The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Girl Bachelors #2
Also in this series: And Then He Kissed Her, With Seduction in Mind
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 13th 2009
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She thought she was the luckiest woman in London . . .
Surviving on a seamstress' income and a steady stream of fantasies, Prudence Bosworth has always longed for love and romance. Then she inherits a fortune from the father she's never seen, with the stipulation that she wed in one year. Prudence is determined to marry for true love, and after seeing firsthand the splendid chivalry of a certain duke, only one man will do . . .
Rhys de Winter, the Duke of St. Cyres, hides his cynicism behind a quick wit and an even quicker smile. He must marry an heiress, and as luck would have it, the pretty little seamstress-turned-heiress is exactly what he needs. But he never expected to fall for Prudence, and when his shocking deception is revealed, he will stop at nothing to win her back . . . even if it means renouncing every last one of his wicked ways.
The Wicked Ways of a Duke is the second book in Laura Lee Guhrke’s Girl-Bachelor series, which is based around four working-class women who call themselves girl-bachelors. I read and enjoyed the first book, And Then He Kissed Her, so I was looking forward to carrying on with the series.
I had some issues – namely that the heroine had major self-image issues and the author kept referring to her as “plump” when she was described as anything but. In this case the author actually gave the heroine’s measurements and they’re pretty much spot-on with mine. I take offense to being called “plump”, which I most certainly am not (and even if I were, that’s an offensive word, IMO). Also, the hero was a complete ass for the first 1/2-3/4 of the book.
However, the author really turned it around for me. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed both characters at the end, and how glad I was to see them fall in love. I almost put the book down because of my frustrations, but I’m glad I finished it.
Prudence was a down-to-earth kind of girl who wanted to be a dreamer. She was a realist about her situation and did her best to stay focused on the here and now, but she couldn’t help daydreaming about a better life and someone to share it with. I really liked her.
St. Cyres was a complete ass for the first half of the book. Prudence thinks he’s a true gentleman who cares for her, and he plays her and manipulates her without even a pinch of his conscience. He needs to marry an heiress and that’s all that matters to him. At first I was really put off by him, but as the story progressed I really warmed up to him. Although he doesn’t want to admit it, we as the reader can see him falling in love with her. Because he was such an ass, watching him fall was sweet indeed. Plus it helped that Prudence didn’t make it easy for him.
The story got off to a rocky start, but I’m glad I hung in there and kept reading. Annoyances aside, this was a cute story.
3.75 out of 5