The Dangerous Gentleman (Rogues of Regent Street Series #1)

( 30 )

Overview

With her trademark sensuality and dazzling storytelling, Julia London brings us the Rogues of Regent Street, three dashing, aristocratic gentlemen whose scandalous exploits are the talk of the ton. Adrian Spence, Earl of Albright, has earned his notoriety on the dueling field, and in the finest drawing rooms—and boudoirs—of England. This is his story....

It was strictly business as Adrian Spence claimed the woman his brother desired. A hasty wedding, and Lilliana Dashell was ...

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The Dangerous Gentleman (Rogues of Regent Street Series #1)

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Overview

With her trademark sensuality and dazzling storytelling, Julia London brings us the Rogues of Regent Street, three dashing, aristocratic gentlemen whose scandalous exploits are the talk of the ton. Adrian Spence, Earl of Albright, has earned his notoriety on the dueling field, and in the finest drawing rooms—and boudoirs—of England. This is his story....

It was strictly business as Adrian Spence claimed the woman his brother desired. A hasty wedding, and Lilliana Dashell was his—sweet revenge on the father who disinherited him and the brother who let it happen. Their wedding night is a revelation as passionate, innocent Lilliana ignites fires Adrian tries desperately to deny. By day he is a stranger. By night he is the lover of her dreams, and she a shameless wanton in his arms. But Adrian is determined that no woman will ever possess him. And Lilliana knows that her only hope of taming this very dangerous gentleman is to unlock his deepest mysteries and open his shuttered heart to love....

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Editorial Reviews

Kathe Robin
The beginning of a wonderful triology, The Dangerous Gentlemanis a powerful novel from a talented, fresh voice. The Rogues of Regent Street are off to a rousing start with this strong tale of guilt, remorse, vengeance and ultimately the redeeming power of love, the kind of romance readers sigh over.
Romantic Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440235613
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Series: Rogues of Regent Street Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 642,582
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia London was raised on a ranch in West Texas, where she spent her formative years in the middle of vast wheat fields driving a tractor at the reckless speed of five mph. In spite of her humble beginnings, Julia went on to earn a degree in government and eventually landed in Washington, D.C. There for nine years, Julia had her brush with greatness when one day she actually shared an elevator with a senator from Iowa. She eventually returned to Texas and now lives in Austin with two enormous Labrador retrievers. Wicked Angel is Julia's second book and a sequel to her first, The Devil's Love. Julia is currently working on her next book for Dell.
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Read an Excerpt

Dunwoody, Southern England, 1834

Phillip Rothembow was dead.

None of the mourners gathered around the grave had expected his demise to occur precisely this way, although there were certainly those who had wagered he would not live to see his thirty-third year. They never dreamed he would die by forcing the hand of his very own cousin. And they all agreed--rather adamantly in front of the justice of the peace--that Adrian Spence, the Earl of Albright, did not have a choice--it was either kill or be killed.

Still, some of the mourners privately argued (at the public house, before the services commenced) that Albright might have avoided the confrontation had he not asked Rothembow to stop cheating. Not that anyone could dispute that Rothembow's cheating was legion, or that Albright had been a virtual saint of patience through the years. But he might have thought twice before accusing his cousin before a roomful of people.

That sentiment was met with the equally insistent one that as Rothembow had been cheating so very blatantly, he had obviously been asking to be called on it. A few tried to put forth that Rothembow had been simply too drunk to know what he was doing, particularly evidenced by his calling Albright a coward. Of all men, the Earl of Albright was the last one any of them would have called a coward, and furthermore, they argued, what could Albright have done? A man could hardly have his character challenged in the face of so many peers and not avenge his honor. Not one of the mourners could fault Albright for accepting Rothembow's drunken challenge.

Not one of them could believe that either man had actually gone through with it.

So it was the collective opinion of the mourners that no matter how Rothembow and Albright came to be standing in that yellow field, Albright had had no choice. And he had done the honorable thing by deloping. Rothembow, who was still staggering drunk that morning, had responded by firing on him (a sin so great that the men shuddered each time they recalled it) and missing badly. Yet that paled in comparison to what Rothembow did next, and the mourners were divided on the subject of Lord Fitzhugh's culpability.

Having recently obtained a fine double-barreled German pistol inlaid with mother-of-pearl, Lord Fitzhugh had felt compelled to wear it in his new leather holster for the entire weekend in the event the party was set upon by thieves or an otherwise marauding band of ne'er-do-wells. So confident was he in his new pistol that he was in the habit of draping his coat in a manner that clearly displayed the firearm. Which was exactly how he was wearing it when Rothembow grabbed it from its holster. He had lunged for that pistol--primed for any event, naturally--and had fired a second time at Albright, clearly intending to kill him. Albright had to defend himself, and most agreed it was a bloody miracle that he was able to retrieve his own pistol and fire before his cousin gunned him down with a third shot. Fitzhugh had been the fool and Rothembow the coward--although one mourner noted that the wild look in Rothembow's eyes suggested he was perhaps more deranged than cowardly.

That, naturally, had prompted another round of debate as to whether Rothembow had actually meant Albright to kill him. It was hardly a secret among their set that Rothembow was drowning in debt, having squandered his funds and his life on excessive drink and Madam Farantino's women, and was seemingly bent on self-destruction. That notwithstanding, it was inconceivable to them that a man might want to end his own life so desperately he would go to such extraordinary measures. Inconceivable, but apparently possible.

Now, at the gravesite, all of the mourners who had come to witness the fantastic end to their hunting trip in the country covertly watched Albright and his friends beneath the brims of their hats as the vicar droned on.

"Know ye in this death the light of our Lord . . ."

The Rogues of Regent Street--Adrian Spence, Phillip Rothembow, Arthur Christian, and Julian Dane--were the idols of every man of the Quality. In fact, the final argument that had risen over the din of the public house was just how, exactly, the four childhood friends had come by that moniker. None could really recall, but they agreed the name had been earned honestly enough. The four had met at Eton, earning themselves reputations as young reprobates even then. But it was when their names started to appear with alarming frequency in the Times a few years ago that the name had stuck. The Rogues exhibited a penchant for breaking the hearts of proper young debutantes who strolled amid the Regent Street shops during the day. Capable of charming the young ladies and their mamas to the tips of their toes, they also were ruthless in winning their dowries from their fathers in the gaming clubs at night.

"Know ye the quality of love . . ."

That habit hardly endeared the four men to the Regent Street set, and for the more conservative members, their habit of openly frequenting the notorious Regent Street boudoirs in the early hours of the morning was the most egregious of their many sins.

"And the quality of life . . ."

Nonetheless, the Rogues were an enviable group who lived by their own code and amassed great sums of wealth in their various business ventures. They lived on the edge, never fearing danger, never fearing the law, and flaunting their disdain of society's expectations for titled young men in the ton's collective face--exactly what every mourner privately wished he had the courage to do. Until today.

"And know ye the quality of mercy . . ."

Until the solemn pain on the faces of the surviving Rogues suggested they had tasted their own mortality.

And the mourners had tasted their own.

"Amen."

Having seen what they had come to see, the mourners at last began to drift away from the gravesite in search of shelter from the threatening skies. Only five remained. Two were gravediggers, working to fill the hole before the rains came. The three surviving Rogues stood slightly apart, seemingly oblivious to the light rain as they stared blankly into the yawning grave.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    It took me a while to get into this story. The lack of communica

    It took me a while to get into this story. The lack of communication between the hero and heroine frustrated me.
    Some of the misunderstandings were just plain silly and didn't justify the amount of angst throughout the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Good book

    I have now read several of her books and I have enjoyed the characters she creates. The only thing that I don't like is the constant rehashing of doubts and "do they really love me or were they lying to me" banter back and forth several times. It gets old towards the end and I usually just skip over those parts to get on with the story.
    Overall, I have to say I do love her books and they are engaging enough to keep me coming back for more. I do recommend this author and book for a casual read.

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  • Posted October 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Emotional, Romance and Awesome Read

    At first, Adrian is insipid and Lillie is portrayed as very childish; as the book progressed it was very heartwrenching to read the emotions Adrian was going through, but Lillie stays and weathers it all. This book is actually what most mariages are like when trust and communication are missing but passion is evident. In the end, Adrian eyes sees what his heart knew was there all along. The suspense is gripping in the end, it seems the marriage will not even survive, but it does. Lovely, truly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Taken By Surprise!

