THE WICKED WAYS OF A DUKE
LAURA LEE GUHRKE
December 26, 2007
Avon Books/An Imprint of HaperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10022-5299
Rating: 5 cups
Prudence Bosworth is a seamstress and girl-bachelor. She is not exactly content with her lot, but is at the very least happy that she has a career and is able to provide for the necessities.
Rhys De Winter is the Duke of Cyres and quite dissolute. He has squandered what money was left to him by his father and is deeply in debt. All of his properties are in terrible shape and it is just a matter of time before the debt collectors come knocking on his door. He knows that the only way out of his dilemma is to marry a rich heiress.
When Prudence meets Rhys for the first time it is when she is hemming a young, and vicious heiress’s gown. He is kind to her when the young lady knocks over her sewing basket. While he is attracted to Prudence, he knows he has to marry money. When the father that Prudence never knew dies and leaves her his fortune, she is stunned. One million pounds per annum is a lot of money, but her father left one stipulation, she must marry within a year or she forfeits the money. Suddenly her life changes drastically, and the relatives that she left home at seventeen to get away from are suddenly being nice to her, something she knows is just because of the money. None-the-less she tries to get along with them, and when it appears that Rhys is not aware of her coming into the money until she tells him, and he begins courting her, she is sure it is love. However, Rhys is not the knight in shining armor that she thought, and when his deception becomes apparent, she is sick of the whole thing, and gives Rhys and her relatives their walking papers. But Rhys has truly fallen in love with Prudence. Will he be able to convince her that he is a changed man? Or will Prudence walk away from him?
The Wicked Ways of a Duke has lots of emotional ups and downs, and the author is excellent at keeping readers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what will happen next. I enjoyed reading about Prudence very much, and really got a charge out of it when she finally let loose and let everyone have it verbally. Seeing Rhys grow emotionally throughout the book made it a treasure, and I was happy to see that he was able to change his ways. The setting is very realistic and Ms. Guhrke clearly knows the time period well, when it comes to clothing, what London was like, and just in general how society was in 1894. English society, customs and mores of the time are well described. The lovemaking described is tasteful, and laden with emotion making this a highly enjoyable read. I wholeheartedly recommend The Wicked Ways of a Duke!
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