The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter
Title: The Most Dangerous Duke in London
Author: Madeline Hunter
Series: The Decadent Dukes Society
Pages: 304
Genre(s): Historical, Regency
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Everyone in London society is on edge with the brooding Duke of Stratton’s return from France. His reputation for duelling has preceded him, and it is whispered he is bent on revenge for his father’s fall. Stratton is indeed resolved to ferret out the person/people who benefited, and learn the reasons his father was targeted. When he meets Clara Cheswick, the lovely, rebellious daughter of his most likely suspect, desire complicates his goals.

Clara may be the woman Stratton wants, but she’s far more interested in publishing her women’s journal than in being seduced—especially by a man rumoured to be dead-set on vengeance. Though, with her nose for a story, Clara wonders if he is sincere in his desire for justice—or in his incredibly unnerving insistence that they will one day wed. If her weak-kneed response to his kiss is any indication, falling for the duke clearly comes with costs, and perhaps dangers she does not anticipate.

This is the first book in a new trilogy by Madeline Hunter which focuses on three Dukes, dubbed ‘The Decadent Dukes’.
I have heard excellent things about Madeline Hunter, her books and her writing, so I was looking forward to this book and the start of a new series. Add to that, I’m a sucker for a dark, brooding gent, so as far as I could see, this book couldn’t fail.

And it didn’t fail - it just sadly didn’t nearly live up to my expectations.

I liked Adam although, as other reviewers have pointed out, he was a wee bit overbearing and pompous at times. I don’t mind that in a hero, especially one that’s a duke since I suppose that it’s very likely all dukes had this personality trait! While I found Clara much harder to like - she was just too needlessly argumentative and shrewish at times for my liking - I did enjoy the way she stood up to, and interacted with Adam.

While there were some interesting asides to the main love story in the book - such as Clara’s publication of a Lady’s Journal - I didn’t feel these added much to the story and since to the very last page they didn’t involve Adam or the overarching mystery, I did wonder what the point of it all really was. Not offensive, just a tad pointless.

There were a few other characters in the book. I liked both Langford and Brentworth - the heroes of the remaining books in the trilogy. We had a few of Clara’s friends and family who we didn’t get much detail of. And then there was Clara’s grandmother. She was a typical old harridan but it was hard to feel the dislike I felt we should feel for her and her machinations, when the main characters were so easy to forgive her.

The main reason for my not giving this book a higher rating was simply that I didn’t feel there was any chemistry between the characters. There was no descriptions that showed how the pair felt for each other - we were just told they felt that way. But it wasn’t just the chemistry that I felt was lacking - I just felt there wasn’t the richness and depth that I’ve come to expect from historical romance. There also wasn't the heat and sensuality that I prefer in a novel, but that didn’t affect my rating as that’s just my personal preference and not a criticism of the book, as such.

Having said all that, other reviewers have obviously really enjoyed the book so I would still give it a go, especially if you’re a fan of Madeline Hunter’s. But it’s only 3 stars from me, I’m afraid.


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* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *


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