A Touch of Passion: A Disgraced Lords Novel

A Touch of Passion: A Disgraced Lords Novel

by Bronwen Evans

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In this Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, a vivacious thrill seeker clashes with her dutiful defender—causing irresistible sparks to fly.
Independent and high-spirited, Lady Portia Flagstaff has never been afraid to take a risk, especially if it involves excitement and danger. But this time, being kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem is the outcome of one risk too many. Now, in order to regain her freedom, she has to rely on the deliciously packaged Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, a man who despises her reckless ways—and stirs in her a thirst for passion.
After losing his mother and two siblings in a carriage accident years ago, Grayson Devlin promised Portia’s dying brother that he’d always watch over his wayward sister. But having to travel to Egypt to rescue the foolhardy girl has made his blood boil. Grayson already has his hands full trying to clear his best friend and fellow Libertine Scholar of a crime he didn’t commit. Worse still, his dashing rescue has unleashed an unforeseen and undesired consequence: marriage. Now it’s more than Portia he has to protect . . . it’s his battered heart.

Look for the enchanting Disgraced Lords series from Bronwen Evans:

And don’t miss her novels in the Imperfect Lords series:
“The author’s storytelling abilities are top-notch and this book is proof. A fascinating storyline and characters who seem to linger in one’s mind long after the very last page combine in this fiercely romantic and completely enchanting novel.”RT Book Reviews

“A fast-paced, passionate adventure!”—Gaelen Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets of a Scoundrel

“Wickedly witty and deeply romantic, A Touch of Passion is full of emotion and rich in sensuality.”USA Today bestselling author Nicola Cornick

“Bronwen Evans spins a sexy romp in A Touch of Passion, as a lord who doesn’t dare love is locked in passionate battle with a woman who will accept nothing less. And may the best woman win!”New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney
A Touch of Passion is everything a historical should be: daringly sexy and romantic as hell. I loved it!”USA Today bestselling author Delilah Marvelle

A Touch of Passion is an engaging, adventurous romp that kept me turning the pages all night.”—Sharon Cullen, author of Sebastian’s Lady Spy

“In this book there’s danger and intrigue, desire and love, and a sometimes painful journey for Portia and Grayson to find their happiness together. I’ve loved all of the Disgraced Lords series so far and am eagerly looking forward to A Whisper of Desire.”—Rookie Romance
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553391176
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/24/2015
Series: Disgraced Lords Series , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 293
Sales rank: 62,872
File size: 901 KB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She has always indulged her love of storytelling and is constantly gobbling up movies, books, and theater. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer? Evans is a two-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

London, two years later: December 1815

“Don’t you dare get out of this carriage.”

Portia ignored Rose’s command, one of the few people who could. Not many denied the Duchess of Roxborough when she used that tone of voice. Instead, she continued to stare into the darkening night.

It wasn’t as if they were in the wilds of Scotland. The streets around the Thames and especially where the boats left to row to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were teeming with people. Noise, smells, and a brisk breeze swirled around them in comforting normalness. What could possibly go wrong? She’d have her footman with her. Any apprehension churning in her stomach had more to do with whom she was meeting and what his summons meant.

Since Grayson’s return from Waterloo he had been a changed man. Robert’s death and the terrible injuries suffered by Grayson’s friend Lord Markham had destroyed the fun-loving rake. He blamed himself, and Portia knew that wasn’t fair.

Rose added, “I swear I’ll end our friendship. Going into this crowd is foolhardy.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. As if I’d fall for that threat! Since the age of five, when we became friends, you’ve threatened to terminate our friendship too many times for me to take you seriously.”

“Women have been known to go missing from Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.” Rose pretended to shiver in the confines of Portia’s luxurious carriage. She pulled a fur throw over her knees for effect. “Perhaps I should accompany you?”

Portia would have taken Rose’s warning more seriously if it hadn’t been accompanied by a small giggle. “You’re just as eager as I am to understand why Grayson wants to meet me here of all places.”

