The Wicked Duke

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The Wicked Duke

Wicked Trilogy, #3

This historical romance is a fascinating, albeit heart-wrenching, look at some of the machinations that were commonly accepted during this period. Once again, this author pens a daring story that features atypical main characters who are caught in a difficult situation and handle their challenges with aplomb and ingenuity. Those who are sensitive to triggers may want to use caution when reading this story, as there are some heinous events which occur ‘off-camera’.

The tragedy that Marianne has had to deal with becomes even more disturbing as the story unfolds and the gradual expansion of the Duke's mystery is a great counterpoint to the burgeoning romance. There are a few aspects that still puzzled me as well as a couple of scenes that were a bit disturbing but for the most part I enjoyed the way the story unfolded and the romance built gradually after its shaky beginnings. Marianne was an odd mixture of daring and self-effacing but I adored that she occasionally stood up for herself (and packs a mean punch) even though she was at turns pragmatic and very sensitive.

I think a few folks still need to get a comeuppance and I hope that there are other stories where further developments can be described but I loved the solution to the mystery. There are cameos by characters who were spotlighted in other books but there is no problem reading this story as a stand alone although it took me a bit of time to warm up to either the hero or the heroine. As usual, I enjoyed this author’s ability to evoke a vivid picture of society at this time, complete with foibles and nobility of character being displayed, and I look forward to becoming immersed in even more of her stories that make me laugh and sniffle.

“The Wicked Duke” by Madeline Hunter is part of the ‘Wicked’ trilogy and centers around Lancelot Hemingford, who became Duke of Aylesbury with his brother’s death…and is accused of having murdered him. Bored and frustrated after his sojourn in the country, he nonetheless is astounded by the coercion by the local magistrate who insists on forcing his connection with the man’s female relatives…until he has repeated encounters with the unusually forthright Marianne Radley. Each of them has startling secrets, and Lance’s search for truth may destroy the only chance of happiness he has found.

Book Blurb for The Wicked Duke

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 neighbor, 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 unsavory 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...

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2016 4.25