The Decadent Duke by Virginia Henley



ISBN: 978-0-451-22542-9

Reviewed by Niki Lee



Lady Georgina Gordon is fun, free-spirited and not a little unconventional.  Raised in a family that revels in their baser natures, nonetheless, all her sisters have married titled men.  Now, itís her turn, if her matchmaking mother has anything to do with it.

The Duchess has set her sights on the Duke of Bedford, a typical oats-sowing British gentleman, complete with multiple mistresses and no intention of marriage, but a lot of money and a title.  And while he doesnít want to marry, that doesnít stop him from coveting the beautiful Georgy.

However, Georgy has no interest in Francis, but that doesnít stop her from flirting with him.  All the while, she pictures his brother, John, instead.

John is happy to represent the tenants in the House of Commons, and while his love for his sons is readily apparent, no one knows the misery of his marriage to an opium-addicted witch.  At night, he dreams of a woman he can share his love and life with.  And despite the awkward circumstances in which he met her, he canít help but think of Georgy.

I did really enjoy the two main characters.  John is dark, brooding, but also loving and protective of those he cares about.  Georgy is all fun and games, but that hides a shrewd intellect that she puts to good use.  The characters remained constant throughout the book, which is good, because The Decadent Duke was full of incredibly detailed and minute changes in plot.  Yes, there are other plot changes that make a difference Ė a suicide, a marriage, a wager.  But in order to get to them, you have to wade through the smallest actions and reactions to get to the more understandable events. 

I wanted to like The Decadent Duke more than I did.  But other than the wonderful characterization, it mostly felt like a Victorian version of Threeís Company, complete with misunderstandings and overreactions.



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