Jenna Petersen's newest takes a tried and true romance plot and flips it in this neat little historical romance.
The hero of What the Duke Desires probably ranks as one of the nicest, most decent heroes in all of the historical romances I've read over the years. Just to-the-bone honorable.
The same cannot be said of the heroine, who lies, snoops, cheats, and is--to me at least--not a good person.
Sure, she has a *good* reason to show up wanting to exact revenge against the current duke's deceased father by going after his family. But it becomes quite clear early on that the current duke is nothing like his father. Time after time she chooses deception over honesty. Even when given tailor-made opportunities to spill her guts. She knows she's acting in bad faith and continues to do it anyway.
I had a difficult time with Lillian in this book. I REALLY didn't like her. Liked her friend, loved the Duke, hated her. I actually liked the mean, rude dowager duchess and the pompous, elitist best friend better than the heroine. I guess it says something about Ms. Petersen's writing that she can create a character real enough for me to actively dislike.
Even so, I found the plot twists quite clever. And the conclusion at the end quite unexpected. This is the first in a new series by Petersen, and I'm impatiently waiting for the next installment.
My Grade: B+