Morning! How is everyone's week shaping up? Mine is quite busy since I've started the dreaded spring cleaning. Between you and me, I take A LOT of breaks that involve books. It keeps me sane. Have any of you started your spring cleaning yet?
Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Forever/Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: February 24, 2015
WILL A FEW FLIRTATIOUS STEPS
Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle's title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it's all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.
LEAD TO A SCANDALOUS SEDUCTION?
Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome-not to mention wealthy-duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man's trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry's scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn't change it first.
The last thing Harry Norcliffe ever wanted was to lose his uncle and inherit a dukedom; the second to last thing he ever wanted was to be forced to deal with the ton, much less be forced to marry and produce the heir and the spare. He refuses to take part in an upcoming dancing competition, until he meets the charming Lucy Longmore.
Lucy doesn’t want to be anyone’s property, not even Harry’s. As attracted to him as she is, he also means trouble. Being friends with Harry however? That she thinks she can do. After all, she doesn’t have very many friends, much less rich, powerful ones like Harry.
First of all, Harry isn’t all that wicked, or devilish and that’s not a bad thing. He’s actually a pretty sweet man. He’s observant and he tries to be as considerate of others as possible, sometimes to the point of forgetting that he too has needs and wants. I liked how charming he was, especially with Lucy. He never came off as an eyebrow wagging, entitled duke who saw a woman he wanted but didn’t necessarily care for. His attraction to Lucy was more than just physical from the very beginning and I think it had to do with their friendship. Harry started to fall for Lucy almost immediately but it took some time for him to complete that fall into love. I myself fell in love with the way he did his best to look after her, even when it backfired and how he was both a friend and the man in love with her.
But Lucy was my favorite character in What a Devilish Duke Desires. A true working woman, she endured hardships that her richer counterparts couldn’t even contemplate. Her strength and good nature was impressive given the way her life was headed at the beginning of the book. She wasn’t afraid of work, just that she or Harry would inadvertently cause her to lose her prospects. She was intelligent, witty and fun but as much as she had to offer as a woman, it was her social status that brought a lot of conflict to the story.
What started off as an important friendship to Lucy was actually a budding romance for Harry. Yes, Lucy was attracted to Harry but as a woman from a lower social class, she didn’t delude herself into thinking she could become his wife. I felt bad for her though. She was a hard working woman in a time where women were not supposed to work. I loved how logical she was, her head was rarely in the clouds and that made her more believable as a working woman.
What a Devilish Duke Desires rounds out the Sinful Scoundrels series quite nicely. Author Vicky Dreiling did a wonderful job of crafting a story that would catch a reader’s attention and keep it. Harry and Lucy were a fun couple, evenly matched and their romance hit a soft spot with me. It’s definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far.
Final Verdict: What a Devilish Duke Desires has a bit of a Dancing with the Stars influence with the dance competition but it's Harry and Lucy's romance that really shines in the spotlight.