Monday, May 29, 2017

seriously romantic: the most dangerous duke in london by madeline hunter

madeline hunter's decadent dukes society series kicks off with the most dangerous duke in london. lady clara cheswick knows one thing for certain, the stratton family are entirely at fault in the longstanding feud between their families. so when adam penrose, the current duke of stratton catches sight of her and decides that their marriage will be just the thing to end the feud, she wants nothing to do with it. she can't say that she doesn't want anything to do with him, because he's intriguing and has the odd habit of surprising her.

clara has no intention of getting married. she wants to live an independent life and focus her energies on a women's journal she helped found with her inheritance. but adam is nothing if not persistent. while his first thoughts about lady clara are riddled with the tinge of revenge and convenience, the truth is he's not really thinking of the family feud or how he blames her father's actions for his father's untimely and questionable death. but he also believes that clara may have the key to unlocking the mystery behind the scandal that ruined his father.

even as he is making his way back into society, most people find a way of cutting him without directly insulting him. and he wouldn't care, except that he takes his honor quite seriously. and he can't let an insult slide, it's just not done. as he and clara grow closer, the family feud acts like an elephant in the room. and clara, who never questioned her family's position begins to have her doubts, just as adam starts to learn things that cast his parent's actions in an extremely suspect light.

what i love about clara and adam's relationship is that they have no qualms sharing their true thoughts with one another. there is no social pretense. adam eschews a lot of the strictures that london society places on women, and his experiences in french society give him a tolerance for independence in a woman. the fact that he is more open-minded than most english gentlemen is clearly one thing that attracts clara. she can be her true self around him and he will not judge her for it. he appreciates it. and to have these two leads engage in such open communication is quite refreshing.

sure there's intrigue and questionable motives, but at the same time, it's clear that when it comes to how they feel about each other, clara and adam aren't going to pretend anything but the truth. and i love that.

**the most dangerous man in london will publish on may 30, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/kensington books (zebra) in exchange for my honest review.

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