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A Duke's Wicked Kiss

A Duke's Wicked Kiss - Kathleen Bittner Roth 3.5 Stars

Marguerite and Suri Thurston are daughters of a duke. However, Suri is the illegitimate daughter of an Indian woman. Suri’s mom died in childbirth and her father rescued her and brought her home to his wife. The author describes the girls as having a very close relationship. However, Marguerite quickly told strangers Suri’s story of being illegitimate and left to die. That didn’t sound like Marguerite was such a great sister to me. I couldn’t imagine having the circumstances of my birth discussed with anyone and everyone. The adventure begins when Suri and Marguerite receive their first kiss from the same man, Lord John Fairfax. The kiss between John and Suri was electric or “wicked” and serves as the reason for the book title.

The kiss left a lasting impact on both of them for the 10 years they were apart. John and Suri were reunited while Suri was visiting Marguerite in India. This is where the story becomes suspenseful and dark. Suri’s character became very driven to achieve her own goals even at the expense of others. She was overly dramatic. Her selfish theatrics really made the rest of the book difficult to read. It seemed like everyone in the book had to cater to Suri’s whims. Even when it was explained to her that people could die so she could have her wish she disregarded their warnings and moved on with her desires. I was stunned at the casualties that mounted because of her actions. I never became vested in any of the other characters either. Marguerite seemed to be nice/nasty. John had a lot of issues from his family and past relationships. The other background characters added depth to the novel. However, none of the other characters really stood out.

The storyline was incredibly busy with betrayal, greed, sibling rivalry, espionage, and a governmental uprising. I can say that there was never a dull moment in the book, and I read it in one day. I felt like I had to stick with it until I finished it. I think the casualties and suffering of the child made the book seem dark. I like suspense, but this particular book went a little further than my comfort zone.

Reviewed by Michelle for Cocktails and Books