Review: Darian Hunter: Duke of Desire

Darian Hunter: Duke of Desire
Darian Hunter: Duke of Desire by Carole Mortimer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Liked the Characters and the Plot

Continuing the story of dukes who help the English in their battles against Napoleon and the women with whom they fall in love.

THE STORY: Darian Hunter, the Duke of Wolfingham is incensed when he finds out his younger brother has been seen with Mariah Beecham, Countess of Carlisle. Mariah has a very bad reputation. She is rumored to have had numerous lovers before and after her husband’s death. When he confronts her, he is intrigued by the strength of the woman and attracted to her despite himself. The two are shocked when it is revealed that they have both been acting as spies for the British crown. They are needed to act as lovers at a house party in order to discover an assassin. Mariah has no intention of becoming involved with Darian. She was forced into marriage by her husband and doesn’t intend on becoming involved with anyone again. The two, however, cannot resist one another and as secrets are revealed, the two realize that there is more to the other than they thought.

OPINION: While I found the story adequate, I think that the characters and the story had more promise than was realized. Mariah’s backstory was heartbreaking and I think that there was not enough attention paid to how she made the transition to a strong woman. Her actions and her words were contradictory and I just didn’t feel that her character was developed enough to explain her contradictions. I think this was just too big a story to be contained in the length of the novel. There are too many things happening and there was not enough emotional depth or character development to support it. The book is a good one time read but doesn’t have staying power.

WORTH MENTIONING: There are small cameo appearances by the heroes of the other novels in the series, but not enough to be satisfying.

FINAL DECISION: While I liked this book, it wasn’t as good as the second book in the series. The subject matter was full of angst, but the treatment of the subject matter wasn’t as deft as the prior book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: This is the third book in the Dangerous Dukes series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

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