Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Wicked Duke by Madeline Hunter

Madeline Hunter saved the best story for last in her Wicked Trilogy! The Wicked Duke is a smart, sexy, well-plotted whodunit filled with exceptional characters! Lancelot Hemingford, the Duke of Alyesbury, has spent the past nine months in seclusion at his country estate. Percy, his older brother, died quite suddenly and Lance is the primary suspect in his brother’s death. Lance is a charming rogue and is my favorite of Ms. Hunter’s heroes.

The author sets the tone and engages the reader in the first few pages of the novel. Marianne Radley mistakes Lance for a poacher while she is visiting a local graveyard. She exchanges polite conversation with him and mentions his rustic grooming, his beard. Lance shyly asks her if she would dance with him if he shaved. Marianne response is that they should be properly introduced first. Marianne has returned home to her childhood home with her widowed mother and cousin. Her uncle, Sir Horace inherited her family’s estate and is the local justice of the peace and he believes that Lance harmed his daughter. Sir Horace is investigating the case and will determine Lance’s fate. 

The relationship between Lance and Marianne is very romantic. Loved the scene when Lance charmed Marianne by kissing her hand….very slowly. (swoon!) The couple’s romance evolves slowly and the writing is very sensual. Although Marianne appears to be calm and in control, she falls for Lance. The couple is well suited. Marianne brings out the best in her husband and her questions force Lance to look at situations in a different way. 

The author does a wonderful job weaving both families into the storyline. Enjoyed Gareth and Ives’ visits with Lance. The complicated relationship between Sir Horace, Marianne’s mother and cousin Nora was an important dynamic in The Wicked Duke. Lance’s desire to solve Percy’s murder drove the plot; Percy’s presence was felt during the storyline. The author was able to blend mystery, suspense and romance in this novel. The conclusion of the novel and the unmasking of the murderer was fabulous! The identity of the murder surprised me—Kudos to Madeline Hunter for a well-written book!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Novel provided by the author.
Celeste photo by Susan Gorman

1 comment:

  1. Terrific review. I love the mystery aspect and how all the plot lines come together at the end. So satisfying. Thanks!


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