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The Duchess, Her Maid, the Groom, & Their Lover, by Victoria Janssen

The Duchess, Her Maid, the Groom & Their Lover
by Victoria Janssen (oracne)
379 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical

The Duchess Camille married for duty; now she endures continual abuse from the duke who controls her and her land. Having yet to produce an heir, instead of hanging around waiting for her husband to kill her, Camille flees with her loyal servants--eunuchs Kaspar and Arno, maid Sylvie, and stableboy/lover Henri--to find refuge with her childhood flame Lord Maxime.

Although I bought this book because I'm acquainted with the author and observed the writing process, the premise is interesting on its own--I adore power-dynamic imbalances. Camille's coldness and Henri's naivete were annoying at first, but they both grew on me. My favorite character, though, was Kaspar--he is so fiercely protective and easy to love. The title is a little misleading: "Their Lover" is I assume Maxime, but he's really only the Duchess's lover, and why didn't the eunuchs deserve title-notoriety? I did enjoy the diversity (of many different kinds, though much of it was thump-on-the-head obvious) and the French-historical-esque setting. The final verdict is mixed--I find it compelling and worth rereading--yet, it doesn't feel truly memorable.
Tags: author: janssen victoria, book reviews 2009, genre: historical, genre: romance
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