Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter

Title: The Most Dangerous Duke in London
Author: Madeline Hunter
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Decadent Dukes Society Series (Book One)
Publisher: Zebra
Format: Paperback via Reading Alley
Rating: ✺✺✺✺.5
SynopsisThree sinfully handsome dukes, three scores to settle, three hearts about to meet their matches. All in one thrilling new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Madeline Hunter . . . 

Name and title: Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton.
Affiliation: London’s elite Society of Decadent Dukes. 
Family history: Scandalous.
Personality traits: Dark and brooding, with a thirst for revenge. 
Ideal romantic partner: A woman of means, with beauty and brains, willing to live with reckless abandon. 
Desire: Clara Cheswick, gorgeous daughter of his family’s sworn enemy.

Clara may be the woman Adam wants, but there’s one problem: she’s far more interested in publishing her women’s journal than getting married—especially to a man said to be dead-set on vengeance. Though, with her nose for a story, Clara wonders if his desire for justice is sincere—along with his incredibly unnerving intention to be her husband. If her weak-kneed response to his kiss is any indication, falling for Adam clearly comes with a cost. But who knew courting danger could be such exhilarating fun?

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

When the sins of the fathers threaten your happily ever after...

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Adam has returned to England to clear his father's name. But as soon as he arrives, a rival family is looking to make amends by merging their two families through marriage. The girl they want him to marry doesn't pique his interest but her sassy sister sure does. In fact, he might be able to kill two birds with one stone: learn information to help get revenge for his father and have some fun with the beautiful woman along the way.

Clara isn't interested in any of this marriage business, however. Not to the duke or anyone else. She values her freedom and the women's journal she secretly runs and distributes. She doesn't need a man to come in and take over her life and her business. Even if the man in question is dark, mysterious, and makes her melt with his kisses.

As their friendship develops into something more intimate, Adam begins to wonder if his plan for revenge is worth the risk of losing Clara. And Clara starts to question her plan to become a spinster and wonders what life might be like with Adam by her side for good. Neither of them are sure if they are ready to let go of their plans and allow their hearts to guide them. And until the mystery of their fathers is solved, there will always be a wedge between them. It will take some investigating on both sides to uncover the truth.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Historical Romances have found a firm spot in my favorite genres. In this story, we have a man with a troublesome family history who is trying to find his place in a society that shuns him. And we have a woman who is in much the same situation; she is no man's first choice and most treat her like an outcast. Neither of our two go into this expecting to make it a permanent arrangement.

The pairing was really well done. This couple's chemistry sizzled and their bantering was quite entertaining. I only wish that the secrets could have been revealed a bit sooner or that the two might have confided in each other earlier than they did. I think our pair would have been a great team together at uncovering the mysteries and it could have given them more of chance to develop as a partnership.

The romance was a lust-before-love situation that I appreciate, yet it also came as a bit of a surprise to me. This author was creative in her naughty scenes in a way I haven't seen very much in this genre. But at the same time, it was also fairly tame as explicit terms were pretty much omitted. It was dirty without being dirty, if that makes any sense.

I enjoyed the plot of this story, as well. I can honestly say that I didn't figure out the mystery until the characters did. There were a lot of different possibilities and the guilty culprit wasn't even on my radar until it was revealed. This story kept me guessing the entire time. I loved the comradery between the three dukes, as well.

In closing...
I'm excited to see what the second book of this series has in store for us. Looking forward to seeing the next duke fall! 4.5 suns!

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