Scarlett Peckham

Books: Romance | Historical

The Duke I Tempted (2018)

The Duke I Tempted (2018)

Set in England in 1753

To be honest, I'm still not quite sure how I feel about this story. It was compelling. I read it all in one go. But I don't know quite what I think.

Archie, The Duke of Westmead has worked hard to redeem not just his family fortunes, but also his family name. However, the events that scarred his heart lead him also to the scars on his body and a need he feels is a perversion inherited from his infamous father. But now the heir is a cruel wastrel, and so Archie must find a bride so he can beget an heir and protect both the people on his lands, but also his younger sister. So he has to put aside his dark needs and find a bride.

Poppy Cavendish should have been a well-to-do young lady, but instead has built her own nursery business from her love of botany, and hopes to expand her business. But the death of her uncle–and an unknown new heir to the entailed properties–has placed her in a bind that little but money can fix.

"Mrs. Todd told me you are a viscount's granddaughter. Your mother was presented at court. You must have had a season!"

Poppy was growing tired of this line of inquiry. "I am a gardener. Maxwell is also a gardener. Did he have a season?"

As I said, I read this all in one go, so that's a definite point in its favor.

My problem was that the two characters kept having misunderstanding after misunderstanding after misunderstanding to the point of aggravation.

Yes, he had terrible things happen that broke him. But he's also not a complete jackass, so the continual misunderstandings got frustrating. Yes. He has secrets. He's she's young and stupid. Yes, they both make terrible mistakes. Yes, they have issues with trust. But I think that the constant "Oh! they're going to reconcile…no, he just fucked it up again," was too much. It would have been a very good story without the continual emotional teeter-totter.

Publisher: NYLA