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Last Night with the Duke: The Rakes of St. James

Last Night with the Duke: The Rakes of St. James

4.4 23
by Amelia Grey

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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 rumors 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


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 rumors 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A great start to a new series." —Romance Reviews Today

"Grey charms readers with the first in her Rakes of St. James series, a tale filled with romance, fun and enchantment. A quick, charming read from a shining voice of the genre." —RT Book Reviews

"A captivating historical fiction romance." —Write-Escape

"A fast-paced enjoyable romance with strong lead characters and a delightful, intriguing plot, Last Night With A Duke is a fun, engaging historical romance." —Okie Dreams Book Reviews

"An enchanting and lovely start to a new series." —The Reading Wench

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Rakes of St. James Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of more than two dozen books. She's been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida. Her first book with St. Martin's was The Duke in My Bed.

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Last Night with the Duke: The Rakes of St. James 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
gaele 19 days ago
So, I have to begin by saying that this is not an action-packed, jump from one moment to the next story. In fact, it actually is a slow meander to the sprint at the end, and this did make for some interesting, and not so, moments in the overall impression of the story. But, there are good moments, and those were enough to keep me reading on, interested to see just where the story would go. Griffin is a Duke, more than mildly obsessed with keeping the family reputation free from scandal and seeing his twin sister’s off on a successful debut. As is not uncommon, he was tagged with the reputation of Rake as a younger man, and was privy to some scandalous behavior with his friends, but on the whole does regret those indiscretions. Now, with his Aunt ill, the need for a chaperone to guide Sara and Vera through their debut, he needs to hire a companion. Esmerelda is the granddaughter of a Viscount, unrecognized as her mother was disowned after marrying her father, an Irish Poet. Now without support or protection, and a young sister to care for, she has parlayed her skills and social knowledge into a business that provides governesses and chaperones to the tonne. She’s a wonderfully drawn character, with a gentle yet firm demeanor and a solid sense of ‘managing one’s charges”. Sight unseen, Griffin happens to hear her dispensing this advice to one of her employees, and is determined she should work for him. And here is where things got muddled: there was a general push and prod from Griffin, despite Esmerelda’s knowing of the secret he’d prefer not surface before his sisters’ debuts, he makes no secret of the fact that he finds her attractive, and he is not above throwing money at her to gain acquiescence. And he does. Now, the story is setting up, so the interplay between these two would be reasonable, if there weren’t such a sense of insta-love on Esmerelda’s part, and the lack of convention that would be properly (and rightly) expected for the time. Then just at the point of believing that nothing will happen, the sisters are introduced, and the interactions between them and with Griffin show humor and genuine fondness, as well as a touch of Griffin’s more honorable and protective side as the old scandal threatens to rear its ugly head. But still, the back and forth with our couple, combined with a rather slow development of a real regard that seemed to overtake any action or movement forward with anything: growth, the mystery, or even the events of a debut. Contrast this rather slow pacing with the rapid increase in the rush to tie up all of the ends, some better than others, and the story was uneven, even for the setup of a new series and world. I missed the whole ‘feel’ of a historical that Grey has done so well in stories I’ve read before, and while the humor and heart of the characters did come through, the secondary players were a bit thinly drawn, and no one seemed to really be ‘of their time’. Esmerelda was a bit too modern in outlook and approach while Griffin, while sweet, reminded me of the “when I was younger, this was how we did things”, sort of person. Neither quite fit into the Regency era for behavior or custom, and I was hoping for more. A decent start for readers who prefer the sweeter and less steamy historicals, particularly if they don’t mind taking the long way round to the end. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensat
Historical_Romance_Lover 19 days ago
I loved this story!! We have Esmeralda who, though nobly born, has to make her own way in the world. Griffin must find a chaperone for his sisters debut and has luckily stumbled upon Esmeralda's place of work. He believes that she would be the perfect person to fill the position. Unfortunately for him, she thinks the opposite. Griffin eventually talks Esmeralda into talking the job after giving into every single one of her conditions of employment. That acceptance leads us on a merry chase riding along with Griffin's twin sisters and aunt, Esmeralda's sister and her dog as well as the other two Rakes of St. James. Grey's books always enchant me with the witty dialogue and amazing secondary characters and this was no exception. I can't wait to read the rest of the Rakes of St. James series! To the Duke, with Love, will be out in Dec. 2017.
Pompie1999 20 days ago
