Another hot Duke running around London, single. You swear, if I had any sense I'd quit reading books that had the word Duke on the inside/back cover.
Emma, the young widow of Baron Denmore is in London, being notorious. She's staying up well into the wee hours of the morning, and she's gambling, she's drinking, and my oh my she's even flirting...
Flirting with disaster (notice the terrible pun) in the form of the Duke of Somerhart. Nicknamed Winterheart because of his chilly demeanor (oh,the sassy gossipers of Regency England are so clever!), the Duke appears one night at a party, and Emma is suddenly thrown off her A-game.
The thing is, she needs the money she's making at the gambling tables. What she doesn't need is "Hart" coming after her with his wicked hot Duke self. And the Duke of Somerhart, longing to be respectable after a misspent youth of being everything but respectable, doesn't need Emma, a woman who clearly has many secrets and isn't at all proper or subtle.
But does that stop either of them? Of course not, it's a romance novel!
Teasing aside, I really really liked this book, like, a lot, despite a total downer at the end. I liked that, after reading so many historical romances where the heroine is a lovely ingenue, or a spitfire, or a complete snot, here was one who was a clever con-artist, and still likable. She's not what she seems and isn't at all apologetic of doing what she has to do in such a stifling society to live her life.
Also liked that Dahl, the author, pushed the envelope where sex in a historical romance is concerned. There's role playing, silk scarves, and the like, but it isn't a fetish novel, and she managed to make it convincing considering the time period (people had to have had those urges back then as well right?)
The book is good enough that I'll forgive it its cover, its cover quote, and its Duke. I'll even forgive it its downer and villain. It was kind of amazing.
Tags: download, victoria dahl, ebook, pdf, a rake's guide to pleasure (huntington, #2)
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