Plenty! Which is why I wrote about one in SAY YES TO THE DUKE. Luke is my favorite duke of all time. It helps that he’s fictitious. He has no bad characteristics at all besides a tendency (not revealed in the book) to look at himself naked in the looking glass and say out loud, “Methinks the boxing has been paying off!” And even that’s not such a bad characteristic, is it? I’m sure Janice, his wife, doesn’t mind his mild bragging a bit!
But let’s talk about some real dukes now. They are definitely sexy for a variety of reasons. Take Albert, Duke of Prussia. (By the way, I found all these dukes and their pictures on a list of famous dukes at www.biography.com).
Albert is sexy because he was the last Knight of the Teutonic Order. Look at him in his studly body armor! What’s not to love? His eyes are a little beady in the second picture, but I could live with that if he were a good jouster (no double entendres allowed!) and bestowed many fine gowns upon me.
And then there’s Louis Bourbon, Duke of Burgundy.
I’m not crazy about his Dolly Parton curls. But he’s sexy because he’s a reformed mean guy. He was apparently not a nice child at all, but a mentor got a hold of him and helped Louis develop a heart. By the time he died, he’d morphed into a fabulous husband. His wife succumbed to the measles, and because he was so in love with her, he refused to leave her side while she was sick. So he got the measles and died, too! Talk about devotion! That makes for a sexy duke.
Francis I was another hot duke.
He sacrificed his title as Duke of Lorraine to an opponent in a war just so he could marry his wife. How many men do you know would give up territory on a map and a prestigious title to make sure they got their woman? I don’t know any! Probably because I don’t know any peers or anyone who owns such big chunks of land. Nevertheless, I think it was a very big deal for Francis I to do this. His good karma paid off. He later became a duke again, and then Holy Roman Emperor. Just wow!
Of course, we all know about King Edward VIII, who abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson.
That’s some serious sexy, although I think his brother the Duke of York was way sexier for taking on the job of king when he wasn’t prepared to. We’ve all seen The King’s Speech, and York’s stuttering made his task all the more difficult. But he rose to the challenge. He’s the sexiest real duke of all, in my opinion. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that our delicious Colin Firth played him in the movie!
Ah, dukes. I could go on and on with reasons why they’re sexy: they’re rich, powerful, and apparently, if we can make a sweeping judgment based on 1) our tendency to romanticize dukes, and 2) some incidents in real history, when a duke loves a woman, watch out! You do not get in that duke’s way!
Let’s conclude by looking at Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
Hello? Did you see him holding little Georgie outside the hospital? Did you hear his playful banter with the press, in support of his wife, and witness how he put his son in the car and drive it off himself? We could go on and on about William’s sexiness. How about how he’s made a sincere effort to follow in his mother’s footsteps when it comes to supporting charities? Isn’t that sexy? And what about his military service?
There’s no doubt about it: Prince William is hot.
So all you duke lovers out there, stand your ground. Be proud of your obsessive devotion to this very rare breed of man! Dukes are delicious. And long, long, may they continue to flourish, both in our books and in the sometimes cynical world we occupy.
It’s a simple fact, isn’t it? We need dukes. The sexier, the better.
SAVE THE DUKES! Wouldn’t that look great on a bumper sticker or a button? If you like that, please leave a comment. Maybe we can start a SAVE THE DUKES society! I’m president, but I refuse to do any work. So maybe we should move on to other topics in the comments…? What do YOU like about dukes? Are you reading any good books lately? What are your Labor Day weekend plans? Do they involve dukes? And finally, I’m really glad that America, at least, has The Duke of Earl.
Kieran is giving away the following to one(1) lucky reader (US only). Click on the giveaway button below.
- A Harlequin tote bag
- A Heroes and Heartbreakers tote bag
- THE EARL IS MINE by Kieran Kramer
- MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and COMING ON STRONG, (two novels in one) by Tawny Weber
- DANGEROUS REFUGE by Elizabeth Lowell (hardcover)
- THE MARRIAGE MERGER by Jennifer Probst
- IT HAD TO BE YOU by Jill Shalvis
- LYON’S BRIDE by Cathy Maxwell
- DON’T CRY FOR ME by Sharon Sala
- THE LAST VICTIM by Karen Robards
- WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES by Sabrina Jeffries
- THE ARRANGEMENT by Mary Balogh
Double Rita®-finalist and USA Today bestseller Kieran Kramer writes Regency historical romances and now contemporary romance for St. Martin’s Press. THE EARL IS MINE, the second in her House of Brady series, is her latest release. SAY YES TO THE DUKE premiers in August 2013. SWEET TALK ME, set in present-day South Carolina, comes out in March 2014. A former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher, Kieran’s also a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer. She lives where she grew up–in the Lowcountry of South Carolina–with her Naval Reserve commander husband and their three children.
CAN A SCANDALOUS BEGINNING…
Janice Sherwood wants to marry for love, but she’s failed to make a match after two Seasons. Her parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Brady, arrange to send her to the Duke of Halsey’s country estate as a short-term guest of his grandmother, the dowager, in hopes that she might win the duke’s affections. What they never could have imagined is that Janice would fall for the ruggedly handsome servant Luke, who lives in the stables and carries an air of mystery and temptation.
LEAD TO A FAIRY-TALE ENDING?
When Luke Callahan learns that he is the legitimate heir to a dukedom, he will stop at nothing to claim what is his. But first, he must begin a game of disguise to secure his rightful inheritance. Janice isn’t part of his plan. But by engaging her in this dance of deception, might he lose her forever?
Raves and Reviews for Say Yes To The Duke
“Kramer’s gift is her innate ability to tell a story with unerring honesty, deep emotion and humor. Readers will laugh, cry and deeply sigh from beginning to end of this beautifully told, enchanting love story.” —4 1/2 stars RT Book Reviews Top Pick!
“The third book in Kramer’s “House of Brady” series offers everything this author’s fans have come to expect including a sinfully sexy romance between two perfectly matched protagonists, a richly amusing cast of unconventional secondary characters, and a lively plot that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” —Booklist