THE DUCHESS AND THE DRAGON
B&H Publishing Group
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About the Book
The Duchess and the Dragon is a sweeping love story that crosses two continents and encompasses two different worlds as Serena Winter, a humble Quaker girl from Philadelphia, meets and falls in love with a man she thinks is an indentured servant.
Set in the elegant regency period, Drake Weston, Duke of Northumberland, is unaccustomed to a life of servitude until a tragic mistake followed by murderous rage results in his sudden escape from England. Not knowing Drake’s history, Serena is later shocked to discover her new status as a duchess. What follows are hard truths and softening hearts, romantic triangles, webs of deceit, and ultimately, the power of grace, love, and passion.
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1. Chapter One: In Chapter One Drake’s life as he knew it comes crashing down. He is left confused and angry. Has there been a time in your life when what you believed was your future failed you? How influencing do you think is our upbringing? Did it make the person who you have become? If you could change anything about your upbringing, what would it be?
2. Chapter Two: Devastated by his father’s betrayal, Drake grasps hold of anything still within his control. This leads to deception and harming others. Have you ever been so let down by some person or event that instead of accepting it, you sought to fix it or hold on to what you had always believed was true and right in the situation? If so, what were the results? Have you ever had a Moses experience where you had to leave everything you believed you were, to move forward? Have you ever stepped on someone else to get what you want?
3. Chapter Three: After everything crashes in on Drake, his life in a shambles, he does the only thing he thinks he can --- runs. Have you ever ran away from a difficult situation? If so, could tell us your feelings and why that seemed the only option. Do you regret this decision? Did it teach you anything? Did you bring your problems with you or did you start anew in some other place?
4. Chapter Four: Serena is an artist with a different view of the world than the people around her. Have you ever felt like the oddball, someone not quite fitting in? Conversely, have you met people who “get you?” How does that make you feel? Are you gifted in an area of the arts? What are you actively doing with those gifts?
5. Chapter Four: When Drake sinks into a self consuming misery, God provides a small boy for him to help. Have you ever been pulled from a depression or difficult time in your life through serving another? What happened? How did it help you?
6. Chapter Five: Serena finds herself in the dark hold of a ship attending the needs of the sick. There she meets a man that captivates her, shocking her with intense feelings of connection and attraction. Have you ever had a sudden, strong connection with a person of the opposite sex? Did this seem like a good thing or a bad thing? Did you end up in a relationship with this person? Do you believe in “love at first sight?”
7. Chapter Six: Fearful but determined Serena confronts the captain of the ship in behalf of the sick down in the hold. Her courage awards her their indentures. Have you ever had to step out in boldness for the sake of another? Do you enjoy confrontation or shy away from it? Have you missed some opportunities that you knew God wanted you to step into because of fear? How can you determine to do better in the future and grow in this area?
8. Chapter Seven: Serena finds that her heart is caught, despite the fact that this man is everything she has been taught to shun. Have you ever bucked against everything you knew to be true to follow your heart? How did that turn out? Did you come from a family of unbelievers and decide to follow Jesus? How has that decision effected your relationships? Were you persecuted? Ostracized?
9. Chapter Eight: Drake wakes to find himself in another world. Without money, without identity, he is forced to take on another life. But in the breaking down, he finds himself curious and in need of life’s answers. Have you ever embarked on a journey outside your comfort zone, whether by choice or by need? What did you learn about yourself? Others? God?
10. Chapter Nine: Stripped of his identity and his previous influence and power, Drake has become nothing but a shop boy for a silversmith. With his identity lost, he sinks into a depression. Have you ever lost something that defined you? A job? A family member? A dream? How did you cope? Have you laid it on the alter and asked God to resurrect you according to His purpose? If not, why not? What fears hold you back?
11. Chapter Ten: Drake is thrust into a new religious culture --- the Quakers. Their simple faith and lifestyle is opposite from what he has been taught. Was there ever a time in your life when you explored a different religion? What happened? If you are a Christian, how did you find Christ?
