He’s controlled. Meticulous. Immaculate. No one would expect the proper Duke of Westmead to be a member of London’s most illicit secret club. Least of all: his future wife.
Having overcome financial ruin and redeemed his family name to become the most legendary investor in London, the Duke of Westmead needs to secure his holdings by producing an heir. Which means he must find a wife who won’t discover his secret craving to spend his nights on his knees – or make demands on his long scarred-over heart.
Poppy Cavendish is not that type of woman. An ambitious self-taught botanist designing the garden ballroom in which Westmead plans to woo a bride, Poppy has struggled against convention all her life to secure her hard-won independence. She wants the capital to expand her exotic nursery business – not a husband.
But there is something so compelling about Westmead, with his starchy bearing and impossibly kind eyes -- that when an accidental scandal makes marriage to the duke the only means to save her nursery, Poppy worries she wants more than the title he is offering. The arrangement is meant to be just business. A greenhouse for an heir. But Poppy yearns to unravel her husband’s secrets – and to tempt the duke to risk his heart.
"An astonishingly good debut...The whole book is a breath of fresh air, both a complex, layered story and a soaring romance with two very real people at its heart." -- The New York Times Book Review
Author’s Note: Dear readers, please be aware this is an angsty, twisty book written in the style of a gothic romance, and there are some dark moments along the path to a happy ending for our characters. No spoilers here, but if you are a sensitive reader please do consult the reviews before diving in. Yours, Scarlett
2018 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart ® Winner for Best Historical Romance
"Desert Isle Keeper...The alliance is unexpected, fascinating and a refreshing departure from typical Regency romances, and I never wanted The Duke I Tempted to end." -- All About Romance
"Peckham’s meticulous character work pays off in spectacular, grandly romantic fashion and The Duke I Tempted ends with particularly cathartic and hard-won happily ever after." -- BookPage
"Gothic romances are tempestuous by definition, but this one is dramatic even by those heightened standards...If you want something to speed your heart and stop your breath as you read beneath the covers, with only the meager flashlight beam warding off the enveloping night — then you have a rare treat in store." -- The Seattle Review of Books
"A one-sitting, late-into-the-night read, The Duke I Tempted ran away with my heart." -- Book Ink Reviews
The duke I tempted
Did not like the ending. But before that I couldn’t put the book down
Lacking a finish
A decent read, the spice level is a little tame given the hints of flogging.
Decent Debut Undermined by Unnecessary Plot Contrivances & Anachronisms
I read the sample first, and the story started so strongly that I dove in and got the full novel. However, it all went downhill as the nanny mystery is solved. Not only was the whole subplot of this unnecessary, but it was so highly implausible that it made me question the whole novel, what was the point of connecting her to the heroine at all? It served no purpose. Also, to believe that the nanny would just disappear and years later come back to the same place and not even care to look for her abandoned charge, whom she had cared for for years, just was nonsensical. We then plunge into the half of the novel that was so full of anachronisms that it made me wonder why the author just didn't set it at a later time period where it would've made sense, say the 1860s. The heroine continuously fights with the hero over things she had agreed to in the beginning, it just made her seem much younger than her 25 years and not very intelligent. I will read the next novel of the series because I really liked Constance, the Duke’s sister.