WOW! That's what I said when I finished The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie. I probably would have said it all throughout the book as well, but I was too caught up in the spine-tingling exploits to think about it. I'm thrilled to share this amazing book with you. So snuggle up in your coziest chair, grab a cup of your favorite warm drink, and let's journey together with our hero and heroine to far off lands sure to be full of exciting adventures!
The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie is the first book in the Forgotten Castles series. The year is 1818. Our heroine is Alexandria Featherstone who has the "heart of an adventuress and the imagination of a storyteller" (307). She lives on a beautiful, windswept island called Holy Island in Northumberland, England. There she dwells in a dilapidated castle, tending sheep, solving mysteries for the locals, and seeking adventures. But she constantly worries about her parents who have been missing for a little less than a year. They are famous treasure hunters, but they have been gone longer than normal this time. Others think them dead, but Alex will not give up hope!
Next meet our hero, Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton. His life is at the forefront of society, among the bustle and pretensions of the London upper class. He enjoys listening to music above all else. Music is what fills his soul. Then the unthinkable occurs--he starts to have some kind of affliction with his hearing. He can no longer hear, or listen to music! His whole life is turned upside down. The same day his hearing is taken, he gets a note from the prince regent that he is a distant relation to Alexandria, her parents are presumed dead, and he is now her guardian.
There is one problem. This is the fact that Alexandria refuses to come to him, claiming she must instead go in search of her missing parents. Due to the sudden onset of his affliction, Gabriel is unable to go after Alex right away. Instead they begin a discourse of letters back and forth. Sparks fly as letters are exchanged. Finally the Duke determines that he must go after Alex himself. Thus begins an exciting chase across the amazing landscapes of England and Ireland! Will the Duke find Alex in time before more dangerous enemies catch her? Will Alex find her parents and the love she is seeking from them? Will the Duke choose faith over duty and help Alex find her parents?
My Review: I was immediately drawn to this book due to the fact that it includes castles, England, and the Regency period. It more than lived up to my expectations!!! I thought that the main character, Alexandria Featherstone, was such a wonderful character and I fell in love with her just like all of the other characters in the book fall for her. Her name, alone, is brilliant! I agree with Gabriel, the Duke, when he thinks to himself regarding her name, "'Alexandria.' Alexandria Featherstone. The name comforted him somehow, brought to mind a fairy creature from a world too brightly colored to ever be sad" (22) Alexandria's character is unique and spunky. It is an inspiring character. I love how she makes people like her and inspires such fierce loyalty in others.
The way the Duke's struggle with going deaf is portrayed made me really feel what he was going through and think about what that must be like for him. Jamie Carie describes his affliction in such detail, including what he feels, experiences, and undergos emotionally. I truly sympathized with him.
Both the hero and heroione have their own issues of control that they are facing and their own battles. I could relate as I am constantly having to give up my own control issues to God. Along with the journey and Gabriel's condition also comes an increase of feelings that he has not known before and a awareness of being alive.
I also enjoyed the supporting cast of characters. Each had such a wonderful personality and is loveable in their own way.
The whole story is written to have an air of poetry about it. It is lyrical and mesmerizing. The settings are written in brilliant colors and landscapes that leap off the page.
A lot of regencies have similar storylines, but The Guardian Duke is fresh, exciting and will whisk you off to new places!
This is a clean read. It is Christian fiction.