- Series: Wicked Trilogy (Book 3)
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Berkley (May 31, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0515155187
- ISBN-13: 978-0515155181
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 2016
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Praise for The Wicked Duke
“The complexity of the characters and the mesmerizing allure between Lance and Marianne propel the novel forward at a breathless pace, making this one of Hunter’s best works to date.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Madeline Hunter and Her Novels
“Hunter seamlessly marries seductive wit with smoldering sensuality.”—Booklist
“Smooth, sexy, and sophisticated.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Hunter…masterfully weaves a sensual web.”—Publishers Weekly
“There are some writers who are born to write…Stellar.”—Examiner.com
“Delightful and quite unorthodox.”—Smexy Books
About the Author
Madeline Hunter is a two-time RITA award winner and seven-time finalist, and has twenty-seven nationally bestselling historical romances in print, including Tall, Dark, and Wicked, His Wicked Reputation, The Accidental Duchess, The Counterfeit Mistress, and The Conquest of Lady Cassandra. A member of RWA’s Honor Roll, her books have been on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. More than six million copies of her books are in print and her novels have been translated into thirteen languages. She has a PhD in art history, which she teaches at the university level.
Top customer reviews
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THE STORY: Lacelot Hemmingford, Duke of Aylesbury, has suffered for nine months as suspect in his older brother's mysterious death. His past penchant for women, drink, and general mayhem does nothing for his case. Horace Radley, magistrate, makes an offer that the open case will be resolved if the Duke marries his unsuspecting niece, Marianne Radley. As events conspire to bring about this marriage, we witness the couple's relationship evolve from curiosity and attraction to become "... a periodic friendship, shared at odd moments and meals." Lance is somewhat surprised that he "... always felt calmer, happier, afterward." Once Marianne becomes aware of the reason for their marriage denouement of the murder becomes essential to each for very different reasons.
OPINION: For me, this was an exquisitely crafted novel that excelled in character development, pacing, and plot development. Marianne's integrity and Lance's humanity are believably revealed through their interactions with others and each other. As readers, we witness Marianne's self confidence and independence develop at the same time we see Lance begin to embrace a mature relationship and his role as Duke. Added enjoyment can be found in the continued interplay among the three brothers.
Although I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review, I enjoyed this book so much I purchased the ebook for future re-reads.
Then I start reading.
When I finally return to what insists on calling itself the real world, I discover that she’s done it again. I shouldn’t sympathize with Lance, but I do. I should tell Marianne not to dissolve into a puddle so easily, but I don’t.
Ms. Hunter is like her heroes. She seduces me every time.
Marianne Radley is the niece of Lance’s neighbor, Horace Radley, a conniving opportunist who holds the key to either convicting the probably-murderous duke, or setting him free once and for all. All Marianne seeks in life is to provide comfort and care for her mentally ill cousin, the haunted but sweet Nora Radley, but she ends up the pawn of her uncle in a distasteful scheme to trap the wealthy Duke of Aylesbury into marriage in return for a pronouncement of his innocence.
But it’s a trap that Lance doesn’t necessarily mind falling into. Because in Marianne, he finds a woman who is his match in spirit, fire, and pleasure, a woman who refuses to be used by the men around her. She has a strong moral center and an even stronger will, and when someone she loves is threatened, she isn’t afraid to stand up and fight for what’s right.
Madeline Hunter creates beautiful love stores, exquisite sensual dances, and witty back-and-forth dialogue between her characters. More importantly, she weaves incredible stories of family and friendships. The interplay between Lance and his brothers Ives and Gareth are strong. You can feel the love, camaraderie, and the strength of will in these men. Ives and Gareth may be younger and untitled brothers of a duke, but they give him no quarter. They keep him straight, give him strength when needed, and a beat-down when he needs that, too. Marianne is refreshing, dignified, and quick with a comeback, and the love story between Marianne and Lance is the perfect balance between sweet and steamy.
I have read every single one of Madeline Hunter’s novels. (Several multiple times.) She is unequivocally my favorite romance novelist, and one of my favorite novelists in general. Why? Because she’s smart. Her characters are also smart. She manages to engage the intellect as well as the heart. She does her research and is a master of the Regency era, its manners and mores, and the rules by which its aristocracy lived. Many of her novels inform the reader about important issues in feminist history, the role of women in marriage, and how women in various social strata were treated. A recurring theme is the sometimes wretched difference between men who took advantage of how society let them dominate the women around them, and the men who treated women as equals. I’ll let you decide which kind of man Lancelot Hemingford, the Duke of Aylesbury, is.
If you like The Wicked Duke or the other two books in her Wicked series (Gareth's and Ives' stories,) I highly recommend you find and read Madeline Hunter’s other Regency Romance series: the Seducers Series (of which The Romantic is my favorite, though I love them all,) the Rothwell Series, the Rarest Blooms Series, and the Fairbourne Quartet. And for a retreat into the medieval era, she has several books set in the more distant past, when men were even fiercer, and the women were almost magical in their sensuality.
~Rebecca Lane Beittel