2015 Book #15 – I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe

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Title: I Married the Duke
Author: Katharine Ashe
Date finished: 2/27/15
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Pages in book: 363
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Price Catchers series

Blurb from the cover:

On the way to marry a prince in a castle, a lady should never: 1. Bribe an infuriatingly arrogant and undeniably irresistible ship captain, 2. Let him kiss her senseless on a beach, 3. Battle thieves at his side, and 4. Exchange wedding vows with him, even under the direst circumstances.
But daring, determined Arabella Caulfield isn’t just any lady. And Luc Westfall is no typical ship captain. He’s the new Duke of Lycombe, and to defeat a plot that could destroy his family he must have an heir. Now he knows just the woman for the job…and he’s not above seduction to turn this would-be princess into a duchess.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Start a New Series” square. This book had an awful lot going on. A scarred, pirate, soon-to-be duke who needs to help a governess crsos to France for a new job where she’ll meet a prince that maybe she’ll marry and instead she almost gets raped (that part was pretty awful and scary) and then the pirate dies (or not really) and then he appears at the duke’s chateau in France where the governess just happens to be. And then the pirate ends up being blind and she leaves him at the altar and oh my goodness. I could barely keep up at some points, but was pretty bored at other points. It actually made for an emotionally confusing read. I think that the plot line of this book had real promise but there was just too much thrown in there for plot twists.
And to be honest, I couldn’t stand the heroine for most of the book. During the day she keeps pushing the hero away and rejecting him, thinking he doesn’t really love her and they shouldn’t have gotten married while he was dying on a beach, but then as soon as he comes in her room at night she’s like “take me,” Ugh it was so aggravating. I know that men and women have communication issues but the hero and heroine in this book had maybe 2 meaningful conversations. They couldn’t ever seem to actually talk to each other about how they were feeling. I don’t know where the relationship was but I missed it. There were parts of the book that I liked but overall I think it was frustrating. Hopefully the next book in the series is a little less frustrating.

The bottom line:  This was far from my favorite. I’m going to stick with the series though, I want to find out who marries the prince.

Link to author website
Link to Amazon

The Book Blogging Community

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I just started blogging during the last year and I really feel that in the past year a whole new world has been opened up to me. The Book Blogging community is astoundingly vast. There are so many people who want to share their opinions on the books they read and to connect with other people who like those books as well. When my husband first suggested to me last year that I should start a blog about my reading, I thought to myself “no one cares what I think about the books I read.” But I’ve found that there is a large not only community but also an audience for book bloggers. People actually are interested in your thoughts about the books you’re reading, especially other book bloggers! The social aspect of book blogging is a great way to get the word out about your blog and increase your followers. Its also a great way to find new interesting books to read!

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One of the things I recently discovered is the world of book memes. Book memes are a great way to become more involved in the book blogger community. A meme is usually where you take a picture and add words to them to make the picture more comical (examples can be found here) but a book meme, specifically for blog posts, is a posting with a certain topic that ties in with the day of the week. Usually one site will “host” the book meme and then everyone who posts on that topic can put a link on the host site’s page. This makes it easy to connect with other bloggers posting on the same topic and see how their ideas compare to yours. And the good news is that there are just tons of them. A few examples of book memes that I know of are Friday Finds, Waiting on Wednesday, and Top Ten Tuesday. These are just the few that I have participated in, but you can find a more extensive listing here.

Another interesting aspect of book blogging is reading challenges. The whole idea for my blog started because my mom and I decided we were each going to set goals for ourselves for the year (in 2014), me with my reading and her with quilting. Suffice it to say, I love challenging myself to read more books each year and to read a variety. Due to that, I have been very excited by the great number of reading challenges that are incorporated into the book blogging world. And its also fun to create your own reading challenges. Last year I “hosted” a Spooky Series Reading Challenge for October, and though I was the only one to participate, I still had a great time. This year I’ve joined into a few reading challenges from other blogs, including the TBR Pile Reading Challenge at the Roof Beam Reader site covering all of 2015 and Pop Sugar Reading Challenge for 2015. And a really awesome one I found in January is the Bookish Bingo from the Great Imaginations blog. You get a bingo square with different kinds of books in all the spots. Its really interesting and due to my LENGTHY to be read listing, I am usually able to find books to fit the categories from ones I have been wanting to read but never got around to. Plus I’m discovering a few new books that I never knew about! And that’s just a handful of reading challenges you can find on the web, here’s a listing of a few more.

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I recently learned that there are a lot of great resources for book bloggers. There are directories and how-to’s and checklists and pretty much anything and everything a beginning book blogger could ask for. One of these sites is bookblogging.net, which I know will be a site that I am definitely going to use in the future. There are over 1,000 book blogs listed on this site, and the site has a directory for current reading challenges, book memes, blogs, giveaways, and events. Another site is bookbloggerlist.com which looks like a great site for finding other blogs to connect with. I liked that you could pick your blog to be listed under multiple categories on this site as well. I read a decent (though I could be better) variety of books and I don’t like to have my blog required to be pegged down to one category. And the last one I wanted to mention is the Book Blogger Directory Blog which also looks like it will be a great tool in discovering new blogs to connect with.

So overall I think you can tell that I’m really happy to be part of the book blogging community. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and I look forward to growing my blog in the future. Thanks to my loyal followers!