Third in the roguishly intriguing series by the New York Times bestselling author of Tall, Dark, and Wicked and His Wicked Reputation…
She appeals to his wicked inclinations, but he never expects she might snare his heart….
Suspected of his brother’s murder, Lancelot Hemingford, Duke of Aylesbury, was forced to give up his hell-raising habits in London for the anonymity of quiet country living. So, when an opportunity arises to clear his name in exchange for proposing to the niece of a neighbour, he sees no choice but to accept. Plus, seducing the reluctant maiden will be a most intriguing challenge…
As Marianne Radley is dependent on her uncle, she must accept the Duke’s marriage proposal at her family’s request, despite her belief he is irredeemably wicked. But along with marrying him, she intends to sniff out the duke’s unsavoury secrets and expose them to the world: a plan that would be flawless were it not for one minor detail—even she, with all her determination, is not immune to the charms of a rakish duke…
We’ll just ignore the fact the man on the cover looks nothing like a man of the era!
Madeline Hunter is a favourite of mine, because she can create a perfect atmosphere for her historical romances. She manages to keep social attitudes of the day more or less intact at the same time as creating female characters who are interesting and original.
This is the final book in a trilogy about three brothers: the illegitimate son of a duke, the second legitimate son, and now the young duke himself. Hunter does a great job of illustrating how the world works a little differently for people of such high rank – this duke is suspected of murdering his brother to claim the title.
One of my favourite things about this author is the way she writes male friendships. The scenes between the brothers are always some of the best in the books.
Another thing she does really well is address the complications of her heroines marrying “up”. There is a very good reason why our duke is compelled to marry his duchess in this book; it is literally a matter of life or death, and so I believed the situation.
The secondary characters and the abuse storyline were handled really well, with the heroine’s cousin having serious issues to work through, and I thought it added to the book, whereas sometimes secondary stories are an unwelcome distraction.
My only real issue was the unnecessary little conflict at the end.
This was yet another excellent book by this author. Now, I just wish she would cut down on the word “however”, and learn the difference between an arse and an ass!