Monday, January 14, 2008

Review: The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke

The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke
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.

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?
Genre: historical romance
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-


  1. I don't post my grades...usually, but B- is exactly what I gave this one too. I wanted to like it so much after the first book as well. *sigh* I'm still going to try LLG though. She is a good writer.

  2. *sigh* I better hurry up and read me some LLG!!

  3. Rosie - I find it hard to give grades to books, especially being consistent with it. However, I do think it helps people who reads reviews when it comes to choosing the books they want to buy or read, so that's why I put a grade. and I'm glad it agrees with yours. I think that this book could have been good/great for other authors' standard, but not for LLG.

    Ames - Yes, you should! :) but then, you have so many things to read!

  4. I almost bought this book the other day, but stopped myself because I still haven't read And Then He Kissed Her. But I'm a total sucker for Cinderella stories, so I'll keep it on my list. Even though you say it wasn't as good as the first one. :)

  5. Jennie - I think that you should read And Then He kissed Her first :) then buy The Wicked Ways of a Duke. However, if you like cinderella's story, I think you're going to enjoy this one more than I did :)

  6. I can't remember if I have this one or not. I know I want to read it, though. Guess I'll have to check my librarything account to see and if not, I'll be picking it up.

  7. Dev - Hi Dev! This one is quite recent. It just came out late December, early January. So if you don't remember having it, perhaps you don't. Hope you enjoy the book :D

  8. I read something with a similar plot but the woman wasn't an heiress and the guy was broke. Neither of them are all that honest with each other after discovering motives and I kept thinking if they would just make time to get to know one another. Ugh.

    I have an LLG around here somewhere ;)


  9. Cindy - The heroine in this book was quite upfront. I guess the book needed a misunderstanding. Unfortunate, but usual. you should read LLG :) I liked her books, this one was just so-so though.