(Duke’s Club, #3)
Genre: Historical Romance
Lady Imogen Cavendish loves making merry. After surviving years of marriage to an old man, having seized her freedom seems the only intelligent thing to have done. Even so, years of dancing her way through parties has lost its’ luster and all she wants now is to spend most of the year on the small estate she’s purchased in Scotland. There’s just one thing. Her neighbor is an infuriating, superior, and exceptionally handsome duke!
An Arrogant Duke Who Knows It All:
Duncan Hamish Fergus, Tenth Duke of Blackburn, does everything right. Duty might as well be his middle name. After his father very nearly ruined his mother and sister’s life, Duncan is determined to never let the family name be tarnished again. Sacrificing his own pleasure seems a small price to pay until he meets the mad capped English woman, Lady Cavendish. In all his years on the path of righteous, no woman has ever tempted him to stray into sin, but no woman has ever been as mischievous or voluptuous as his saucy sassenach neighbor.
Can Imogen teach the oh so proper duke how to have a little fun or will two hearts be broken by propriety?
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Romantic, sexy and funny, it was totally enchanting from start to finish.
How I imagine Duncan…
Once…years ago, he’d been like them. Making jokes. Smoking, drinking, making merry, as they put it. But he’d let that go. Unlike them, he took being a duke very seriously.
Duncan had watched his womanising, drunken, gambler father almost ruin the family and its good name with his profligate ways. He fears that any slight slip from a life of sobriety could send him down the same slippery path as his father and it terrifies him. Refusing to be fodder for the village gossips, Duncan is the epitome of everything that is proper until the fateful day he meets his lively Sassenach neighbour, Lady Imogen Cavendish.
How I imagine Imogen…
…she’d learned that pleasure could easily be had without love. The years since her marriage had proved it time and again, and she’d enjoyed every moment without a second thought.
Ever since her elderly husband’s death, Imogen has enjoyed her freedom and lived boldly without any regrets. Her sense of fun, kind nature and winning smile brighten everyone around her. But she has begun to grow discontent with her carefree life and longs for the sort of love that her friends share with their husbands. Life takes an unexpected turn when she meets her handsome neighbour, the ever so proper Duke of Blackburn. Imogen is sure the man obviously needs some fun in his life.
I imagined the initial meeting between the “grumpy” Duncan and the effervescent Imogen would be memorable. In fact, it is one the most memorable hero/heroine first meetings I’ve read in a very long time. Here’s a taster of this wickedly delightful scene.
“I adore it,” she continued, clearly unaware of his state of torture. “I don’t know why more men don’t wear them. They seem to be far more practical for a man’s. . . um. . . Well, they’re more practical.”
At that, he could no longer suppress his groan. He was discussing the freedom of a man’s cock in a kilt with a Sassenach noblewoman. Surely, he’d conked his head on a rock when he’d fallen. Yes. That had to be it.
As a couple, Duncan and Imogen are irresistable and their romance is such a perfect blend of great chemistry, simmering sexual tension, sparkling dialogue and highly sensual love scenes. Imogen’s sense of fun positively spills off the pages and it’s easy to understand why Duncan falls under her spell and eventually sees what a wonderful woman she truly is.
Imogen wasn’t perfect. She was in many ways the opposite of it…And yet, somehow, that very thing made her the most perfect woman he’d ever met.
Duncan has never enjoyed Christmas. It had always been marred by his father’s drunkenness and then by his mother’s illness. So I loved the scene on Christmas Eve when, for the first time, he knew true joy. There is a poignant moment when Imogen puts a candle in the window and a small knitted baby shoe on the tree and it was so heart-breaking to hear the story of her loss. It made me love her even more because, despite her personal loss, she could still bring happiness to those around her.
As with the previous two books, there are some colourful secondary characters to “assist” our hero and heroine on their journey to a Happy Ever After.
~~~ the Duke of Aston who I love to bits:
“Oh, Aston is quite the character. The man is mad as a loon, a retired pirate if you must know but he’s quite good fun.”
~~~ the powerful and seductive Duke of Roth
~~~ The very pregnant Cordelia and Kathryn who threaten to pop at any moment and their respective doting husbands, the Duke of Hunt and the Duke of Darkwell.
~~~ Duncan’s impulsive sister, Lady Rosalind, who frequently subjects him to “the eye”:
It was the ability to look at one with such disbelief it verged on disgust. If it had taken physical form, it would have been a slap upside the head.
When the Dukes’ Club get together you can be assured of some great banter and, as Duncan finds out to his cost, never trust your so-called friends’ advice regarding matters of the heart, especially when they are all three sheets to the wind!
The Epilogue provides a joyous end to Imogen and Duncan’s story and a hint of whose book might be next.
Engaging writing, lively characterisation and great dialogue make this a thoroughly entertaining romance. Highly recommended.
REVIEW RATING : 5/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
Read March 2015
The Duke’s Club series so far (click on the book covers for more information):
**A special thank you to Eva Devon for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. It was an absolute delight.**
NOTE: EVA DEVON ALSO WRITES AS MÁIRE CLAREMONT