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What I Did For a Duke Julie Ann Long
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Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: What I Did For a Duke Julie Ann Long Reply with quote

Just want to thank the ones that recommended this one to me. I posted about wanting more dialouge and this was one of the recommendations I received.

Not only was there plenty of dialouge but this one offers so much internal conflict a nice change from outside interference where you almost lose the love story of the main characters.

Julie Ann Long does a fabulous job of showing why these two people fall in love with each other. It's a great build. And they actually speak to each other throughout the book. What a change from internal thoughts to instant attraction to let's fall in bed and now we are in love without showing the readers how this came about.

Sure it happens throughtout the span of a week lol and yes it's one house party. But in that one week and that one house party they speak more and give each other so much food for thought that you forget this is all happening in that short span of time.

Great hero in Alex the Duke. Yes some complained of the mix up of how titles are addressed etc. Honestly when you are reading and having this much fun with the couple I could care less what they called their betters...

I just had fun that an intelligent fierce experienced hero had a match in his "innocent" and she wasn't left to just follow the crumbs he left out for her.

I don't know if Ms. Long's other stories are as good but I know I'm willing to try out more.

Talk about match of wits. And I have to add I had so much fun seeing Geneive recognize what true love is for her.
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LordRose



Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The huge number of anachronisms in Julie Anne Long's books is a major turn off for me. Perhaps I'm just excessively nitpicky, but they really bother me, and so while I find her books fun to read, they're also really annoying. You can find charts with the correct addresses for the British peerage very easily on the internet, so I really don't see why people mangle these so often nowadays.

One word that majorly bothers me in historicals is "escalate". It was created by back formation from escalator, not the other way around, meaning escalators had to be invented before anything escalated, and things did not escalate until 1920-25. Julie Anne Long uses it quite a bit.

Finally, I wasn't entirely convinced the heroine loved the hero nearly as much as he loved her. (Slight spoiler) Up until the very end of the book, she still thought she was in love with the other guy, despite having lots of sex with the hero. He was nearly twice her age, too, and seemed rather more mature than her.

So altogether, while What I Did For A Duke was fun, it was not a book I liked hugely.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 718
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julie Anne Long is one of my favorite authors and her Pennyroyal Green series is the best, I think. I loved What I Did for a Duke and didn't find the age factor to be a problem, especially since the hero is still in his thirties. Genevieve struck me as unusually mature in many ways and quite the equal to Alex intellectually. I reread this one frequently, but I also really enjoyed How the Marquess was Won, her most recent. And her next in the series is due out at the end of October and looks very promising.
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babyfishmouth



Joined: 09 May 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I Did for a Duke is my favorite book by JAL. First runner up is Like No Other Lover. It's similar in that it also takes place primarily during a house party and the external conflict is low. Lots of fun dialogue and a hero that wears glasses. Gotta love that!
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LFL



Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LordRose wrote:
The huge number of anachronisms in Julie Anne Long's books is a major turn off for me. Perhaps I'm just excessively nitpicky, but they really bother me, and so while I find her books fun to read, they're also really annoying. You can find charts with the correct addresses for the British peerage very easily on the internet, so I really don't see why people mangle these so often nowadays.


I understand the frustration, though I've experienced it more often with other authors' books. I was just saying earlier today that there's something about the way I respond to Long's prose style that often masks these problems for me.

Her last book, How the Marquess was Won, is an exception -- I was completely yanked from the story by the contemporary-seeming dance fad that the hero inadvertently started. It shattered the illusion that I could possibly be reading about something that happened in the 19th century, or even a fantasy world based on the 19th century.

Quote:
One word that majorly bothers me in historicals is "escalate". It was created by back formation from escalator, not the other way around, meaning escalators had to be invented before anything escalated, and things did not escalate until 1920-25. Julie Anne Long uses it quite a bit.


I don't think I've ever picked up on that, but I just checked the OED and the earliest quote there using the figurative meaning of "escalate" comes from 1959. I wouldn't have guessed that usage was so recent.

Quote:
Finally, I wasn't entirely convinced the heroine loved the hero nearly as much as he loved her. (Slight spoiler) Up until the very end of the book, she still thought she was in love with the other guy, despite having lots of sex with the hero. He was nearly twice her age, too, and seemed rather more mature than her.


I had no problem with that aspect of the story. I loved the romantic relationship and What I Did for a Duke is one of my favorites among her books. My other favorites are Beauty and the Spy, The Secret to Seduction, and I Kissed an Earl (though I've only read an ARC of the latter and later heard from other readers that the published book was also riddled with copy errors).
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LordRose wrote:
So altogether, while What I Did For A Duke was fun, it was not a book I liked hugely.

I totally agree with you here on this book, LordRose, and not necessarily for the same reasons you gave in your post. I just didn't click with the heroine at all and that is almost necessary for me in order to like a story. Her antics did not grow on me, but were making me frustrated as the story moved along. I got the feeling that she was quite immature. Oh, well--can't win them all and certainly can't agree with everyone on everything.
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Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LordRose I understand your feelings but for some reason these aspects just didn't bug me.

