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Regency romance 'Duke's Undoing' delightful Jane Austen-era 'romp'

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, June 29 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

"THE DUKE'S UNDOING," by G.G. Vandagriff, Orson Whitney Press, $8.99, 184 pages (f)

Those who love the Regency romance genre will enjoy “The Duke’s Undoing” by G.G. Vandagriff.

The Duke of Ruisdell, recently returned from the Napoleanic war, has a reputation as one of the worst rogues in England. He does not consider himself the marrying type. On the other hand, the heroine and very virtuous maiden, Elise Edwards, has far too many suitors and three broken engagements when she encounters the duke.

The adventure begins when the duke agrees to a friend’s bet that his boredom will be relieved by seducing Elise, whom he has never met. After several interesting encounters, Elise, needing some male protection from one of her former fiancés, convinces the duke to pretend they are engaged.

For those unacquainted with this genre, Regency romance is a subgenre of romance novels and the books are set during the early 19th century, the English Regency period.

“The Duke’s Undoing,” according to the author, is “a romp through the Jane Austen era.”

Knowing that the rogue will be redeemed by the heroine is a given, but the journey is what delights the romance reader. Vandagriff does not disappoint her audience. The author leads her readers through a tangle of unexpected twists and turns before bringing the tale to its expected conclusion.

The characters are nicely drawn and the dialogue well-written. As would be expected in a romance novel, there are references to physical intimacy. A former mistress of the duke displays her femininity too freely in failed attempts to woo him away from Elise. There are also references to smoking and the use of alcohol.

Vandagriff is an award-winning Mormon author who lives in Utah. She and her husband run their own publishing business, The Orson Whitney Press.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at www.dramaticdimensions.com.

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