Author: Stefanie Sloane
Publication: Ballantine Books; Original edition (May 24, 2011)
Description: Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for Lady Lucinda Grey. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot. To do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must use his devilish charm to seduce Lucinda and convince her he’s worthy of her attention. William never planned to become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or to lose his own heart in the bargain.
Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. She’s tempted by his sinfully sensuous mouth and piercing eyes, and finds it hard to resist the champion thoroughbred he offers her in exchange for the honor of courting her. Can she keep him at arm’s length when his touch begs her to let him so much closer?
My Thoughts: Read enough Regency romances and you would become certain that every other man of the Ton was some variety of spy. Enter William Randall, Duke of Clairemont. He has spent years cultivating the role of a rake and been quite successful at it. He grew up with a belittling and abusive father and a mother who seemed indifferent. He doesn't know anything about love and doesn't want to. Enter Lady Lucinda Gray. Lucinda is one of England's wealthiest women. She was raised by her three aunts, each of whom has been disappointed in love. Lucinda has been courted by, and turned down, all the eligible men in the Ton. She may believe in love but doesn't think that love has any meaning for her.
Naturally, Lady Lucinda is under threat of kidnapping by an evil French agent and Clairemont assigned to protect her. Both are surprised when they meet to discover that lightning has struck. They take one look at each other and are smitten. Neither one wants to admit it -- or even believe it. Both fight the attraction in every way that they can. Watching them gradually come to love each other was a joy even though there was heartbreak along the way for both of them.
This was a sparkling romance with two strong and interesting characters. Lady Lucinda was bright, funny, and had interests well beyond fashion and gossip. Will was handsome, brave, and very determined to keep her safe. Picture James Bond in Regency clothing and you have Will. He is suave and very dangerous.
I recommend this story to lovers of Regency romances. It was wonderful escapist fiction.
Will had lied, cheated, stolen, maimed, and killed in the line of duty. In turn, he'd been shot at, pummeled within an inch of his life, stabbed repeatedly, and nearly drowned--all for King and Country.I received my copy of this book from Amazon Vine. You can get yours at Amazon too in a variety of formats.
One look at the women ensconced within the beautifully appointed sitting room and Will knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it had all been child's play up to this point.