Review: The Duke’s Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley

Publisher: Berkley
Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: April 3rd

Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancee, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart.

Hart has it all–a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him–his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He’s also suffered loss–his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart though he realized it too late.

Now, Eleanor has reappeared on Hart’s doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes–and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination–Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him . . . or save him.
*blurb taken from goodreads*

At last, the most anticipated book in the Mackenzie series has arrived. Hart, the oldest brother of the Mackenzie brood, has kept me intrigued throughout the entire series with his arrogance, his bossiness, his controlling ways, his secrets, and his dark passion which I sure hoped wasn’t going to disappear in this book. And thank gosh it didn’t — though that passion wasn’t shown which I was a little disappointed in.

Eleanor has always been Hart’s love, and his feelings for her for all these years has never gone away. In the previous book, Hart makes a declaration that he will marry, and with Eleanor back in his life, he makes it his mission for her to become his wife so that she’ll never ever leave him again.

Eleanor had a good reason for breaking off her engagement to Hart all those years ago, even if it broke her heart by doing so. She loved him, but when she finds out that he had chosen her with careful control and to gain advantage of contacts for power, she threw his engagement ring at him and for all this time, has heard and read of what life has thrown him. When she is sent these naked photographs, she goes direct to Hart to tell him as she knows it might cause him some trouble for his opponents in Parliament. But she’s not going to let Hart boss her around and give her orders — she’s never let him do that to her. She tells him that she wants to work for him, and he’s to give her a salary in exchange. Despite her Father being a Earl, they are in genteel poverty. So with Eleanor determination to work for Hart, and Hart’s determination to have Eleanor back in his life, sparks fly off these two and the passion they once shared doesn’t take long to ignite back to life.

It feels as if I had been waiting for this book forever and I was so worried that it wouldn’t live up my expectation because for me, this was thee book of the series. From the very first moment I read The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, I have been addicted to this series and the Mackenzie brothers. Each and everyone of them are so individual, but there’s no mistaking they are Mackenzies through and through. Hart has always been in full control of his life, and to the frustration of his brothers, their lives also. He’s always had to be in control and he’s manipulated and ordered people to do exactly as he wants, and he feels no guilt for this. With his position in power, it’s the way of life for him and he soon wants to become Prime Minister. Hart never loses his edge that we’ve seen in all of the other book, but whilst we saw him be aloof and distant in others, in this book we see the other softer side to him where his love for his brothers is shown, and how he grieves for his son that was killed the day after his deceased wife, Sarah. With Eleanor back into his life, she stirs up deep passion and feelings in him again and he knows this time he won’t ever let her leave him which was kind of romantic but oh so Hart.

Eleanor was just perfect for Hart. He tried so many times to boss her around, but she never let him and it drove him mad…with passion! With her chatty and kind nature, Eleanor had her own way of bulldozing over Hart and it was just wonderful seeing the mighty Hart loose control. At first, I really didn’t feel the chemistry between them but the first seduction scene was smoking and you realised just how deep their attraction goes. Eleanor is no gentle flower, and she gives just as good as Hart gives and their love scenes had this edge to them that I was glad to see. What was fascinating was how Hart was afraid to show the other side to Eleanor, that side of him where he’s a dominant in his love making. It’s obvious to tell because it’s in his nature by the way he controls things, but with Eleanor, he’s utterly afraid that she’ll be scared of him and he doesn’t share what happened with Mrs Palmer, his dead mistress, and what he did with the other women. Dear Ian though, tells Hart he must tell Eleanor about his other side and Ian in this book shows a very cunning side to him that I thought rivaled Harts.

I think that one thing that did bother me a bit was how Eleanor never got jealous of the women in Hart’s life throughout the years; Mrs Palmer, Sarah, and all of his other lovers. She was never jealous or hurt about them. What she was most angry with Hart with was his control, and how he hurt other people in the process. I thought that in that regard, Eleanor was just a little bit too perfect, and I would have loved to have seen some anger towards Hart.

We see Hart’s vulnerable side in this book, and there was a scene with his son’s graveyard that gave me a lump in my throat. At first, there was no sign of his grief about his son and I was worried. But even though it wasn’t a long scene, I thought it was powerful because that side to Hart had never been shown before. It’s not long before Eleanor sees just how much Hart needs her, and the scene in the canal boat was just pure passion between them. And from there on, Hart being Hart, declares to everyone that Eleanor is to marry him, and that they do.

The plot of the photographs remains a mystery until the end of the book, and it was pure genius because I would have never guessed at the identity of the sender and it was just perfect. I was also glad in how Hart’s thirst for power and control politically was played out, and it made Hart realise that the world can and does move on without him without tilting on its axis. And what I loved most about the book that once Hart and Eleanor married, there was no fighting and arguments back and forth. They simply came together, and the stronger their love became for one another. My one disappointment in the book is that we don’t see Hart’s dark side of passion towards Eleanor. It’s not shown and I think it would have been fantastic if it was because it was made to be such a big deal for him throughout the series.

All in all, The Duke’s Perfect Wife lived up to my expectations and more. In a way, I’m sad because it’s the end of the Mackenzie era with all of the brothers married and accounted for. But thankfully, there is two more left in the series with Ainsley’s brother Elliot, and then it will be Daniel Mackenzie’s book, Cameron’s son.

I give The Duke a Perfect Wife is smackinglicious A.

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4 thoughts on “Review: The Duke’s Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley”

  1. Pingback: Joint Review: The Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley - Fiction Vixen Book Reviews

  2. Pingback: Review: The Duke’s Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley | Smexy Books

  3. SO i just finished reading Jennifer Ashley’s “The Duke’s perfect wife”and…wow,that was a hell of an intensive reading.Eleanor and Hart are a power couple,they are soo perfect for each other,Hart soo hard and untamed and Eleanor soo calculated.She is the only one who can make Hart come undone.Their love is soo strong that it gives you chills when you read about their romantic encounters.Everything good until we get to the first time they make love after a very long time.I really expected soo much more from Hart,the other books from the Makenzie series introduce Hart as a very sexual person with strange and untraditional apetite for sexual pleasure.I guess we all expected him to be more ‘freaky’ in bed with Eleanor,instead he was restraining himself in order not to hurt her.While reading this book,i was waiting for that moment when Hart will tie her hands and cover her eyes and give her an ultimate,different lovemaking.I was feeling like there was something missing in this book,maybe Jennifer wanted to introduce us to a new Hart,a mature,life experienced man who did all these thing when he was young and frustrated.He wanted to dominate and the bedroom was the first place where he started it at a very young age and now,after he acomplished soo much..he was about to become the prime minister for the love of God,he did not need to dominate anymore,i think,he kinda wanted to be dominated.I really recomend this book,in order to understand whats going on,you should start with the first book from the series “The maddness of Lord Ian Mackenzie”

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