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Name and title: Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton. Affiliation: London’s elite Society of Decadent Dukes. Family history: Scandalous. Personality traits: Dark and brooding, with a thirst for revenge. Ideal romantic partner: A woman of means, with beauty and brains, willing to live with reckless abandon. Desire: Clara Cheswick, gorgeous daughter of his family’s sworn enemy.

Clara may be the woman Adam wants, but there’s one problem: she’s far more interested in publishing her women’s journal than getting married—especially to a man said to be dead-set on vengeance. Though, with her nose for a story, Clara wonders if his desire for justice is sincere—along with his incredibly unnerving intention to be her husband. If her weak-kneed response to his kiss is any indication, falling for Adam clearly comes with a cost. But who knew courting danger could be such exhilarating fun?

Madeline Hunter’s novels are:

“Brilliant, compelling . . . An excellent read.” —The Washington Post

“Mesmerizing.” —Publishers Weekly

“Pure passion.” —Booklist

May 30
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

carolinawp ,

Excellent Story

Wonderful story with twists and turns set within the historical times depicting the conflict between English and French loyalty. Well worth the read.

AUenUrsa ,

Great Start to a New Series

FINAL DECISION: Fabulous start to a new series. Didn't go in the direction I expected and I ended up loving Adam. Motives are mysterious until all is revealed which built suspense and interest. Loved these two together.

THE STORY: Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton, has returned to England after years in France following his father's death. Adam has returned for revenge and to find out who set the events in motion which led to his father's death. He is also in pursuit of a wife. He discovers Lady Clara Cheswick, the daughter of his family's longtime enemy. Lady Clara has no intention of agreeing to Adam's determined pursuit of her as she is independent and spending her time managing her own property and interests. Then there is the also the question of what Adam's true motives are.

OPINION: This book was more intimate and personal than I expected from the description. Really focusing on the developing relationship between Adam and Clara, the reader is left questioning what Adam's motives are.

Clara is a woman who desire for independence even if that means upsetting conventional behavior and roles for women. Having inherited property of her own, Clara plans never to marry but instead publish a paper for women -- written by women. She is independent but isn't willing to toss away all convention. That creates tension as she tries to exist both in and outside of society's expectations. She also struggles with her relationship with her family. While she doesn't always feel close to them, her loyalty to her father makes her suspicious of Adam's motives -- perhaps rightfully.

Adam is mysterious through much of the book. By the end of the book, however, I loved Adam. In the book, people wonder what Adam's motives are for returning to England...and the reader is left to wonder as well. By not cluing readers in to Adam's thoughts on the matter, the story has more tension and mystery. And the story needs that mystery because this book is truly driven by Adam's reasons for returning to England and what his plans are.

This book feels more intimate and personal because the focus of the book is truly the relationship between Adam and Clara. Can Clara trust Adam? Why is he pursuing a relationship with her? Does he truly intend to marry her? Why? What I ended up loving about this book is that the answers are more complex than a simple narrative.

WORTH MENTIONING: Oh, I can't wait for the other two upcoming heroes. There are some good stories to be told there.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE MOST DANGEROUS DUKE IN LONDON is the first book in the Decadent Dukes Society.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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

Gallowaygirly ,

Enjoyed the book!

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. The story of Adam and Clair is well written and keeps you interested. The story involves a long feud, lies, deceit and the suicide of Adam's father. The relationship between the two grows until it develops into love. It is a good story and I would recommend it to individuals who love historical romances.

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