“Exactly. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens is no place for a lady to roam unescorted. I’m surprised Lord Blackwood suggested meeting here. Once you get on the rowboat with him you cannot turn back. Perhaps that is his plan.”
She flashed Portia one of her wicked smiles. “I’m not sure I approve.”

Exasperation bubbled up inside her. “That’s not what you said over half an hour ago. You thought Grayson requesting me to meet him here was a sign he was finally interested. The beginning of a romantic liaison, you said.”

Rose shrugged her delicate shoulders and pulled the fur higher up her body. “I was simply hoping for the best. He’s the reason you’ve reached four and twenty unmarried.”

Thank goodness the dim carriage hid the flush heating her face. “Grayson, along with every other rake in London, is the reason I remain unmarried.” She did not want to admit that the handsome and charismatic Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, was the only man who made her heart long for more. “I may not wish to give up my freedom in marriage—I see no benefit at all in doing so—but that does not mean I wish to remain ignorant of the joys to be had in this life. You positively glow when a man is sharing your bed.”

“I’m allowed to glow. I’m a widow, remember? Society would unleash holy hell upon you if the unmarried Lady Portia Flagstaff were caught ‘experimenting’ with passion. They already frown upon your occupation with the cider mill, and that is the least of your black marks in their eyes. Don’t annoy the sleeping beast.”

Her cider mill had started as a hobby because she was bored. Now her Garden Cider was sought after in all the fine houses from Somerset to London. The money she made was funding a school for orphans near her family’s estate. Even though she ran the cider mill for charity, society still managed to frown on the fact she insisted on being involved in the day-to-day running of the business. The men did not like that a young woman could set up and run a successful business. They had tried to blacklist her cider; however, it was so good that people bought it anyway.

Portia stared back out into the night, nerves stretched taut. Swinging back to Rose, she said, “Unfair. Just because you married a man old enough to be your grandfather and he had the decency to die not long after, you’re free to enjoy life to the fullest. While I must toe the line of respectability, men can behave virtually however they wish.

