published by Avon Romance in December 2007
Once upon a time, there was a seamstress named Prudencewho lived in a lodging house, worked very hard, and dreamed of a better life. Then she inherited a fortune, met a handsome duke, and fell in love. Her life was wonderful, and it seemed as if she was destined to live happily ever after.Genre: historical romance
Then she found out money can’t buy happiness, handsome dukes can also be wicked, lying scoundrels, and a broken heart hurts like hell. Will Prudence ever find true love and happiness? Will the wicked duke mend his ways? Will she take him back or kick him to the curb?
Series: The Bachelorettes series, book #2
The Story: In addition to being cute, the back blurb, for once, is a good synopsis for the book. One day, Prudence Bosworth is a seamstress who’s working hard and is dreaming of a better life and the next day, she’s an heiress being courted by aristocrats who seemed untouchable just the day before. Indeed, thanks to her scoundrel father who ran to America and made a fortune instead of marrying her mother, Prudence’s life changes overnight. However, there is a condition in order for her to inherit the money: she must marry within the year… and so Prudence’s debut in the aristocrat world and her search for a husband starts. Meanwhile, our hero is Rhys de Winter who has just returned from the continent and has inherited the title of Duke of St. Cyres from his uncle. Problem for him is that he is quite in debt and everything has been heavily mortgaged… and his only solution is, of course, to marry an heiress. Upon discovering that the seamstress he’s been eyeing at one of the ball has become an heiress, Rhys chooses to court and marry Prudence as fast as possible, without letting her know that he knows about her inheritance.
My Opinion: I was really looking forward for this book, because I enjoyed And Then He Kissed Her, the first book in the series, so much and after having read so many of Ms Laura Lee Guhrke’s books the past year, I ended up really liking her writing. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with this one. Maybe I had too high expectations, but I thought the storyline and characters lacked some oomph to make it really stand out.
This book read a little bit like the Cinderella story. I like the idea, but I thought the author didn't personalize it enough and instead, it read like many other historical romances out there. In addition, the characters didn't appeal very much to me. I thought Prudence was a bit naive in her thinking. I expected a stronger heroine, a bit more down to earth... not this dreamer. She reminded me more of those sheltered young girls instead of a woman who came to London to work at the age of 17-18 and who's been catering the spoiled and demanding noble women. She just didn't fit in my opinion. Rhys was okay and his actions were understandable. I mean, what was Prudence really expecting out of this character? In short, typical, broke duke in need of an heiress, but who, for once, does indeed fall in love with an heiress. He was missing the swooning factor however and so is not very attaching.
What didn't disappoint in this book was the writing. I thought the writing was excellent and superior to many other historical romances out there. I have to admit I wasn't really happy about the sequel baiting (i.e. introduction of all those bachelorettes), I think that she could have done without, like in And Then He Kissed Her; however, she did pique my curiosity and I am looking forward to Prudence's friend Maria story.
In short, The Wicked Ways of a Duke wasn't bad, but not on par with what the author has accustomed us to.
My Grade: B-