Grace has been in love with Lovingdon for years. Grace knows that she will need to marry soon, even though her parents aren't forcing her to choose. They want her to find true love, the same love they have for each other. So Grace goes to Lovingdon for his help. Grace is worried than any suitor she may have will only be after her dowry, and will change his tune once they are married. So she asks for his help in figuring out which man is playing her and which one is genuine in his affection for her. Lovingdon lost his wife and daughter a couple years ago. Up until the moment he lost his wife, he was the most upstanding gentleman, one you could find no fault with. But from that moment that changed his life, he decided to stop playing by the rules. So the past couple of years he is the perfect debauched rake, enjoying gambling, drinking and plenty of women. Even though Lovingdon doesn't want to help Grace, he feels a compulsion to do so. He has always held Grace in high affection, them having grown up together. But as he gives her lessons in finding the perfect mate, he comes to the conclusion that last thing he wants is for another man to have what he considers HIS....
When The Duke Was Wicked is the first in the most latest series from Lorraine Heath. This series is somewhat connection to the Scoundrels of St. James series. The two main characters in this story were children of Frannie Darling and Jack Dodger.When I realized this, I was very excited to see how this would turn out and if we would see characters from that earlier series. Well let me just say I was fully satisfied in that certain aspect. The story begins with Grace showing up at Lovingdons with no notice, and he definitely isn't reading in the library. We see the strong spirit from Grace from the beginning of the story, and doesn't back down no matter how much Lovingdon growls and does the whole Alpha Male routine. Grace is looking to find a man to love, to accept her for who she is. From the beginning of the story you see that Grace is hiding a secret, one that even Lovingdon doesn't know. All through the story you wonder what it is, and what Lovingdon's reaction to it will be. I enjoyed seeing these two interact, especially in the beginning. I loved the scoundrel of a personality that is Lovingdon, and it was quite fun seeing Grace handle him.
The characters in this story are just as charming and endearing as ever!! I couldn't help become infatuated with them from the very beginning. Now first lets talk about Lovingdon--oh boy, was he delicious, I could gobble him all up. He definitely has the tortured male routine going on a bit, with a mix of rake and bad boy thrown in, definitely makes up for a exciting hero character. Grace is quite a favorite heroine of mine. I think the only thing I wish was better about her character, is having more trust in Lovingdon, considering they were childhood playmates. Grace has quite a bit of spine though, especially when you read this story, and gain a better appreciation for her as the heroine of the story. She does have backbone, and goes after what she wants, and is willing to fight tooth and nail for it. I loved seeing both of these characters develop more from beginning to end of the story, and their connection is beautiful and tender and powerfully passionate. Reading this has made me want to re read the Scoundrels of St James once again.
Overall When The Duke Was Wicked is a endearing romance that will set your blood rate at a higher level. A intriguing tale of romance, sacrifice, and witty dialogue that is bound to take your breath away!!! These characters will make you fall in love once again. COMPELLING!!