HE MAY BE A DEVIL
He’s infamous, debaucherous, and known all over town for his complete disregard for scandal, and positively irresistible seductions. Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford, is obscenely wealthy, jaw-droppingly handsome, and used to getting exactly what he wants. Until his attention is utterly captured by a woman who refuses to tell him her name, but can’t help surrendering to his touch . . .
BUT SHE’S NO ANGEL EITHER . . .
Amanda Waverly is living two lives—one respectable existence as secretary to an upstanding lady, and one far more dangerous battle of wits—and willpower—with the devilish Duke. Langford may be the most tempting man she’s ever met, but Amanda’s got her hands full trying to escape the world of high-society crime into which she was born. And if he figures out who she really is, their sizzling passion will suddenly boil over into a much higher stakes affair . . .
Madeline Hunter is one of a few historical romance authors who I think write “mature” stories – not mature in the age of the characters, but mature in style and structure. Along with the likes of Mary Balogh, Hunter stands out because she creates a strong sense of the era, and writes characters who believably operate in that world.
This is the second book in a series, but can easily be read on its own. A Devil of a Duke develops steadily as our hero duke and thief heroine dance around each other and learn each other’s secrets.
I’m not usually a fan of heroines who come from a criminal background, as it’s usually presented as being a bit of fun and the books turn into anachronistic romps. This one is different because the seriousness of the situation is considered, and neither character approaches their affair as something that would ever work in society. The hero considers keeping the heroine as his mistress, and both acknowledge the huge gap in their social standings.
A favourite aspect of Hunter’s writing is the friendships. Both her male and female characters have strong connections with people of their own gender. The women support each other and have interests beyond marriage and men, and the men are SO aristocratic and have ties that go back years. It makes the stories more complete, and we get to see the whole of the Regency world in operation, instead of just ballrooms.
This is another solid historical romance from a reliable author.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.