Recently Reread: Provocative in Pearls by Madeline Hunter

Provocative in Pearls is a book I reread every so often. I’m a big fan of Madeline Hunter, and especially like the way she captures the power men of the English aristocracy had in the past.

I also really, really enjoy the way she creates both male and female friendships for her various characters.

I reviewed this book in 2013, and feel pretty much the same way about it now as I did then.

Provocative in Pearls (The Rarest Blooms #2) by Madeline Hunter

Provocative in Pearls (The Rarest Blooms #2) by Madeline Hunter

The Earl of Hawkeswell has been living in limbo for two years, ever since his bride, heiress Verity Thompson, disappeared on their wedding day. As she hasn’t been declared deceased, Hawkeswell cannot legally remarry and cannot access his wife’s funds — either of which would settle his dire financial crisis.

Coerced into marrying Hawkeswell by her duplicitous cousin, Verity fled London for the countryside. With no interest in the earl’s title or status, she was willing to forfeit her inheritance in exchange for her freedom. Now that her ruse has been discovered, Verity is forced to return to a loveless marriage.

Hawkeswell strikes a bargain with Verity: In return for three kisses a day, he will not insist on his conjugal rights. But Verity discovers there are kisses … and then there are kisses … as she begins to learn the true meaning of seduction at the hands of a master.

The Week: 29th April – 5th May

Autumn Colours Autumn Leaves Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 29th April 2019 Warm Sunny Day Blue Sky Garden Nature

Autumn colours in Canberra.

Argh! It’s May. What is going on?!

I voted on Wednesday. The Australian election is not for another fortnight, but I’m going to be at the ballet in Sydney on that day (voting is compulsory here). I also met my candidate at the polling station. Now, could I please be spared all the trashy political ads for the next two weeks?!

I’m on HarperCollins.com!

hc-logo HarperCollins Publisher

New Book from Madeline Hunter

and

My review of Never Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes #3) by Madeline Hunter

Never Deny a Duke (2019) (The third book in the Decadent Dukes Society #3 series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Coming up for Joanna Shupe

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue (2019) (The first book in the Uptown Girls series #1) A novel by Joanna Shupe

My review of The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs #2) by Stephanie Laurens

The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs #2) by Stephanie Laurens

Never Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes #3) by Madeline Hunter

Never Deny a Duke (2019) (The third book in the Decadent Dukes Society #3 series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

He is the last duke standing

. . . the sole remaining bachelor of the three self-proclaimed Decadent Dukes. Yet Davina MacCallum’s reasons for searching out the handsome Duke of Brentworth have nothing to do with marriage. Scottish lands were unfairly confiscated from her family by the Crown and given to his. A reasonable man with vast holdings can surely part with one trivial estate, especially when Davina intends to put it to good use. Brentworth, however, is as difficult to persuade as he is to resist.
 
The Duke of Brentworth’s discretion and steely control make him an enigma even to his best friends. Women especially find him inscrutable and unapproachable—but also compellingly magnetic. So when Davina MacCallum shows no signs of being even mildly impressed by him, he is intrigued. Until he learns that her mission in London involves claims against his estate. Soon the two of them are engaged in a contest that allows no compromise. When duty and desire collide, the best laid plans are about to take a scandalous turn—into the very heart of passion . . .

Never Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes #3) by Madeline Hunter

‘If you do not flirt, how will you manage this marriage you anticipate making next season?’

‘I expect I will dance with her at balls a few times, call on her a few times, then propose.’

‘How dreadful you make it sound. Poor girl.’

‘Dreadful? Poor girl? She will be a duchess. Her family will be delirious with joy.’

 

I love everything Madeline Hunter writes, and Never Deny a Duke is no exception. While – in the hands of another author – the hero and heroine’s battle over the ownership of an estate, and a rushed trip up north to Scotland to debate it, would result in a mildly ridiculous romp, Hunter gives the story the perfect amount of weight – while occasionally adding her drier, more mature version of humour.

I really appreciated the tiny, funny touches here and there in this one, as this hero is the most serious of the three in the trilogy. And – as ever – I deeply appreciated the efforts to give both male and female characters friends; there’s more to their lives than the pursuit of the romance.

This is another unconventional heroine, but one who fits into her time period. She aspires to things she knows she cannot have, being a woman, but because she also knows the rules of the society she lives in she has to find other ways to reach those dreams. It’s a good balance of the historical themes designed for the modern reader.

Other than the occasional slip into modern American English (e.g. gotten and ass), Hunter’s Regency world is one I believe in. She never forgets to show the power held by the aristocrats, even as this current series features heroines who marry “up”.

There’s a slower burn to this book than some, but it gave the characters a chance to fall in love realistically, and therefore I enjoyed it all the more.

A solid conclusion to an enjoyable series.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

New Book from Madeline Hunter

Never Deny a Duke, the third book in Madeline Hunter‘s Decadent Dukes series is out tomorrow.

