Can a bold-faced lie lead to everlasting love? One by one, the impetuous heroines in the Wicked Deceptions series intend to find out, each in her unique way…
How to seduce an estranged husband—and banish debt!—in four wickedly improper, shockingly pleasurable steps…
1. Learn the most intimate secrets of London’s leading courtesan.
2. Pretend to be a courtesan yourself, using the name Juliet Leighton.
3. Travel to Venice and locate said husband.
4. Seduce husband, conceive an heir, and voila, your future is secure!
For Julia, the Duchess of Colton, such a ruse promises to be foolproof. After all, her husband has not bothered to lay eyes on her in eight years, since their hasty wedding day when she was only sixteen. But what begins as a tempestuous flirtation escalates into full-blown passion—and the feeling is mutual! Could the man the Courtesan Duchess married actually turn out to be the love of her life?
How strange that one of the steamiest Regency romances I’ve read recently has one of the tamest covers! I do love the cover, however. At first our two leads are racing into bed, and I was a little worried the remainder of the book would be mostly sex and not much else, but it turned out to not be the case.
The Courtesan Duchess is a little bit old school in the scheme of things. It’s largely a revenge story, and so we have a hero who isn’t particularly likeable for much of the book. However, I really enjoy a bit of drama now and again, so I didn’t have a big problem with that.
The first third (perhaps a little more) of the book takes place in Venice, which was an interesting change, as our heroine – disguised as a courtesan – is on a quest to conceive with the husband she only saw once, eight years ago, at a wedding both were forced into. I could easily buy the premise, outlandish as it was, as these characters were nothing to each other.
As a first book in the series, we meet the heroes of future books, and I think these other men will be interesting to read about.
This is not my favourite Regency romance, and I did struggle both with the slightly unkind characters and the over-the-top villainy at the end, but the author definitely has potential.
The author makes all the usual mistakes with her Americanisms, and yet again I wish editors would take more care with accuracy on that front.
Good and bad in this one, but I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.