Review: The Duke's Hidden Desire (Scandals of Scarcliffe Hall #2) by Gemma Blackwood - .Red Wine & Books

Monday, November 23, 2020

Review: The Duke's Hidden Desire (Scandals of Scarcliffe Hall #2) by Gemma Blackwood

 

Print Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Gemma Blackwood (January 24, 2019)

From Goodreads.com:  Miss Anna Hawkins, the daughter of a poor country doctor, knows the mysterious stranger who kissed her at the ball cannot really be the Duke of Beaumont. Dukes are virtuous and noble, and this man is arrogant, impudent… and dangerously seductive.

When she discovers he is telling the truth, it only makes matters worse. Anna has more important problems than romance – a handsome duke is the last thing she needs.

Beaumont cannot forget Anna Hawkins. It’s not only her sharp mind and delicate features. It’s not only the flame-red hair he longs to caress. It’s not even that she is the only woman in England to say no to a duke.

Anna is not afraid to chastise Beaumont for his lack of virtue, and he has never wanted anyone more. Before long, he has only one desire: to make her his duchess.

But it takes more than a dukedom to win a woman’s heart.

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is one of those cute and clean read that this author is known for. While this book takes place alongside book one in the series, you do not have to have read that book in order to enjoy this one. 

I do have to say that I feel this story has less romance than some of her others, the characters more than made up for it. This novel seemed to be more about self-growth which I liked. Beaumont learned that he needed to step up and take a more active interest in his properties and tenants, while Anna learned that she needed to stand firm to who she was and not be anything less for any man. 

I did find it interesting that for all of Beaumont's talk about refusing to be trapped, and the way he would disappear from balls and the like to avoid it that he not only didn't immediately demand Anna leave when he first came upon her, but that he would close the door. Thankfully, that didn't result in them being forced together, although I do wish Anna would have slapped him when he offered to make her his mistress. Instead, we got to witness these two as they tentatively formed a friendship which quickly turned to infatuation (although they call it love, I feel these books move so quickly that love doesn't fully develop). 

During this, Anna finally stands up for herself and gets rid of her odious fiancé (although I have to wonder if he ever did have plans to build a factory or if that was a lie as well just so she would marry him - and I also admit to curiosity surrounding his past that is briefly hinted at). 

In addition to seeing more of Robert and Cecily (the couple featured in the first story), we are also introduced to Isabella (the widowed Lady Streatham),  and we get to see that Robert's brother Hart, and their friend Northrup are still indulging in their bachelor ways. I definitely look forward to reading their stories (books three and four respectively). 

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                                                   The Duke's Hidden Desire is available from Amazon.com
                                   (for free if your subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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