The Duke is Wicked by Tracy Sumner
Tracy’s rating: 3/3.5 of 5 stars
Series: League of Lords, #3
Release Date: March 2, 2021
When it becomes clear that the League’s scared book ~ The chronology has been accessed by someone outside the League, they want answers. Using their gifts, they determine the culprit is none other than Delaney Temple, one of the “Terrible Two”, she and her twin brother recently arrived from America, gossip has it that Delaney is a hellion, an heiress with no interest in marriage. Julian knows that she accessed the book when she came to his home and pretended to need help with her carriage, but they want to know why and more importantly how she was able to copy a book with more than a thousand pages when she had less than 10 minutes. These are questions that need answers and Sebastian Tremont, the Duke of Ashcroft is the man to get them!
But when Sebastian approaches Delaney, he is dumbstruck by her, and unfortunately, before he can regain his senses, he is stung by a bee and suffers an allergic reaction. Delaney jumps into action and saves his life by removing the stinger and giving him mouth to mouth – an act that parkgoers assume was a kiss. Delaney takes Sebastian back to her home and tends him and in doing so learns more about him and the League. Delaney doesn’t want to harm the members, she has a gift herself – she stores information in what she calls her “attic” which contains all the books and information she has collected – she enters and it is like a library and she can reread anything she has stored. But her gift isn’t the reason she is interested in the League, someone is blackmailing her and demanding information about The chronology and the League’s members – someone who followed her from America and will destroy not only her but her brother as well if she doesn’t comply.
When Sebastian recovers, he wants answers, but Delaney isn’t cooperating, so he whisks her and her brother away to his castle in Oxfordshire. Sebastian and Delaney try to figure out who is blackmailing her and soon realize that her blackmailer is not the threat they believed. Once the threat has passed, Sebastian finally has to confront his attraction to Delaney and attracted though he is and even though his feelings are engaged, Sebastian is sure Delaney is all wrong for him, he is a Firestarter and thinks he needs someone who will calm him and it is clear that Delaney inflames him. But the heart wants what the heart wants and once they give in to their passion, Sebastian decides that they will marry – too bad Delaney doesn’t agree to his terms.
This is the second book I have read by this author, and I am still not sure if I am a fan or not. The author’s writing style is at times almost secretive – like the author doesn’t want the reader to be privy to any of the character’s secrets or inner thoughts, but this book was less so than the first book I read. She also butchers formal address and nobility titles – again, not as bad in this book as the first -but still enough to be annoying to me. Personally, I found this story was much more engaging than the previous book I read and I found Sebastian and Delaney very easy to like, the chemistry between them was amazing (the author did a great job with their slow-burn romance) and Sebastian’s final proposal was magnificent. So while she nailed their interactions, I felt that the mystery of the blackmailer was completely anticlimactic and the storyline was dropped about the halfway point and seemed to be forgotten until the epilogue. Overall, it was a decent read, but still not something I would read again. This is the third book in the series and I would recommend reading the books in order as the author can be a bit stingy about sharing details.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own *