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A Touch of Passion: A Disgraced Lords Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Red-haired-BookLover More than 1 year ago
While I am enjoying the Libertine Scholar series, I find Portia Flaggstaff to be a really annoying heroine. For a woman smart enough to run her own business, she's rather stupid. She has no regard for society, and continually engages in reckless, irresponsible behavior with no regard for anyone but herself, all the while claiming how much she loves her family and Grayson. So desperate to experience passion she engages in foolish, dangerous and scandalous behavior. How Grayson falls in love with her is beyond me. Portia is not an endearing heroine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry but Portia is very annoying. I'm all for strong women who know what they want and aren't afraid to go for. To heck with what society thinks but she is so freaking stupid! She is reckless, thoughtless and selfish. And I'm getting tired of all of the men in this take group being such dang pansies about love. How they got these notions in their minds about love are baseless and not thought out. If I didn't want to know who the bad guy was I wouldn't even continue. These books are boring and does nothing to really draw u in besides this mystery woman who is out for revenge. Actually I don't even know if I'll finish the 3rd one. Portia just pisses me off too much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ExArkie More than 1 year ago
I've read many other books by this author - and loved them - not this one!! Hated both the female and male lead - save your money, this book is just perfectly awful. I could not get by page 100 and I make it a point to always finish any book I began - not this one - AWFUL!! One star is too many, IMHO!
baerro More than 1 year ago
Best of the initial "Libertine Scholars" trilogy! A suspenseful historical romance that keeps readers engaged throughout, this is easily the best of the initial trilogy by far. It pairs Lord Grayson Blackwood, a brave and honorable / dutiful viscount, with Lady Portia Flagstaff, the sister of his (deceased) best friend Robert, who made Grayson swear to look after her as he lay dying at Waterloo. But looking after the "unsuitable" Portia isn't easy - after nearly dying at age sixteen she lives life to the fullest, even operating a cider business on her own (whose proceeds fund an orphanage), much to the chagrin of the sexist noble lords of her time (it is, after all, the Regency). Meanwhile, Grayson must find a suitable bride to help him carry on the Blackwood family, since he's the last of his line - and he can't fall in love with her, because he can't afford to lose yet another person he loves. So of course, they are drawn to one another like magnets as he saves her from abduction by a sultan from Alexandria, who did so at the behest of a mysterious criminal underworld power who would see all the Libertine Scholars ruined and then killed (which the entire series concerns itself with). Briefly, some of the cons: Bronwen Evans has a disconcerting habit of making her heroes have moments of violent jealousy. In both the first book ("A Kiss of Lies") and this one, that jealousy is directed at *other* members of the Libertine Scholars! Maybe this is just a problem for me, but I don't like friends getting in a fistfight over a misunderstanding as a plot device. Additionally, Portia held out on accepting Grayson's suit perhaps a bit longer than believable for her time - it has always been much more difficult for a woman to weather scandal than for a man, and the scandal of her abduction would not only negatively affect her entire family, but also the orphanage she sponsors through her cider business (as well as the cider business itself, but she had a clever solution for that). Okay, I think that's it for the cons. Pros? This was a hugely enjoyable book that I didn't want to put down! It's way more fast-paced than most historical romances (including a daring escape from a harem in Alexandria - you don't find that in HRs everyday). What's more, the characters realize - at a welcome, believable speed - when they're being idiots. I know some readers have complained about Portia playing "games" with Grayson by pretending to flirt with fellow Libertine Scholar Maitland Spencer, but it was Maitland's idea; and after Arend explains how cruel such a strategy to get Grayson to admit his love actually is, she puts a halt to it. Later, when Portia, Beatrice, and Serena plan a fake tragedy to see what kind of reaction they'd get out of Grayson (who needed to do some serious groveling at that point in the book, truth be told), long before they could implement it they realize how stupid and cruelly manipulative it is and nix it right away. Meanwhile, Grayson had a lot of growing up to do in order to come to the realization that blocking off your heart from people is not worth the price of not creating wonderful memories and living life to the fullest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
This book was a good addition to the Disgraced Lords series.  Portia is a fantastic heroine, she has decided to live life to the fullest.  Grayson  thinks he wants a docile wife.  He is just playing it safe.  Their love story and adventure makes an interesting and diverting book.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Lady Portia Flagstaff is a woman who isn't afraid of a challenge. She embraces life and won't be confined by the rules of society. When she's kidnapped and sold to a Sultan, Grayson Devlin, now Lord Blackwood, and her brother rescue her. This is just the beginning of a dangerous journey. Will an unknown enemy murder the lady and frame Greyson? Lady Portia is a feisty heroine. She may look fragile but she an inner strength that is amazing. The passion and desire these two share is fierce, but there is a problem. Lord Blackwood has loved her for years, but he wants a docile and compliant wife. Portia has always desired Greyson but she won't marry a man who doesn't love her. Will passion rule? The story is well plotted and filled with non stop action as they try and learn who is behind this deadly plot. I enjoyed seeing familiar characters from previous Disgraced Lords novels. I was drawn into the story of the Libertine Scholars. I needed to know who was behind this treachery. Bronwen Evans knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in the series, but can be read as a standalone.  