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The Lost Duchess by [Barden, Jenny]
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The Lost Duchess Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 450 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.

Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the New World, where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.

Emme joins Kit Doonan’s rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a trip will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2436 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (7 November 2013)
  • Sold by: PRH UK
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DW4LBKE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #374,924 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
From it's shocking and gripping opening chapter of this novel by author Jenny Barden, the reader is hooked. I could not help but feel empathy for the heroine's plight and her need to start a new life away from the scandal that threatens to destroy her life through no fault of her own. So she finds a way to escape to the New World via a ship of settlers. It is to the infamous Roanoke that they are to venture to, where the mystery of what happened to its inhabitants has yet to be understood. What follows is a wonderfully complex story of intrigue, mystery, hardship, and betrayal.
There is not one, but two horrible villains, and a wonderfully smart, savvy hero named Kit Doonan, that one cannot help but like. I was impressed with the author's historical research that really brought to life the struggles early settlers faced in America. The heroine, Emme, is also portrayed with credibility and empathy. This book is definitely an adventure story with strong elements of danger and a definite love story weaved therein. With its roots in Colonial America as wells as Elizabethan England, there is much to enjoy if one loves history. A nicely written novel with a compelling story!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad exploration of the fate of Roanoke 2 May 2014
By Sarah L. Gruwell - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have to commend the author on the research she did on the subject of the Roanoke Colony and all the latest information on it. I literally lived and breathed with the colonists as they made the long journey to America and struggled for survival in a world inhabited by those that hated them (for the most part). From the Tudor court of Queen Elizabeth to the dangerous paradise of the Caribbean islands to the wilds of Virginia, each scene is lush and vivid with life. The author even brought in some of the latest to come out of archeology and research on the colony like the gold ring and the patch on the map. It all made for a novel that will transport you to another time and place.

I enjoyed the depth of the characters and sweetness of romance in this novel. Everyone was distinct and stood out all on their own. Possessive Elizabeth, dreamy Governor White, determined Emme, and knowledgeable Kit drew me into the story right along with the dramatic surroundings. I felt that Emme and Kit fit each other extremely well. He seemed to be the calm grounding for a floundering Emme. And she provided someone for him to focus on and build a life around besides his son. I'm finding it a bit hard to put into words, but bottom line is the romance was beautiful and the characters breathed with life.

Then there came the ending... The narrative seems to suddenly go from blood-thumping showdown to everything being hunky dory in story land. There are huge questions (at least for me) left unanswered in the end, and I'm not even talking about the fate of the Lost Colonists. And some of the characters get to safety way too easily. There's at least another 50-60 pages of story, I felt, that could have been told. Did all this destroy the book for me? No. It's still a pretty strong novel, but be prepared for a bit of disappointment along the way.

I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good historical fiction, as long as you go in knowing that it's not perfect. The historical details, the characters, and the relationships carry it through any disappointment that may arise.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History and Love 18 August 2014
By Joyce A. Luna - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
When you need to get away from all that is going on in this world, and especially
the bad news, this is a great book to read. You not only enjoy the history side of it
but you have a great love story that you can hand to your family and not ashamed
of what they may read. It is a good decent book. I pass it to my friends and sometimes
they are long about passing to the next one but they eagerly wait and look forward
to learning and enjoying .
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story of Colonial America 17 January 2014
By History and Women - Published on Amazon.com
From it's shocking and gripping opening chapter of this novel by author Jenny Barden, the reader is hooked. I could not help but feel empathy for the heroine's plight and her need to start a new life away from the scandal that threatens to destroy her life through no fault of her own. So she finds a way to escape to the New World via a ship of settlers. It is to the infamous Roanoke that they are to venture to, where the mystery of what happened to its inhabitants has yet to be understood. What follows is a wonderfully complex story of intrigue, mystery, hardship, and betrayal.

There is not one, but two horrible villains, and a wonderfully smart, savvy hero named Kit Doonan, that one cannot help but like. I was impressed with the author's historical research that really brought to life the struggles early settlers faced in America. The heroine, Emme, is also portrayed with credibility and empathy. This book is definitely an adventure story with strong elements of danger and a definite love story weaved therein. With its roots in Colonial America as wells as Elizabethan England, there is much to enjoy if one loves history. A nicely written novel with a compelling story!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barden Offers Plausible and Exciting Solution to Lost Colony of Roanoke 3 June 2014
By Erin Al-Mehairi - Published on Amazon.com
I have been intrigued and slightly obsessed since my teen years with the fate of the 'Lost Colony of Roanoke,' which in the late 1500s became the first English colony in America. Studying more of this era from the Colonial American stand point in high school and for my BA degree in History here in the U.S., I mostly looked at it from an American soil standpoint. I haven't delved as much yet into the background information from the Elizabethan England side of the adventure of colonization.

When I saw the British author and historian Jenny Barden had a book publishing this month that surrounded a lady-in-waiting, Emme, from Queen Elizabeth's I court who joined the team heading to Roanoake, I jumped at the chance to hear their side, so to speak, of Sir Walter Raleigh's quest to the New World.

