Wooed by a Wicked Duke: A Regency Romance (Seductive Scoundrels Book 5)


Jessica Brentwood has a few skeletons in her closet. Her father—a vicar, no less—disgraced the family and left London years earlier. Since then Jessica has had serious doubts she would ever find a suitable or willing husband. But Jessica has spunk and travels to London to the festivities to seek her fate. Little does she know that before the evening ends, she will be found in a compromising position, naked, with Crispin, the Duke of Bainbridge. His reputation precedes him. Crispin has made sure it was so, since he’s been betrothed since childhood to a woman he does not love. His heart swells for Jessica, although he’s never presented the fact. When the evil stunt against them obliges him to propose to Jessica, he couldn’t be happier. Problem is, Jessica is loath to marry a rakehell.

This fully enjoyable historical carves both Crispin and Jessica’s characters so succinctly, the reader feels they know them. The problem is that, in so doing, the pacing suffers, particularly at the beginning. The entire first chapter is inside Jessica’s head, with the first line of dialogue finally surfacing as the last sentence. This flaw appears again a time or two, with the readers spending too much time in narrative without dialogue or action. Beyond this, however, the author reveals a plot that is unique and intriguing. The writing style is rich and eloquent. Phrases such as “the peculiar noises a sleeping house makes” elevate the quality of the prose to the next level. Overall, this heart-meltingly romantic historical is a quick, satisfying read.  

FS Brown