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“[A] smart, satisfying Regency romance . . . Hunter gives the well-matched pair plenty of ground to cover with a wide cast of memorable suspects, and their clever detective work is a consistent pleasure. The plot moves apace, but Chase and Minerva’s relationship is treated patiently, with their attraction simmering alongside mutual respect, and their eventual love scenes are sensitively rendered. Romance readers craving substantive mystery and intelligent leads will savor this pitch-perfect love story.”

—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“An unexpected heiress finds love with the nephew of her benefactor as they both investigate the death that brought them together . . . Their banter is sharp and exciting.”


“It’s no mystery why RITA Award–winning Hunter (Never Deny a Duke, 2019) continues to be a favorite of discerning historical-romance readers. And the literary proof in the pudding is this launch of her new Duke’s Heiress series, which delivers a superbly sexy love story deftly dovetailed with a well-crafted, mystery-spiked plot, and graced with a cast of endlessly amusing characters.”



“Hunter’s final Decadent Dukes Society Regency entices with a strong heroine who refuses to be impressed by the hero’s stuffy manners . . . Readers who like slow-simmering romance will find much to love about these intelligent, forthright characters and their cautious journey towards love.”

—Publishers Weekly

“The originality of Hunter’s plotting and the skill with which she executes it are exemplary. These, combined with her usual superb flair for crafting compelling characters, make this a must-read for fans of sexy Regency-set historicals.”


Praise for A DEVIL OF A DUKE

“Scintillating love scenes are plentiful in this page-turning tale, which is enhanced by a cast of memorable characters and smart, witty protagonists.”

—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“With a delectable blend of clever ripostes, scorching sensuality, and masterly plotting, Hunter’s latest sees the most infamous of the Decadent Dukes fall head over heels in a satisfying romantic adventure.”

—Library Journal

Zebra Books by Madeline Hunter

Decadent Dukes Society series:

The Most Dangerous Duke in London

A Devil of a Duke

Never Deny a Duke

A Duke’s Heiress Romance series:

Heiress for Hire

Heiress in Red Silk

Heiress in Red Silk





All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.

Table of Contents


Also by

Title Page

Copyright Page


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Teaser chapter

ZEBRA BOOKS are published by

Kensington Publishing Corp.

119 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

Copyright © 2021 by Madeline Hunter

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

To the extent that the image or images on the cover of this book depict a person or persons, such person or persons are merely models, and are not intended to portray any character or characters featured in the book.

If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the Publisher and neither the Author nor the Publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

Zebra and the Z logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

ISBN: 978-1-4201-4999-9

ISBN-13: 978-1-4201-5000-1 (eBook)

ISBN-10: 1-4201-5000-6 (eBook)

For my sons Thomas and Joseph

Chapter One

Eccentricity ran through the Radnor family much like an orange thread weaving in and out of a tapestry. Some members showed none of the color, while others were ablaze with it. Kevin Radnor was still a young man, so it remained to be seen how much the orange would dominate his section of the tapestry.

He already displayed some evidence of the trait that so marked his father and his uncle. When a subject captured his attention, he investigated it thoroughly with a notable singlemindedness. Thus, at not yet thirty years of age, he had acquired an extraordinary expertise in fencing, mechanics, engineering, moths, ancient Greek, chemistry, and carnal sensuality.

It was the last of those investigations that brought him in late March to a brothel in the neighborhood of Portman Square. His attention had been distracted of late by a business problem he faced, and only pleasure might relieve his brooding. The house he visited was known for women who had joined their profession out of enthusiasm, not desperation. That absolved his conscience of furthering the ruin of some poor female, and also appealed to him because with enthusiasm came both invention and joy.

He sat stripped to the waist in the chamber of a prostitute who used the name Beatrice while the pretty, red-haired woman slowly removed her own garments. Already his concerns had receded, especially because Beatrice turned disrobing into an art. At the moment, down to her chemise and hose, she was bending over to roll down one stocking. Her pose revealed her round, plump bottom which, Kevin noticed, had been rouged along the cleft.

A scratch at the door caught Beatrice just after she pulled off the stocking.

“I’ve a gentleman here,” Beatrice called out.

“I only wanted you to know that it has come. The new bonnet,” a muffled woman’s voice said. “It is so lovely.”

Beatrice began on the other stocking, but Kevin could see that the news of the bonnet had most of her attention now.

“Go and see it,” he said. “I don’t mind.”

She skipped over to him and gave him a kiss. Then she hurried to the door and opened it halfway.

“See?” the other woman said.


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