Finally, I wasn't entirely convinced the heroine loved the hero nearly as much as he loved her. (Slight spoiler) Up until the very end of the book, she still thought she was in love with the other guy, despite having lots of sex with the hero. He was nearly twice her age, too, and seemed rather more mature than her.

Spoilers:

I felt the Heroine having to live with jilting her fiance and breaking his heart was going to have long lasting effects on her and wasn't an easy decision for her. So I understood what Genevieve did for her duke. Sure she took her time getting around to it, not I think because she was still in love but because she was just used to the idea of being in love with him and like most young women would probably have reservations of the age difference with the duke and not looking like a young blonde god. She had to get over her school girl fantasy that she held on to for years. But I think her maturity shined through in the fact that she didn't go with what was supposed to be the ton/neighbors/friends ideal and instead went with her own.

The sex issue I have to say didn't bug me though it showed her to be not the sweet innocent angel but a flesh and blood female. So many times the hero gets to have his fun for a while before he decides to settle down with his true love so to speak. I guess I was kind of cheering that an author took liberty to show that hey the heroine was going to have a little fun as well seperating sexuality in her mind at the time from "love". So many heroes again get to do so and I found it to be a bit of equal opportunity.

Though I know that he was more mature than she in understanding life due to his experiences I didn't feel that the age difference was even substantial in the story. Other than having the heroine repeat this a couple times in her mind there was no basis that this would have any effect on them as she was an equal to his intellect when it wasn't concerning her emotions. I thought Ms. Long did a good job in displaying that it was a silly notion of the heroine's part to worry in the grand scheme of her happiness. She was able to get a love that understood her better than she understood herself though she had all these common likes with her illusional love.

Mostly I guess I loved this story because it took all the elements of what's considered the norm in historical romance and did away with certain rules or types and still managed to be lovely.

But maybe it was just the mood I was in when reading because usually I'd probably have those same reserves.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book wasn't bad but I just couldn't get past the huge age difference. He could be her father for crying out loud! Yes, I realize that it wouldn't have been such a big deal back in the days, but think about this: when she reaches the peak of her sexual development he's going to be in late forties/fifties (this is pre Viagra, mind you). This doesn't bode well for the state of their marriage.

As I've said here when I first read it, the romance was of the first infatuation /coming of age kind. Nice, but something you get over to search for the real thing. But since it's romance, we just need to have HEA, however implausible Rolling Eyes
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1120

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Islandgirl: FWIW, I've enjoyed all of Julie Anne Long's books, including her stand-alones as well as the Pennyroyal series. All of them have "caught" me and pulled me into them in some way, and things that seem to bother others just don't bother me at all. OTOH, I've read some other authors' books recently with excellent execution where the stories just didn't engage me at all. I've been a stickler for accuracy in the past, but now I'm looking more for a story I can care about, and JAL has been a terrific storyteller for my taste.

If you decide to read the Pennyroyal series, you don't absolutely have to read them in order, but there is a thread that runs through them that I suspect won't be resolved until the last book.
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JulieLeto



Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, I loved this book. It was the first of the Pennyroyal books I read and I've since read more of them. I was more bothered by the typos in the last book I read than anachronisms. I think they just need a better copy editor. (I agree that the titles thing in one book was a mess...but I only noticed because the titles kept changing. I don't know one title from another, despite the fact that I read historical romances more than any other genre. But if you tell me someone is a viscount on one page, you can't tell me he's a duke or an earl on another.)

But titles and actual language, to me, are two different things. Authors today have to write in today's language. If they don't, readers won't understand. I mean, think of the medieval romances. They didn't even speak the type of English we speak today. I think the use of relatively modern language--while leaving out anything that is clearly out of place like an iPhone or electricity--is acceptable. To expect authors to do research about the etymology of words that are not obviously based on modern appliances is, to me, unnecessary.

Which leads me to escalate. To me, this isn't obvious. I did a little research on "escalate" because the question popped into my mind that if the word wasn't used as a verb first, then why would manufacturers of the first escalator choose to name their contraption an "escalator?" Well, it's apparently because the word "escalade" was already being used as a verb as early as the 16th century, in reference to climbing a ladder. So the word "escalate" could very well have been in use, as it is a variation, even if it was not in WRITTEN language, which is all we have to "date" words.

Do readers really expect historical writers to go look up the etymology of every word in their manuscripts? As a reader, I don't. They're writers, not etymologists. I don't want them using a word like "google" as a verb in a historical, but beyond the obvious, I like that they are writing historicals in modern language and not entirely time-period accurate language.

But that's just me. We all have our pet peeves. Smile
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1120

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JulieLeto wrote:
... I was more bothered by the typos in the last book I read than anachronisms. I think they just need a better copy editor...

...But titles and actual language, to me, are two different things. Authors today have to write in today's language. If they don't, readers won't understand. I mean, think of the medieval romances. They didn't even speak the type of English we speak today. I think the use of relatively modern language--while leaving out anything that is clearly out of place like an iPhone or electricity--is acceptable. To expect authors to do research about the etymology of words that are not obviously based on modern appliances is, to me, unnecessary....

