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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Distracting the Duke by Elizabeth Keysian - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Book review
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Review by Suze
It's 1820 and Lady Clara's husband Simon passed away, which means she's free of his horrors. She finally has the chance to be her own woman and doesn't want another man in her life. Her family's fortunes are in trouble and their ward has a good chance to be officially courted by Marcus, the Duke of Ulvercombe. They can't think of a better match and it would mean a happier and independent future for Clara and financial relief for her brother and his wife. Making sure their ward spends enough time with Marcus numerous visits are being arranged.

Marcus is looking for a wife. He wants a family and children and is determined to find someone he genuinely likes instead of having an arranged marriage that is a good business deal. Therefore he's looking for a gentle woman who won't disagree with him. He doesn't want any fights in his home and is looking for a nice peaceful life. When he meets Clara there's a spark, but she has a fiery character and is the exact opposite of the kind of future wife he is looking for. Is Marcus prepared to change his wishes to be with the woman who makes his heart beat faster and if so does he have a chance with Clara? She makes it clear she doesn't want to get married again, so is he willing to go to great lengths to convince her she's the woman for him?

Distracting the Duke is a wonderful romantic story. Clara is a damaged woman. Simon was a scary man and he hurt her badly. She's afraid of all men because of what he's done to her and I had tears in my eyes when I read about what kind of man he was. Clara is smart and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She's also kind and caring and hides her lovely personality behind a prickly attitude. I loved the endless discussions she has with Marcus, Elizabeth Keysian writes with a great sense of humor and I had a lot of fun reading their dialogue. Marcus is a gentleman with a friendly character. He tries to remain polite and calm and doesn't show the sweet side of his personality to everyone. Because of this he keeps surprising Clara. He can see straight through her behavior, which made their connection even more interesting. They have plenty of chemistry and they are quite evenly matched. I equally loved both of their characters and enjoyed reading their story very much.

Elizabeth Keysian's vivid descriptions of her characters and their surroundings immediately make her story come to life. Distracting the Duke is entertaining and vibrant. It was fun to read about the beautiful houses, fascinating business transactions, amazing artwork, fabulous clothes and delicious food and drinks. There's also a layer of depth, because of Clara's awful past and the impact it has on her future and Marcus's difficult childhood. Elizabeth Keysian writes about it in an empathic way, which makes the story well balanced. I really liked this spellbinding love story and highly recommend it.


Distracting the Duke is a fun story about two interesting people. If you like historical romance you will definitely love this story. It might be a bit difficult to read for those who can't have children, but overall it's very entertaining.
About Elizabeth Keysian

Elizabeth Keysian felt destined to write historical romance due to her Cornish descent, and an ancestral connection to the Norse god Odin. Being an only child gave her plenty of time to read, create imaginary worlds, produce her own comics, and write sketches and a deplorably bad musical for an amateur dramatics group.

Three decades spent working in museums and archaeology fired Elizabeth’s urge to write, as did living on a Knights Templar estate, with a garage full of skeletons, a resident ghost and a moat teeming with newts.

Elizabeth lives near Bath in England with her partner and cats.

Connect with Elizabeth

Amazon Author Profile:


Clara crept softly across the carpet of pine needles until she came to where a rivulet split the dunes on its way down to the sea, and halted. She caught sight of Ulvercombe standing at the water's edge with his back to her, hands on his hips.

She stepped aside swiftly, her heart beating hard. She would have to hide behind one of the dunes to avoid being seen, if he should turn round. Fortunately, the tide was still some way out and he was thus a considerable distance away, giving her time to make her escape if he spotted her.

Plucking off the old shawl she was wearing, she spread it over the grass-matted dune, then lay down on her stomach so only her head—with the telescope pressed to her eye—might be seen. Hopefully, with the waving sea grasses fanning across in front of her, she was well-hidden from any casual observer.

Eventually, she managed to locate Ulvercombe with the glass, and when she did her mouth dropped open in shock. In the time she'd taken to settle herself, he'd stripped off boots, stockings, jacket, and breeches, and now stood in nothing but his shirt, looking out to sea.

Clearly, the man had every expectation of being alone, and had no idea he was being covertly observed. It was early in the morning, it was his beach, his pine forest, his sand. She should back away and return to the house as quickly as possible.

A small attempt to move was made, but then he pulled his shirt over his head and she was transfixed.

The muscles rippled across his shoulders and she recalled, far too quickly, the feel of that hot body pressed against hers.

"Drat it!" The glass lens against her face had misted.

Crossly, she rubbed it with a corner of her shawl, and scanned the beach again until she found the duke.

The completely naked duke.

Her breath hitched in her throat. "Sweet Lord in heaven..."

It was not the splendid symmetry of his body, nor the very pleasing curve of his buttocks, nor even the straightness and supple power of his legs that had elicited her exclamation of shock.

It was the scars.

She hadn't seen the backs of his thighs when he'd disrobed that day in his bedchamber. Now she could see them very clearly, and she could also see a complex pattern of pale, crisscross lines etched across the skin. They were scars, surely?

Had he received them in battle or in some horrible accident? Had he been taken prisoner and tortured by the French? Maybe he'd been involved in a fire and something hot had branded him thus.

The chance to observe the marks more closely was abruptly removed as the duke, who had been walking straight out into the waves, suddenly dove in with a splash and began swimming out to sea with deft, powerful strokes.

She shuddered. The water must be absolutely freezing. How could he stand it?

"Good morning, Lady Tinniswood. A very fine one, is it not?"
One very lucky winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.


  1. Thank you so much for running this promotion and for the lovely review! I just wanted to add that I have my own private giveaway as well, for a great batch of Jane Austen related memorabilia. The prize draw is open to anyone who signs up for my newsletter via

  2. I really like the excerpt. Elizabeth is a new Author for me but I now look forward to reading her books. Thank you for posting.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  3. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  4. There's still time to enter both of the giveaways!

  5. Well I'm into Harry Potter and don't judge me I think jk Rowling is the best author ever