Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: A Dangerous Madness by Michelle Diener

Title: A Dangerous Madness
Author: Michelle Diener
Publication: May 19th 2014
Genre: Adult ~ Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Kobo
Cover Rating: 5/5 (pretty as always!)
Overall Rating: 5/5

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

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.

Michelle Diener has done it yet again! A Dangerous Madness was another wonderfully suspenseful and amazingly written Regency London book. I loved it and flew through it in a little more than a day. I just couldn't stop reading, which seems to be a contstant occurence with books by Michelle Diener.

As always is the case with books by this author, it featured not only a strong hero but also a strong heroine...
Phoebe Hillier has been living her life according to what's right by society's standards. Only her heart isn't in it. Inside she's a completely different person, who's intelligent, generous and wants more out of her life than being the docile woman she pretends to be. When the man she was betrothed to, calls their engagement off and shows up dead a few days later, it only leaves her with questions and a threat on her life. 

I loved Phoebe. She was a great character and I loved how she slowly gets out of her shell. Especially with James. He truly sees her (as she also says in the book) and he takes her for who she is, an intelligent woman who's more than capable to be his equal. I just love how Michelle writes these female characters. They're all amazing, strong-willed and intelligent. That's how a heroine should be!

James was as amazing and interesting to read about as Phoebe. I loved his determination to find out who was all part of the consipracy behind the prime minister's death. And then his relationship with Phoebe that slowly blooms... perfection! And also, he was so swoon-worthy! 

I also feel I have to say that I loved the mentions of the leading characters of the two other Regency London books. It's just great how these three books are connected and yet you don't have to read them all to be able to read this one. It is so nice to see some of the other characters again!

As for the suspense level in this book. It was pretty high. There's always a sort of mystery air that these books have and this one was not an exception. I felt myself wondering along with Phoebe and James who exactly was behind everything.  It's also pretty amazing how Michelle Diener mixes real historical facts with her own fiction. It just makes the history nerd inside me all giddy.

Overall, A Dangerous Madness was another great historical fiction novel where Michelle Diener did again an amazing job of mixing real history, suspense and romance into one marvelous story that hooks you from beginning to end. Another five stars well deserved!

Favorite Quote:

She took all her hopes for acceptance in the world her father so desperately wanted her to live, all the personal wishes for friendship and connection, and crushed them like autumn leaves, grinding them to dust and then letting them float away.

About the Author:

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. Her Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series, set in the court of Henry VIII, includes In a Treacherous Court, Keeper of the King’s Secrets and In Defense of the Queen.
Michelle’s other historical novels include Daughter of the Sky, The Emperor’s Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies (loosely connected to The Emperor’s Conspiracy).

Michelle’s first fantasy novel, Mistress of the Wind, was published on December 19th, 2013 and her second fantasy, The Golden Apple, is due out on March 24th, 2014.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings, or online at Twitter, at Google+ and Facebook.


  1. Great review! This sounds like a book I would love and the cover is great!

  2. You've been a terrible influence on me and I'm really NOT JOKING!

    I've been a huge fan of historical fiction for years but hadn't come across Michelle Diener before I started following your blog and while I've yet to read one of her books (which I will be remedying VERY soon!) I now have FIVE of her books on my Kindle (Banquet Of Lies, The Emperor's Conspiracy and the first three Horenbout & Parker books). Thank you for the tip and the push toward her as I'm sure I'm going to love her work!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

    1. Aw, that actually means a lot to me! It's always nice to see as a blogger/reviewer how other readers start reading (or soon in your case) any of my favorite books and authors because of my reviews of them.

      I hope you'll love her books as much as I do!

      Thanks! :D


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