Good Dukes Wear Black by Manda Collins
Overview by Publisher:
A writer for the Ladies Gazette, Miss Ophelia Dauntry’s passion is her pen. So when she sees a fellow writer kidnapped before her eyes—and the trail of evidence leads to the Lords of Anarchy—Ophelia vows to find her friend and take down the notorious London driving club in her column. But before she can
argue her case, she needs the inside scoop from its newest leader: Piers Hamilton, the Duke of Trent.
Headstrong, handsome Trent joined the Lords of Anarchy after a decade in the British Army. He’s made it his business to tame the misbehavior within the driving club—and the infuriatingly attractive Ophelia is only getting in his way. The deeper she digs into the case, the more she puts her own life at risk. Can Trent convince Ophelia to trust him to seek justice…and find protection, and passion, in his arms?
This book reminded me a lot of Stephanie Lauren’s Bastion Club series. I think there is something so fun about a Regency romance that features some dangerous plot. Ophelia is a writer for the Ladies Gazetter, along with her friend Maggie. When Maggie goes missing, she unexpectedly turns to Piers for help. He is the new leader of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. He is trying to tame the wild club and make it more sedate. Maggie is the wife of one of the new members, so he takes an interest because of this connection, but also because he is drawn to Ophelia.
Piers and Ophelia are often in each other’s company due to their mutual friends marriages, but it’s one of those situations. You know, you never notice the person until you look at them with fresh eyes. All of a sudden, Ophelia and Piers begin to see each other as more than acquaintances.
Piers naturally takes the lead on the investigation as he is a Duke and a military man, but he finds himself exasperated and amused that Ophelia is just as involved as he is. Of course, this puts our two leads together frequently and able to develop their relationship. Ophelia is anxious to find her friend, but she can’t help falling for Trent (as he is known).
The relationship between Trent and Ophelia is only one part of what I enjoyed about this book. The author delves deeply into the scandalous behaviour of the medical profession and the treatment of those with mental problems. Maggie has been taken to an asylum as her husband has declared her insane. I enjoy when a book doesn’t just entertain, but educates as well. These asylums and doctors are part of the misguided history of mental health and it makes the reader realize how horrible things were for people in the past. The fear they feel for Maggie is well founded and it brought a sense of purpose to the story.
The romance between Trent and Ophelia is developed over the course of their investigation. It takes a while for the first kiss to happen, but after that it’s not very long until a special license is procured. There is a subplot of Ophelia’s mother pushing the annoying Lord Goring on her, but it was just another awesome opportunity for Trent to flex his ducal muscles. I found Trent to be uptight at times, but when he would act possessive, it was really hot. I liked that Ophelia and Trent had a friendship before they got romantically involved. You have to wait a while for the love scene, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
I liked Ophelia and Trent. Their story was engaging and interesting. The secondary characters have had their stories told in previous books, but I enjoyed catching up with them. This is one Duke that is run to spend time with!