I hope you all survived Monday in one piece, I know I survived with about 90% of me in tact. Lol. Well today I am taking part in the tour for The Duke and the Lady in Red by Lorraine Heath. This book brought out a lot of emotion in me but in the best way. So I hope you'll pick up a copy when it's released next week! Don't forget to enter the giveaway either!
About Lorraine Heath
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.
Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: April 28, 2015
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.
Author Lorraine Heath in back with another delicious tale of lust, love and scandal!
The Duke and the Lady in Red marks the end of the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series and boy did it end on a high note for me!
After the Duke of Avendale catches her in the act of running off with his money, Rosalind Sharpe has no other choice but to agree to his outrageous proposal: He’ll let her have all the money she needs if she’ll spend a week in his bed.
Rosalind is desperate but no fool. She has her own condition and that is that he must not ask her any questions about why she needs money so desperately. What should have been a business arrangement turns into something more as Avendale realizes that Rosalind is the type of woman he could stay with for the rest of his life.
I’m still new to Lorraine Heath to be honest but I can say that I’ve read the previous books in this series and loved them both but The Duke and the Lady in Red was more touching, more emotional than the previous books. The saying Don’t judge a book by its cover was represented throughout the entire story, sometimes with some deeply emotional scenes.
As far as characters go, I do have to say that Rosalind was my favorite heroine of the series. She was just such a chameleon, playing whatever role she had to and getting people to see what she wanted them to see. That in itself showed how intelligent she was and I do love an intelligent female character, especially in historical romance where women were kept sheltered, naïve and sometimes a bit on the dumb side. To have a character like Rosalind be a successful thief made her much more interesting than if she had been a titled lady or a servant. But while Rose was a thief, she suffered from the guilt of having to resort to breaking the law and taking what she didn’t earn. She was continually at odds with herself and that kind of self torment tends to drive a character forward into either more trouble or a solution. Rose did what she had to out of love and loyalty but one of her biggest flaws was her view on the wealthy. Rose herself was more than what she appeared to others, she knew that people were looking at what was on the outside with her and judging her as something she wasn’t, yet she couldn’t see beyond Avendale’s wealth and his title for the longest time. I couldn’t fault her for her singular view of Avendale though. Rose had lived her life for so long without the basic things in life, let alone the finer things like him and I think that gave her a biased outlook on the wealthy.
Like Rose, Avendale was good at projecting and controlling the image others got of him while he suffers on the inside. While he has appeared in the previous books, I never realized how jaded and discontented he was. At first, the thrill of chasing Rose down and winning her was what motivated him to present himself in the best possible way. It was all an act at first, designed to win her over but it felt forced, as if he had to put an active effort into keeping up the charade. As the story progressed though, his true personality showed and that’s when I felt that as a reader, I was getting to know this character better, connecting with him because of his kindness and consideration of others’ needs and feelings. He was completely the opposite of the image he portrayed in public; though the arrogance was still there he was showing more and more of who he was as a man as the story went on. I was falling in love with him myself! Rose was one lucky woman! Avendale and Rose made such a passionate couple but they also challenged each other to reach for what they wanted and to not be afraid to trust some people. They had such a great love story.
However, it was Rose’s brother Harry who completely dominated The Duke and the Lady in Red every time he was in a scene. This man/child with the big heart and tragic life story did me in. Harry was inherently kind, sensitive, and it was obvious he adored his sister, but like almost every character in this book, he hid his own secrets and the fact that he knew more than Rose thought he did about her choices and his role in them. My heart broke for Harry, Rose and their unconventional family which consisted of a tiny couple whose loyalty to Harry knew no bounds and a giant who doubled as a coachman. Honestly, while Rose’s life seemed fascinating and out of the norm on the outside, in reality it was cold and cruel.
There was just so much raw emotion in The Duke and the Lady in Red to go along with the passion and mystery, making the story way more than it seemed in the beginning. I don’t think I could have envisioned the series ending any other way. Avendale and Rose’s dark pasts and lonely lives brought them closer together than anything else would have, they related to one another and eventually learned to trust and lean on one another. I enjoyed the secondary characters and the roles they played in the story. This book can definitely be read as a standalone without any fear of major spoilers. Lorraine Heath crafted such a sensual romance between Avendale and Rose but didn’t forget to give them depth or to challenge them to the point of almost breaking them completely. They fought, they loved, they lost and they grew, who could ask for more than that?
Final Verdict: A fitting end to a great series, The Duke and the Lady in Red gave me a passionate but emotional journey with interesting characters and a solid plot.
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Tour wide Prize: $25 Gift card to the winner's choice of book seller.
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