The story was really enjoyable. I really liked both of the main characters right away and all of the supporting characters as well. While this was sort of a story of 'insta-lust', you didn't get any real happenings until the end of the book. Both characters were strongly drawn to the other, but they did their best to try to keep from acting on that attraction because of the impropriety of it. They spent a lot of time together and got to know and admire each other in addition to the physical attraction. It was good to see that she was a strong woman who could make her own way and he was strong enough to admire her for that. I loved how loving and caring Griffin (Duke of Griffin) is with his sisters. He's definitely NOT one of those 'can't wait to wash his hands' of his sisters. He's very attentive and caring and devotes his time and efforts to assure that they have a wonderful first Season. I also like how sweet and attentive he becomes to Josephine, the sister of our heroine. Esmeralda Swift runs an employment agency for governesses, chaperones, tutors, etc. When the duke stops by the agency unannounced, he hears Esmeralda counseling one of the governesses that has been employed through her agency. He is immediately impressed with both her composure and her beauty and is determined that she will be the one he hires to chaperone his sisters through the sisters. It is a delightful tale of two people coming to find love while managing the demands of shepherding two lovely young women through their first season. I can't wait to see which of Rakes of St. James will be the next to fall! "I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."
LEH0644 2 days ago
When his aunt is attacked with a case of shingles and is unable to accompany her nieces to their debut in society, the Duke of Griffin comes to an employment agency to hire someone to act as a chaperone. He hires Miss Esmeralda Swift even though she operates the business. The Duke had cut a path through London in his earlier days (he is only 28) and now has a reputation to overcome and hopes his past won’t hurt his sisters. Rumors are going around that his sisters are at risk due to a stupid prank that he and his friends pulled some years before and he needs to ensure that someone will be with them at the various parties and balls. The attraction grows between Griffin and Essie and he tells her that nothing can come of it as he is a member of Society and she is a poor relation to a well-known family. In fact, Essie is the granddaughter of a Viscount and is just a member of Society as Griffin is. She doesn't tell him the truth but the truth comes out at a ball when a nosy lady questions Essie about her background. Griffin hears this and is angry with Essie because he feels she should have told him. But he soon realizes that a romance could bloom between them now.
sportochick 12 days ago
This is the perfect book to read when you want an entertaining easy read. It had well rounded characters with lots of personality and attitude to keep the reader laughing and involved with the plot. I admired Esmeralda and felt the author did a superb job of showing how a woman can move forward with her life creating a safe world for herself and her sister against all odds. The author did a phenomenal job of the plot development of Esmeralda's secret that was exposed further into the book. The chemistry between Esmeralda and Griffin is extremely hot and "fan your face" worthy. The Duke of Griffin was an attention getter in many ways but the time that stood to me was at the ending when he was helping Josephine deal with the Napoleon situation. What a surprising twist to this man! Secondary characters were all attention grabbing and I look forward to reading more about them in the next two books to this trilogy.
alterlisa 14 days ago
This was an enjoyable read that had me laughing out loud several times. However, it was lacking in several areas, mainly the pacing, which had me skimming rather than reading. I also don't like the insta-love trope, this had me grumbling through most of the book. I loved the idea of the mystery but this didn't come to fruition so I guess I'll have to come back to this series to see how it is resolved. ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
grandmareads102 14 days ago
The Duke of Griffin finds himself in the unenviable position of protecting his sisters from unknown rakes who wants to spoil their debut as payback for his actions when he was younger. This payback could be a disaster! Griffin is determined to find the culprits and stop them from hurting his twin sisters. He's found the perfect chaperone, Esmeralda Swift. The problem is she doesn't want the job. She hates Society and their snobbish cruelty. To take care of her sister, she'll take the job. Can she prevent the truth of her family drama from being a topic of gossip? Griffin is strong willed and used to getting his own way. Esmeralda is his match. She's won't be intimidated. Their chemistry is powerful and draws them together. I enjoyed their emotional interaction and flirtatious dialogue. I liked these characters and wanted them to get their HEA. The secondary characters add so much to the story. They are interesting and captivating especially Josephine, Esmeralda's little sister. The plot is well written and has a unique twist. I enjoyed this romance by Amelia Grey. Griffin and Esmeralda are a wonderful pair. This story enchanted me. I'm looking forward to reading about the other Rakes of St. James. A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book. My comments here are my honest opinions.
Anonymous 15 days ago
BookReview4you 19 days ago
