Review – A Devil of a Duke by Madeline Hunter

About the Book:


He’s infamous, debaucherous, and known all over town for his complete disregard for scandal, and positively irresistible seductions. Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford, is obscenely wealthy, jaw-droppingly handsome, and used to getting exactly what he wants. Until his attention is utterly captured by a woman who refuses to tell him her name, but can’t help surrendering to his touch . . .


Amanda Waverly is living two lives—one respectable existence as secretary to an upstanding lady, and one far more dangerous battle of wits—and willpower—with the devilish Duke. Langford may be the most tempting man she’s ever met, but Amanda’s got her hands full trying to escape the world of high-society crime into which she was born. And if he figures out who she really is, their sizzling passion will suddenly boil over into a much higher stakes affair . . .

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                      A Devil of a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society)

My Review:                  

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Amanda Waverly knows all the tricks to being a successful thief.  After all, she was taught by the best — her parents.  Though they were of good family, they chose to make their living by stealing.  While still young, Amanda realized that she wanted no part of this kind of life, so she was shipped off to school.  Over the years, she rarely corresponds with her mother, and has no idea where her father is now.  She has used her education to earn a respectable secretarial position with Lady Farnsworth, and hopes that her scandalous past is completely behind her.  Just as she begins to enjoy her honest life, she receives word that her mother has been kidnapped, and will remain a hostage until Amanda steals some objects the unknown kidnapper requires as ransom.  Though heartsick about it, Amanda agrees to the kidnapper’s demands.

Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford, has spent years living a carefree, rakish life.  He recently surprised everyone by finally making a speech in the House of Lords, and becoming more involved in his government.  He encounters Amanda, who is unsuccessfully trying to establish an acquaintance with his brother, Harry, whose house is next door to one she must rob.  Though Harry is immune to her charms, Gabriel is intrigued, and issues an invitation for a rendezvous, which Amanda accepts.  Her intention was only to use Gabriel to inadvertently aid her in her theft, but soon she becomes smitten with the handsome, charming, and very seductive duke.

Amanda and Gabriel begin a series of steamy and passionate encounters, which surprisingly leads to a genuine liking, respect, and camaraderie.  Gabriel begins to desire Amanda to become his long term mistress, offering to buy her a house, and to support her.  Amanda knows this is impossible.  If she is caught, and her association with Gabriel is known, it would ruin him.  My favorite scene from this book is one where Gabriel realizes they will have to part:

                “I have taken care of myself for years, Gabriel.  You are not to worry for me, although I love you all the more for it.”

                He lifted her hand and pressed it to his lips.  “Is that what this is, Amanda?  Is that what we share?  I know nothing about what it means to love a woman.  I only know I am heartsick at the thought of losing you.  I spend hours contemplating and calculating whether I can –“

                “You cannot.  I understand why you cannot.  Hearing that you wished otherwise touches me deeply, however.”

                “I will miss you, Amanda.   I will be distraught.  Even the expectation of that loss pains me.  I think I will be forever changed because I knew you.”

                “And I you, Gabriel.  Loving you will always be the greatest experience of my life.”

How I love both these characters!  Gabriel fell hard, and though he was initially angry at learning what Amanda was about, he was still determined to protect her.  Amanda worked hard to forge a new life for herself, and it was heartbreaking to see all her efforts lost because of her selfish mother.  This couple belonged together, and their happy ever after well deserved.  A DEVIL OF A DUKE is full of romance, passion, a bit of intrigue, a hero to die for, and a heroine who is his worthy match.  Madeline Hunter has written another outstanding story, which flowed beautifully into a swoonworthy conclusion.  A DEVIL OF A DUKE will take up residence on my keeper shelf.  ~Rose

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