Please continue it!

  23. So glad to see that others are begging for Ian’s book too!! Maybe we will get lucky with her next book =)

  24. We need to pick out our next book. What should it be??????

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