Type: Historical Romance
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
My Copy: Sent
Edward Wyeth, the Dark Duke of Moncrieff’s life has been turned on its end. His well-ordered home has been invaded. By destitute relatives. From Scotland. How on earth can he write Lord Hedon’s salacious novels with hellions battling in the garden and starting fires in the library? But with the onslaught has come a delicious diversion. His cousin’s companion, the surprisingly intriguing Kaitlin MacAllister. He is determined to seduce her. Using her desperate need for funds and her talents as an artist, he convinces her to draw naughty pictures for his naughtier books…and he draws her into his decadent web. But Kaitlin has a secret. She’s fled Scotland—and a very determined betrothed. When Edward’s cousin is kidnapped and held in her stead, Kaitlin is honor bound to return to her homeland and rescue her—much to Edward’s chagrin. Because suddenly he can’t bear the thought of Kaitlin marrying another man. He can’t bear the thought of losing her at all.
Dark Duke is the third book in Sabrina York’s Noble Passions series. I hadn’t read any of the previous books when I started this one but I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by reading it as a stand-alone. Ms. York knows how to write a story that draws the reader in with likable characters, an interesting plot and steamy romance.
I really liked the fact that this was mainly a hero-centric book. Kaitlin wasn’t exactly a secondary character, but the main focus was on Edward and how his life is in complete upheaval after his extended family moves in. As the Duke of Moncrieff, Edward is not exactly stuffy or proper, but he does try to uphold his place in society by keeping things orderly and his private life private. The chaos that arrives along with his Scottish relatives is hilarious and entertaining. His young cousins create total havoc in his household, fighting and playing and making messes as boys normally do. All of that is made bearable, though, by the presence of his cousin’s companion, Kaitlin MacAllister.
Kaitlin isn’t the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, but there is something about her that intrigues him. She acts the innocent, but her eyes reflect her interest in him as a man. Edward has a secret profession, one he uses to perfection as his method of seduction with Kaitlin. As Lord Hedon, he is the author of erotic books. When he realizes she might share his attraction, he uses his books, and his need for an illustrator for them, as a way to draw her in.
There is more to Kaitlin than meets the eye. She plays the role of companion well, but in reality she is a high-born lady who has fallen from grace. Not only that, but Edward’s family is visiting on the pretense of giving his cousin a season, when in fact they are helping Kaitlin escape a marriage arranged by her scoundrel of a brother. Her brother promised her hand in marriage to her betrothed as payment for his debts. Even though she is not an innocent, Kaitlin refuses to consider the marriage to a blackguard and is left with no choice to but to accept her friend’s offer to help her escape the country. While running from one man, she has no desire to fall under the spell of another, and yet she can’t quite avoid the Duke of Moncrieff. Living in his household, she finds herself spending more and more time with him and enjoying every minute. Lord Hedon’s novels seduce her and she is helpless to defend herself against Edward’s lure.
I enjoyed this book so much. Edward was such a great hero. He played the proper English duke to perfection, all the while harboring a secret that only made him more enticing. He was fun and funny and sexy and noble, and so determined to get Kaitlin back when she returns to Scotland to save her friend. Edward was hell-bent on not only getting his cousin and Kaitlin back but also making Kaitlin a permanent fixture in his life. Kaitlin felt she did what she had to do, despite her dislike for her brother and her animosity toward her betrothed. In order to free her friend, she tries to do the right thing and go ahead with her marriage, ignoring her attraction and love for Edward. The romance between them played out so well, I loved the way it was written and their happy ever after was well deserved.
I give Dark Duke by Sabrina York 4.25 stars!