• When the Duke Was Wicked

  • Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 1
  • By: Lorraine Heath
  • Narrated by: Helen Lloyd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (263 ratings)

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When the Duke Was Wicked

By: Lorraine Heath
Narrated by: Helen Lloyd
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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 listeners say about When the Duke Was Wicked

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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?!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator Too Old!!

These characters are 19 and 28...the narrator made them sound ancient!! Good story...a little long-winded...read for my book club.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • CN
  • 05-10-15

I can't make myself finish it.

Would you try another book from Lorraine Heath and/or Helen Lloyd?

The reader has a very mature voice and it just does not work for the girl in the story. I had to keep reminding myself I was listening to a young woman and not my grandma. Eventually it wasn't worth the effort and I quit listening. I may buy the book and read it on my own because I really liked the Scoundrels previous series.

What was most disappointing about Lorraine Heath’s story?

The reader. She would be a wonderful narrator for some books, but just not one where she's supposed to sound like a young woman.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Helen Lloyd?

Susan Erickson.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful story, horrible narrator

Where does When the Duke Was Wicked rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is in the top 10 for the story. it was touching and tugged at all of the emotions I want in a good read. It just needed a better narrator to make it perfect. I kept thinking susan duerdan would have taken this story and turned it into a magnificent performance!

What did you like best about this story?

The evolution of the hero into a man that fullfilled the expectation of the heroine. This was a friends to lovers trope, but it worked as the chemistry of the two characters was heart-felt and the hero never forgets his first wife to clear a path to his new love. Also, the author does not turn it into a " who I love best" wrap up. The feelings the hero has , that he can love two women differently, but with the same intensity is very realistic.

What didn’t you like about Helen Lloyd’s performance?

It was mentioned in several reviews that she does not have emotional range or differentiation in the male/female voices. This was so disappointing, but I really wanted to listen to the story of the children of the scoundrels of st. james that I would put up with this terrible narrator. Sometimes I didn't know who was speaking, so some of the story was lost . Her voices sounded so old I had to keep telling myself that Grace was only 19 yrs old

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

I was touched by the way the two characters were so bonded from the start of the book and that it grew stronger. It really made me feel happy when they got together, even though I knew what would happen

Any additional comments?

The narrator can really make or break a great book. Giving this wonderful story to a bad narrator just ruins what could be a perfect audio book. The idea that this book had two narrators, with one to just read the journal entries seemed a very thoughtful idea, to then not put more effort into finding a better narrator.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

over all , performance, and story was wonderful. absolutely 💯. gave it her all.💕💕💕way to go

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  • JennyG
  • 07-14-21

Lovely Story and I liked the narrator

Lovely story - yes there are better Lorraine Heath's and I havent read the St James series but overall I liked. I was unsure about trying it when I read the comments about the narrator, not sure what the fuss was all about, I like Helen Lloyd's style and enjoyed her rhythm. Overall well done.