Herding Cats & Burning Soup glowed about these books, also I LOVE the covers. They are sitting in a box getting ready to move to Oklahoma with me. Anyway, I can't honestly tell you that if it would be beneficial to read the previous books or not. How I felt you could read this book without worrying.
As you read the story, you learn that Lance lived the life of the spare. Half the time he didn't remember what he was doing. He eventually found himself with the Dukedom and the prime suspect of murder. Sucks to be him. Basically, he's been living like a monk. No more, and try to find out who killed his brother. That's pretty much what's going on. How does Marianne Radley playing into this story. Well, her loving wonderful uncle decides he's going to blackmail Lance into marrying one of his relations. Isn't he so wonderful? He would prefer his own daughter, but she has a few issues. Lucky for him he has a wonderful niece. I adore Lance, because he refused to be coerce into marriage. The best way to scare off a young lady would be his natural self. Now Marianne is a unique young woman, who doesn't frighten easily. Honestly, they should have come to understanding, but that would be too simple. Basically these two play a game of cat and mouse, which never ends well with two people trying not to marry anyone.
Overall, I did like these two characters. I liked how they started to work together to figure out who killed his brother. However, we learn a lot about his brother and looks are not always what they seem to be. Even though Lance was wild and wicked, you knew who he was up front. I didn't like Marianne's uncle. He was definitely a piece of work. He makes my crazy Uncle Joe look like a decent guy, and that's bad. Honestly, I didn't think Lance was all that wicked, especially when you got to know his decease brother. If you are looking for something to read, you might consider The Wicked Duke.
Copy provided by Berkley via NetGalley.