Last Night with the Duke 'Last Night with the Duke' by Amelia Grey is book One in the "The Rakes of St. James"series. This is the story of Griffin and Esmerelda. Griffin is getting ready to present his twin sisters to the town. But fears that without proper supervision for his sisters and that his wild past might hurt their them he thinks to get a competent chaperone. When he overhears Esmerelda talking to one of her employees he knows that she would be strong enough to handle his sisters and his past behavior. But what they don't count on is their attraction to each other which is pretty instant. Esmerelda does try to talk him out of her being the one for his sister but he is not having any of that. Esmerelda is the granddaughter of a Viscount but her grandfather disowned her mother when she up and married what he thought was beneath her. So Esmerelda has settled into her life as a worker, servant, and businesswomen. Their story did play out somewhat slow but for me I loved watching it happen. Ms. Grey is one of the authors I go to when I want a good Historical Romance and this did not disappoint. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read.
TammyS32 19 days ago
I loved this historical read. Great characters, great chemistry and very entertaining. A fun read.
julieford 20 days ago
I received this ARC from Amelia Grey and am writing a fair and honest review. There are not many books that can have me laughing one moment and crying the next but Last Night with the Duke did exactly that. This story is so well written and progressed so naturally that I couldn't put it down. Esmeralda is the granddaughter of a Viscount but doesn't acknowledge the family connection because her mother was disowned by following love and marrying a man her brother disapproved of. Now she is taking care of her sister and running an employment agency for chaperones, governesses and such. The Duke of Griffin is looking for a chaperone to attend his twin sisters since his aunt has taken ill and there have been rumors about causing the twins mischief and possible scandal during their season. Griffin convinces Esmeralda to become the chaperone by giving into her demands that her sister and their dog must come with her. A different kind of mischief begins filled with laughs and tears. Great story.
etoile1996 20 days ago
amelia grey's latest regency romance series kicks off with a delightful romance between miss esmeralda swift and lord benedict mercer, duke of griffin. the duke finds himself in need of a companion for his twin sisters who are making their debut onto the london social scene when his aunt falls ill and is unable to complete the task. when he meets esmeralda he knows that she's absolutely the right woman to handle his sisters and even though she runs a whole agency he won't take no for an answer. so he makes her an offer impossible to refuse. even allowing her to bring her younger sister who she cares for and their dog. one might wonder at his determination, but though he is charmed by esmeralda he has no intention of seducing her. he already has a reputation to guard, given that he was somewhat reckless in his youth, and that reputation may be endangering his sisters' ability to navigate the london marriage mart safely. the problem is that there is no specific threat, just the possibility that someone might act dishonorably toward his sisters, and griffin won't have that. he also won't have his sisters' companion bedecking herself in drab grays and browns all the time. though why he should interfere in her wardrobe, esmeralda would like to know. and this is how it is between them. there's a constant spark, they are at cross-purposes all of the time, and yet, they can't stay away from one another. there is of course a huge misunderstanding. griffin is a jerk and esmeralda doesn't stick up for herself. but they figure it out in the end. they have to, because with all the bickering and back and forth they share, there isn't anyone else who could stand to be around them. esmeralda is smart and feisty and does stand up for herself most of the time. and griffin is domineering and entitled, but he genuinely loves his aunt and sisters, and he loves esmeralda and her young sister, josephine. griffin's two friends round out the rakes of st. james, so i expect we'll be seeing them in future novels. and maybe one of griffin's sisters will be in play? you never know, only one has settled her future by the end of last night with the duke. **last night with the duke will publish on march 7, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press in exchange for my honest review.
DebDiem 20 days ago
Last Night With The Duke by Amelia Grey is a well written book. Ms Grey has provided an entertaining read with fabulous characters. Griffin and Esmeralda's story is a fast paced read with plenty of drama, humor and sizzle. This was a fun book to read and I applaud Ms Grey's storytelling abilities. I enjoyed Last Night With The Duke and look forward to reading more from Amelia Grey in the future. Last Night With The Duke is book 1 of The Rakes Of St. James Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.
TanyaLK 20 days ago
I loved this book! It's the start of a new series, the hero is a bit alpha but gets put in his place by an even sassier heroine. The tension is palpable and I found myself having chills after reading passages where they didn't even touch. Yes, Griffin and Esmeralda are the perfect couple and I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommend and cannot wait for the next in the series!! This is one I'd recommend to any friend looking to read historical romance.
Vijetha_Kumar 20 days ago
Review Last updated on 05 Mar 2017 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. All in all, It was a simple, uncomplicated love story. I give this book: 3 Stars. Member Links
astroyic 20 days ago
