by Grace Callaway
Series: Heart of Enquiry #1
Published on January 15, 2015 by Grace Callaway
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Historical Romance, Romance
A Stranger to Love
Alaric McLeod, Duke of Strathaven, is known as the Devil Duke for his wicked ways. Tormented by his past, Alaric knows better than to trust a woman yet finds himself ensnared by a spirited, virtuous virgin—who accuses him of a crime he didn’t commit. Is she his foe... or his salvation?
A Novice to Desire
Emma Kent is an independent country miss cast adrift in the ton. When a depraved encounter with an arrogant rake lands her in intrigue, Emma’s honor compels her to do the right thing. But desire challenges her quest for justice, and she must decide: can she trust her heart to discover the truth?
Bound by Passion and Peril
Alaric and Emma engage in a battle of wits and will. As their attraction flares, the true enemy stalks their every move. With danger looming, will they solve the mystery and find true love— before it’s too late?
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While I enjoy a good historical romance, I’m not fond of erotica (and yes, I think there’s a definite distinction between romance and erotica) which is where I feel like The Duke Who Knew Too Much fell.
Let’s start with Alaric. So we already know that he and Emma will be a thing because this is a romance and that’s what’s in the synopsis. So when he bangs his mistress early in the book while thinking of Emma? Hmm. . . yeah I’m not feeling it. Although that scene was amusing in how outrageous it was. But as the story continued I can’t say my opinion of him changed much after I made the initial assessment that he’s a moody jerk.
Then there’s Emma. She could have been great. Wanting to go full-on Sherlock Holmes while being a woman in Regency London, I’m digging it. But that’s ALL she was. Her indignation over the role of women in that time period became her sole personality point so much so that I felt like she was a poorly written metaphor for some greater statement on history. I’ve read plenty of romances with women who work against societal expectations. It can be done well. This was not.
The mediocre cast combined with the more erotic focus of the book (and a story that seemed to fall apart the farther it went on) left this one on my list of series to leave alone in the future. Not my cup of tea and there are plenty of romances out there that include a strong storyline with well-rounded characters.