Book Critique – # 360: The Most Dangerous Duke in London (Decadent Dukes Society #1)

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: If you are into period setting novels with romance and mystery along-side, this book is one to try for sure. 

The Most Dangerous Duke in London is the first in the trilogy Decadent Dukes Society by Madeline Hunter published in May of 2017. Decadent Dukes Society involves three sinfully handsome dukes who have three different scores to settle but they meet their match along the way. The first book is again another period setting plot set in early 1800s England, it revolves around Adam Penrose – Duke of Stratton – and Clara Cheswick – daughter of his family’s sworn enemy.

Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton, is back from France after a period of five years living there. With a scandalous family history he is bent on to prove that his family was wronged and take revenge on the family that has caused it. To his utter astonishment the Dowager Countess of Marwood approaches Adam with an alliance to her granddaughter Lady Emilia. Considering both families having a rivalry that has been there for centuries and not to discount the recent animosity festering among them, Adam wondered what other hidden agenda had the Dowager behind this proposal. However Adam’s sights are not on Lady Emilia but rather on Lady Clara. Clara Cheswick – the oldest daughter of the late Duke of Marwood from his first marriage – had no intentions of getting married. But rather liver her life free-spirited and far more interested in publishing her women’s journal, Parnassus. How will this dangerous liaison move forward, and what secrets will Adam unearth and what those mean to Adam and Clara is what the rest of the plot is about.

As always, Madeline Hunter set her plot in early 1800s England taking us through the roads that we would have never travelled for real. It takes an imagination for the reader to put themselves into that period, understand the clothing, language and even the surroundings. I usually take help of google when I don’t understand or can't imagine. However it is always interesting to figure out what Madeline has in her mind, it makes me feel as though I am walking through that time period.

There is usually considerable amount of romance with eroticism in her books. Surprisingly though in this first book of the series she had toned down the eroticism part. The punch in romance was lesser although the historical part has been still the same.

All in all another historical romance that keeps you interested till the end. 

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Madeline Hunter introduces the readers to four other characters. Obviously they would be the center of her next two plots in this trilogy.

a. Althea and Lady Grace Bidwell – friends of Lady Clara. They formed the team behind the women’s journal, Parnassus, although it was Lady Clara’s germ of an idea.

b. Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford and Eric Marshall, Duke of Brentworth – friends of Adam Penrose. The trio had formed the Decadent Dukes Society when they were but kids and still continue to be part of that.

2) Being that these are historical romances by Madeline, I was always charmed by the language she used and how different the words are used now:

a. Crop your pretty tail – meaning to cut off the tail of an animal, but here she used in to denote that Adam would cut off the haughtiness that Clara shows.

b. Bluestocking – literary women

c. Affiance – being engaged to be married.

d. Ingénue – innocent young woman

e. Redoubtable – formidable


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