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The Wicked Duke

by Madeline Hunter

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wicked Trilogy (3)

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724302,157 (3.38)2
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 . . . 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… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
Ah man, I really wanted to like this one, it had potential and the first book was so good. Similarly to the one before it though, I felt like writing decisions were made because it was convenient to move along the plot rather than because it made any sort of sense. And there were also enormous caverns in the character and morals of the main couple (discussed in spoiler). I'm willing to allow for many unrealistic scenarios in a story, (handsome pirate captains, kidnappings, dukes falling for peasants, etc.) but once added, you need to make extra sure that there are lots of more realistic aspects to the story to ground it, and that the unlikely things play by the same rules that govern reality. Otherwise it becomes preposterous and laughable! We start out already dealing with the fallout of a Duke's death under suspicion of murder, then shortly into this book Hunter adds a character with a mysterious traumatic past, then the female protagonist takes a giant accusation on hearsay from a ridiculously untrustworthy source (who got their assumption from a few words mumbled in a fever dream!) as fact, then the male protagonist comes up with the 100% solid plan that to avoid marriage to this woman he should basically start seducing her and she will be so aghast at his forwardness that she'll refuse him. And then, even when that plan is repeatedly shown to be horrible, he keeps doubling down on it. The female lead is also supposed to be very loyal to her cousin, but let me tell you, if I were convinced that someone defiled my cousin as a young woman, I would *definitely not* let the f***er seduce me! And then, when she finally presses her cousin for answers, (*after* she's already married to the guy! AND after the solution that makes infinitely more sense has already been presented!), she forces her cousin to relive her trauma because she suddenly NEEDS answers. But, luckily, being forced to do something horrible against your will is apparently the cure for rape victims, so her cousin is now on the mend! Ugh. And the male protagonist, not only marries the woman without telling her his blackmailed arrangement with her uncle, (even when she specifically asks why he's proposing), but then has the absolute GALL to blame her for the arrangement later! And take out his anger on her person! And again, even if an introduction to rough sex might have appealed to you under normal circumstances, having a husband who comes to you furious because he's blaming you for his problems, and says he's going to take what use he can from you (because that's all you're good for I guess), and who you've known for *maybe* a couple weeks, AND who you believe raped your cousin!, would not allow you to feel safe enough to trust the person exerting power over you and enjoy it! UGH! So much terribleness and aspects that do not make sense in any world! The writing is decent beyond these lapses in the author's judgement. ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Dec 3, 2021 |
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!! ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 17, 2019 |
With the accusation of fratricide hanging over him, Lance is laying low. So, when the opportunity to clear his name comes with the condition of marrying a penniless woman, he decides to do so. This conclusion to the trilogy wraps up the dead brother storyline but seemed more stilted than the others. I especially couldn't warm to Lance and thought that Marianne got the poor end of the deal even if she did become a duchess. ( )
  4leschats | Oct 22, 2018 |
Lance is going crazy away from London but he spies some fun through the trees in the form of a neighbor's niece. Marianne hears the rumors but does not believe them. Both are determined to find out the truth.

After a slow start, Lance and Marianne become less predictable. The neighbor makes a bargain with the Duke for Marianne's hand. She does not want to fulfill the bargain after her uncle tells her his tale of the Duke but her choice is taken away by the uncle. I liked them especially Marianne. Lance was predictable but he did finally solve the murder so he could finally be with Marianne without a noose over his head.

The story was believable. I could not believe how reticent Lance was to when trying to find the murderer. He treated most people with kid gloves during his investigation. I liked how Marianne had his back. I also liked how Lance's thoughts and feelings were woven through the story. I loved when his brothers were able to get back at him for his less than stellar comments of their courtships.

While Marianne is outspoken and the Duke outrageous, they give us their HEA. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Aug 18, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeline Hunterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Russell, LuluReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audio, BlackstonePublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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 . . . 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

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