A Duke’s Wicked Kiss
A Duke’s Wicked Kiss is a wonky ride. At 348 large pages long, the novel stagnates for me around the middle and I’d almost lost my conviction to continue until a certain cheetah’s antics revived my interest with a full bellied laugh.
Miss Suri Thurston is the illegitimate second daughter of a Duke. John Fairfax is the hot blooded second son of a Duke. In theory the two should be very well suited. But then, theories are so difficult to prove in life. Spanning over a decade from a first kiss in the British stable of Bridgeford Hall to a passionate reunion in the exotic Indian palaces of Delhi, a seemingly simple courtship is complicated by Suri’s status as a half caste—daughter of an English aristocrat and highborn Indian woman—and John’s own dark past and clandestine occupation. Roth weaves a complicated web, fraught with difficulty. And at times, difficult to get through; the scenes of passion seemed to get in the way of the story instead of forwarding it and Suri’s naiveté is frustrating and unrealistic. But Roth does a splendid job of bringing the nuanced alliance of Britain and India in the mid1850s to life. Likewise Roth creates an endearingly loveable character in the loyal and fierce Lady Shahira the cheetah. For her alone, this book is well worth reading.
Kathleen Bittner Roth