Even though Grayson and Portia get their HEA, the mystery of who the villain is continues to the next book. Grayson and Portia make the perfect couple even though it takes Grayson a bit longer to realize it. There were a few moments that brought tears to my eyes, for me that is a sign that the author is doing a good job of conveying the characters emotions. Overall a very enjoyable historical romance.  I'm really interested in the both Maitland and Arrend's stories. ARC via NetGalley
booklover10CM More than 1 year ago
A good story as always from Evans, however, there is still too much repetition in the book, though not as much as the previous one.
chucha_13 More than 1 year ago
“I’ve always known who you are, and I’ve always admired who you are, and I’ve always loved who you are. I was simply too scared to admit it. But I promise you I’ll spend the rest of my life making up for my cowardice.”  A Touch of Passion is the third book in The Disgraced Lords Series, and the mystery of who is causing troubles continues. I have always enjoyed each book from Bronwen Evans, A Touch of passion had amused me, made me pinned for the characters and had me in tears. You will like both Lady Portia Flagstaff and Grayson Devlin. I have always fallen in love with strong female characters, and Portia is one of them. Her near-brush with death made her appreciate life and grab it by the horns. She wants to experience life, and do what she wants to without care for the rule of the ton. But one thing had never changed though – her feelings for Grayson. He had her heart since she was sixteen. Grayson on the other hand saw death in the worse possible way. After losing his friend in the war, he was never the same again. He decided to put some walls around his heart and never to love. He’d prefer to have a marriage of convenience like his parents. He has some requirements on a wife, and Portia wasn’t the best candidate. When his rescue caused the both of the worse consequence of all: marriage, Portia took it as her chance to make him see that she was good for him. That he will be much happier with someone who had a zest for life, that challenges him. Will Portia convince Grayson to give her a chance? Will Grayson see past through his fears and realize Portia is the perfect woman for him? She loved him so much, but until when can she endure unrequited love? I got myself teary eyed and heartbroken in between the pages, and I enjoyed the air of mystery that continued within the series, especially now that some facts are coming out to light. Somehow, I have to thank the person who is causing all the trouble because it brought Portia and Grayson back together. It wasn’t as fast as I wanted to, because apparently, our dashing war hero needed a good, heartbreaking and devastating wake-up call before he finally realized that he couldn’t live without her. Good thing that he knows how to grovel… A perfect mix of romance, steam and mystery – Bronwen Evans made sure you would be eager to turn each page!
jojoNE More than 1 year ago
In this third installment in The Disgraced Lords series the mystery continues to pick up as yet another of the Libertine Scholars is brought to his knees by outside forces. While the identity of the person behind the attempted ruination of the Scholars remains a secret for now, there's more than enough twists and turns to keep readers invested and breathlessly awaiting the future reveal.For those new to the series this book can definitely be read on its own as Ms. Evans quickly immerses readers into this suspenseful world of vengeance. Taking one step closer to discovering the villain's identity readers are introduced to the strong-willed Portia and honorable Grayson who lead each other on a merry chase to HEA. After surviving near death experiences as a child Portia swore she'd start living life to the fullest. To do that she's acted in unconventional bluestocking ways to own her own business, eschew arranged marriages and those not based on love, and be an all-around strong-willed woman capable of taking care of herself. She's a wild child who grabbed on to life with both hands and I found her an immensely likable heroine. Her only weakness is in loving Grayson who came to live with her family when he was young. She longs for him to see her as a woman as opposed to a little sister, and after being kidnapped and taken into a harem, his riding to her rescue might give her the chance she needs to prove to him she's now a woman. Grayson's experienced a lot of loss in life, from his parents and sister when he was young to his friends during wartime, which has left his heart closed off. He's always sensed Portia's feelings for him but as he's been brought up to define the perfect wife as biddable he's kept her at arm's length. When the villain taunting him and his fellow Scholars puts Portia in danger Grayson rushes to her rescue while fighting his attraction every step of the way. It's a difficult battle though between what he thought he wanted and what he discovers he wants with Portia tempting him at every turn in numerous scenes full of sexual tension. Grayson is a man letting the past dictate his future. He's loyal to his friends and those he considers family but stubborn too which leads to frustration on my part as he was constantly pushing Portia away. I felt sympathetic to his pain but wished he would've rose above it sooner. This was a nicely paced story full of sexual tension and a compelling couple waging a sensual battle of wills. Though I wish Grayson had come to his senses sooner I enjoyed Portia standing up for herself in their sexual tug of war. Along with this compelling main couple was the return of past Libertines and the support they continue to give each other was a nice addition to the story. The mysterious figure taunting the Libertine Scholars continues to rear their ugly head, putting Portia in harm's way to get to Grayson. Though their identity isn't yet revealed you can feel things coming to a head which has me excited for the next installment. On a whole this book, and series, will entice readers of mystery and romance to pick up a copy.
