Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When the Duke Was Wicked (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #1)” as Want to Read:
When the Duke Was Wicked (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When the Duke Was Wicked

(Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  6,150 ratings  ·  632 reviews
They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…

Lady Grace Mabry’s ample inheritance has made it impossible for her to tell whether a suitor is in love with her—or enamored of her riches. Who better to distinguish beau from blackguard than her notorious childhood friend,
Mass Market Paperback, 374 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Avon
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,150 ratings  ·  632 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of When the Duke Was Wicked (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #1)
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Actual rating: 3.5

So maybe I cried a little bit. I swear to god it's not THAT type of tear-jerker book, but one paragraph just hit me hard. Before I knew it, my nose was stinging, my eyes were watering, and to my absolute horror, I felt a single tear slipping down my cheeks. DAMMIT.

There was absolutely nothing vexing about this book. It was thoroughly pleasant, thoroughly comforting, and completely enjoyable. It is the equivalent of a warm scarf on a rainy day.

The main character is a sweet, rati
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely read. I love the heroine. So brave and strong. The hero - typical tortured man.
Part of the subject matter was one I had not read in an Historical before and I loved it. Very relevant and close to my heart.

"Lady Luck isn't with you tonight."

Beware, Beware, Beware ...

He wanted her. Stretched out on the green grass among the wildflowers.

"Now you know why it is so important that he love me, for me"

A very enjoyable read.

This book contains all the best and worst elements of Heath’s writing.

Best: A very interesting central premise around which the story pivots. (view spoiler)

Worst: A somewhat insipid heroine who is entirely focused on marriage and a hero who is a rake.

Best: Strong characterisation
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I didn't really connect with the main characters, so the the romance wasn't all that great. They did get a bit better around 60% in the book. The writing was good but I'll likely forget about this book and characters by next week. I'm glad I read books #3 and #4 before this book because I don't know if I would have continued with the series.
2.75 stars

This was not at all what I've come to expect from Lorraine Heath. I didn't really connect with the main characters, so the the romance wasn't all that spectacular. The hero was a bit of an ass. He had his reasons, and he truly cared for Grace, but I just wasn't all that convinced of his ultimate feelings. Plus, there were some parts in the first half of the book that kind of turned me off.
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
THE SCOUNDRELS OF ST. JAMES remains my favourite Lorraine Heath series and I have been looking forward to reading the stories of their offspring in SCANDALOUS GENTLEMEN OF ST. JAMES . The protagonists in the first book are Henry, Duke of Lovingdon, Olivia’s son from BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND DESIRE and Lady Grace Mabry, Frannie and Sterling’s daughter from SURRENDER TO THE DEVIL .

I loved this book! Lorraine Heath weaves such a beautiful, deeply emotional and moving love story.

May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
The author's choice to make the hero's lastname be Lovingdon was REALLY bad, considering the word 'love' is mentioned approximately a bajillion times in this book. Having love be in his name too puts it into solidly obnoxious territory.

Lovingdon is a widower who spends the entire book thinking about Grace and how he cannot love her because of his deceased wife who he doesn't think about at all. We don't even get one fleshed out memory of her out of him in this entire thing. Meanwhile Grace is s
"He won't marry again, Grace. Something inside him broke with the death of Juliette and Margaret. You can't put him back together, sweetheart, not the way he was."

Oh sniff, this was good.

Lady Grace Mabry is on the marriage market, but she's set on finding a man who truly loves her (there's more to it than just the usual young miss stamping her feet and demanding twu wuv, but I can't give that away). She's got plenty of suitors eyeing her ample dowry, but how does she know which man will love he
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Henry, the Duke of Lovingdon (the son of Olivia and stepson of Jake from Between the Devil and Desire), since the death of his wife and daughter, has tried to find oblivion in women and debauchery, never again wishing to know the pain of loosing a woman he loves. He also believes he can never love again, that like his biological father he was destined to love one woman.

Grace, who is about 7 years Henry’s junior, has loved him since she was a little girl, he was her hero/champion, and so she foun
Lover of Romance
Grace has been in love with Lovingdon for years. Grace knows that she will need to marry soon, even though her parents aren't forcing her to choose. They want her to find true love, the same love they have for each other. So Grace goes to Lovingdon for his help. Grace is worried than any suitor she may have will only be after her dowry, and will change his tune once they are married. So she asks for his help in figuring out which man is playing her and which one is genuine in his affection for h ...more
This was a buddy read with my buddy, Nenia, and here's her review (or it will be once she's finished reading and writes it).

