Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Duke and the Lady in Red by @Lorraine_Heath Review @avonbooks

The Duke and the Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #3)
Release date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #3

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.

My Rating: 3 Roses

Emotional and romantic, The Duke and the Lady in Red was a great historical romance that I enjoyed. It was sweet, with some spice, and a couple of surprises along the way. I thought it was a lovely read.

Rose was a great heroine. I didn't think I would like her at first, with how shrewdly she manipulated people. But, after finding out why she did it and seeing her other qualities, she grew on me. In the end, I found her to be clever, devoted to her loved ones and determined to protect them, and ultimately a likable character.

Avendale came off as rather cold at first, with the mask he kept firmly in place at all times. But, as the book went on and he fell in love with Rose, his softer side came to light and made him a much more likable character. I still wish there had been more to him, as his issues seemed to be swept aside quickly for convenience, but I liked him overall.

The romance was lovely. Though it didn't seem like it at first, Rose and Avendale were a well matched couple, both clever and strong enough to keep up with each other. And, they definitely had enough chemistry to turn up the heat more than once. I thought they were great together.

Rose's brother, Harry, was an interesting character. It took a while to actually get to his character and learn about him but, when I did, I grew rather fond of him. He hadn't had an easy life and still didn't, but he was still a kind and sweet boy and I really liked him.

The plot was okay but the pace was, to be honest, kind of slow. I was never able to get fully engaged in the story and found myself skimming on more than one occasion. Also, a change in the plot about halfway through made the first and second halves of the book almost seem like different books. It didn't feel like there was a single goal throughout the story to connect all the plot points and that might be why I didn't get fully drawn into the book.

However, I still did enjoy the book overall. Though I wasn't totally engaged, I was kept interested all the way through and I thought the ending was nice. This book might not have been perfect, but it was still a great read.

The Duke and the Lady in Red was a lovely historical romance. It was a sweet read, both emotional and romantic, and I liked it. Romance lovers, you might want to check this book out.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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