Title: What a Devilish Duke Desires
Series: The Sinful Scoundrels #3
Author: Vicky Dreiling
Narrated by: Elizabeth Jasicki
Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
Format: Unabridged Audiobook
Publisher: Recorded Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Source: Audio Book Juke Box
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glass
WILL A FEW FLIRTATIOUS STEPS
Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle's title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it's all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.
LEAD TO A SCANDALOUS SEDUCTION?
Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome—not to mention wealthy—duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man's trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry's scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn't change it first.
"I'd better go," he said. There was a knowing look in his eyes, as if he was aware of exactly how he'd affected her.
When she inhaled on a shaky breath, he helped her to rise. She walked with him to the door as if she were enveloped in a fog.
He halted and gazed into her eyes. Then he drew her in his arms and kissed her gently on the lips. His mouth moved over hers and his hand slipped down the curve of her spine. Heat and longing surged inside her. He wrapped his arms around her, and she could feel the hard, unyielding muscles of his arms, chest, and thighs as he pressed her against him.
"Forgive me in advance," he said.
"For what?" she whispered.
He kissed her gently once more, and then he drew his tongue along the seam of her mouth. Her lips parted and then his tongue was in her mouth, tasting her while his hands slid down her spine and to her bottom. He pulled her flush against him, and she could feel his hard body. She was breathing faster and everything inside of her was on fire for him. God help her, she wanted his hands all over her.
He broke the kiss, and she was aware that his breathing had quickened as well.
When he released her, he said," Good night, sweet Lucy."
Her limbs trembled a little as he strode out into the night, leaving her to wonder if he knew it was her first kiss.
WHAT A DEVILISH DUKE DESIRES by Vicky Dreiling was a very enjoyable historical romance. This is the first book I've ever read by this author; I don't plan on it being the last. WHAT A DEVILISH DUKE DESIRES is the third book in the author's Sinful Scoundrels Series. I have not read any of the previous books in the series so this book obviously works well as a standalone. This was the story of Harry Norcliffe, the Duke of Grandfield, and Lucy Longmore, a commoner and part-time dance instructor.
As the story opens, Harry is mourning the loss of his beloved uncle and railing at the title he has inherited from him as he was a relatively content nobody before his uncle's death. His mother is now pushing Harry to do his duty - to marry well and produce heirs. To that end, his mother concocts a scheme to hold a dancing competition at Almack’s with Harry as one of the contestants partnered with a young woman that his mother feels suitable for him. Harry flatly refuses.
Then... on his way home from his club one evening, Harry comes upon a thief trying to steal a woman's basket. He rushes into the scene shouting for the crook to stop. The thief takes one look at Harry and runs away. The woman is Lucy and this marks the beginning of their love story.
Harry was an exemplary male lead. He was funny, kind-hearted, sexy and a little wicked. LOL! I loved that he had a special book that he read before going to sleep at night - until he met Lucy. He was devoted to Lucy and he was quite determined to not give up on them as a couple despite their class differences and his snobby, domineering mother. I liked him a lot for standing up for Lucy and being so sweet and caring of Lucy and her grandmother.
Lucy was a great heroine with a fiery personality to match her red hair. Lucy holds down multiple jobs to support her and her grandmother. She was very loyal and caring of her grandmother and very brave to set out on her own to make their own way in a time when women's work was not valued. Even though she loved Harry, she was obstinate that they could not be together. Would Harry be able to overcome her determined nays to say yes to them as a couple? It sure seemed doubtful.
I enjoyed the dance competition aspect in the storyline and also thoroughly enjoyed the sequences where Lucy was teaching the dancing lessons. It made me feel like dancing! The chemistry between Harry and Lucy was sweet and hot - there were some pretty yummy erotic moments that made me wish for a fan. The main villain was a despicable character who made my skin crawl.
The book was narrated by Elizabeth Jasicki, who delivered a solid performance with a clear, pleasing voice. Her narration was well-paced. She has a very proper English accent that suited the characters in this story perfectly. She also did an excellent job with the dialect of several of the characters who were of the lower classes and did not speak proper English. This is the first time I've listened to Elizabeth; I would not hesitate to pick up another book she has narrated. I do believe her narration enhanced my enjoyment of this tale.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes:
He looked directly into her eyes, as if he meant to pull her under his spell. "You positively light up when you smile."
"I imagine many women fall quickly for your charm, but let me assure you I am no easy conquest."
"Neither am I."
"You are very gentlemanly, sir," Grandmama said.
"My mother will be glad to hear it."
He thought about his preferences for a wife. Naturally he wished for a woman who would shed all inhibitions in bed, but a virginal bride would likely be skittish. He was confident he could coax a shy bride. All the same, he would prefer someone who was clever and not easily conquered.
Such as a petite, strong-willed redhead who gave him no quarter.
She was his first thought in the morning and his last thought at night.
There was only one answer. He would pursue her and before it was all over, he would make her his....
He must prove to her that he could scale that invisible class wall without hurting anyone in either of their families. He had no illusions about her resistance...
The author's writing was solid. I laughed, swooned and got mad at parts. The conclusion was jaw-dropping wonderful - I had wracked my brain through-out for a way for the couple to be together given their societal differences and the class boundaries and I have to say I had despaired of a satisfactory conclusion. I'm glad the author proved me wrong with a unique twist I sure didn't see coming! I would recommend WHAT A DEVILISH DUKE DESIRES to anyone to enjoys light historical romance.