Review: What a Devilish Duke Desires

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What a Devilish Duke Desires by


Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle's title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it's all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.


Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome-not to mention wealthy-duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man's trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry's scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn't change it first.   


First, let me give credit where it is due. What a Devilish Duke Desires is fairly an original read because it involves a dance competition. What it doesn’t entail is an arrogant and insanely lustful rake. Kudos!

Now, let’s begin.

Wow. Just wow.

Is What a Devilish Duke Desires a debut novel?

Let’s see . . .


According to my quick research, Vicky Dreiling has been writing in the Historical Romance genre for the past four years.

So pray tell why this book lacks passion, lacks charm, lacks common sense, lacks experience, lacks everything that makes me love historical romance.

Reading it was a major struggle. The beginning was so perfect and I loved the characters. However, after a short while, the awkward and bland writing took its toll on me. The repetitive writing was the absolute worst.

Again with the fucking repetition. Why are so many of the HR books I’m reading these days full of repetitive writing like the author is constantly repeating details for the readers’ sake? As if anyone of us can forget this “important” piece of information when we only read this dialogue/monologue a mere two pages ago. Do we look dense to you?

Example #1: When Lucy kept recalling how she never took insults to the heart, but Harry’s mother’s dismissal humiliated her. The author rewrote this part about three times and each time it sounded exactly the same. It was completely annoying and unnecessary to repeat when nothing new was being revealed.

Example #2: “He would never mean to hurt her, but it was inevitable, because she could never be a part of his world.” 11 lines later . . . “He wouldn’t mean to hurt her, but it was inevitable, because she could never be a part of his world.”

There are much, much more examples I can give, but I’m not about to scavenge these pages again to look for them.

No fucking thank you.

The transitions between time jumps was uncomfortable too thanks to Vicky's awkward writing style.

The characters, too, lost their glow.

Even though I still think Harry and Lucy are pretty cute together, I feel nothing for these two. Not happiness. Not relief. Not anything remotely close to a positive feeling.

As much as I sympathize with Lucy’s social standing and the threats in her life— Buckley, for example— I can’t make myself care. And I don’t see the point of a villian when that person hardly poses a threat. The drama with Buckley feels dull and forced. On the other hand, the tension and drama between Lucy and Mrs. Norcliffe and the rest of ton is reasonable to read about.

Conclusion: The book blurb is misleading. The plot fails to reach its potential. The romance is dead. The main characters spend their times wallowing, repeating themselves, running back and forth to each other, and downright does nothing interesting worth mentioning. As expected, the author continues to duplicate dialogues because she ran out of English words and reached the capacity of her creativity.

Initially, I planned on a two star rating, but this book utterly killed my mood for more historical romance reads and I can’t get passed how green and horrid the writing is. One star for the small amount of enjoyment I had. No stars for everything else.

ARC provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



Nancy Her


Cee named The Mistress Case after Sherlock (BBC with Benedict) and Supernatural (Dean, baby). She writes mainly book reviews. On occasions, movies and TV shows. She reads and reviews in many genres, including fantasy, historical, contemporary, romance, erotica, mystery, etc. She personally rains more love on fantasy and historical romance and hopes you won't hold it against her. Caoi.


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