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No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

Monday, January 21, 2019

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (2013) Sarah MacLean

Set in London in 1831.

William Harrow, Marquess of Chapin and heir to the dukedom of Lamont, known to the world now as Temple, the killer duke, is a partner in the Fallen Angel. Although there was no proof, it was believed that he killed his father’s bride-to-be the night before the wedding. As he has no memory of the night, even he doubts his innocence.

He fought for the moment when he was nothing but muscle and bone, movement and force, sleight and feint. For the way brutality blocked the world beyond, silencing the thunder of the crowd and the memories of his mind, and left him with only breath and might.

He fought because, for twelve years, it was in the ring alone that he knew the truth of himself and of the world.

Mara Lowe has been believed by the ton to be dead this past twelve years, killed by the son of the man she was to marry. But now, she offers to reveal herself–and to clear her name–if only Temple will clear her brother’s debts.

One of the best things about this book is that Mara runs an orphanage, and the boys are—very much boys.

“And who is able to tell me what happened to Napoleon after Waterloo?”

A sea of hands shot up inside the small, well-appointed schoolroom of the MacIntyre Home for Boys.

Daniel did not wait to be called upon. “He died!”

Mara chose to ignore the positive glee oozing from the young man as he pronounced the emperor dead. “He did, indeed, die. But I’m looking for the bit before that.”

Daniel thought for a moment and then offered, “He ran weeping and wailing from Wellington . . . and died!”

Mara shook her head. “Not quite. Matthew?”

“He rode his horse into a French ditch . . . and died!”

Her lips twitched. “Unfortunately, not.” She chose one of the hands straining for the ceiling. “Charles?”

Charles considered the options, then chose, “He shot himself in the foot, it turned green and fell off, and then he died?”

This is (of course) another story of redemption and forgiveness, and I like that Mara really had caused Temple a good deal of harm.

And I accept that Temple of course wants revenge.

The problem I have with the story is the bit where the two perform sexual acts in the ring (with no one watching) and in the conversation following Temple gets pissed off at what she says.

I’d have been much happier with how that bit went without the boinking, because if he was willing to behave as he did, it seems strange he’d then pitch a fit and be made at her.

It just felt unrealistic, as if another sex scene was needed and that was the only place it could be shoehorned in. I would have been much MUCH happier with the story without that.

Publisher: Avon
Rating: 7/10

Categories: British, Historical, Re-Read, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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