The Wicked Duke Takes a Wife by Jillian Hunter
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Book Title: The Wicked Duke Takes a Wife
Author: Jillian Hunter
Publisher: Ballantyne Books
Publication Date: Sept 2009
ISBN: 978-0-345-50395-4
Pages: 328
Genre: Historical
Series: Boscastle Series
Available In: E-book and Print
CRR Heat Level: Sophisticated
Reviewer: Stephanie
Review Score: 5 Wings

Hunter crafts another sensual historical romance in her Boscastle series with The Wicked Duke Takes a Wife. Set in London, 1818, Hunter draws the reader in with an intriguing tie-in to the novel, Frankenstein. The story begins with Griffin Boscastle, the Duke of Glenmorgan bringing his teenaged niece, Edlyn, to be enrolled in the Scarfield Academy for Young Ladies. Accompanying him is his aunt, Lady Powlis, who is a little gruff. Griffin inherited the dukedom when his brother, Liam, died in a riding accident. Griffin feels guilty over his brother's death because it was his riding challenge that his brother was undertaking when he had his accident and died. When Griffin gets to the academy, it is raining and he's greeted by one of the head mistresses, Harriet Gardner. Harriet is immediately drawn to the duke – and overwhelmed. As the thunder cracks and the lightning flashes, Harriet makes quite an impression on Griffin when she tries to put out a fire in a fireplace that was improperly lit. Griffin finds Harriet refreshing and true to herself. A kiss only confirms his growing affections for her. When Harriet accepts a job working for Lady Powlis as a companion, Griffin is secretly delighted. After a disastrous day with Lady Constance Chatterdon, his brother's intended, Griffin realizes it's Harriet he wants to be with. Before Griffin can commit to Harriet though, he has to deal with a family crisis that will test his mettle and his fortitude, proving the measure of the man.

Hunter's writing is easy to read and engages the reader immediately, plunging them into the rich world of the Boscastles. Her mentions of the Frankenstein novel and the stormy weather complement Griffin and Harriet's story. Hunter's characters are a joy to discover. Harriet is a character from a previous novel, The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke, and it's so rewarding to see that she's cleaned up well. Griffin embodies all the charm of a Boscastle male. His loyalty is a trait to be admired. The Wicked Duke Takes a Wife, is sophisticated for CRR readers, with several graphic love scenes which are tastefully done. Overall, it's a wicked read that captures the romantic feel of Hunter's previous Boscastle stories and makes the reader believe that love can overcome anything.


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