Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: The Duke and the Lady in Red by Lorraine Heath

TITLE: The Duke and the Lady in Red
Lorraine Heath
SERIES: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #3

384 pages
Avon Books
April 28th 2015 
GENRE: Adult > Historical Romance

PURCHASE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sparks fly in the finale of the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Place series, as the last wicked rogue meets his match. When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her. However, Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed. Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.

The Duke and the Lady of Red is a unique story in more levels than one. I mean, how unique can it be with a con artist for a heroine? Of course, we would know she did it but the revelation was heart breaking.

The Duke and the Lady of Red is the third and final book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series, and is tied to The Scoundrels of St. James Street (confusing, right?).  As a little background for the story (there is a little bit of tie in on both series), we meet Whit, the current Duke of Avendale, in The Last Wicked Scoundrel, when he was a little boy. His mother, Winnie, the current Duchess of Avendale married one of Feagan's lads and is the hero in The Last Wicked Scoundrel. You do not need to read the previous series or the previous book in this series to appreciate the story but it does help with understanding the whole backstory.

Now enough of that. Let's talk about the hero, Whit. The Duke of Avendale is a scoundrel and loathes permanence in his life, avoids love, and his family. He really is someone with a whole lot of baggage in his life and what I love about this book is that we see his transformation from scoundrel to a hero that we all want to root for.

Rosalind (Rose) Sharp is a con artist. She goes into the Twin Dragons in search for her next mark and is immediately attracted to the Duke of Avendale. Sparks fly between the two, and as Rose starts to fall for Whit, she makes mistakes and is caught by the Duke himself.

As the story unfolds, we discover the real reason behind Rose's con and what drove her to do what she did. We also discover the true reason behind Whit's aloofness from his family.

What I really liked about this story is that it is unique. Both main characters had a lot of baggage behind them. Rose and Whit were also opposites in the way they deal with their family and because of this, it was Rose's devotion to her own that really changed Whit and mended the rift that he had with his own family.

I can't remember how much I cried over a book. The revelations in this story was just heartbreaking and the resolution in the end was immensely satisfying.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romance books and a hero and heroine full of emotional baggage.

Totally Awesome! I loved it, would read again.

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