12. Chapter Twelve: Serena grapples with the decision of choosing Drake or her Quaker life. Have you ever given up everything to follow your dreams? Was it worth it? What did you learn?
13. Chapter Thirteen: Drake goes after his stolen money, ending in a fight with Lenny. Have you ever had something important or meaningful taken from you? Did you try to get it back? What happened?
14. Chapter Fourteen: As Serena walks down the aisle toward Drake, he realizes that everything he has gone through resulted in finding her. God making beauty from ashes. Has anything like this ever happened to you? What did you go through and how did God bring something good from it?
15. Chapter Fifteen: When Serena learns Drake’s dark secret, she is devastated, realizing she didn’t really know him. Have you ever jumped into a relationship and then realized later that the person was not as they first appeared? Did they have some secret that shocked or hurt you? What did you do?
16. Chapter Sixteen: As Serena and Drake run to the Shenandoah Valley they are confronted with Christopher’s broken heart. Have you broken someone’s heart before --- a mother, father, sibling, friend, husband/wife? Have you ever felt like you were “breaking” God’s heart in the sense of disappointing and grieving Him? What happened and how did you handle the situation?
17. Chapter Eighteen: Drake feels God’s presence and yearns to get close to Him, and then doubts attack his mind, telling him how foolish he is to believe. Have you ever felt opposition against you when you are trying to connect with Christ? What does it usually look like? What do you do about it?
18. Chapter Nineteen: Drake and Serena try to live out Christopher’s dream but know it’s not working. Have you ever tried to live another’s dream? A parent? A spouse? What happened? Were you successful? Did you grow to love it too or did you resent it?
19. Chapter Twenty: As Serena is transformed into a duchess, she finds a small part of her thrilled with this new life. But there is also always guilt. Have you ever had a windfall or some change in circumstance that thrust you into a new position in life? Where you able to enjoy it? What happened?
20. Chapter Twenty-One: Drake is racked with guilt over his deception. Have you ever deceived someone to get what you want? What about manipulation? Have you ever twisted the truth, turning it for your gain? I think we’ve all done shades of this, even as children. Why don’t we trust God with our best interest? Why do we push people and circumstances to work out the way we think we need them to?
21. Chapter Twenty-Two: Serena is introduced to English society and the “ton.” Lady Chandler proves a formidable enemy. Let’s explore women’s relationships. Why do women have such a love/hate relationship with each other? Why do we constantly compare ourselves to the women around us? Is it true that if we are “filled up with God and His love” we wouldn’t need this grasping jealously? How do you deal with the women in your life?
22. Chapter Twenty-Three: Richard Weston never forgives himself for the mistakes he made in his youth, instead living each day with guilt as a punishment. Have you or someone you know had a hard time letting go of a mistake even after repenting? Do you punish yourself for past sins, instead of giving them up to God? If so, why is it so difficult to forgive yourself and move forward in God’s will for your life?
23. Chapter Twenty-Five: Drake comes upon a coal mining operation and is shocked at the working conditions. Have you ever been exposed to some atrocity in the world? Was it personal or something you saw? How did it make you feel and what did you do?
24. Chapter Twenty-Six: Serena grapples with Drake’s deception, but is also forced to see her side in the relationship. Do you tend to point the finger at the other person without owning any responsibility in a situation? If so, why do you think you do this? Would you be willing to pray for truth when these occurrences happen and let God open your eyes?
25. Chapter-Twenty Seven: Drake must face the king and confess everything. He has fully surrendered his life to Jesus and is at peace. But when the king does the unexpected and forces Drake to wait, his new found faith grows shaky. Have you ever been prepared to face something in your life and completely surrender? What happened?
26. Epilogue: At the end of the story we find Drake and Serena’s relationship healed and they are ready to start again. Have you ever gone through such a process of letting go and letting God heal you and grow you in an area? How did it turn out? Was it worth it? How did God show up?
© Copyright 2017 by Jamie Carie. Reprinted with permission by B&H Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
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