Review A Devil of a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society) by Madeline Hunter

Publishers Weekly Best Books of Summer Selection

From New York Times bestselling author Madeline Hunter comes the latest sexy tale of three untamable dukes and the women who ignite their decadent desires . . .
 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 . . .
 
Madeline Hunter’s novels are:
 
“Brilliant, compelling. . . . An excellent read.”
—The Washington Post
 
“Mesmerizing.” —Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for A Devil of a Duke:

“Rich with scandal and sensuality, Hunter’s second Decadent Dukes Society Regency (after The Most Dangerous Duke in London) features a fabulous heroine, a secretary with a criminal secret who falls for a man far above her station….Scintillating love scenes are plentiful in this page-turning tale, which is enhanced by a cast of memorable characters and smart, witty protagonists.”– Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

“Readers who crave historical romances served up with a surfeit of searing sensuality and plenty of sharply nuanced characters will snap up this sterling addition to Hunter’s Decadent Dukes Society series.”– Booklist

“Another passionate, adventurous, captivating romance from a grand mistress of the genre. Hunter combines a heated love story with a feminist vibe with a dangerous mission led by unconventional characters. Thanks to the snappy dialogue, readers will find the pace never slows as they try and keep up with a bold thief and a devilish duke engaged in a subtle game of seduction. Readers will adore the smart characters who actually talk to one another as they set aside foolish misunderstandings in favor of communication.”– RT Book Reviews TOP PICK

Praise for Madeline Hunter’s previous novel, The Most Dangerous Duke in London

“The writing is lively and the characters fun, and the duke’s cronies promise to make good heroes in future books. A thoroughly enjoyable read.”– Kirkus Reviews 

“Hunter has created an intelligent, fast-paced romance, chock-full of sensuality and spiced with mystery.” – Publishers Weekly 

“The Decadent Dukes Society are just what Hunter fans crave; gorgeous, sexy, scandalous men who are about to meet extraordinary women. Hunter merges passion with vengeance, and pride with romance in this perfectly balanced love story. As always, the wonderful, witty prose and unforgettable characters enhance the intricate plot, and there is no doubt readers will be captivated.”– RT Book Reviews, Top Pick 

“The first in Hunter’s seductive new Decadent Dukes Society series is an elegantly written story with richly nuanced characters and a surfeit of intoxicating sensuality that will have fans of soigne Regency-set romances sighing happily with satisfaction.”– Booklist

“This is a historical romance to savor, and readers will root for the pair of lovers and the justice they seek.” – Bookpage, Top Pick

Top customer reviews

Sheila M – TOP 1000 REVIEWER

FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed the interplay between Gabriel and Amanda. There story seems hopeless at times which makes the story poignant, but I wished for something more from the grand gesture at the end.

THE STORY: Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford is used to getting what he wants. When he meets a mysterious woman who is willing to meet with him but doesn’t want to reveal anything about herself, Gabriel is intrigued and determined to uncover her secrets. Amanda Waverly is being forced into a double life. She is acting the respectable secretary to a society matron while plotting thefts. When she gets tangled up with Langford, she fears that everything will collapse around her.

OPINION: I enjoyed this book because of the couple. Gabriel and Amanda are a prickly couple. She has lot of secrets and he is determined to find out everything about her. I liked that she outsmarts him in the beginning and that he is ultimately willing to risk everything for her.

The book manages to have more fun than I expect because it operates on the fringes of society. Amanda is desperate but determined to do what she can to protect her loved ones. I thought that she was foolish for doing so much, but it also shows her kind heart. And her kindness is an essential part of her character along with her cleverness.

The weakness of this book for me was that we never really get to see Gabriel’s inner decisions regarding Amanda. He ultimately risks everything for her, but I suppose I wanted to see his turmoil or hear him verbalize more. The grand romantic moment was a bit muted for me as a result.

But I enjoyed these characters matching wits and I really liked Amanda’s character.

WORTH MENTIONING: I’m hoping we will eventually get to know more about Harry and Emilia.

CONNECTED BOOKS: A DEVIL OF A DUKE is the second book in the Decadent Dukes Society. Although there are some overlapping characters, this book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

Valerie A KaderTop Contributor: Historical Fiction Books
I  love historical romances! I’ve read most of this author’s books and liked them, even loved some. This book had a mildly intriguing premise – thief’s daughter and Duke fall in love. The heroine, Miss Amanda Waverly, was compelling – pretty, skilled, and loyal. The hero, Gabriel St James, Duke of Langford, was also compelling – handsome, aristocratic, and sexy. They had good chemistry and a bit of sizzle. The storyline started slow but warmed up as the book went on. Overall, a good book, and I enjoyed it.
Kindle Customer
This was not my favorite of the many books by Hunter that I have read. A bit laborious, and too much time getting to the point of the whole thing. At least the heroine told the hero the truth instead of going it on her own as is the usual plot line when the heroine has a secret or problem. It was interesting to cast the heroine as a thief. That doesn’t happen very often. And, I assume, since his story has not yet been told, that Brentworth will feature in her next book. He seems an especially interesting character, so I look forward to seeing how Hunter plots his eventual fall into love.

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