Book Review: When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath


I had renewed my interest in Historical after a long break from it, this probably due to having posted my previous TTT regarding, “Historical/Futuristic settings we would like to read more of”. If you’re curious about my picks you can read my post here 😀 I don’t remember how I came across this book, or why I picked it up to begin with…but I saw it and made an impulsive buy on my Kindle, I didn’t not bother reading up on any reviews and just dove into it without a clue about what I was getting myself into! So lets get to my review shall we 😀 divider
Synopsis from Goodreads
They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…

Lady Grace Mabry’s ample inheritance has made it impossible for her to tell whether a suitor is in love with her—or enamored of her riches. Who better to distinguish beau from blackguard than her notorious childhood friend, the Duke of Lovingdon?

With no interest in marriage, Lovingdon has long lived only for pleasure. He sees little harm in helping Grace find a proper match. After all, he’s familiar with all the ploys a scoundrel uses to gain a woman’s favor. He simply has to teach the lovely innocent how to distinguish honest emotions from false ones. How better than by demonstrating his wicked ways? But as lessons lead to torrid passion and Grace becomes ensnared in another man’s marriage plot, Lovingdon must wage a desperate gamble: Open his heart fully—or risk losing the woman he adores…
dividerWhere do I start? Honestly the books was just alright for me, there were some elements which were very interesting, and in fact I wish the Lorraine Heath would have gone into a little more detail, specifically around the secret the heroine carries within her. Since I’ve started on this train of thought, lets start with the things I enjoyed from this book.

It was an easy read, I was on vacation and was constantly on the move, therefore, I was only able to pick it up from time to time. I still found myself going through it smoothly as it was an enjoyable read.

I really liked the main heroine, Grace, she was sweet, kind and very likable. Heroines in most historical romance, are either awkward wallflowers or adventurous, curious and vibrant (I’m sure there are more versions, like the spinsters and the tomboys as well); Grace didn’t really fall completely into either category. While she was quite popular in society, she wasn’t the perfect lady; at the same time she wasn’t cowed by society, and would stand up for herself, but it wasn’t as though she was going about acting like a hoyden and breaking all the rules, she still managed to keep herself firmly in the bosom of polite society. Another aspect of Grace I like was that she grew up in a loving family, one which was protective and allowed her the freedom to act and grow. You could definitely see the wonderful up bringing in her. There is also the secret which Grace guards, and it is that secret, that makes her very special and quite different from regular historical heroines. There is also the strength she exudes, as she tries her best to get through what life has handed her which made me really enjoy her character. Her determination to find a love who would accept all of her, imperfections and all.

I won’t spoil it for you, for I believe you should read the book to find out what happens 😀

The premise of the plot is actually quite interesting, while it is not surprising that the hero, Lovingdon and Grace eventually fall in love, the situation where she is out to find true love by enlisting her childhood friend and long time crush to assist her in vetting out the rakes and gold diggers and to identify her Prince Charming is definitely amusing. The way Lovingdon “educates” and “instructs” her on what a man who truly love her would do, and how to look out for gold-diggers, was definitely actually quite amusing. As he slowly finds he is falling for her and can’t handle the idea of her being with another, the struggles he fights knowing he is unable to give her the “love” she speaks of (and he believes she deserves nothing but what she seeks); especially after the death of his one true love and daughter, having vowed never to love again. His inner fight is quite interesting to read, especially since he has quite a legit reason and massive scar to his heart preventing him from believing he could love another.

While I enjoyed it, I wasn’t in love with the book. It was definitely likable but I wasn’t squealing through the whole thing, like I normally would for a 5-star rating type book. Therefore, I only gave it 3 stars on my Goodreads. I guess one of the reason I didn’t really fall in love with the book was the character Lovingdon, he honestly wasn’t as interesting as Grace, and I guess the chemistry between him and I just didn’t match. Yet, I am definitely willing to read more of the author’s books 😀 They’re enjoyable and she does have some really interesting ideas, she also has some interesting side characters in this book whom I think will have their own books and am interested in reading about them 🙂
dividerWould I recommend this? Yes I would, to those who love Historical Romance, and love the from friends-to-lover trope, because this is really what it is. I know this might not be for everyone…since it might end up being a little too formulaic, but isn’t most Historical Romance that way? Have you read this? If you have I would really love to hear from you! If you’ve not, would you be interested in reading this? Do comment below, I would really love to hear from all of you! dividerLately my ability to design banners has really deteriorated 😦 I really can’t seem to find the creativity for them, so they end up looking incredibly basic. I need to check out more advertisings and design books, to reignite my creativity. For this banner I was incredibly lucky and found a beautiful photograph featuring Emily Blunt, photographed by Michael Roberts for Vanity Fair May 2009 edition. The dress she is wearing is a Christian Dior Haute Couture S/S 2009. It’s a ridiculously gorgeous dress…and the whole shoot is just beautiful. I just applied some filter to give it a more sketchy look. But if you have time do go look up the original image 😀


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