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When the Duke Was Wicked: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 1 | [Lorraine Heath]

When the Duke Was Wicked: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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. He simply has to teach the lovely innocent all the ploys a scoundrel uses to gain a woman's favor…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….

©2014 Jan Nowasky (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (80 )
5 star
 (34)
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4.0 (74 )
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Story
3.9 (73 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carol Dexter, MI, United States 02-25-14
    Carol Dexter, MI, United States 02-25-14 Member Since 2010

    I am a singer and Celtic harper specializing in the music of Scotland, where I go often to study and perform. I love romance books because I like a light hearted story with a happy ending!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Lovely story, disappointing reader"

    Another lovely story from Lorraine Heath but the reader is disappointing, especially after we heard the other stories in this series wonderfully read by Susan Ericksen! All the characters sound the same! Where is Susan when we need her?!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 04-28-14
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 04-28-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    247
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    Story
    "Loved her imperfection and yet strong attitude."

    The heroine went after what she wanted which was unlikely to achieve but then through persistence, courage and innocence she was triumphant. I truly enjoyed the story and realized a bit into the book that this was the continuation to the series Scoundrels of St. James, except with the next generation taking the lead. I like the author’s writing style and the story kept me captivated. A definite good read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger 05-21-14 Member Since 2014

    AKA The Geeky Blogger

    HELPFUL VOTES
    243
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    "This story worked on every level..."

    Listened for Fun (Audible)
    Overall Rating: 4.50
    Story Rating: 4.75
    Character Rating: 4.50

    Audio Rating: 4.50 (Not part of the overall rating)

    First Thought when Finished: When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath was a wonderful dip back into the families of St. James! How did I not grasp this was about the kids! YEAH!

    Story Thoughts: I told someone the other day that I was just going to write this for my review: If you love Historical Romance then you need to read When the Duke Was Wicked. Why? It has a plot device that I have never seen in an historical and it really worked! Seriously, I think Kimba said it best when she said the secret was just brilliant. This story just worked for me on every level.

    Character Thoughts: I will admit that you don't have to read the series that this is spun off of to enjoy this or the characters. In fact, it is completely two different generations. However, I dare you not to squee like a fan girl if you have because I don't think it is possible. The second I realized it was the kids, I might have done a little jig. It might have also been a tad bit embarrassing. I loved Grace and Lovingdon's love story. They were so perfectly matched and well suited for each other personality wise. Their HEA was FANTASTIC!

    Audio Thoughts:

    Narrated By Helen Lloyd / Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins


    Helen did an excellent job with the narration of Grace and Lovingdon! I loved her pacing and emotion. All together a wonderful listen.

    Final Thoughts: Ready for the next one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffani The Woodlands, TX, United States 03-05-14
    Tiffani The Woodlands, TX, United States 03-05-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"

    After enjoying the Scoundrels of St. James series, I had very high hopes for this 2nd generation book. What a disappointment!

    This book lacks any depth of story or character development. In addition, the narrator makes the characters seem like characters in a romance novel rather than possible real people. (Susan Ericksen did a much better job.)

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Dankers 12-05-14
    P. Dankers 12-05-14
    ratings
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    17
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    Story
    "Horribly Predictable"

    All of this book's secrets are revealed in the first chapters and then you are left with the weary task of finishing the book when you already know how it ends--with the saccharin sweet flawless perfection that makes me want to disgorge my breakfast. The only redeeming quality is that this book takes on the moralistic task of championing women's health issues--and that was a nice surprise in an otherwise odious book. I can honestly thank the author for caring about the devastating plight and courage of women with cancer. The narrator was probably my favorite aspect of this audio book. She gives honesty to the characters--both male and female. She tells the story without any distractions and that is a rare thing, IMHO. The thing I hated most about this book is that it concerns itself with the privileged lives of the nobility--yawn. This book is in no way, shape or form, my own fantasy, but I don't begrudge other people theirs. I am probably most upset with myself for making a poor choice in my reading schedule.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Starlet 10-31-14
    Starlet 10-31-14

    My favorite books are 'Historical Romance'. A good book takes you away from your everyday life & puts you in the middle of an adventure.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The sweetest love story I've ever heard."
    What did you love best about When the Duke Was Wicked?

    Lorraine Heath writes historical romance with such building emotion, strong symbolism, great character development & with this book sweet, love, courage & determination. This is truly the sweetest love story I have ever read/listened to.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried and smiled simultaneously. Amazing story!!!!


    Any additional comments?

    If you know someone who needs to overcome insecurity, or just want to feel grateful & impowered, if you want the depths of your heart touched and brought back to life from devastation, read or listen to this book. I just finished it for the third time. It stays with you.
    Excellent story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAROLYN newark, New Jersey, United States 03-02-14
    CAROLYN newark, New Jersey, United States 03-02-14 Member Since 2015

    bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "FUNNY, HEARTBREAKING & ROMANTIC ALL IN ONE"

    Firstly, this is a spin-off series telling the tales of the children of the couples from The Scoundrels of St. James series but you don't need to have listen to them first however, if you have, then those characters will be familiar to you as they are mentioned in this new series. This book tells of the bitter-sweet romance of Grace's unrequited hopeless love for Lovington now a tortured Rake whose heart is beating but is dead over the death of his wife and daughter 2 yrs previously. Grace will only marry for love and enlists his help in finding it from one of her many suitors and, despite her feelings for him, she tries. But deep down Grace is aware that she's fighting a loosing battle because she loves only him but she realizes too that he could never love again.

    It isn't a happy feel-good romance, although there were funny parts, because of the secret Grace held and Lovington's constant pain of his loss but slowly, through their tormented journey, life returns to his once dead heart. There's tragedy, but also a tender all consuming slow build-up of passion, sex and, as danger looms, love. Strong yet vulnerable H/H and it's their character development, compassion unwillingness to let go of each other that makes this a powerful love story.

    Worth a credit? This was an enjoyable but emotional listen and, despite the fact that it dragged a bit and was predictable, it's still creditworthy. I'll follow the series but hope that the narrator is changed for the next one as her male/female voices were virtually the same which was a shame because, in the hands of a more skilful narrator, this would have easily earned another star.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
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