Published by Avon on October 25th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Sometimes the man of your dreams . . .
Shop girl Poppy Fairchurch knows it’s pointless fantasizing about the Duke of Autenberry. Still, dreams can’t hurt anyone . . . unlike the carriage Poppy spies bearing down upon the unsuspecting duke. After she pulls him to safety, the duke lapses into a coma and Poppy is mistaken for his fiancée. But one person isn’t fooled: his arrogant and much too handsome half-brother, Struan Mackenzie. Soon Poppy isn’t sure what she wants more . . . the fantasy of her duke or the reality of one smoldering Scot who challenges her at every turn.
. . . is not who you think.
An illegitimate second son, Struan may have built an empire and established himself as one of the wealthiest men in Britain, but he knows he will always be an outsider among the ton. Just like he knows the infuriating Poppy is a liar. There’s no way the haughty Duke of Autenberry would deign to wed a working class girl. It doesn’t matter how charming she is. Or tempting. Or how much Struan wants her for himself.
¬¬Reviewed by AnnMarie¬¬
While the Duke Was Sleeping is the first book in the new series ‘The Rogue Files’ by Sophie Jordan.
It is very much an historical retelling of the classic film, ‘While You Were Sleeping’.
Poppy Fairchurch is a shop girl, working in a florists to make ends meet. She has a huge crush on one of the clients that frequents the shop, but he doesn’t give her a second look or thought. That doesn’t stop her fantasizing about him one day noticing her and falling in love with her. For them to have a happily ever after.
One day while she is watching her ‘crush’ outside the shop, she sees him coming to blows with another man. Their fight leads them out into the road and she like many others goes outside. Them to watch the action, her because she wants somebody to stop the fight. Nobody will, so she takes it upon herself to jump on the other man’s back to pull him away from the Duke. She manages at least to get him to lose his balance and get him away. But then she notices an out of control horse and carriage heading straight for the Duke, and she runs to push him off the road. He ends up smacking his head on the pavement and is out cold. When they get him to his home, Poppy with him because she gets caught up in the panic, they discover he isn’t just out cold, he is in a coma. A quiet moment alone with him where Poppy speaks as if she were his fiancé, is overheard hence the misunderstanding that she is more than just the shop girl who saved the Duke.
Struan Mackenzie is the man that was fighting in the streets with the Duke. Poppy is shocked to find out that he is the Duke’s half brother. While the Duke was brought up with all the love from his father, and all the riches too, Struan was ignored by his father. He was brought up by his mother and she very much struggled to make ends meet. She had no support whatsoever from Struan’s father. After his mother died Struan had only one thing in mind, making money, making something of himself, perhaps marrying a noble woman, and then visiting his father. He wanted to show him that he was worthy of the man’s attention, and that he made something of himself all by himself. He did all of that, except choose a wife, but in the end he didn’t get to show himself to his father because the man had died before he got to London.
Struan did approach his brother though, who knew nothing of his father’s infidelity and refused to believe that he has a half brother, even one that bears a striking resemblance to his father. His anger at Struan knows no bounds and that is why they came to blows on the street. Now the Duke is in a coma, and his family, even his step mother are all welcoming. They want him to come to the house as often as he wants and they want to get to know him. He loves the idea of family, and that Poppy is going to be at the house a lot while the Duke hopefully recovers. So he agrees to spending time visiting with the family too.
What follows is the build up of relationships between Struan and his family, and Struan and Poppy, who still blindly fantasizes about the Duke. Struan can’t believe that Poppy is the woman his snobbish brother would be engaged to, and if they are engaged, or even if she was the Duke’s mistress, why does he let her struggle, why does she work, wear worn out clothes, live in a less than nice area? He shouldn’t care, but he does because he finds the more time he spends with Poppy, the more he wants her for himself. Will she end up with Struan, what will happen if and when the Duke comes out of his coma, and how will his family react when they find out she has been lying to them?
Of course if you have seen the film ‘While You Were Sleeping’ you will already know the answers. Regardless of that, it’s a nice fresh approach to read this story in all it’s historical glory. I enjoyed the book, and I loved Struan, what a perfect hero. What I wasn’t so keen on though was that the book seemed to end too quickly. There was room for more to be told. That said, I guess I am comparing the book to the film, so perhaps a reader who hasn’t seen the film wouldn’t find the ending a little lacking. I still thoroughly recommend this book though, and hope that you will enjoy it. Personally I can’t wait until the next book in the series comes out. I wonder if it will be another retelling of a classic film?
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.