Reviews and Press

The Dressmaker’s Duke

Best Historical (finalist)~ National Readers Choice Awards
Best First Book (finalist)~ National Readers Choice Awards
Best Historical (finalist)~ The Heart of Excellence
Best Historical (finalist)~ The Aspen Gold
Best First Book (finalist)~ The Golden Leaf

Praise for:

It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel because Mr. Russell weaves such a compelling and intensely emotional story with complex and flawed characters that I really cared about.
~ Rakes and Rascals *****

Just – Wow! I am in awe of this wonderful book. Everything worked for me – the characters, the plot, the conflicts, and a happy ever after that was sweet indeed. It’s hard to believe that this is a first book, it’s that good. This will be in my top ten books for this year. If you enjoy exciting, emotional stories with damaged heroes and heroines, this is the perfect one for you.
~ Long and Short Reviews *****

A wonderful story filled with passion, undeniable chemistry and love between an unlikely pair – a Duke and a dressmaker.
~A Tattered Copy *****

I fell in love with Olivia and Rhys instantly. This is one of my favorite love stories now. I can’t wait to reread this to experience it again. It was just that good.  Highly recommended.
~ Offbeat Vagabond *****

Russell does a great job balancing moving forward the romantic story, and keeping us just a little on edge waiting to find out what the FULL story of the character’s pasts.
~ Reading to Distraction *****

1.
Jennifer Bradley reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
Delicious, guilty, pleasure. October 1, 2014
Bubble bath + plate of bonbons + kids at a sleepover + husband away on business = HEAVEN. Devoured it AND the bonbons in one night. Can’t wait for whatever Jess Russell writes next!
2.
Beth A. Stephens reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
I absolutely loved this book October 1, 2014
I absolutely loved this book. From the first page I was hooked. It has been a long time since I have read a romance novel and I am happy that Jess Russell has brought me back to the fold. I am looking forward to her next book. I hope the wait will not be too long.
3.
So excellent! October 1, 2014
The writing is so evocative of the time and place I felt as if I had stepped into another world. It’s a fun, sexy, and downright delicious read of a book, with great characters and a story line that will keep you guessing. I can’t wait to see what she writes next – keep ’em coming Jess!
4.
vnuzz “vnuzz” reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
Smart and Sexy September 29, 2014
I’m prefacing my review by noting that I am a friend of the author…but not a big fan of romance novels. (The genre’s requisite scatter-brained heroine, besotted love-interest and implausible plot twists leave me cold.) However, Jess Russel is a powerful creative talent and I had faith that if anyone could deliver a readable romance novel, it would be Jess. My faith was not unfounded. This is a romantic fantasy for those…Read More

I’m prefacing my review by noting that I am a friend of the author…but not a big fan of romance novels. (The genre’s requisite scatter-brained heroine, besotted love-interest and implausible plot twists leave me cold.) However, Jess Russel is a powerful creative talent and I had faith that if anyone could deliver a readable romance novel, it would be Jess. My faith was not unfounded. This is a romantic fantasy for those of us who need both our hearts and our brains engaged. The Dressmaker’s Duke is beautifully written, it’s language artful and it’s dialogue natural. The story line is compelling; I read it in one sitting. The sex is hot.The Dressmaker’s Duke is a must-read for Romance fans and for the rest of us, too.Show Less

5.
marian galbraith reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Steamy and riveting! September 29, 2014
marian galbraith
“The Dressmaker’s Duke,” by Jess Russell, is more than just a steamy, historic romance novel. For someone who has never really read one before, I have to say I was immediately captivated and well-entertained throughout its 350 pages.
Set in 1810 London, the protagonist, Olivia Weston, is a struggling dress designer and seamstress, mostly for the upper class.
From the very first page, the sexual…Read More
marian galbraith
“The Dressmaker’s Duke,” by Jess Russell, is more than just a steamy, historic romance novel. For someone who has never really read one before, I have to say I was immediately captivated and well-entertained throughout its 350 pages.
Set in 1810 London, the protagonist, Olivia Weston, is a struggling dress designer and seamstress, mostly for the upper class.
From the very first page, the sexual tension is palpable between Olivia and her duke-in-disguise, Rhys Merrick, who is immediately drawn to her, yet highly on-guard, upon their chance meeting in an oddity shop.
Despite his upper-class upbringing, Rhys Merrick, the Duke of Roydan, is determined to be the opposite of his depraved and abusive father, repressing his desires so severely he is nick-named “the Monk” by local society.
But when Olivia shows up again in his life, his aloof facade starts to crumble and he can no longer resist this exquisite woman, despite her lower social status.
Her greatest fear, on the other hand, is becoming any man’s “property” and losing her independence. Rather than make her living as a mistress for men of Rhys’s ilk, she chooses instead to eke out a living designing gowns for the women who do.
But when her circumstances take a tragic turn, she is forced to re-think priorities for herself and her ailing friend and business partner.
Between the rich visual detail and classic language of the period, I felt transported to a different time and place, and despite the obvious attraction between them, the tale takes several surprising twists and turns.
Multiple subplots with well-developed characters emerge long before the two get together and the fireworks begin.
For those who enjoy explicit verbiage during sex scenes, there is certainly enough detail in that regard.
Personally, while I was relieved to see them connect, I found myself skimming through the love scenes to get back to the entertaining plot, where forbidden love, sex and intimacy are followed by separation, loss and distress as their mysterious pasts unfold and circumstances change.
With nail-biting suspense and horrific surprises all the way to the end, the story kept me on edge and wondering when, or if, they would ever experience love again.
All-in-all, “The Dressmaker’s Duke” is an excellent debut for this author’s first major work! The interactive author’s blog at http://www.jessrussell.com provides a unique opportunity for fans to participate in the next one, which is already in progress.
Way to go, Jess Russell!Show Less
6.
Cynthia reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Loved it! September 28, 2014

