As one of my favorite historical authors I always celebrate when Ms. Heath publishes a new book. Today I'm giving you a glimpse of her new release, The Duke and the Lady in Red, the final installment in her Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Place series. Keep reading to learn about this book, get my impressions of it, and learn even more by visiting the other sites hosting this tour. Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!
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.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Ms. Heath brings the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series to a magnificent end with this intensely sensual and highly emotional tale with its unconventional heroine and a hero truly transformed by love. With this book Ms. Heath has solidified herself as a master of combining the historical with powerful issues with a modern taint and I recommend this book, and her other works, highly.
With Rosalind readers are given a heroine unlinke any we've seen before. She's an unrepentant swindler whose a master at deception with a heart of gold. She's a strong-willed woman who's had a difficult life with a father willing to sell her soul, and those she loves, for a fast coin. She's formed a new family of misfits and will do anything to keep them safe and happy, never worrying about her own happiness. Meeting Avendale gave her a glimpse of happiness as there was finally someone to care about just her. Her love for family though had her falling back on her original plans which in the blink of an eye get torn asunder once he discovers the truth. An arrangement between them soon leads to intense erotic encounters that intoxicate her and have her hoping for more. Being brutally honest with herself though has her counting down the days until their agreement ends. Being together almost every day has her seeing a different side to him though and him ultimately becoming an unexpected part of her little family that brought a tear to my eye. Through all her actions Rosalind is to be commended for her kindheartedness. Even in her swindling she was still endearing and entertaining. Her interactions with Avendale crackled with witty and sensual banter and teemed with sexual tension from the moment their eyes met and I couldn't help but root for them.
Avendale is a man on a mission to be as depraved as possible. It's left his mother and the few friends he has worried for him but he can't work up the effort to care. He's lost, fallen into a dark abyss centered around memories of his vile father, that have him trying to find anything that makes him feel alive. Wanton sex and alcohol no longer fulfill him but the moment he sets eyes on Rosalind he sees a chance to finally live and vows to have her. The early stages of their relationship is a cat and mouse game that was thrilling and fun. I enjoyed seeing a new spark in his eyes and seeing him finally care about something. Being with Rosalind and her misfit family bring out a softer side, a supportive and caring side that seemed lacking before that brought a tear to my eye. Avendale might've started out superficial and self-centered but by story's end he was a man reformed by love of a good woman and the friendship of a man living on borrowed time.
This book was one of intense emotions that put my heart through the wringer. Rosalind's misfit family was made up of those shunned by society but I couldn't have loved them more. Even as secondary characters they were larger than life and profoundly affected everyone they came in contact with. Readers will be hard-pressed not to cry when meeting Harry. I also enjoyed seeing the main characters from past stories here again which reinforced a sense of family, a family that's full of misfits too. Rosalind and Avendale's relationship started off quickly and was full of sparks but progressed in a believable way becoming deeper and more meaningful. They both grew, their hearts becoming bigger as they learned to trust, and it's a journey I enjoyed taking and one I highly recommend to others too.
My rating for this is an A.
*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.
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