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Publisher's Summary

An artist stumbles upon a naked duke and an unlikely love story begins in this captivating Victorian historical romance. 

When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can't banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily.  

Compelled to capture every detail, she creates a stunning portrait but is forced to sell it when the rent comes due. What could be worse than surrendering the very picture of your desire? Meeting the man himself.  

Anthony Philby, Duke of Weston, is nobody's muse. Upon discovering the scandalous likeness, he springs into action. His infamous family has been torn apart by shame and secrets, and he can't afford more gossip. Even a whisper may jeopardize his inheritance and his chance at independence. His plan is simple: Burn the painting, confront the artist. 

Or rather, it's simple until he meets Lucy and decides to offer the bewitching young artist a devil's bargain. He'll help save her foreclosed home, if she'll help repair his family’s brutal legacy. An irresistible passion ignites between them, but when danger strikes, Lucy and Anthony must risk everything...for a love that might destroy them both.

©2021 Joanna Lowell (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“I really loved this book - in fact, I couldn't put it down. It's a fabulous feast of a story that plunges you into the Victorian era with all its levels and complications - into the art world and among aristocrats and slum-dwellers. There's tension, adventure, derring-do, a fight against corruption on several levels, a rich cast of characters and a hero and heroine to admire and cheer for. All in all, a rich and heartwarming historical romance. Highly recommended.” (Anne Gracie, national best-selling author of Marry in Scarlet)

"Lowell conjures vivid characters in this intelligent Victorian romance...provides plenty of atmospheric intrigue, deepened by Lowell’s willingness to engage with ideas of gender, class, and empire, and by the complexity of the characters.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

"Lowell’s prose is vivid and evocative, and issues such as class inequity, women’s rights, and alcohol addiction complement the intense on-page evolution of the love story...those looking for a happy-ever-after for complex and passionate characters will be very satisfied here. A new voice in historical romance that will keep readers riveted." (Kirkus)

What listeners say about The Duke Undone

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Romantic and real

A mixture of some slightly darker subjects with humour and great banter. I liked both the hero and heroine and liked that each was a complete person. The balance works well. There are a great many obstacles to be overcome but the story remains engaging and exiting throughout.

Mary Jane Wells’ narration is as excellent as always. In fact I came across this book due to her narration and I’m glad I did.

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  • GreeneBean books
  • 24-04-2021

All the feelings and wonderfully real H/h

This is one of the best historical romances I have listened to in a long time. A scrappy, aspiring female artist from a regular background meets a Duke in a very strange way and a tenuous connection is formed. I really liked that there was real tension and not contrived problems. The narrator was fabulous too. I was gloriously lost in this world. Drove extra to keep on listening.

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  • Agatha Istanbul
  • 23-04-2021

Likeable but grating book!

For most of the book, I did not like the cowardice of the Duke. He always ran to liquor as his panacea for every trouble he ran into. It was very frustrating for me. I understand that he was an alcoholic - an addict, but having myself, been exposed to such people, I really don't like to read about them. The fact that Lucy, the poor art student who the Duke became interested in, kept coming back to him, was a testament to her tenacity. SHE was the strong one, and he the weak.
I'm glad that towards the end he did struggle to get away and off of alcohol, but I kept wondering to myself, what he would do when faced with a big problem again. I felt like Lucy would be trapped in this relationship, and have her heart broken by him.
Once again, I felt that the ending was "wrapped up in clean linen." I myself, read these historical romance novels for a happy ending. But I wondered if it really WAS a happy ending. And all the loose ends were tied up so quickly.......
I always enjoy the narrator, Mary Jane Wells! She reads each part so perfectly, and has a sense of the humour in some of the books she narrates, and makes me laugh a lot!

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  • smillerburg
  • 10-05-2021

All the feels

This was a great book. I look forward to seeing more from this author. The book tackles some tough topics but is not despairing. I was charmed by the hero and heroine. Mary Jane Wells as narrator was wonderful as usual. Highly recommend!

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  • Erica
  • 09-05-2021

Give It A Minute

It drags on. The author really sets the scene with her use of imagery. 3/4's in the climax. It was a lot, too.

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  • Ceal
  • 03-05-2021

Thoroughly Enjoyable

Well composed, there is a wealth of color, depth and purpose in the story.. It wraps you in a warm tapestry of the senses, you get drawn into the drama, mystery , the highs and lows as well . The sensuality is blazing and well placed.

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  • Claire Conger
  • 25-04-2021

Great Romance and Satisfying Character Arcs

I really liked the maturation journey for each of the main characters. There are charming and vibrant side characters that really round out the world.

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  • Rachel B Cowley
  • 24-04-2021

What an enjoyable listen!

The story by Ms Lowell was such a good one. Her characters were very well delineated and this reader became very invested in the story.
The narrator Mary Jane Wells was excellent.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-04-2021

Enjoyable historic romance with twists and turns

This was my first book from this author and it was very enjoyable. The story line wasn’t your typical historical romance angst. Especially where different social classes are concerned. The characters were flawed and relatable. The book had drama, comedy, and some tragedy. Mary Jane Wells is a FABULOUS narrator/performer! 👍🏻👍🏻

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  • AFS
  • 12-04-2021

Great and interesting love story

Great and interesting with intrigue not revealed in the last few chapters.
Love, love performer Mary Jane Wells.

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  • Rachel Reads
  • 23-04-2021

Great story

loved that it deviated from the rule driven stories of the time,, many people will say it's not reflective of society at that time - like you can broad brush a period.

Great characters,story development and narration, Mary Jane Wells is one of my favourite narrators - she doesn't read she's a vocal actor and they are rare indeed, really elevated the story.

Great that they broached on dyslexia but didn't miraculously know how to deal with it.
all told excellent.

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