Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Forever on January 31, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Author, Netgalley
Their love was always in the cards.
He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he's more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty—in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he'll have to devise a proposition she can't turn down.
Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie's club offered a surefire way to make quick money—until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible.
Between the Devil and the Duke
(Season for Scandal #3)
By Kelly Bowen
Ladies and gentlemen…we have a WINNER!!
I have a confession…I normally prefer my hero in a historical romance to be the stuck up, snobby aristocrat who looks down his nose at…the commoners. I get a kick out of their arrogance and bossiness. Their confidence, to me, sends shivers up my spine. Well, I’ve been proven wrong. It seems I can be stimulated by a confident commoner just as much…if not more.
I LOVED Between the Devil and the Duke. To be honest, I should probably remove a half a star because the title has absolutely nothing to do with the story. I’m sure I could sorta, kinda come up with an explanation that could maybe explain it but that may be using my imagination a wee bit. Besides that, I thought this book was practically perfect.
It’s not a secret that I love historical romance. For me, it’s like stepping into another world. Comportment is a lady’s top priority and pride is ranked up there for a gentleman. In Between the Devil and the Duke, we see a different side and different priorities. The lady (our heroine) has a brain…and she uses it too. Our gentleman is not a lord but he holds a lot of power. He’s in the know and uses his knowledge as power and that power has made him a very rich man.
Angelique’s family is of the highest ranking. Unfortunately, their good name does not fill their coffers. Angelique’s parents are both dead and with them the secret to where their vast fortune has disappeared. Her brother, the Marquess, has become a wastrel of the worse sort and has left Angelique to fill the coffers and provide enough funds to keep their 12-year-old twin brothers at school. This is a lot of responsibility for a woman who, because of her position in society, is not supposed to work. This impedes her ability to generate funds…she’s going to have to go incognito…
Alex owns a gaming hell and is intrigued by the buxom lady who wins game after game at his tables. He’s positive she’s not cheating but she has complete control in every game. His fascination leads him to keep a close eye on her. On one of the nights she attends, a patron, who loses badly to her, gets a little handsy and he can’t stop himself from interceding and coming to her rescue. Funny thing is…she doesn’t seem to want his help. Mmmm…even more intriguing.
What follows is a very entertaining story full of intrigue, dedication to family commitments and lust. Alex and Angelique are intelligent and strong-minded. They are attracted to each other but uncertain whether their social positions would allow a relationship to form. Alex tells himself he’s not the sort of man to fall in love. Angelique thinks her burdens are too much to lump on a good man. In the end, none of those things matter. It turns out that when the chips are down, your social standings mean nothing and your true friends will be standing by your side, not pushing you out the door.
Honestly, Kelly Bowen is becoming one of my favourite authors in historical romance. She doesn’t mind showing a lady has intelligence and not afraid to use it to get ahead. What’s even better, her heroes adore their heroines more for it. I love her heroes. They are not cookie cutter historical romance heroes. These guys don’t follow the rules and could care less what society thinks of them. All of her characters are unique and I never know what’s going to happen next.
Between the Devil and the Duke was a WINNER for me. I love this series and each instalment seems to get better. They are all connected by Chegarre & Associates…but I’m not telling you how…but I will tell you that you can definitely read them as a standalone. I say that, but I feel fairly confident in saying that once you’ve read one, you will want to read them all.