Jess Russell’s writing contains vivid and beautiful imagery. It is one of the things I love about her writing. She brings the story to life through her descriptions of the characters and the setting.Olivia and Rhys’s story was engaging and there were some unexpected twists at the end. The secondary characters were interesting and added to the depth of the story.

I was provided a copy of the book to review.<br…Read More

Jess Russell’s writing contains vivid and beautiful imagery. It is one of the things I love about her writing. She brings the story to life through her descriptions of the characters and the setting.Olivia and Rhys’s story was engaging and there were some unexpected twists at the end. The secondary characters were interesting and added to the depth of the story.

I was provided a copy of the book to review.

I can’t wait for her next release.Show Less

7.
Collette Cameron “Collette” reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Simply Brilliant! September 26, 2014

I couldn’t read this fabulous book fast enough!Rhys and Olivia’s romance was one romping good romance, and I adored them from the beginning. Ms. Russell’s vivid descriptions and beautifully woven plot carried me along page after page. As an avid fan of historical romances, the attention to historical detail in THE DRESSMAKER’S DUKE cannot be praised enough.

I eagerly look forward to more stories from this…Read More

I couldn’t read this fabulous book fast enough!Rhys and Olivia’s romance was one romping good romance, and I adored them from the beginning. Ms. Russell’s vivid descriptions and beautifully woven plot carried me along page after page. As an avid fan of historical romances, the attention to historical detail in THE DRESSMAKER’S DUKE cannot be praised enough.

I eagerly look forward to more stories from this gifted author!Show Less

8.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
A lush, wonderful historical romance! September 26, 2014
This is a masterpiece of characterization, told with all the luscious detail readers of richly textured historicals will love. Jess Russell has a way with language and an evident love for the people who live in her story. Several scenes from this book have stayed with me, and Rhys in particular remains dear to my heart, though Olivia is a delightful and noble heroine in her own right! I look forward to the next release from…Read More
This is a masterpiece of characterization, told with all the luscious detail readers of richly textured historicals will love. Jess Russell has a way with language and an evident love for the people who live in her story. Several scenes from this book have stayed with me, and Rhys in particular remains dear to my heart, though Olivia is a delightful and noble heroine in her own right! I look forward to the next release from this author!Show Less
9.
Mary Beth Bass reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
I loved love loved loved the smart September 26, 2014
I loved love loved loved the smart, sexy, slightly prickly hero and the lovely, capable heroine of THE DRESSMAKER’S DUKE. And I loved the descriptions of the dresses, especially the one with the vital ribbon. (Read the book to find out what it does!). THE DRESSMAKER’S DUKE is perfect for fans of Elizabeth Hoyt and Amanda Quick. I loved it!
10.
CarmelCAman “CarmelCAman” reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
4 of 4 people found the following helpful
I love a good read and I am picky September 26, 2014
Run, don’t walk, to get your copy!!! I love a good read and I am picky. This book had me hooked from the first chapter. I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t wait for night to fall so I could curl up in bed and read read read. I have always enjoyed romance but this is even more than a good romance. It has twists and turns. It takes you to another time. Keep your eye out for Jess Russell!!!
11.
Ashley Gardner reviewed The Dressmaker’s Duke
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
Great writing, loved this novel! September 24, 2014
I loved this book! Every night I looked forward to going upstairs, climbing in bed and opening the pages to find out what was happening next to Olivia and Rhys. Jess Russell is an excellent writer and I do not say that lightly. This is really good writing, and good story telling too. Russell breathes a wonderful depth of life into every character, filling each of them with longing and empathy, cruelty and jealousy, all the…Read More
I loved this book! Every night I looked forward to going upstairs, climbing in bed and opening the pages to find out what was happening next to Olivia and Rhys. Jess Russell is an excellent writer and I do not say that lightly. This is really good writing, and good story telling too. Russell breathes a wonderful depth of life into every character, filling each of them with longing and empathy, cruelty and jealousy, all the emotions that make us sadly, tenderly human. This is such a compelling and fun read. I highly recommend it.Show Less

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3 Responses to Reviews and Press

  1. Ann Hendrick says:

    The Dressmaker’s Duke is a “must read” for lovers of romantic fiction. It’s not your usual and predictable storyline, great characters.
    Desperate to read her next novels!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kathy says:

    I gave up reading romance novels long ago. They were way too predictable. So, when I got Jess’s book, although eager to read it, I was expecting more of the same. What a surprise! I deprived myself of sleep to read it without stopping! It was fresh, and too exciting to put down! Looking forward to her next venture!

    Like

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