Devil of a Duke – Kathleen Ayers


Reckless Jemma Manning is the richest heiress in all of Bermuda and promised to another when she sees Nick Shepherd staring down at her from his place at the Governor of Bermuda’s dinner table. As handsome as he is mysterious, Jemma is entranced by Shepherd even while dismissing him as the fortune hunter he appears to be.

But Nick Shepherd is no fortune hunter. He is something else entirely.

The Devils of Dunbar do not suffer fools, nor do they suffer betrayal. A traitor is hiding amongst the wealthy society of Bermuda and is deserving of punishment.

Jemma Manning and her willful nature fit perfectly into Nick’s plans….until he realizes the depth of his own desire.


My Rating: 4.0 Stars

Readers, you’ve been warned: I’m on a Regency Romance kick right now. Be prepared to read about me swooning over Dukes, Marquesses, and lavish dresses for the next few weeks. Now, I know that Regency Romances aren’t for everyone. Hell, I know that romances in general aren’t for everyone. However, I think its fair to assume that anyone who reads my reviews is a fan of action and adventure, with just a hint of romance. If you are indeed a reader who enjoys all of the above, I implore you: consider reading this book. (Implore? Seriously, I warned y’all I was on a regency kick – apparently my writing has decided to reflect it).

First, I will say that the blurb for Devil of a Duke is a touch misleading. Though it does offer the basic premise of the romance readers should expect, it does nothing to highlight the drama and adventure this book offers. Devil of a Duke is absolutely packed with intrigue, politics and a fair share of fighting. As I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone, I’ll leave it at that, but take my word for it – this novel is by no means packed with dances and frilly dresses. In fact, Jem, the female lead prefers wearing breeches and shooting a pistol to gossiping and embroidery. If that doesn’t catch your interest in a Regency Romance, I honestly don’t know what will.

The love between Jem and Nick is quick to form, something that normally bothers me in a novel but didn’t in this particular one. Their short seduction ties in to a larger plot that I found quite enjoyable, and rife with tension and angst. That being said, I did feel as though the romance in Devil of a Duke was a touch lacking following the first book in the series, Wicked’s Scandal – Alex and Sutton’s chemistry was just so explosive and passionate that I imagine it will be hard to top moving forward. (I can’t wait to see Kathleen Ayers try though, she certainly knows how to write men that women fall in love with).

As previously mentioned, there is plenty of action to be found in Devil of a Duke and the pacing is just right. I flew through this book. In fact, I absolutely devoured it. It contains believable and absolutely hateable (not a word, oh well) villains. Ayers not only has a talent for writing leading men, she is fantastic at writing villains for her readers to hate. In both books of the series, the villain’s identities surprised me, and I was astounded at the lengths they would take to achieve their deplorable goals.

My Takeaway: Alright, alright, I will stop gushing over Kathleen Ayers, undoubtedly one of my new favorite regency romance authors, and simply end my review with this: even if you’re not particularly a fan of the genre, the Wickeds series is worth giving a shot. I laughed, I cried, I gasped in shock, and I am dying to do it all over again when her next book comes out. 

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