Here’s what it’s about:

He is the last duke standing

. . . the sole remaining bachelor of the three self-proclaimed Decadent Dukes. Yet Davina MacCallum’s reasons for searching out the handsome Duke of Brentworth have nothing to do with marriage. Scottish lands were unfairly confiscated from her family by the Crown and given to his. A reasonable man with vast holdings can surely part with one trivial estate, especially when Davina intends to put it to good use. Brentworth, however, is as difficult to persuade as he is to resist.
 
The Duke of Brentworth’s discretion and steely control make him an enigma even to his best friends. Women especially find him inscrutable and unapproachable—but also compellingly magnetic. So when Davina MacCallum shows no signs of being even mildly impressed by him, he is intrigued. Until he learns that her mission in London involves claims against his estate. Soon the two of them are engaged in a contest that allows no compromise. When duty and desire collide, the best laid plans are about to take a scandalous turn—into the very heart of passion . . .

And here’s the cover:

Never Deny a Duke (2019) (The third book in the Decadent Dukes Society #3 series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Wish List for 2019

New Year 2019

Other years I’ve written a longish post about what I want to see in books in the new year.

This year? It’s simple:

  • More world issues in romantic suspense (though I suspect I’m in the minority on that one!). More books like Brynn Kelly’s which involve characters from all different countries.
  • More Regency romances in the style of Madeline Hunter and Mary Balogh, books where it feels like it’s the Regency era.
  • More Victorian romances like Lisa Kleypas’ and Mimi Matthews’.

That’s it!

Cover and Description for Madeline Hunter

The third book in Madeline Hunter‘s Decadent Dukes series is due out in April next year.

Here’s what it’s about:

He is the last duke standing

. . . the sole remaining bachelor of the three self-proclaimed Decadent Dukes. Yet Davina MacCallum’s reasons for searching out the handsome Duke of Brentworth have nothing to do with marriage. Scottish lands were unfairly confiscated from her family by the Crown and given to his. A reasonable man with vast holdings can surely part with one trivial estate, especially when Davina intends to put it to good use. Brentworth, however, is as difficult to persuade as he is to resist.
 
The Duke of Brentworth’s discretion and steely control make him an enigma even to his best friends. Women especially find him inscrutable and unapproachable—but also compellingly magnetic. So when Davina MacCallum shows no signs of being even mildly impressed by him, he is intrigued. Until he learns that her mission in London involves claims against his estate. Soon the two of them are engaged in a contest that allows no compromise. When duty and desire collide, the best laid plans are about to take a scandalous turn—into the very heart of passion . . .

And here’s the cover:

Never Deny a Duke (2019) (The third book in the Decadent Dukes Society #3 series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

The Week: 22nd – 28th October

White Spring Flowers Blue Sky Canberra Australia 25th October 2018 Sonya Heaney Sunshine Garden Nature

Spring sunshine – and a spring sunset – in Canberra.

Only days to go before I fly to China!

A Book for the Anniversary: Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Babies in Young Adult Fiction

Revisiting Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Out Now: A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories by Angela McAllister (author) and Alice Lindstrom (illustrator)

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories By (author) Angela McAllister Illustrated by Alice Lindstrom

On this day: British women prepare for invasion

The_British_Army_in_the_United_Kingdom_1939-45_Second World War Two 23rd October 1941 Women of Britains Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) operate a rangefinder during anti-aircraft

On this day 80 years ago

Revisiting Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

When I reviewed A Devil of a Duke I hadn’t actually *finished* the book, and had a couple of chapters to go! Now I’ve finally found time to read it through to the end.

It was going to be a tough sell to make this happy ending work, because the hero is a duke, and the heroine middle class and with a criminal background. I do think author Madeline Hunter did a good job of convincing me, however.

My original review is HERE.

A Devil of a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society #2) by Madeline Hunter

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 . . .

The Week: 15th – 21st October

The gorgeous Friday we had in Canberra!

1 Currawong Garden Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 15th october 2018 Australian Birds Nature

2 Currawong Garden Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 15th october 2018 Australian Birds Nature

We had some beautiful spring weather in Canberra this week, but every time I tried to work outside, this currawong would steal my chair the second I stepped away from it!

What a stunning by-election result in Sydney last night. Maybe a message to the Federal Government to remind them Australia didn’t vote for the far-right government we were handed behind closed doors a few weeks ago…? May we please have an election NOW?!

Also, what stunning news out of Queensland. I didn’t expect it.

So many terrible things in the world this week. A question: when a Russian guy goes on a shooting rampage in Ukraine’s Crimea, killing more people than in high-profile Parkland, Florida, why does nobody seem to care? Why do we treat lives in one country as so much more important than lives in any other?

In fact, I was taught in *first semester* journalism at university that the media DOES consider people of different countries to matter more. We were taught (in one of the top two journalism courses in Australia) to start thinking of different countries as holding different levels of importance. It disgusted me back then, and it disgusts me more with each year.

Judy Blume on the Big Screen

My review of The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley

Want to Read: Dominion by Peter Ackroyd

Royal Wedding

12 October 2018 Newlyweds Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank leave following their wedding at St George_s Chapel in Windsor, England. © Getty Images +

Coming Up for Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter