I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was my first book by the author and irrespective of the review ahead, one thing is certain. I will be looking forward to other books by the author. I am truly intrigued to know what I happens to the other two rakes!
Without further ado lets plunge.
Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all?
The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumours are swirling around London that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind--until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season . . . unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride in Last Night with the Duke, the first novel in the brand-new Regency Rakes of St. James series by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.
Whenever I get an ARC, I make it a habit of not reading the blurb. It's simply because, whenever I chose a book to read the blurb is one of the factors on which I decide, but when I get an ARC the publisher chooses for me. And I go the orthodox way, i.e. dive right in eyes closed.
My Review:The Duke of Griffin has quandary. His twin sisters on the marriage mart can become the targets of a prank by his rivals. And before they do, Griffin wants to find out who exactly wants to cause the twins harm. Unfortunately for our hero, his aunt who was supposed to chaperone the twins has taken ill. Hence, now Griffin is in a dire need of a worthy companion who will make sure the twins stay out of trouble. Now, this is where he stumbles into Miss. Esmeralda Swift.
The disowned granddaughter of a Viscount, Esmeralda is barely making ends meet. She is running an agency that provides service women for the ton and taken care of her teenage sister all alone. When Griffin barges through her door and demands her to chaperone his sisters, her buried feelings resurface. The handsome Duke sets her on fire and breathes life to her dull existence.
Now, the two try to co-exist denying themselves their mutual attraction and try to keep their wayward sisters safe. Whether they succumb to the desire? What happens to the threat the opposes the twins? I suggest you read the book to find out.
This book evoked a lot of mixed feelings in me. I could even say I kind of had a love-hate relationship with this book. There were times when the story had me in it's grip and I liked the plot and there were also times when I wanted to bang someone's head (pitifully my own). I did like the book overall, but I feel like there are still unresolved conflicts with the book.
What I liked:
- The Narrative. The author obviously loves the regency era and it definitely shows in her writing. You actually feel like you are in the ballroom, living room or wherever she describes.
- The Story line. I think this was one of the most mundane story line I've read for a historical romance. It lacked the cliched excitement, entertainment, characters. The author kept the story simple and refreshing. I liked the simplicity in the story!
- Josephine. Whenever there have been teenage kids in a book they usually are either snotty or serene. But I felt kids are normally somewhere in between. I loved Josephine for that reason. She was snotty and stubborn at times, but the girl was sweet.
What I could have liked better:
- Griffin. It's unusual for me to not like the hero. But I wasn't a huge fan of Griffin. Yes, he was compassionate and even kind. He treats Esmeralda and all others very well, but frankly I felt like his kindness always had an air that said 'I am kind to you but always remember I'm better than you'. He had an unapologetic arrogance that borderlines on being vain. What I found unacceptable was he doesn't repent the mistake he did 10 years ago. Sometimes he even justifies it. Somehow his redeeming qualities failed to impress me.
- Esmeralda. She is proud, compassionate, capable and intelligent. All bonus points to her. But I didn't like how she practically fell into Griffin's arms from the very beginning.On one hand she says that she hates the aristocracy and on other she doesn't mind or excuses Griffin's behavior. She thinks that 'Oh he is a Duke, he is used to getting his way', but she never voices it to Griffin. I kept on waiting for that confrontation when she makes him realize he is not the god's gift to earth. But, it never came.
- The Ending. I find it extremely irritating when the heroine forgives the hero very easily. I did understand Griffin's anger, but what baffled me was he was more angry at Esmeralda than the kiss! about the kiss he was all like 'Oh it happens' and for Essie he was 'How dare she leave my sister alone. She let me down!' And as for Esmeralda, woman show some of the backbone that the author vouched you had! She again leapt into his arms at the first chance. Ughh, for god's sake make him work for something.
- The Description. I do agree and understand that regency sex scenes are a bit different from that of contemporary or other genres of romance, but man some description of being turned on in this book was a bit on the exaggeration side.
"At the thought of kissing her, a warmth of slowly rising passion settled low in his loins. He was tempted to let the primal heat stirring between his legs build and linger."
I didn't know whether to laugh or groan as I read this. The man might be a 19th century Duke, but at least I hope he could tell 'I was hard', three words was enough!
Final Verdict:Like I said in the beginning, I was conflicted about how I felt about this book until the end. I loved some parts and hated some others. Well, suffice it to say, I did like it, begrudgingly may it be. ;)
It was a simple, uncomplicated love story.
I give this book: 3 Stars.