Jenny opens her sophomore novel, The Lost Duchess, with emotion and heart-wrenching prose that instantly connected me to her protagonist, Emme. Queen Elizabeth I was rather known for her explosive temper, a little like her father, and her impulsive and selfish needs. When something horrible happens to Emme, she is shamed and has to squelch her feelings so as not to anger her queen, for which she serves in close company.

Though Elizabeth I was known for pretty much treating her friends, her ladies-in-waiting, like servants who were to be at her every beck and call, even to the point of not having sex or getting married, Elizabeth was also given to mercy and the emotional needs of her friends as well. As she lets Emme take the voyage to the New World, Emme is given a chance to run from any shame she might have otherwise endured and start her life anew.

The novel is so well-researched and the characters fully dimensional. I felt connected to each of them and felt they were authentic and accurate, even those who were truly from the history books. As Jenny introduces one of her secondary characters from her first novel, Kit, a romance ensues between Emme and he. I felt as if I was reading the tale of two soul mates who fall in love on an epic adventure, not knowing what lied ahead of them in the future.

Jenny's book was full of mystery and intrigue, which made a great historical novel that I didn't want to put down. I liked how she incorporated into the story some of the most up-to-date findings about the Roanoke colony. She offers readers a plausible outcome to a long sought after mystery. Of course, some things are still unanswered, but well...they are unanswered in the history books so while she gives us a possible version, she also lets the novel open to breathe and for readers to come to their own conclusions as well.

I would highly recommend The Lost Duchess to any historical fiction lovers of the Tudor Era but who want a new twist or unique players and storyline or to a readers who like Colonial America history, adventure, and epic novels of histories lost mysteries. It was fully well-written in plot development, character structure, and full of vibrant details that made you feel propelled into the story.

Taking Elizabethan England and the wild, lush land of Virginia and converging them together really gave insight into two totally different worlds and the curiosity of men to explore and conquer. I felt the ocean mist on my face, the heart beat of abandon, the remote environment of the Caribbean, and the hardships of pioneering new land.

This is definitely a book I'll put on my shelves under Colonial America, as more books need written about this time period (ah, which of course is why I am writing one from the 1600s)! It's from a unique perspective, but one that can serve as an example of solidly written historical fiction of this time period. It's full of historical research and details so that it is a wonderful resource and will be a joy to re-read whenever I feel my craving for the mystery of Roanoke start to surface once more.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for honest review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous historical tale! 13 December 2014
By Gizzimomo Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
If you only gave the book a cursory look you could be forgiven for thinking this one another in a long line of books set with the Tudor Court of Queen Elizabeth I but you'd only be partially right in this assumption and might be in for a surprise while reading it. Yes, it does begin in the Elizabethan court but there is much more to it than that and it's a unique tale for me, nothing that I've read before and that's something I am very thankful for.

The central character is Emme Fifield, one of the Queen's ladies in waiting and after a rather unpleasant encounter with Lord Hertford her life is turned upside down. After a chance encounter with the mysterious mariner, Kit Doonan, Emme finds herself wanting to change her life completely and to do that she needs to remove herself from the rules and restrictions placed on her by the Queen. So in an effort to do so she finds herself on a ship heading for the New World and the infamous Roanoke. Anyone who knows the history of the New World and the English colonists will know the story of the Roanoke settlement and how the colonists vanished but how do you feel about exploring one possibility to explain it?

Well you should read this then as THAT is what this book is really about, throw in a handful of romance between beautiful Emme and dashing Kit and you have a truly wonderful historical novel.... I hate to name anything I read as a romance book as I don't do romance but love historical based novels (yes, they boil down to the same thing but my brain doesn't think so, so shhhhhhh don't tell!).

Emme is a strong character but also a very soft one, she knows what she wants and needs to do to make her life the one she wants but often struggles with her own emotions and for good reason considering what has happened to her (no spoilers here!). You watch her grow into a very strong and independent women and fall deeply for the handsome Kit. Kits is a very interesting man indeed, he has the usual troubled past but it is an interesting one that I really would have liked to hear a bit more detail about but you get enough to make his back story a good one, he opens himself up to Emme but keeps getting the door slammed in his face, eventually he breaks through and the romance between them is a touching tale and one they both deserve! Other characters in the book are based on the real colonists including the first English person born in the new world, Virginia Dare (who Emme helps to bring into the world!)

This is the first novel I've read by Jenny Barden but I do find myself curious to read more as she is a wonderful talent. Saying that I might not have found her by myself so thanks to Dizzy C's Book Blog's blog review of the book back last year that bought this book and author to my attention as without you I wouldn't have requested this book from Netgalley and might have never read it! And that would have been very sad as it's a wonderful read, full of intrigue, hardship, fear, love, wonder and adventure, a truly exceptional mix of so many emotions that make for an exceptional book and one that I would recommend for anyone who likes their 'period drama' book as much as I do.

In conclusion, it may not be quite the book you expect at first glance but by the time you reach the end you really won't care as you'll have read something really classy that had put you right through the emotional wringer, wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL!