My Dangerous Duke
by Gaelen Foley, historical (2010)
Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-173397-0


Gaelen Foley's My Dangerous Duke continues the feud between members of the Order of St Michael the Archangel and the bad guys, the Prometheans, and our heroes do this while passing themselves off as hedonists with super-capable wangs. Okay, they are randy and ready to go, but at the same time, they also have time to go abroad for all kinds of deadly mission for the greater good of all mankind. Or something.

So, this book. I don't even know how to start. It's not that this book can't stand alone. It probably can, I'm not sure, because the bigger problem here is that this story is overloaded with busting point with so many things that I can't imagine how I am going to deliver a coherent synopsis of this story. But I guess it never hurts to try.

Rohan Kilburn, the Duke of Warrington, is thought by all to be a debauched dude who is nonetheless feared and admired for the mojo he radiates from every pore of his manly body. His villagers, who are smugglers that doubled as messengers during those days of warring with Napoleon Bonaparte, are now in trouble with the law. Abetted by Rohan's enemy, they drug and truss up our heroine Kate Madsen as an offering to Rohan.

Rohan thinks that Kate is just a drunk prostitute, which is as good a reason as any for a virtuous man to get down and busy. Fortunately, the damage isn't completely done when Kate recovers and threatens to jump off to her death. Realizing that Kate has been wronged by his tenants, Rohan drills the culprit, only to learn that Kate may just be the daughter of an infamous Promethean!

Oh, it gets better. There's a family curse, a mythical book of alchemy, a booby-trapped cave, and... and... oh, is that a twirling ballerina hippopotamus I see dancing among the clouds?

To call this story "busy" is to make an understatement. Rohan and Kate soon settle into an easy chemistry that doesn't make much sense - she goes from being scared of him to cooing and purring like a kitten under his touch, while he starts putting her safety above the dictates of his Order. These two operate on a lust above all principle, it seems. Then again, even if the romance doesn't make much sense, it's a pleasant kind of dynamic that these two have. In another story, these two may just be a couple to remember.

As it is, these two spend far more time reacting to the many, many, many things both mundane and paranormal thrown at them. And honestly, if you ask me at any point in the story to explain what is going on there, I'd probably just spin my arms and go, "Op op op op oppan Gangnam Style! Party Shazam woo-woo he-eee-ey!" That makes as much sense as any attempt at explaining what the heck is happening.

Strangely enough, as ridiculously busy as this story can be, the end result is rather enjoyable. It's like going to a party where everything is a blur and I wake up naked with my face in the gutter, and while I will probably feel like crap in a few hours time, it's crazy enough an experience to make me want to experience it again at least once. Reading this book may not be a wholesome experience, but it's really fun in a "I have no idea what is going on, but HO-OOOO-OO-OH THUNDERCATS!" manner. I guess this is what they call a "crack book"?

Rating: 66


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