Book Review: The Duke Is Wicked by Tracy Sumner

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To put it simply, this book gave me tingles in all the right places. I adored this book and could not put it down, leading to a late night for me as I made sure I finished the book before heading to sleep. It's not often that I see a paranormal historical romance, and when I've read this subgenre before, it's a big hit or miss. Some authors pull it off splendidly, while others crash and burn. Tracy Sumner was the former, utterly and completely. She created a world that was easy to follow, even if you haven't read the previous books in the series, and her characters are relatable and sexy as hell. I'm amazed that I have not read a book by her sooner, but believe me, that is a mistake corrected. I am absolutely adding her to my list of favorite authors, starting now, by placing this book on my Favorite Books of 2021 list.

The League of Lords was created specifically for people like Sebastian Tremont, who, while a duke, finds himself alone and unwanted at an early age due to a special gift he was born with. Or curse, depending on who you ask. He is able to create fire at will, but his control on it is often dependent on his emotions, so he favors solitude and quiet in his life. Which makes the entrance of Delaney Temple an absolutely terrifying moment for him. Delaney is hunting for information about Sebastian and his friends, all the while hiding a secret of her very own. Forced to flee her home in America with her twin brother, she is reviled by London society, which she cares not one whit for. The last goal on her mind is to become a duchess, but her heart has other ideas. As Delaney and Sebastian spend more time together, they find their attraction impossible to ignore. But Sebastian's power is volatile whenever Delaney is around, and it's not just his heart, but also her safety, at risk.

Sebastian is one hero who is in desperate need of a hug, and I wanted to give him one for almost the entire book. Not having any affection once his mother died and his father blamed him for her death, he wasn't used to people caring about him. His friends in the League of Lords had wormed their way into his affections, but anyone outside of them was kept firmly away from him. He even chose his future wife based not on having feelings for her but rather because he felt nothing for her at all. Delaney was exactly what he needed, even though he didn't know he needed her. Most of the book was spent with the two of them pretending like they didn't completely love each other, and the emotions were flying off the pages. Delaney appeared at first to be made of stone like Sebastian, without a care for what others thought of her. However, that didn't last long as he gradually uncovered her secrets and revealed a vulnerability in her that matched his own. It was such a heartfelt romance and one I won't soon forget. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters, namely Delaney's brother and Sebastian's almost-intended. They were both great comedic relief characters that brought a lightheartedness to the situation. Loved having them in the story.

I can't wait to read more by this author! Truly a delight.

**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**