What a Devilish Duke Desires
by Vicky Dreiling
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.
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.
Honestly, for historical romances, I don’t start them with high expectations. This book managed to disappointment despite my low expectations. The only reason I granted this book two stars is because I was able to finish it.
The exposition of the novel started out well, we were well introduced to the protagonists and able to understand their personalities. Where this novel failed was the constant repetition of facts stated two pages before, or sometimes even a sentence before. It made me think that the author didn’t realize that the reader actually remembers what they read. This happens constantly throughout the story. While this irritated me greatly, I was able to read past it because the plot seemed promising in the beginning. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the novel. The ending was just melodramatic in some cases and under-dramatized in others. While I get my happy ending, I wish there had been more excitement getting to it.
As far as characters go, they were perfectly great characters in the beginning. Towards the middle and end of the novel they were constantly mercurial (and while that trait may or may not work for Christian Grey, these characters could not pull it off.
Overall I would not recommend the novel, not even for a trashy romance read.