In this combined review, each book in the Decadent Duke series will be reviewed. The average review for the series is 3.5.
Three 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 . . .
Title: The Most Dangerous Duke in London
No. of Pages: 304
Date of Publication: June 1, 2017
My Rating: 3 Stars
Publisher: ZebraPurchase link: https://amzn.to/2zAFwG8
NOTORIOUS NOBLEMAN SEEKS REVENGE
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.
FAINT OF HEART NEED NOT APPLY
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?
After his father's suicide years ago, Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton, left London. He wanted to protect his mother and they set up home in Paris. However, Adam has acquired a reputation as a dueler and has been forced to flee France. Meanwhile, for a few generations, Adam's family had been in a feud. The dowager Countess of Marwood approaches Adam with plans of settling things, if he will marry her granddaughter, Emilia. She is pretty, but young, and offers absolutely no appeal to Adam.
On horseback, quite a bit away, however, is Clara, Emilia's half sister. Now, she sparks an interest that Adam cannot deny. He approaches her and a battle of will immediately ensues. Adam relentlessly pursues Clara, determined to marry her. Meanwhile, Clara is the owner of growing women's journal and that is the only future she imagines - that and independence from her overbearing grandmother.
The story swings back and forth between Clara and Adam's growing bond, all while Adam seeks to discover what drove his father to do what he did. Meanwhile Clara's grandmother makes more than a nuisance of herself.
This romance by Madeline Hunter was enjoyable to a degree, but felt a bit slower than I have read in this genre. The addition of the other dukes that will be in the other two series was a nice addition. One thing that I did enjoy was that Clara published a magazine, that was progress that was a pleasure to read.
Title: A Devil of a Duke
No. of Pages: 352
Date of Publication: April 24, 2018
My Rating: 3 Stars
Publisher: ZebraPurchase link: https://amzn.to/2NFaJjN
HE MAY BE A DEVIL
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 . . .
BUT SHE'S NO ANGEL EITHER . . .
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 . . .
Amanda Waverly, secretary or thief? Or is she both? She was born into a life a crime, forced to become a thief due to her parents' training. Amanda is striving to keep her identity a secret, all while trying to escape that life by serving as a secretary to a responsible lady in society. However, the pressure to keep stealing is constantly facing her.
Fortunately, her employer, Lady Farnsworth, a publisher of a lady's journal, has a wonderful influence on her. What Amanda doesn't expect, however, is to run into Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford. Amanda manages to trick the duke into participating in a theft, all while keeping her name a secret. How long can this go on? Who will end this farce?
While the two spend time together, one thing is undeniable, and that is their powerful attraction to one another. Throwing caution to the wind, they engage in far more than a begrudging friendship. The story shifts back and forth between their affair, her secret and Gabriel having to choose honor and decency over his own heart.
This was a sensitive story, especially since both Amanda and Gabriel went through so many changes, and the result could have been more than disastrous. It was enjoyable to be reminded of Gabriel's friends with the other two Dukes and how they helped him to see how he actually felt. This entry in the Decadent Duke series had a satisfying ending.
Title: Never Deny a Duke
No. of Pages: 304
Date of Publication: April 30, 2019
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2MM6zHo
. . . the sole remaining bachelor of the three self-proclaimed Decadent Dukes. Yet Davina MacCallum’s reasons for searching out the handsome Duke of Brentworth have nothing to do with marriage. Scottish lands were unfairly confiscated from her family by the Crown and given to his. A reasonable man with vast holdings can surely part with one trivial estate, especially when Davina intends to put it to good use. Brentworth, however, is as difficult to persuade as he is to resist.
The Duke of Brentworth’s discretion and steely control make him an enigma even to his best friends. Women especially find him inscrutable and unapproachable—but also compellingly magnetic. So when Davina MacCallum shows no signs of being even mildly impressed by him, he is intrigued. Until he learns that her mission in London involves claims against his estate. Soon the two of them are engaged in a contest that allows no compromise. When duty and desire collide, the best laid plans are about to take a scandalous turn—into the very heart of passion . . .
Having read all three stories in this series in succession, I was eager to read Eric Marshall, the Duke of Brenthworth's story. He is the most reserved, the most certain he would never be bit by love, of the three dukes. He has no problem at all maintaining his persona and has no intention of changing.
Meanwhile, being called before the king he doesn't respect is more than an annoyance to him. He is faced with Miss Davina MacCullum as she insists that she is rightfully owned an estate. Davina tries to approach the king, who would rather not be bothered with the situation. When it is determined that Eric actually owns the estate in question, the king and his staff foist Davina's claim onto him.
Davina doesn't approach the king empty-handed. She has the promise of two kings and some proof, so now dealing with Eric should be relatively easy. Needless to say, Eric has no intention on releasing his estate - and the secrets he is hiding with it - to Davina or to anyone else.
Davina is not about to give up. She believe her grandfather was a baron, and although not being born a male, has a right to said property. I loved Davina! Not only does she write articles for a women's journal, and has formed strong friendships with the other ladies readers were introduced in the first two books in this series, she has a strong will and refuses to give up.
Meanwhile, I was moved by Eric. It became increasingly easy to see why he had a shell around his heart and it was enjoyable watching Davina being used as the instrument to crack it. This was my favorite of the three in the series, especially when we discover why Eric fought so hard not to give up the estate. This added a nice touch to an effective story.
After having read at least 70 historical romances, most connected series, over the past 18 months, made it a bit difficult to enjoy this series as a whole. It was the most laborious series I have read to-date. This may be due to the fact that the romances seemed stilted and rather unemotional. As this had been on my TBR for months, I am glad that I had the opportunity to read it. This was a trilogy, which are my favorite to read, and there were definitely a lot of positives. I am curious to read Madeline Hunter in the future, and do hope to see more strong heroines like she wrote for this series.
Many thanks to Zebra and to NetGalley for offering all three ARCs for review. These reviews are my honest opinions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Since then she has seen twenty-four historical romances and one novella published, and her books have been translated into twelve languages. Over six million of her books are in print. She is a seven-time RITA finalist, and two-time RITA winner. Twenty-three of her books have been on the USA Today bestseller list, and she has also had titles on the New York Times printed list, Publishers Weekly list, and the Waldenbooks paperback fiction list. She has received two starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, and Romantic Times has awarded twenty-two of her books 4 1/2 stars. Madeline is a Ph.D. in Art History, and she teaches at the college level. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.