The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville

DARK
The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (256 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . .

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation . . .

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn’t seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke’s relatives is responsible for the death of her family—and take her revenge. She certainly can’t afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she’s faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she’s sworn to kill?

Secret agendas, wicked ways, and lives turned topsy-turvy propel A DUKE OF DARK DESIRES along on a turbulent undercurrent and sweep the reader into the action immediately.

Neither Julian Fortescue, now the reluctant Duke of Denford nor Jane Grey, really Jeanne Louise Adorée de Falleron, are paragons of virtue. Both did and do what’s necessary and expedient to stay alive as they work toward their own goals. When their lives collide, sparks fly, not with hatred, like Jane had planned, but with desire.

Julian’s three half-sisters add a delightful and important layer to the story. Miranda Neville brings these three young personalities to life in ways that enhance the plot and the development of Julian and Jane. The back story of all of their lives is subtle woven into the story, so the reader feels as if she knows the characters personally.

The characters captivate and the plot intrigues. The reader is pulled into a world of lies, secrets, heartache, horrific past deeds, and greed; yet there is humor and, best of all, love that runs like a strong golden thread through all the darkness of the story.

The antagonists emerge from the dark past of both Julian’s and Jane’s lives. They heighten the stakes to a fever pitch. The suspense and anxiety build to heart-pounding levels when protagonists and antagonists all come together at Denford Castle.

Miranda Neville delivers another page-turning historical love story that is memorable. THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES stands alone, but some of the minor characters have had their own stories in previous books in this series. They will very likely become “want-to-read” books after enjoying this one.

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