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To Ruin The Duke

by Debra Mullins


Incurring debts, insulting men’s honor, and impregnating young women and then abandoning them are among the misdeeds attributed to Thornton Matherton, Duke of Wyldehaven.  Yet "Wylde" maintains that an imposter resembling him committed the crimes.  No one, especially the lovely Miranda Fontaine, seems to believe him.

Miranda’s personal history has made it clear to her that titled gentlemen often mistreat women of a lower social class.  Both her recently deceased friend and her late mother were victims of these kinds of men.  When Miranda visits Wylde and appeals to his sense of honor regarding the motherless baby that he fathered, she is appalled that he blames another man for pretending to be him. Even so, Miranda finds herself drawn to the handsome duke and wishing that this loathsome imposter really exists. She fears, however, that this is merely a cover story for Wylde’s reckless behavior.

Wylde also has trust issues resulting from his late wife and his disreputable father.  Because of these earlier problems, he doubts Miranda’s claims that the baby isn’t hers, that she’s as innocent as she claims, and that she has no interest in his money.  He also has a difficult time believing her statement that she’s not interested in a relationship with him when her physical responses seem to say otherwise.

To Ruin The Duke provides an intriguing premise that plays out nicely in the book.  Though determining the identity of the imposter presents no great challenge, figuring out who is sending Miranda threatening messages does offer a mystery to be solved.  Watching as Wylde and Miranda work through their many problems, readers can identify with these characters struggling for the love and happiness neither has previously experienced.

The Book

Avon Books / HarperCollins
May 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Romance - Historical (England, 1813)
More at
NOTE: Profanity, Sexuality, Violence

The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance: The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies, Dreams on Film, A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews, and the co-author of Connections: A Collection of Poems. Coming Soon: Passionate About Their Work: Celebrities, Artists, and Experts Discuss Creativity.
© 2009