Read for the URR 2017 New Year's Reading Challenge prompt 'Victorian Romance'

Big spoilers under the tags, don't click unless you already know or don't care.

5/11 - I really appreciated the way Heath wrote Grace's character. The way Grace dealt with (view spoiler) and Lovingdon's dissolute lifestyle were really interesting. She didn't curse h
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was very excited to start this new series by Lorraine Heath, since, Grace Mabry (our heroine) was daughter of Frannie Darling & Sterling Mabry (Duke of Greystone)from book 3 of "Scoundrels of St. James"series AND Duke of Lovingdon (our not-so-wicked hero),is the son of Duchess of Lovingdon & stepson of Jack Dodger from book 2 of that series.

That was a wonderful series with amazing aforementioned characters, but somehow this book did not live up to what I had expected from a Lorraine Heath titl
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book started out alright but quickly descended into mediocrity.

The heroine Grace is so transparent that I cringed to read about her "innocent questions" about love and lust. I mean anyone could see that Grace was using her quest for love in marriage as an excuse to get close to Lovingdon. Only Grace herself thought she was fooling anybody. For this alone, I lost respect for her.

In the story it was mentioned repeatedly that Grace had "imperfections", which appeared to be some kind of termin
Addie H
On Kindle sale today 21st of May 2020 for USD 1.99

(Tropes: Friends to Lovers, Unrequited Love, Best Friend's Sibling, Widow, Scar (physical heroine / mental hero)


"A lady requires an objective person, one who is familiar enough with love to assist her in identifying and weeding out the insincere, separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Someone like you."

This book starts off in a way that I absolutely LOATHE - the hero in bed with another woman. AND, he continues this behaviour as
Aly is so frigging bored
1st read: March 2014
Ok, this was great. It is a marvellous story of love and second chances and everyone should read it.

2nd read: September 2014
Buddy read with Jo
I loved it even more!!!

3rd read: October 2018
I think this is my favorite book by Ms. Heath.
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
And Heath does it again! Here is another book that I read practically in one sitting. I liked getting to read about the children of the characters from the Scoundrels of St. James and many of them made a lovely appearance here. This story was about grief, healing, and inner strength. Grace Mabry reminded me a lot of Catherine from In Bed with the Devil with her courage, fire, and elegance, and Henry Lovingdon reminded me of the Duke of Greystone with his arrogance, stubbornness, and inner pain. ...more
Aug 02, 2016 marked it as wish-list
$1.99 on US Amazon: 2 August 2016

Ha, I just noticed this author is part of the mother/son writing duo J.A. London. I just DNF'd one of their books today (Darkness Before Dawn)! I'm still curious about this book, though. The blurb is kind of intriguing. .. I'm willing to give her another chance.
I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 stars.

This is the first in a new series by this author, in which the protagonists are the offspring of the characters in her Scoundrels of St. James series. I admit that I haven’t (yet) read any of those books, but I certainly plan to on the strength of this one.

I was engrossed by When the Duke Was Wicked right from the first page. For one thing, I rather like the trope of long-standing friends who fall for each other, and for another, the central relationship
Beanbag Love
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is more like a 3.75 for me. I love that we're seeing the progeny of the original Scoundrels of St. James, so I'm committed to the series. What was disappointing was that we didn't see much of the Scoundrels themselves. Now, I know that might have been a conscious choice for Heath in order to keep those wonderful characters from over-shadowing their offspring, but I did think there were opportunities for at least a scene for each of the leads with their "scoundrel" parent. They all just all ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: june-2020
i didn't love this book nor did i hate but i appreciated how our main heroine had scars and a health history. I also liked how our male character was once married but lost his loved ones and that's what made him unique.
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
4.5 The Most Awesome Historical Heroine Ever Stars

Lady Grace Mabry has a problem. Her dowry is too large. Her parents gave it to her out of love but it seems to have attracted every money-grabbing shark in the waters of upper society. How is she to separate the ones that want her from the ones that want her for her inheritance?

Enter the Duke of Lovington. Once a firm believer of virtue and proper behaviour but now well-known for his less than exemplary way of life. After his wive's and daughter
Isa Lavinia

actual rating: 2.5

The story itself was absolutely fine, as was the writing, but I never felt any chemistry between Grace and Henry - which is a pity because I had high hopes after having read about them in Falling Into Bed with a Duke.