    I was looking for something to read until Dark Curse is released in paperback so I thought maybe a historical romance would fill the build until then. I'd started with that genre so it was something I was familiar with.<BR/><BR/>I've always enjoyed serials and what caught my eye with this book was that very reason. I also have a tendancy to lean toward the Regency Period so that was a plus, too. I opened to the first page and read the first paragraph. It made me want to read more, so I read the last paragraph. Okay, I was sold....that is, I had to buy the book!<BR/><BR/>I was messsssmorized from the very beginning of the story. I could relate to the feelings of the three friends and the friend they'd just buried. The guilt and regret and utter disbelief of what transpired. From the moment the bullets were fired, all three lives had changed forever.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    He truly was a dangerous gentleman

    I loved this book. Julia London really knows how to get someone attached to a story. I mean WOW! As soon as i read the first page I WAS HOOKED!I didn't put it down till i finished it and i loved it. I can't wait to read her next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002

    NOT IMPRESSED

    I thought this book had so much potential until I started readng it. Adrian really got on my nerves because he is to cocky and judgemental. I am half way through this book and I am strugglimg big time. The only thing nice that Adrian has to say about Lilly is that she has nice hair. When he's not completely ignoring her he is finding fault with her. I don't know if I will finish this book because no matter how it ends it will not be a good read. now on to Lilly, she is so immature it's pathetic she has been ga-ga over Adrian since she was six and it shows. She is weak and extremely nieve. Reader's beware this book is a flop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2000

    A Fantastic, Emotional Romance

    I am new to Julia London, but I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down for a minute because I was mesmerized by every page. Her writing is so real, you will believe you are in the middle of the house with her characters, and I would love to be in any house with Adrian! I have already bought her other books and can't wait to read them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2000

    A very good read

    The four Rogues of Regent Street (Adam Spence, Phillip Rothembow, Arthur Christian, and Julian Dare) enjoy their long time friendships and their reputations as reprobates. However, in 1834, their mortality hits home when Adrian kills Phillip in a duel over cheating at cards. Though totally in the right, Adrian feels remorse and guilt, trying to replay the events to see what he could have done differently......... He escapes to his father's estate, but the abusive old man arrives also. This time his father disinherits him and gives beloved Kealing Park to his younger brother Benedict. Angry and grieving, Adam overhears his father's plan to have Ben marry Lilliana Dashill, whose father desperately needs cash. Adam decides to gain a bit of vengeance on his family by offering a better deal to Lilliana's father. Lilliana has loved Adam since she met him as a little girl. They marry, but her love remains unrequited unless she can find out what trauma has frozen his heart. His family plans to destroy their relationship before it can form....... The first installment of the 'Rogues of Regent Street' is an entertaining late Regency romance that will excite fans of the sub-genre with its character-driven story line. The tale moves forward quickly as Adrian struggles with his heritage, his guilt, and his growing fondness and love for his spouse. Lilliana is more like the typical heroine in British nineteenth century aristocratic romances, but will find readers adoring her courage. Benedict adds to the tale as he represents Adrian's failure to nurture anyone until Lilliana enters his life. Julia London has served up a wonderful opening act that will leave the audience desiring more tales starring the remaining rogues...... Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2000

    Enjoyable late Regency romance

    The four Rogues of Regent Street (Adam Spence, Phillip Rothembow, Arthur Christian, and Julian Dare) enjoy their long time friendships and their reputations as reprobates. However, in 1834, their mortality hits home when Adrian kills Phillip in a duel over cheating at cards. Though totally in the right, Adrian feels remorse and guilt, trying to replay the events to see what he could have done differently. <P>He escapes to his father¿s estate, but the abusive old man arrives also. This time his father disinherits him and gives beloved Kealing Park to his younger brother Benedict. Angry and grieving, Adam overhears his father¿s plan to have Ben marry Lilliana Dashill, whose father desperately needs cash. Adam decides to gain a bit of vengeance on his family by offering a better deal to Lilliana¿s father. Lilliana has loved Adam since she met him as a little girl. They marry, but her love remains unrequited unless she can find out what trauma has frozen his heart. H is family plans to destroy their relationship before it can form. <P>The first installment of the ¿Rogues of Regent Street¿ is an entertaining late Regency romance that will excite fans of the sub-genre with its character-driven story line. The tale moves forward quickly as Adrian struggles with his heritage, his guilt, and his growing fondness and love for his spouse. Lilliana is more like the typical heroine in British nineteenth century aristocratic romances, but will find readers adoring her courage. Benedict adds to the tale as he represents Adrian¿s failure to nurture anyone until Lilliana enters his life. Julia London has served up a wonderful opening act that will leave the audience desiring more tales starring the remaining rogues. <P>Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 11, 2009

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    Posted January 11, 2014

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    Posted July 25, 2011

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    Posted April 24, 2011

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