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Debra Killeen

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Member Since: May, 2006

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An Unlikely Duke
by Debra Killeen   

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Category: 

Young Adult/Teen

Publisher:  Helm ISBN-10:  0979232831 Type: 
Pages: 

322

Copyright:  April 2007 ISBN-13:  9780979232831
Fiction

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Myrridia - An Unlikely Duke

How far would you go to find your soul mate, and what would you give up to remain with him or her?
When Dr. Chris McCabe agrees to travel to an alternate dimension to impersonate a ranking nobleman, Duke Christian Lattimore, in order to prevent Christian’s death, the last thing he expects is to be greeted by the duke’s corpse. Nor is he ready for Christian’s widow, Helen.
Helen is not ready for Chris, either. While Chris prepares for the acting job of his life, she and Prince Robert Claybourne quickly learn that Chris’s resemblance to Christian is only skin-deep. With Chris’s colleague Elijah Holmes, the three of them search for clues both Magical and mundane to solve the duke’s murder, and unexpected friendships, and more, develop.
One larger question remains – is Christian’s death the one foreseen by Bishop Edward Fitzroy when he originally proposed the masquerade to Chris? Or is there another threat to the duke?

  On their last day of travel, Christian finally pushed the pace, knowing they could arrive in Saelym that evening if they rode faster. It was nighttime when he and Robert were escorted by Jack and another man to the castle’s postern gate. Christian had debated riding through the main gate and facing an official welcome, but he’d decided to surprise Helen first. He’d directed Paul to spend the night with the remainder of their escort and see that the rest of their belongings were brought to the castle in the morning. Paul had glanced at Robert, who’d nodded without meeting his gaze. The squire was concerned -- Robert had been quieter than usual during the last few days. As Christian and Robert dismounted, Jack saluted them. “We will inform the king of your safe arrival, my lords,” he said in parting. “Good health to you both.” He bowed slightly in the saddle. “Until your return to Rhennsbury,” he added, then set spurs to his mount. His companion followed him. Christian led his horse through the gate. Robert followed, trying to make out details of the castle yard in the dark. A few surprised grooms approached them. Christian handed his reins to one young man, who made a belated obeisance. “Your Grace, welcome home.” Christian nodded in greeting, and then directed the servants to see that the horses were bedded down properly. He steered Robert toward the castle steps. He directed the first servant they met in the castle to show Robert to a guest room. “Your saddlebag will be along shortly,” he said. “We can let the duchess know of your arrival in the morning.” Robert inclined his head and followed the servant to the nearest stairwell. He had no complaints about getting out of Christian’s presence. Christian went to his private study. He disturbed a castle page long enough to remove his boots, fetch him some wine, and get a fire blazing in the room’s hearth despite the warmth. He sat at his desk, sipping the wine, and going through some of the duchy’s recent correspondence. He knew Helen would come to the study later in the evening to finish things for the day, and he’d surprise her then. Soon he fell forward into a deep sleep, his head and arms on the desk. He never heard the slow, quiet footsteps crossing the floor of the study, and he never felt the blade slip between his ribs and pierce his heart.        

Excerpt
Tired of your current job? Seeking motivated individual for rare opportunity. Must be independent self-starter and able to perform under pressure. Relocation necessary, expenses paid. Salary negotiable.

Professional Reviews

Gotta Write Network - An Unlikely Duke
Dr. Christopher "Chris" McCabe has been disenchanted with his residency lately and has shared his doubts with his roommate Elijah. He's worried that medicine isn't the field for him; the HMOs make it so hard to be a doctor vs. an assembly line worker. On a lark he decides to answer a vague ad in a newspaper that is looking for an "independent self-starter." When he meets the man behind the ad he is treated to an amazing tale of magic, other worlds, and treachery. His 'job' would be to take the place of a duke of Myrridia and to help ensure his safety. Chris has a hard time believing him, but when he shows Chris a glimmer of the magical power he holds; what can Chris do but believe. He asks for a week to decide and goes home. Chris and Elijah are best friends, almost brothers, so when faced with an offer of this magnitude, Chris asks his counsel.

Elijah can't understand why a smart man like Chris would even be considering the words of a lunatic and does all he can to dissuade Chris from returning to Boston to see this Edward character. The two men decide that if Chris takes the job, he's not going alone. Chris agrees to the job and plans are made for him to meet Edward in Myrridia in one month's time. Feeling that Edward is holding back information on his mission, Chris decides not to tell him that Elijah will be coming with.

When the two men arrive in Myrridia they find themselves thrust into parts that neither of them were ready to play. Edward is with the King and has left their training to Helen, the wife of the duke Christopher was to impersonate. Things have changed beyond the powers of Edward and Chris and Elijah must depend on themselves, Helen, and a sullen prince to keep them out of harm's way and hopefully to find a way to happiness for everyone involved.

I have never read a more imaginative piece of work. The different plotlines throughout this book are woven into a tight story that grabs you and will not let you go. The characters were so well-written and the scenery complimented them as well. Watching the Myrridians interact with Chris and Elijah was a treat. I read this book in one sitting and was surprised to look up and see my living room there; I fully expected to be in the realm of Myrridia myself. I hope that there will be many more books in this series and have already gifted a few friends with copies of this book.

Serena Polheber, reviewer, gottawritenetwork.com
February 21, 2006
copyright SP & GW


Reader Views Kids - An Unlikley Duke
“An Unlikely Duke” is a wonderful book about a man named Christopher McCabe who travels into a different world to save the life of a very important person. He goes into a world called “Myrridia” to take the place of Christian Lattimore, the duke of Myrridia.

After arriving in Myrridia, Christian Lattimore ends up murdered and Christopher McCabe must now pretend that he is Sir Lattimore. Christopher and the duke’s wife choose to play along with everything and pretend that Christian was never murdered.

Christopher must now act like he is Christian so that the murder does not become public. It’s not long before the King and Queen realize that Christopher is not their son. Of course, neither the queen nor the king mentions anything about it. Not long after the holidays, it is about time for Christopher to return to his own world, as his job had been completed. But will he go? Or will he choose to stay in Myrridia?

In my true, honest opinion, I think that “An Unlikely Duke” is a perfect example of what a book is about and how it should be written. From page one, I was hooked. The ending was perfect and fit the plot well. I also really like how this book had just the right amount of details. Enough to give information, but not so many that it becomes boring. My favorite part of “An Unlikely Duke” was the love story at the end. Throughout the story, I was hoping that those two characters would get together. (I’m not telling who those characters are as it’s up to you to find out.) I would say that this book would be perfect for people of all ages. Also, I would say that “An Unlikely Duke” should be a must read book throughout all schools in the United States. I really think that everyone would enjoy this book as much as they do the Harry Potter series, if not more. Great job Debra!!




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