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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

"Lushly dark, riddled with secrets, and seductive.... Lowell’s writing oozes a sense of place. [The] sense of authenticity never falters, making this the most Victorian of romance novels.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“I loved The Duke Undone and so will my readers!” (Eloisa James, New York Times best-selling author of My Last Duchess)

“A beautiful blend of seductive suspense and heart-tugging romance that I could not put down. Romance fans should make room for this author on their keeper shelves!” (Lyssa Kay Adams, national best-selling author of Crazy, Stupid Bromance)

Featured Article: The Lushest Romance Listens for Bridgerton Fans


With Bridgerton season two filming now, but an anticipated release not expected until sometime next year, it may feel like we have nothing but time on our hands. If you're looking to fill the Bridgerton-shaped hole in your heart, I've gathered up a variety of picks that tap into various aspects of the show. Whether you're romance rooted, romance curious, or (gasp) romance-adverse, have a read through the list and find something to scratch that Bridgerton itch.

What listeners say about The Duke Undone

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    4 out of 5 stars

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!

11 people found this helpful

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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Finally, a witty, well-written romance!

I have been so disappointed with so many of the romances on Audible. They are mostly stupid and trite. This one had some meat and backbone, and the character development was commendable. In particular, the hero had an alcohol problem which was dealt with in the story. This acknowledgement was a breath of fresh air in the usual morass of what passes for the romance genre these days. So many men in them drink like alcoholics but it is incorporated in the story as though it were a strength, not a liability.
This is simply a delightful, fun listen and a great choice if your looking for somethin different. Wonderful narration.

5 people found this helpful

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A Different Kind of Love Story

Very enjoyable. Daring. Did not follow the usual formula. Characters were flawed but redeemed. No tittering worry about virginity. The steamier scenes were well done, and didn’t drone on endlessly about sounds, body parts or sensations. More organic. More real. Very well written and narrated. Not a dime store novel. Worthy.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Well written, interesting romance with mystery

This story was intriguing. The characters were well developed with interesting side characters. There was some intrigue and mystery. Being a romance I knew it would be resolved in the end. But I was intrigued to see how the author pulled it off. The story was definitely not your run of the mill historical romance. I liked that what you learned about the characters evolved over time. There were a few areas where the story dragged a little. I'm assuming some of the stuff that was learned during this time will be pertinent to side characters upcoming books. But that is an assumption on my part. I have no idea if this is to be a series. But these periods were short lived and never did I consider not finishing the book. I become quite attached to the H & h and I needed to know how their HEA came to be.

2 people found this helpful

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Finally a regency romance with depth!

I absolutely adored this book. The story was interesting and the prose lovely. The characters were well rounded and sometimes unexpected, I wish every novel in this genre were as well written!

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loved it and couldn't stop listening!

After listening to a few other books in thos same genre, I listened to this one because I love the narrator! The story did not disappoint. I was fascinated by the chemistry between the main characters, and their unbridled passion for each other. The love scenes were tastefully and beautifully depicted, but may be a little too much for some readers. It is a must listen if you like this genre or this narrator!

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Loved it

This has been the best book I have listened to in quite some time. The actress / reader did an amazing job portraying the characters. Definitely a new favorite

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So well written- I didn’t want it to end

It was well written, comical, thought provoking, romantic- I could go on and on, not fluff but also super entertaining. I loved literally every minute. Did not want it to end

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  • Joey
  • 03-09-22

I just loved it

Mary Jane Wells is an engaging and wonderful narrator. Bringing energy and character.

I truly enjoyed the heroine and hero. The dips and turns on the story. The story had dark moments, daft moments and moments of 'you know it just wouldn't happen but it makes a good story'.

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  • Mo Bass
  • 02-18-22

Worth keeping

Quite raw and well written. The narrator had quite a few odd pronunciations but did a good job none the less.

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  • S.Jenkinson
  • 02-07-22

Riveting!

Fantastic audiobook, fantastic narrator, fantastic storyline!

My chosen genre for audiobooks is regency romance- I find something enchanting and easy about them, usually listening as I fall asleep. This story started out quite slowly for me: I must admit that at first I wasn’t sure whether I liked it, based on the fact that with an audiobook I want to be drawn into an easy but romantic tale, and this story began with two independent characters who are slow to come together in the way my romantic brain wanted!

However- and perhaps because of- this realistic beginning, I found myself completely and utterly riveted by the unfurling storyline and subsequent romance. The story was not ‘fluffy’ and ‘easy’ in the way I had imagined; it was deeper and real, with problems that all tied together beautifully in the end; with characters aside from the two main protagonists whom you longed to see get the ending they deserved.

In short, this book was riveting with intrigue, injustices and and the romance all the better for the sweet tension built up by the author, and all perfectly narrated by Mary Jane Wells.

As an aside, I chose this book primarily because of Mary Jane Wells. Having listened to many audiobooks within this genre, she is by far the best narrator (for ANY genre of book in my opinion!). Her voices, intonations and performance are second to none. I wholeheartedly recommend listening to this audiobook!

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  • Alex
  • 07-11-21

Slow burn but riveting!

This is the first book I have read by this author and definitely won't be the last!

It is very different and it is very well researched which is a pleasure after all my recent readings.

It's quite a slow burn and I wasn't sure what to think initially but when it hotted up, I literally couldn't put it down as I was spellbound.

In simple terms, it's not all about sex, although there is the odd very steamy scene, but a well written piece about The Royal Academy and property development in the East End.

It all begins when Lucy, a budding painter, literally trips over a very drunk Anthony Philby, in an alley which I thought was hilarious and one of a kind. I also love the cover as I could imagine what they looked like.

There is intrigue, flawed characters and villainy. What warmed my spirit was how both Lucy and Anthony have to overcome horrid obstacles and end by saving each other.

I would definitely listen to this if you are looking for an intelligent story.

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  • Rachel Reads
  • 04-23-21

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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  • Jayltee
  • 04-08-21

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.

1 person found this helpful