Title: A Dangerous Madness
Author: Michelle Diener
Series: Regency London, book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Season Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
"The Duke of Wittaker has been living a lie...
He’s been spying on the dissolute, discontented noblemen of the ton, pretending to share their views. Now he’s ready to step out of the shadows and start living a real life...but when the prime minister of England is assassinated, he's asked to go back to being the rake-hell duke everyone believes he still is to find out more.
Miss Phoebe Hillier has been living a lie, too...
All her life she's played by society's rules, hiding her fierce intelligence and love of life behind a docile and decorous mask. All it's gotten her is jilted by her betrothed, a man she thought a fool, though a harmless one. But when she discovers her former fiancé was involved in the plot against the prime minister, and that he's been murdered, she realizes he wasn't so harmless after all.
And now the killers have set their sights on her...
The only man who can help her is the Duke of Wittaker--a man she knows she shouldn't trust. And she soon realizes he's hiding behind a mask as careful as her own. As the clock ticks down to the assassin's trial, the pair scramble to uncover the real conspiracy behind the prime minister's death. And as the pressure and the danger mounts, Phoebe and Wittaker shed their disguises, layer by layer, to discover something more precious than either imagined–something that could last forever. Unless the conspirators desperate to hide their tracks get to them first."
I had heard great things about Michelle Diener’s books, when I saw A Dangerous Madness available for review I knew this was my chance. I'm glad I took the plunge.
When I requested it I thought A Dangerous Madness was a stand-alone, but after just couple of pages in, with the mention of other couples I realized this book was part of a series. The mention of some past events didn’t deter my enjoyment of the book, they only made me want to read previous books.
The blurb explains pretty well what this book is about. Let’s just add that the assassination of the prime minister did really happen as well as some of the facts and characters that Mrs. Diener masterfully integrates into the story.
Phoebe Hillier is a very likeable character. She is smart but thanks to society she has to pretend to be somebody she is not. She has live under everybody’s rules and when she gets jilted by her betrothed she knows what will come of it it won’t be good for her, but instead in wallowing in despair she sees the light in the situation and takes it into her own hands. She may be ruined, but now she’s free to do whatever she wants or to be with whomever she wants.
Talking about whomever Phoebe wants we need to talk about James, the Duke of Wittaker. Since an early age James has pretended to be a rake, first he did it under his father’s instructions to help him get inside information about other noblemen and for the last years he has done it to get information about peers that are under investigation. James is tired of pretending to be a rake, he wants to get his life under his reins, but his plans have to be place on hold until after the investigation of the prime minister’s assassination.
I liked James, I liked that a smart woman didn’t intimidate him and he accepted Phoebe just the way she was.
Phoebe and James are attracted to each other from the very beginning, but they don’t act upon that attraction until the very end. The romance although present, doesn’t play a big role in the story and if I’m honest I really liked that.
The mystery is well done, there are no clues between the pages; we actually learn everything along with the characters. The resolution while not a perfect one was as truthful as possible to the real events of the time.
Michelle Diener’s writing is fluid and engaging and even though I was very tired while I was reading this book it was almost impossible for me to put it down.
I enjoyed reading A Dangerous Madness so much I’m looking forward to reading previous books in this series and new books to come. I recommend A Dangerous Madness to historical fiction and historical romance fans.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
The Emperor’s Conspiracy
Banquet of Lies
A Dangerous Madness
Other reviews Goodreads