Loved this Sweet, heartwarming and captivating, historical, romance that was a delight to read. I love it, when the words can fade away and I’m pulled into another time and place, absorbed in it. Amelia Gray has created these engaging characters that are lovable, stubborn, witty, intelligent, and have an intense attraction. Her writing manages to bring you right into the scene with the characters. Her descriptive use of language makes each scene very realistic and the emotions, the characters are feeling believable. I loved their charming, witty and argumentative conversations. I also enjoyed their easy fun and playful demeanor. They try not to succumb to their desires but they continually think of each another, but since they are not from the same class will their desires ever be attainable. Their simmering chemistry and the sexual tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife and I loved every moment of it. 
There was good flow throughout with an excellent build, it had drama, mystery, sweet bits of emotion and it was super entertaining with great secondary characters. This story made me laugh, sigh, and cry. I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t want it to end. Highly Recommended! Loved it can’t wait for the next in this series. I voluntarily requested an arc through the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
MoniqueD 20 days ago
Esmeralda Swift runs Miss Fortescue’s Employment Agency, while she has never been a chaperone, she knows most everything about the position, and when the duke of Griffin, who was literally passing by, offers her to chaperone his twin sisters for the Season, Esmeralda must refuse, and whatever outrageous demands she makes, he accepts, even if Griffin is as stubborn as she is. Chaperoning Griffin’s sisters will be a very hard task indeed, because Esmeralda wonders how she will ever be able to resist the Duke’s considerable charms. LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE is not a complicated story, not much happens in fact, but Ms. Grey’s sumptuous writing makes it a delight to read because of the engaging characters and lovely period details. Griffin and Esmeralda’s road to romance is a quaint and elegant pas de deux: they try not to succumb to the attraction: darling, it just isn’t done! She is but a servant, really, oh but one doesn’t choose whom to love, does one? LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE hit the spot for me! It’s a simple love story between people who oughtn’t to fall in love, and it’s very well done. I liked that there were no misunderstandings, the push-and-pull was realistic regarding their differences in status, and the chemistry between Esmeralda and Griffin was palpable; it felt real to me, and I just basked in the loveliness of it all. I also liked that Griffin did not try to change Esmeralda, he did however try his darndest to get her to wear other colours than her dowdy grey! LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE is a the type of story that could have easily have put me to sleep, or have me skipping pages, but it did not happen because of the quality of the writing, and it takes a real talent to capture my attention when there is so little action, but neither did I feel like slapping anyone, and that is very good indeed. LAST NIGHT WITH TH E DUKE is mostly the road to romance for these two wonderful characters, so readers shouldn’t expect lots of action; neither is there any sex to speak of, but the sexual tension could be cut with a knife. The richness of the descriptions, the superbly conveyed sentiments and emotions kept me entertained and happily reading along. LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE is a great beginning to a new series, and I am very much looking forward to Rath’s and Hawk’s stories. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
def618 20 days ago
What a cute story! The heroine, Esmeralda, runs an employment agency for chaperones, governesses, etc. She doesn't accept jobs herself as she has a younger sister, Josephine, to care for. Griffin is a duke who needs a chaperone for his twin sisters ASAP as his aunt is ill. This will be Sara and Vera's first season. When he visit's Esmeralda's agency he decides he wants her to be their chaperone and will let her bring Josephine and her dog if she'll agree. He also offers a very nice wage, including some new dresses for her. Griffin is hoping Sara and Vera will find husbands quickly. He's worried about an old scandal that involves him and his friends, Hawk and Rath, also Dukes, hurting his sisters' chances of a good match. The season progresses as life does - some ups and some downs, which I will not share and ruin the story for you. Griffin and Esmeralda eventually get their HEA. Sara also finds love. I wonder if one of the future books in this trilogy will have Hawk or Rath falling for Vera. That would definitely cause some issues with Griffin. I don't believe there were ever 3 young, handsome, rich Dukes in one season. But this is fiction and as readers we love when the impoverished heroine gets her Duke. I enjoyed this story and can easily recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me this ARC.
JulieD2 20 days ago
The Duke of Griffin has twin sisters and it has become his responsibility to chaperone them through their season as their aunt Evelyn has become ill and is unable. He's finding the job to much to endure and has decided to find a respectable woman to take over the task. He meets Miss Esmeralda Swift, a young woman who runs an employment agency, he thinks she is just who he needs, she seems strong minded and determined, she intrigues him, and is beautiful, he convinces her to help him out. Esmeralda takes her responsibilities very seriously and Griffin begins to regret pranks he played as a youth. A very nice romance with a little mystery to keep us guessing. I liked all the characters and story development between Griffin and Esmeralda was marvellous. I'm looking forward to more from The Rakes of St. James series.