Title: A Duke But No Gentleman (Masters of Seduction, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance, Georgian
Author: Alexandra Hawkins
Publisher: St. Martins, June 30, 2015
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5+
Description from Amazon.com:
In the last opulent days of the eighteenth century, a friendly wager turns into a heated feud that spans decades…and a love affair like none other.
What does it take to tempt a lady… London, 1792. The Duke of Blackbern and the Marquess of Norgrave are boyhood friends who will still compete at anything. Racing, drinking, gambling, even seduction–until Lady Imogen Sunter crosses their path. Achingly beautiful, and innocent, she has no understanding of the jaded gentlemen who are courting her for favors–of how far they are willing to go to get what they want… In this game of seduce and destroy? Fighting for Imogen’s affection should have been no more than their usual spirited rivalry. But when Blackbern discovers his feelings for Imogen have deepened, all bets are off. Norgrave, driven by his own demons, won’t forsake his pride–and with one shocking act of betrayal that threatens Imogen and Blackbern’s newfound desire, Norgrave will set the course for a generation of Regency bad boys who will go down in history as the Masters of Seduction…in A Duke But No Gentleman by Alexandra Hawkins.
This is my first time reading an Alexandra Hawkins book. Although the premise was good, two friends wagering on who could seduce a beautiful debutante, the debutante was so overwhelmingly naïve and seemed out of character for the era. I kept wondering where were her parents, who seemed to love her, when she was traipsing around unchaperoned. The Duke and the Marquess were rakes in the truest sense. Both were hedonistic rogues one with a conscience and one who was a sociopath. Fair warning, there are two scenes of rape.
This is a dark novel that could have used a bit more fleshing out. At times I felt like I was reading scenes that were well written but didn’t seem to connect with the whole.
This is not a light and fluffy read, but if you like your romance dark and dirty then you may like this book in spite of its flaws.