Book Review: When the Duke Was Wicked by Lorraine Heath

When the Duke Was Wicked by Lorraine HeathTitle: When the Duke Was Wicked
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 1
Author: Lorraine Heath
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Sensual
Source: Avon Addict
Published: February 25, 2014 by Avon

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.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Enjoyable historical that I got lost in with strong leads and a great community of characters.

The Set Up: Grace has been in love with the Duke of Lovingdon since they were children. Grace watched Lovingdon’s heartbreak when his young wife and child died and stood by while he drowned his sorrows in drink and loose women. Now Grace has a plan to bring Lovingdon back to the land of the living and into her heart.

Why I Read This Book: This is the first book of a new series that feature the children of the leads in the author’s series, Scoundrels of St. James, which I really liked.

What I Liked: Grace is a lovely character. Yes, I admit she’s younger than my modern sensibilities would like but she’s still a great character. She knows her own mind and has a drive that I really enjoyed. Grace has a mysterious past that I won’t spoil but suffice it to say I loved how this developed who she was and how she lived her life.  Lovingdon is also a very likable character. His pain was palpable and as a reader I could understand his reluctance to open himself up to Grace.

The relationship development was very good as Grace asks Lovingdon to help her determine which of the men after her hand in marriage is truthful. Lovingdon doesn’t want to be drawn into Grace’s world as his isolation has helped him live with his pain. As a reader I could see Grace’s allure and seduction of Lovingdon—and her subsequent demand that Lovingdon make his own decisions. The relationship between Lovingdon and Grace has a purity and honesty to it that I rarely see in historical romances.

What I Also Liked: Lovingdon and Grace’s friends and siblings are a great cast of characters and future leads in this series which makes me very happy. Lovingdon’s vivacious sister will be a great hero but the best will be Grace’s adopted brother, Drake, who has a bit of “street” in him. I like how all these characters interact with Grace and Lovingdon and each other. I can’t wait for Drake’s book which is supposed to be released next.

I have to also mention the wonderful epilogue. I won’t spoil it but it was a gorgeous conclusion this book.

What I Didn’t Like: I knew going in that this wasn’t going to be an erotic historical and it wasn’t. This author doesn’t write super erotic romance but it’s enough to be enjoyable.

IMO: Fans of this author will absolutely want to read this, as will anyone who enjoys historical romance.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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