Author: Lorraine Heath
Original Title: When the duke was wicked
Release Year: February 2014
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, Victorian age
Series: 1° of Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James
Well...I've read heartbreaking stories (and with this adjective I'm not implying stories with tragic ending, but always romances with satisfying happy-ending, I wouldn't be able to go through the first kind), see Again the magic or Almost heaven which ripped my heart out for the perfection of their love stories...this one, When the duke was wicked, in my opinion tries really hard to have the same impact but exceeds in doing it. It's too sad!
Let's clarify that we are talking about one of my favourite author.
First, I really can't appreciate romances where one (or both) protagonist already found and sadly lost the love of his/her life.
Here, our hero, the Duke of Lovingdon, was before really, really, happily married and sooo much in love, but unfortunately he lost both his wife and their little daughter because of a illness. For pretty much the whole romance there is this strong presence of his dead-wife which really didn't permit me to appreciate the hero and heroine's love story.
Second, despite the previous relationship, I know other stories where this kind of aspect didn't ruined the “present” love story, When he was wicked or Lady Sophia's lover for example, which is one of my favourite novel; that's because you feel the distinguish between the past and the present and you feel how strong the new relationship is.
Here, this, doesn't happen, if not for the last two chapters, where the hero actually says that he is different from who he was when he was younger and that he's going to live his love for the heroine despite he loved his wife too, I really would have thought that the Duke wasn't really adoring the heroine.
Third. Do we want to talk about the epilogue?! I mean, why?! Why?! It's beyond my capacities to read an ending like this one and feel good and satisfied. To be honest while I was reading it I was thinking “I really hope she (the author) didn't end the story with something like 'and they lay in each others arms as they took their last breaths after a full life of love and devotion'”. No.
Fourth, THANKS GOD I hadn't already read Surrender to the devil.
Here, the heroine is Lady Grace Marby, the Duke and Duchess of Greystone's daughter, in turn, protagonists of the just mentioned romance.
Since I haven't read the story I don't know the background but in When the duke was wicked Grace's father is not really in good health...no worries, nothing really bad happens, but come on, was it really indispensable?! The drama we have in the main story, wasn't already enough?
Apart from this, we are talking about a Lorraine Heath's novel, which in my opinion, means that it can't be bad...but definitely is below her standards.