Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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The Duke's Perfect Wife is the fourth book in the Mackenzie brother’s series. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was an awesome book, and thus I have been following the brother’s progress with interest. This book features the last brother, Hart. Time for a SCORE.
Hart is a damaged duke with dangerous daydreams. I had to complete the alliteration. Anyway, Hart is heirless and needs a wife. After some interaction in the previous novels as well as a long time ago, Hart decides to silently woo his former betrothed, Eleanor. Eleanor has come to Hart because of some naked pictures that were sent to her of him (seriously that is a pretty awesome story plot). Hart “hires” her with the intention of courting her and Eleanor under the impression she is investigating the photos.
The rest of the story was pretty unique. It featured a lot of family elements, so we get to see people from the other books, which is always fun. However, I felt that the actual story was less the story of Eleanor and Hart but of Hart and his redemption and healing.
Eleanor is a cute character. I like how she is a bit daring but not too far outside of box for the time. I thought she was well developed. But like I said in the first section, this is really Hart’s story. His psyche is completely delved into and we see why he does what he does and how he overcomes his limitations to have his happily ever after.
I liked how much Ian was involved in the story. I really felt their brotherly connection was done well. The others in the story are living their happily ever after and thus cease being interesting, but for what it’s worth, they are a nice addition to the story since it is so family focused.
I was actually a little disappointed in the romance. I mean, the two had chemistry and that is always nice. They also have a fun history and a generally good romance. So why am I disappointed? Well, throughout the series we have heard that Hart is pretty much a sexual deviant. I was looking forward to having that worked into the sexy times in this book. To a small, very small extent it was worked in, but it was such a disappointment. I guess that lack colored my view of their otherwise cute and touching romance.
I thought the execution of the story was fine. There were no abrasive characterization errors or grammar issues or anything like that. Overall it was good. The story flowed, the characters were real, so A+ here.
Overall it was a good story. I didn’t like it as much as the first two, but it was still a good romance. I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone, but if you have read the rest of the series I would not miss this one.
Originally posted on GR in June 2012