Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review: What A Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent

Avon Romance    Sept 27, 2011

384 pages   Lavinia Kent


What woman would refuse a Duke’s kiss?

Running from a dark secret past, Isabella Masters craves peace and stability, a life far from the prying eyes of society.
She does not dream of landing a lord.

But in the arms of a stranger with magnificent eyes, she loses herself in one breath-stealing kiss— only to discover she has been misled by a reluctant Duke.

Angered but enthralled, she dares not submit . . . though her passionate heart begs her to. He cannot wed her . . . but he must not lose her.

Only one possibility remains— one too scandalous to consider . . . yet too tempting to resist.

First, I have to mention the cover, Nathan Kamp is aging nicely. What a sexy, sly look and it fits the hero of this book perfectly. Mark Smythe, Duke of Strattington  is a reluctant duke, not  at all comfortable with the strictures of a dukedom. One night at an inn, he overhears a woman talking about 'who covers a cock.'. A wonderful way to begin this story. Mark is of course, intrigued and when the young lady in question begins to bad mouth 'the duke' Mark pretends to be an employee. I was immediately caught up in this story and I did not read the previous books and found this very much a 'stand alone'.

 The heroine, Isabella Masters, or 'Smith' as she is posing  herself off as, is not a governess/nursemaid  but your standard lady of the ton on the run for some perceived shameful and scandalous wrong. This has been used many times before, but hasn't everything?

Mark carries a lot of baggage, he isn't keen on being a Duke and makes a lot of decisions in this story that are questionable. Once the cat is out of the bag about his Dukedom, he coolly offers Isabella the position of mistress, which I suppose in a historical romance is a step up from a governess. Isabella is suitably appalled, but a small part of her wants to be in Mark's bed, and his bed would be a perfect place to hide from society and the law.

Mark is an amazing mix of an alpha and beta hero, at times it doesn't quite work, but for the most part I found his Jekyll and Hyde Duke endearing. Plus, Mark is sexy hot! The love scenes sizzle.

Isabella, while thoroughly enjoying the sizzling hot Duke in the bed chamber, her inner conflict on being a mistress and being on the run was well portrayed. The conflict in this story was real and palatable.
I won't give away the ending, it had a real fairy tale feel to it. This was a fine read, and even though the characters do questionable things along the way, they certainly redeemed themselves at the end.

3.50 stars out of 4

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