Review: The Duchess Diaries by Jillian Hunter

Reviewed by Debz

It’s a graduation ball in 1819 London and Lady Charlotte Boscastle, the headmistress of Scarfield Academy for young ladies has just spotted the man of her dreams. Of course, when he asks her to dance she has to say no. It’s one thing to fantasize about the Duke of Wynfield, it is another to know that he has been forced, eh…encouraged to dance with her by her cousin.

Gideon, Duke of Wynfield, accepts his friend’s manipulation into dancing with his cousin Lady Charlotte, but alas the cold schoolmarm refuses to engage in conversation or even accept his dance proposal. Her loss; he has better things to do anyway. She is out of sight and out of mind until he comes across her diary on the floor of his coach.

You see, Lady Charlotte doesn’t write about the mundane happenings at her school but her erotic exaggeration of events witnessed by her and her scandalous family. Not only is she explicit in her writing, in her musings, she and the Duke of Wynfield have been carrying out an illicit affair for a year. Gideon is amused, a little aroused and a lot pissed that Lady Charlotte has done this without even changing the names of the characters in her diary.

Unbeknownst to everyone, there is a plot to steal the diary by a hidden rival and comedy ensues with Charlotte, her friend Harriet, Gideon and a pickpocket all finding and subsequently losing the diary.

On the same evening, Harriet decides that she and Charlotte should break into the Duke of Wynfield’s house and retrieve the diary. Gideon catches Charlotte searching his private rooms and Charlotte’s family catch them kissing. Charlotte is apparently ruined and must get married to Gideon immediately.

I liked this book so much. It was the funniest I’ve seen in a while. I laughed out loud at numerous scenes, and the characters feel like people I would want to be friends with. Lady Charlotte is very amusing with all her worrying, and her brothers are hilarious. Her cousins and extended family are a mess. I love a good messy family.

I really liked Gideon as well. Although he had every reason to think Charlotte tried to lock him into marriage, based on the evidence of her deeds and the norm in the historical romance genre, he was able to let go of his ego a little bit and appreciate that everything is not what it seems. It was a little touch and go for a bit, with his penchant for fighting any man that looks at Charlotte “too long” but all in all, we was a great supporting hero.

Rating: A- or B+ (I’m not ready to commit)

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Duchess Diaries
by Jillian Hunter
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Signet Select

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