by Lorraine Heath

Rating:
4/5

Heath has another series prior to this called Scoundrels of St. James which is about the parents of these characters. Both the Duke and Grace from this book, their parents have stories from this series. I haven’t read either, but it did make me want to try them.

Grace is ready to begin the search for a husband, at her father’s wish. She has a secret that she is sure true love will conquer but doesn’t quite know how to tell love from a fortune hunter. She enlists the help of the Duke of Lovingdon, a family friend, at least before the death of his wife and child.

Lovingdon has totally withdrawn into himself. Basically abandoning his family, he has searched out only the basic needs for pleasure to dull the pain of losing his family. Drinking and brothels repeat endlessly. Until Grace barges into his life. Grace who isn’t a small girl stuck in trees with scrapes on her knees anymore.

There’s an age difference here, can’t remember exactly how much older the hero is, but I think its either 7 or 9 years? I thought it was done pretty well though. They have known each other forever and he never really ‘saw’ Grace in that light. He was like an older brother, a friend, and it takes a quite a few encounters for him to see Grace as a woman.

The things I loved about this book were the feels. So much of it was spent in the hero’s head, and I am always a sucker for that. Watching Lovingdon basically ‘awaken’ after secluding himself in his pain, was oh so sweet. Grace was perfect for pulling him out his guilt. Grace was an enjoyable character to me. She wasn’t super sassy, she wasn’t a wallflower. She was a society darling and everyone just loved her, myself included.

My favorite parts were the duke slowly but surely falling head over heels in love with her. He first imparts advice ‘If he loves you…’ and states things Grace should look out for with her many, many suitors. But as time goes on, he is sharing his own feelings without even realizing it. He is sharing how he loves her and it’s oh so sweet and beautiful. I adore his jealousy and how he doesn’t know how to to handle it. I love how he loses control with Grace.

My complaints are the middle just pulling something away for me. I’m not sure if it was the little villain aspect, but I just wasn’t as attached to the book after the midway point, but I loved the ending. The sex scenes I wanted to be longer. It felt like the book had so much tension, feels, and build up, then the sex was so short and almost lacked some of that feeling that was there. Just totally a personal preference/observation. I adored all the kisses and touches in this book. It made it amazing.

I give ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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