Beloved New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh has written her most beguiling novel yet, in which the black sheep of the scandalous Huxtable family finally meets his match—in a woman of even more wicked reputation.
“The Devil was about to be tamed.” Her name is Hannah Reid. Born a commoner, she has been Duchess of Dunbarton ever since she was nineteen years old, the wife of an elderly duke to whom she has been rumored to be consistently and flagrantly unfaithful. Now the old duke is dead and, more womanly and beautiful than ever at thirty, Hannah has her freedom at last.
And she knows just what she wants to do with it. To the shock of a conventional friend, she announces her intention to take a lover—and not just any lover, but the most dangerous and delicious man in all of upper-class England: Constantine Huxtable.
Constantine’s illegitimacy has denied him the title of Earl, so now he denies himself nothing . . . or so the ton would have it. Rumored to be living the free and easy life of a sensualist in his country estate, he always chooses recent widows for his short-lived affairs. Hannah will fit the bill nicely.
But once these two passionate and scandalous figures find each other, they discover that it isn’t so easy to extricate oneself from the fires of desire—without getting singed. For the duchess and the dark lord each have startling secrets to reveal, and when all is said and done, neither will be able to say which one fell in love first, who tamed whom, and who has emerged from this game of hearts with the stronger hand.
(Terra's Thoughts) I like this book but not love it. It has all the seduction and romance one could possibly hope for to tantalize the senses.
Our heroine The Dutchess of Dunbarton (Hannah) is the most beautiful creature to walk through London. Finally out of mourning for her Duke, Hannah has decided that she is going to be her own person and enjoy the frivolities that come with the life of the rich. Her dearly departed husband has left her a very, very rich widow and at the ripe old age of thirty she is bound and determinded to have exactly what she wants when she wants it.
What Hannah does not realize is that for all her education in the cunning arts of a rich female she is going to get a run for the money so to speak from a most dashing rake that has no inclination to be roped and hog tied in a relationship let alone marriage. The back and forth bantering with our characters make this a delightful chess game of the human kind. Who will get checkmate is the question of the day?
This is a light mindless read that is entertaining and quite sensual. If you like a storyline that will make you drool to the point of needing a bib then this is for you.
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (May 18, 2010)