Also in this series: His Wicked Reputation
Series: Wicked Trilogy #3
Published by Jove on May 31, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Narrator: Lulu Russell
Length: 11 Hours and 37 Mins
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…
The Wicked Duke is the third book in the Wicked Trilogy that is the most recent works from Madeline Hunter (that I know of) and I have been meaning to get back to this trilogy ever since falling in love with book one. Madeline Hunter is one of those authors that writes such beautiful regency romance and I really love her writing style. She is such perfection when it comes to penning the historical regency era and the surroundings just come alive for the reader and boy her heroes are HOT!! They are such delicious rakes and I love how sensual and bad boy they are.
In The Wicked Duke, our story begins with a chance meeting in the woods between our hero and our heroine….Lance and Marianne. There is some fun flirting going on between them and there is instant chemistry between them but Marianne assumes that Lance is just a servant and has no clue that he is the new Duke of Aylesbury and boy is she shocked when she finds out his true identity which happens soon after. Lance is the new Duke of Aylesbury but he has always had such a wicked reputation especially when it comes to the ladies and he has no regrets about it. There is a rumor that Lance murdered his older brother for the Dukedom. Lance may have hated his brother because Percy was cruel and truly evil at times (and more is revealed about him later in the story where we see the evils that he is capable of) but he would never have killed him. But he knows that someone must have murdered him and seeks to know the truth. But Marianne’s uncle is determined to have more power in the community and blackmails the Duke into marrying Marianne or he will let the rumors spread to London and to the house of lords. But along the way Marianne and Lance find love despite the mistrusts between them and the mysteries to be revealed.
The Wicked Duke is a story that I really was looking forward to and first of all I want to talk about the narration since this was an audiobook. So this narrator is NOT my favorite for listening to historical romance. There was something weird about her narration, I just had the hardest time staying interested in the story and the hero’s voice was done a bit strange and didn’t quite fit as well with the story. I definitely think I would have preferred to read this in print after listening to the narration. Although she did handle the heroine’s inflections pretty well but she could use more work on other characters.
In The Wicked Duke there were some other issues I had with this book that I wanted to address first. Now first off there is a mystery to be solved and frankly, it was never truly solved at least not in finding the true identity of who the real murderer is. Now there are truths revealed about Percy and what he does, and there is definitely the good cause in why someone would want to kill him. Or maybe I somehow missed it? But I honestly don’t see how there is more focus on getting Lance free and clear with the constable and the law. Which I do understand but there is such a build up in the mystery behind the murder of his brother that I was disappointed not to find out who the person was. There is one other issue I had with this book and quite frankly its one that really bothered me. Marianne punches the hero in the face in a scene and it didn’t make ANY sense at all. Its a situation where both parties are very willing in a kissing scene and Marianne punches Lance and gives no good reason for what she does other than she was “surprised” by the kiss and I was like really?? Is that good cause to punch someone? and throughout the book Lance and Marianne have this joke about the punch and it didn’t come out right through the story and really just had me angry about it each time it came up which is often.
Now I would like to say that overall I found this book very interesting and I always love the writing style of Madeline Hunter, there is something about how she writes regency that I just adore. There is such strong chemistry between Lance and Marianne and I LOVED it so much. There are some well-written sex scenes that occur between these two and much steamier than you would normally expect in a Regency historical romance but very well done and high five to the author for creating such a sexy atmosphere with all the other factors in the story that become involved. I was very interested in the other characters especially Marianne’s cousin and Lance’s brothers who play their own roles in the story and Marianne’s cousin is connected a bit to one of the mysteries that do get solved. I wouldn’t say that this book is terrible or anything, there were some redeeming qualities. The fun flirting between our main characters, the slow burn romance that develops, the relationship dynamics between various characters and the setting is so well written. Despite my issues with the story, overall I had a fun time with this book and definitely will not let my problems with this book keep me from reading more books from this author in the near future!!