Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Wicked Dukes Club #1
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Chandler Sutton, the Duke of Colehaven “Cole” loves a good wager and is currently boasting a 10-year winning streak, so when he joins his friends at the tavern he co-owns and is offered a wager to get Thaddeus Middleton’s “unmarriageable” ward married off – he happily accepts. Thad has some rules – Diana must be married before the end of the season, Cole can’t marry her himself or show any interest in her to provoke others to marry her and she must approve and want to marry the man.
Diana Middleton has no desire to marry, when her parents died, she needed a purpose and began “working” as a weights and measures inspector – not officially, she disguises herself and pretends to be in the employ of a barrister – she is passionate about this cause and wants the government to do more – but without resources, she settles for going to local businesses and checking their scales and reports her findings to a clerk who really does work for a barrister. She has no desire to marry, she is sure that she would have to give up her freedom and that is unacceptable. She doesn’t refuse to attend ton events, but she has perfected being a wallflower because she doesn’t want anyone to notice or recognize her and jeopardize her “work”. So when the handsome Duke of Colehaven comes to her home and makes it clear that he plans to help her find a husband – Diana holds her ground and makes it clear that she will never marry.
Cole will not concede defeat, and when he sees her at a ball, he enlists his sister to help him. Felicity tells Diana of Cole’s plan and Diana is livid – the man must be stopped. She doesn’t care about her own reputation, but she will not let him expose her and possibly ruin Thad!
Val, Duke of Eastleigh is at the ball and mentions to Cole that two committee chairs in Parliament will be up for vote as the Earl currently holding the seats has been injured. Cole wants to chair a committee – desperately – he doesn’t feel worthy of the title and works ten times as hard as other peers to prove he deserves his title – he feels like being in charge of a committee would do that. Later he meets Diana in the Library and they have words – she then learns that he was responsible for the 1815 Weights and Measures act – she still doesn’t want to marry – but maybe Cole could help her stop the corruption!
These two go back and forth – neither willing to back down or give up. They are each attracted to the other, but it can never be – she doesn’t want to give up her “freedom” and he wants to prove himself worthy. Can they compromise? Will love win? Will Cole’s 10-year streak come to an end?
This was a cute story with extremely likable leads, a lot of emotion, funny moments and great secondary characters. It is well written and flows nicely, the love scenes are mild and the ending is very sweet.
**I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.**