...I don't want them using a word like "google" as a verb in a historical, but beyond the obvious, I like that they are writing historicals in modern language and not entirely time-period accurate language....


We are so on the same page on the several points you made. I wish I didn't catch typos but I can't seem to help myself. And though I'm a history buff, I don't spend a lot of time on titles either.

And every age writes in its own vernacular; that's a given or there wouldn't be a readily available audience. Besides, some books mimicking other times have a tendency to come off as pretentious IMO. Pick up Georgian, Regency, Victorian, Colonial American period writings, etc., to get a real feel for each time. I love language and etymology personally, but this is genre fiction and as long as there are no space shuttles or Internet, I'm fine. But as you said, to each his own since tastes differ.

ETA: Plus, I'm more interested in getting our present use of language into better shape before attempting to take on past styles. A past style blended in with current usage that isn't always correct jumps out at me every time because of how uneven it can be, as well as modern grammar and spelling mistakes all mixed rogether.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1369

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently saw the word "Godwottery" in World Wide Words (a good language column). It applies to poor attempts to create period language.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not real gung-ho on sticking with the period language, as long as authors don't abuse it by using some words so totally in this era as others have suggested (ie, the word "google"). Obviously they weren't in use at the time; or if they were, not used in the context they are now. In fact, I could not get through Pride and Prejudice just because of the language that was spoken and written for that time. It would be horrible if they tried to mimic that exactly these days. Smile

My beef, actually, is with ignoring the social and moral practices of that time, along with its consequences. So, if an author presents a woman brought up in the traditions being promiscuous or even "willing to experiment," then there were definite consequences if this were ever found out. Or if she did get pregnant, that was not a minor offense in those times for any social class. I'm not saying it didn't happen; I am saying it happened with a great price to be paid. To totally ignore that and have, especially the woman, be indifferent to this just does not ring true for me. I love how Amanda Quick (Krentz) would present her heroines--pretty modern thinking, but always aware that there was a society out there that she would have to contend with. I felt she usually did a good job of combining both the past and present woman in one package.

Unfortunately, not all authors are successful with this. And I know it when I read it. Smile


Last edited by Tee on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JudyZ6666



Joined: 07 Jul 2011
Posts: 192
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliza wrote:


We are so on the same page on the several points you made. I wish I didn't catch typos but I can't seem to help myself. And though I'm a history buff, I don't spend a lot of time on titles either.

And every age writes in its own vernacular; that's a given or there wouldn't be a readily available audience. Besides, some books mimicking other times have a tendency to come off as pretentious IMO. Pick up Georgian, Regency, Victorian, Colonial American period writings, etc., to get a real feel for each time. I love language and etymology personally, but this is genre fiction and as long as there are no space shuttles or Internet, I'm fine. But as you said, to each his own since tastes differ.


Things like titles bother me because it's something easily looked up (forms of address, for example--i.e. how do you properly address an Earl's daughter? JAL gets these things wrong a lot, as did Suzanne Enoch in her earlier books). It's just as jarring to me as spelling errors because it's just not that hard to fix and should be part of the proofing/research. If you're going to write a book where a lot of your characters are British aristocracy, then you need to have a good handle on...their handles. Smile

OTOH, language usage? First of all, no, I don't think an author should check the etymology of every word she uses. That would be overkill. I am actually more bothered when an author tries to write in the language of the time. It tend to come off as stilted. Sorry. It doesn't sound stilted when Jane Austen does it--it just sounds natural. I think authors who try to write in the time-appropriate vernacular overemphasize the use of slang and oddly-syntaxed sentences, so that it just comes off as though it's out of a bad '40 gangster film. Smile THAT'S what removes me from the story. In one of Mary Balogh's earlier novels, the hero speaks in "cant," and, frankly, I kept waiting for him to reveal that it was all an act in order to look like a fop. And, he never did. Big hero turn-off.

I think that the authors who carefully write in very proper English are the ones who carry it off best, even if the heroine finds tubas in her 1820's closet.

Judyudy
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Emma



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really interesting discussion here about anachronisms. A little off topic, but Tee wrote

Tee wrote:
So, if an author presents a woman brought up in the traditions being promiscuous or even "willing to experiment," then there were definite consequences if this were ever found out. Or if she did get pregnant, that was not a minor offense in those times for any social class. I'm not saying it didn't happen; I am saying it happened with a great price to be paid.


I agree, it's important to me that the "feel" of the book matches the time period. Reading this though reminded me of a few articles I'd come across recently saying that the percentage of women who were pregnant at the time of marriage in 18th century England was as high as 40%! Totally amazing to me. In the Victorian era it dropped to 20% or 1 in 5 due to various changing social mores and laws governing marriage. This BBC article is a good read if you're interested.

I'm sure though that this would have been MUCH more uncommon/much LESS accepted among the upper classes.
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