by Lorraine Heath
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #1
Genres: Historical Romance
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They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways… Lady Grace Mabry’s ample inheritance has made it impossible for her to tell whether a suitor is in love with her—or enamored of her riches. Who better to distinguish beau from blackguard than her notorious childhood friend, the Duke of Lovingdon? With no interest in marriage, Lovingdon has long lived only for pleasure. He sees little harm in helping Grace find a proper match. After all, he’s familiar with all the ploys a scoundrel uses to gain a woman’s favor. He simply has to teach the lovely innocent how to distinguish honest emotions from false ones. How better than by demonstrating his wicked ways. But as lessons lead to torrid passion and Grace becomes ensnared in another man’s marriage plot, Lovingdon must wage a desperate gamble: Open his heart fully—or risk losing the woman he adores…
When the Duke Was Wicked is the first novel in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series by Lorraine Heath. I love strong, witty, heroines and sexy misunderstood, flawed rogues and Heath pulled all of my heart-strings. Mini review: hilarious, romantic, hot and bittersweet, Heath made me melt.
We meet Lady Grace Marbly, whose dreams of finding real love are seeded in much more than childhood fantasies. Between her inheritance and her secret, she has difficulty sorting through her suitors. She turns to a childhood friend and former crush the Duke of Lovingdon. He has no intentions of marrying again and his fondness for Grace has him agreeing to give her lessons. The tale that unfolds is delicious, danger and hilarious. It also has some tender moments that wrecked me.
Take a beautiful, strong, and intelligent heroine with a secret that makes her fear rejection. Mix in a wounded rogue who hides his pain and guilt in a bottle and loose women. Add a pinch of attraction, a few lessons and some humor. The resulting brew will leave you laughing, sighing and maybe even shedding a few tears. I adored Lady Grace and her friends. She is bold and adventurous. Lovingdon was wonderful, and his story touched me. It was such fun seeing him fall. Grace and her friends made me giggle as she passed on the advice she learns. Secondary characters added to the tale and solidified my opinions of our couple. I was equally impressed by Grace’s parents. They were involved without being meddlesome and offered their daughter sound advice, love and support. The tale progressed wonderfully with just enough drama to keep me on my toes and heat enough to curl them. The ending was climatic and heartfelt and damn if my eyes didn’t become all watery.
When the Duke was Wicked was a delightful tale that I inhaled in a single day. I cannot wait for Once More, My Darling Rogue the next book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series which is set to release in August 2014.