I knew it was hopeless, but I thought Grace would be better off really moving on from her childhood crush on Henry, plus I found it more than a little creepy how much older he was, and how they knew each other when she was a little girl.

Besides, I really disl
Dec 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, hr
I enjoyed this book. Not only did it have one of my favourite tropes in the romance genre, 'I've loved you for years', but it also dealt with very real tragic events, such as loss and illness, without becoming too angsty.

I'll be honest, I was a little irritated with Grace at the beginning. Too brash, too forward and feisty for my liking. That changed when we find out the real reason for her behaviour. My heart broke a little and I could completely understand her motivations. In a society that em
Jacqueline's Reads
3.5 Stars

I finished the Scoundrels of St. James and now I’m starting Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, which features the kids! Yay for the kids.

It’s interesting to see the characters now mommy and daddies, but bring it on.

Grace is a catch. She has a large dowry and she’s young. She has men going after her, but it doesn’t mean anything for her because she wants to marry for love. The catch, she’s been in love with Lovington since she was a little girl.

Duke of Lovington has had love and a child,
Bronwen Evans
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this story! The characters were real, the situation was real, and the love was real. I see some comments about the hero being with other women through the story. I think given his situation it's rather believable. He fought so hard against finding love again for good reasons. Great job, Ms Heath.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Ms. Heath's romance is always wonderful, touching and great read!
This book was exactly what I needed. I was complaining I haven't had anything 'unputdownable' (totally making up words) and this book totally sucked me in. I started it pretty late Thanksgiving night and just kept reading and reading and when I finally turned my kindle off and closed my eyes, I laid there ANGRY that I wasn't still reading. It actually bothered me so much, I picked up and just kept reading haha.

Heath has another series prior to this called Scoundrels of St. James which is about
Insane Book Lover
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
⋆ 3.5/5 stars. (it was a re-read)

As always Lorraine delivered a beautifully done book.
Full of emotions. The characters just suck you in. You feel what they feel.
And their HEA even if it seems unachievable will happen and it will worth it all the downs and up they have been through!!!
The rate is only because I would love some more details and a little more plot depth...
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lorraine Heath, book by devastatingly beautiful book is becoming one of my favorite authors, the type I put in my mind on a pedestal, the type that their writing contain all the elements I love in books.

This is my second series by her, after reading The Scoundrels of St.James, which was a beautiful series about the parents of the heroes or heroines of this book.

- I love the originality of her dilemmas how she bring to light issues that people tend to ignore because it doesn't concern them or the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Love and Other Scandals (Scandalous, #1)
  • Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6)
  • All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue (The Debutante Files, #2)
  • When the Marquess Met His Match (An American Heiress in London, #1)
  • A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin (The Debutante Files, #1)
  • Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2)
  • Guilty Pleasures (Guilty, #1)
  • Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2)
  • Three Weeks With Lady X (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #1; Desperate Duchesses, #7)
  • Love in the Time of Scandal (Scandalous, #3)
  • Say Yes to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #5)
  • Scandal of the Year (Abandoned at the Altar, #2)
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #4)
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2)
  • Four Nights With the Duke (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #2; Desperate Duchesses #8)
  • The Duke's Stolen Bride (The Rogue Files, #5)
  • The Debutante Is Mine (Season's Original, #1)
See similar books…
Also writes Young Adult under Rachel Hawthorne, Jade Parker, and with her son as J.A. London)

Lorraine Heath has always had a soft spot for emotional love stories. No doubt because growing up, watching movies with her mom, she was taught that the best movies "won't half make you cry."​​​​​​​

She is the daughter of a British beauty (her mom won second place in a beauty contest sponsored by Max Factor

Other books in the series

Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James (4 books)
  • Once More, My Darling Rogue  (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #2)
  • The Duke and the Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #3)
  • An Affair with a Notorious Heiress (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #4)

Related Articles

Fans of Sarah MacLean know her as a writer of historical romances, a passionate defender of the romance genre, and a creator of some truly pun-tast...
75 likes · 19 comments
“Gloating with witnesses is so much more enjoyable.” 3 likes
“One did not complain about having in abundance that which others wished desperately to obtain.” 2 likes
More quotes…