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The Duke's Perfect Wife

The Duke's Perfect Wife  - Jennifer Ashley 3.5 stars, but because I adore everything Mackenzie, I'm rounding up.I can understand why people feel a bit cheated on the somewhat anti-climactic glimpse into the dark sexual urges of Hart. For three books we've been given hints that things are about to get kinky up in here, and then, uh, not so much. In the age of sexting, naughty photographs and mild bondage aren't exactly envelope pushing. (Yes, yes, YKINMK and to some, those two things WOULD be hugely risque, but in a general, broad strokes kind of way, those activities are not really walking on the wild side.) I keep telling myself that the glimpse we're given is relatively vanilla because Hart doesn't want to scare El, so therefore he starts with the most mild of his amusements. Yay, rationalization? I liked Eleanor, quite a bit, and thought she was a good match for Hart. She might have been a bit too much of a paragon of virtue (well, not THAT virtue. You have read Jennifer Ashley before, yes?), but that didn't really become a problem for me until later in the book. Her reasoning for jilting Hart all those years ago was so bizarre (I thought), and so noble that it let me giving her the side-eye. Anyway...It was rather nice to get to know Hart, who I did not like AT ALL in Ian's book. Which, of course, was the point. This time around, I was frequently sad for him. Also the whole point. So that totally worked.Their initial reunion was heart-breaking and painful, but in a very good way, if you like there to be old-wounds revisited angst in your tales. I did figure out the mystery rather quickly, though I can't say it was because of dropped clues, simply intuition. There were some irritating writing tics that I've either never noticed in earlier books, or maybe they just really jumped out at me with this story. They didn't significantly impact my reading enjoyment, but when that stuff starts jumping out at me, I can tell I'm not totally wrapped up in the story. I realize this reads like a negative review, but it's not. I simply find it so much harder to quantify why I like something. If it's enjoyable, it just IS, and that's hard for me to put into words. I did find this enjoyable, very much so. Really!