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Benedict Mercer, 28, the fourth Duke of Griffin, is impatiently waiting for someone to help him in the office of Miss Mamie Fortescue’s Employment Agency. He has just received word that his aunt is ill and will not be able to accompany his twin sisters, Lady Vera and Lady Sara, for the season. The thought of accompanying them everywhere himself is just awful. Thus, he is looking to hire a chaperone for them. Knowing his sisters will need a firm hand, he overhears a young woman’s conversation as she counsels a governess and he is determined that the speaker will be the woman he hires. Miss Esmerelda Swift, 25, introduces herself as the Administrator of the Agency. She recognizes the Duke’s name as he is well known as being part of the Rakes of St. James. When Benedict tells her he wants only her to chaperone his sisters, she is shocked but turns him down. Esmerelda had had her own governess as a child but circumstances changed so quickly that she herself became a governess. After a few years, she decided to rent the Fortescue Agency. However, the new owner was a cheat and lied about the income potential making it difficult for her to make ends meet. As Benedict and Esmerelda discuss the situation, he continues to sweeten the offer by giving her more money until she finally agrees. However, she insists that she must bring her 12-year-old sister, Josephine, and her dog, Napoleon with her. Lastly, he insists on providing her money for her to purchase a wardrobe suitably for a chaperone. Benedict’s close friends, Rust Rathburne, the Duke of Rathburne and Sloan Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn, have let him know that his sisters may encounter some sort of revenge treatment due to their brother’s past behavior. Concerned, Benedict decides to attend many of the social events. As the season commences, the lovely twins are enjoying the soirees and Esmerelda is doing all she can to ensure that the girls are safe. Benedict finds himself more and more enchanted with the lovely chaperone. Will someone try to do something to get their revenge against the Duke? Will a relationship spark between Benedict and Esmerelda? I loved this story! The plot is so well-written and the characters are all so much fun. This is the first book in the author’s new series, The Rakes of St. James, and I cannot wait for the next book to publish. Don’t miss this terrific book. Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
CathyGeha 20 days ago
Last Night with the Duke by Amelia Grey The Rakes of Saint James #1 Three young men made a wager… A scandalous wager – at least society said it was. Three young dukes gained the dubious “honor” of being named… …The Rakes of Saint James. Years later Benedict Mercer, Duke of Griffin and one of the dubbed rakes has twin sisters to launch into society. With rumors regarding their safety being whispered around and the chaperone unable to fulfill the job he is in need of a strong willed woman to take over. In Esmerelda Swift he finds the woman he believes is best – not only to play chaperone – but perhaps for more. After some bargaining an agreement is made and Esmerelda moves in to fulfill her duties. There are dances, soirees and walks and There are men who come calling and show interest in the twins and There are a few surprises, revelations and kisses. All in all this was a typical regency romance. The descriptions of clothing and rooms and such are luscious. The interactions are for the most part benign (with one steamy more explicit encounter). The story is a bit slow, predictable and bland. There is the token misunderstanding that needs to be fixed. Griffin and Esmerelda are both strong characters that make a good couple – they seem to fit together and I felt they deserved their HEA. Although the scandal did not seem all that scandalous to me I found the book entertaining and the introduction to the two other “rakes” made me feel I would like to read their stories, too. I have a feeling that perhaps they are a bit more scandalous than Griffin proved to be in this story but…only time will tell. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC. This is my honest review. 3 Stars
HeyerF4n 20 days ago
This is the first book of have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. The period seemed well researched and there were no glaring modernisms or Dukes being incorrectly addressed. The heroine was a delight (feisty, independent, outspoken & over the age of 25) and the Duke was enamoured of her from the very beginning. As they indulged in very heavy petting during the story, I would have liked the hero better if he had abstained from taking her to bed until after their marriage and I did feel he was a hypocrite with regard to Lady Sara's suitor. This book nearly rated 5 stars but dropped a star because I had unanswered questions. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
PegGlover 20 days ago
Last Night With The Duke is an enjoyable and captivating historical fiction romance. Esmeralda Swift had been caring for herself and her sister since her step-father and mother died. She thought herself fortunate to have a job until the Duke of Griffin showed up. Esmeralda knew that she should squash any feelings of attraction for the handsome Duke. He was a notorious rake, but she couldn’t seem to stop her heart from fluttering and desiring him. Although, she knew that it was unwise to accept a position of employment from the Duke, someone she’d have to guard her heart against; she accepted anyway. The Duke needed a chaperone for his twin sisters, and he wanted the beautiful Esmeralda Swift, and no other. He even allowed Esmeralda to bring her sister and dog to his home. There was a dangerous attraction between Esmeralda and the Duke, and Esmeralda was afraid of losing her heart to the famous rake. She was also afraid that the Duke would discover her secret. If he did, she knew that her employment as well as her dreams, would come to an end. Last Night With the Duke, is a well-written and entertaining romantic tale. This is the first book, in the Rakes of St. James series. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.