The Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley

April 24, 2012
So, hey, did I miss something?

You know I love the MacKenzie brothers.  What a bunch of drool-worthy guys.  All that virile manhood in one room is enough to make any woman melt into a puddle of goo.  So, it was with great anticipation that I waited for Hart's story, because he's the leader of the pack.  And, we get to learn his big dark secret.  We also get to learn why Eleanor dumped him all those years ago.  Ergo, I waited...waited...breathlessly.  Here it comes!  Here it comes!  There it goes.  Wait a minute, wait a minute, did I miss something?  The reason for the break-up must have been traveling at the speed of light, because it went right past me.  I asked a fellow Romanceland voyager, did we learn Hart's deep dark secret and the reason for the break-up?  That fellow traveler smiled sheepishly and said no.  So, much for Hart's leaving women breathless.  That is the big dark secret isn't it?  I guess - we will never know because it was all kind of glossed over.

And, the reason for the break-up that I've been eager to learn.  Could it be that Eleanor found out that Hart had a mistress?  Nah, she's alright with that...all men have/had mistresses, that didn't make her angry.  Could it be she found out about his deep dark secret of kinky winky?  Nope, not really in fact some of that kinky winky stuff sounded rather interesting to her.  No, it's the way he treated women.  Oh.  W-e-l-l, that explains everything.  Let's just say that the reasons that could have made someone break an engagement were not the reason that engagement was broken.  The reason was...I don't know what the reason was!  I'm so confused!

There were also a number of other, shall we call them fizzle-out scenarios.  The nude photographs that were mysteriously being sent to Eleanor...fiz-z-z-z-z-z-le.  The Irish assassins...fiz-z-z-z-z-zle.  However, even with all the fizzzzzles and unanswered questions, in the end I liked The Duke's Perfect Wife.  I loved Eleanor.  She is/was the perfect mate for Hart.  She was a strong, opinionated, intelligent woman and I can't ever see her letting anyone walk all over her.  And, let me tell you living with a MacKenzie man would leave you with a lot of footprints on your body.  These brothers require a super-woman, take no prisoners type and that's what Eleanor was.

Hart on the other hand was, well, Hart.  What an interesting man we are presented with.  So much baggage, so many things that are hidden under the exterior.  Makes me tired just thinking of all those problems.  And, even though the sex-kink-wink part was white washed, there were still plenty of other control issues that Hart had to overcome in this book.  So, watching him being confronted by things that were out of his power was all very interesting.

And then there's Ian.  This was not Ian's book, but he was the scene stealer, the pivotal element around which this book spun.  I find Ian such a compelling character; he is so engaging, I hope he shows up in more of the stories.

I'm looking forward to the next books in the series and understand that Ms. Ashley is writing a short story for Inspector Fellows, so that should be fun.  In the end, while I was disappointed that some of the big reveals weren't big, I would recommend this story and say that it is a great addition to a wonderful series.

Time/Place: Victorian England
Sensuality Rating: Hot!

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