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
This wonderful romance is about Grayson, a lord who feels guilt about the death of his best friend during war, the brother of a woman he desires.  Actually, he loves her but refuses to admit it because he thinks she is beyond his touch now that her brother is dead.  This story is also about Portia, the sister of the man who went to war with Grayson, but who ended up being killed.  Portia has loved Grayson for many years while growing up, and can’t understand why Grayson doesn’t feel the same way about her.  This romance is full of angst on the part of the hero, and impatience on the part of the heroine who tires of trying to convince the hero he is not guilty for her brother’s death and that she is not above his touch.  Grayson and Portia endure many torturous twists and turns in this story while continuing valiantly to solve a murder mystery and to reach their happy ever after.  
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book 3 in the Disgraced Lords series. Having been in love with Grayson Devlin since she was sixteen, Lady Portia Flagstaff rushed to meet him when his note arrives. Little did she know that it was a ruse to kidnap her. Having sworn to protect Portia after her brother passes away, Grayson quickly takes off to rescue her. Finding her and bring her back to England ends up not being the hard part of the trip. After losing everyone that he was ever close to, Grayson has decided not to let anyone into his heart. But when honor dictates that he marry Portia, he soon realizes that he might be the one to change his mind. The Disgraced Lords is one of my favorite series to date and I eagerly await each new book. Evans did not disappoint. As with the other books in the series, we have the mystery of who is targeting the group and how they try to take down each member and ultimately fail. I loved Portia. She was a strong willed woman and even when Grayson is giving her what she wants (marriage), she holds out for his love. I also loved watching Grayson open up his heart to find love again. I can't wait for the next book in the series, A Whisper of Desire, which comes out in December.
MTSmith More than 1 year ago
While I love a fiercely independent historical heroine and I've come to appreciate their unconventional habits and straightforwardness, I've also come to expect a certain level of bravery from them. Portia possessed that in spades. It was part of her appeal. Oh, sure, her bluestocking ways were frowned upon by the ton, but, seriously, who cared? She was beautiful and intelligent, bold as brass and willing to defy convention to follow her heart. That kind of gumption made her cider business a success when men of her time didn't think a woman was meant to be more than biddable, pretty, and a baby maker. Then she was kidnapped and sold to a harem, and one of the only men who could save her was Grayson. Grayson was everything I could want in a hero: handsome, brave, intelligent. But he also drove me crazy. For all of his worldly experience with women, he knew that none affected him like Portia. Physical attraction was mutual, but love was completely one-sided for most of this story. Grayson struggled to come terms with what he felt for Portia and what she wanted from him, a byproduct of having lost his family at a young age. His heart had been shattered by the devastating loss. Add to that the nightmare of watching Portia's brother die and another friend burn on the battlefield, and it was easy to understand why he was unwilling to share his heart with the only woman he wanted. Through the ups-and-downs of their relationship, as they struggled to come to some sort of understanding, Portia, Grayson and his fellow Libertine Scholars had to deal with someone hell bent on taking out each and every Libertine Scholar by any means necessary. The mystery behind the assailant and his/her minions built steadily throughout the book, but Ms. Evans doesn't reveal who the assailant is at the end. Passion for one another might be where Portia and Grayson started, but it isn't where they ended because it wasn't enough. Their love for one another couldn't just be shown, it needed to be said. It's then and there that their separate lives come together, when the future becomes clearer. Ms. Evans has done a terrific job of bringing the mighty Libertine Scholars to their knees as they fall in love and allow themselves to be loved. A beautiful and moving story, this is a great addition to The Disgraced Lords series and leaves me anxiously awaiting the next installment. (Received from NetGalley via Tasty Book Tours)
snaggelpuss71 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing, funny, well written and most of all hot & sexy. I got the book out of sequence, but that is ok they can be read as an stand alone book. But I plan to read the first two books now. there is an overall story in the background about the Libertine Scholar's which all the men belong to. And the malicious person out to ruin all of them. I loved this book and how lady Portia would not settle for any other man than Gayson and his heart. Everyone wants that kind of epic love. Trust me it is rare and happy I can say I have that. I have to say Bronwen Evans certainly pulls you in so you are so emotionally invested it breaks your heart to when Portia feels she has lost him forever. I suggest you have the tissues ready when she send him that letter to his home. I cried I was so hurt for her. Now I have to stop here as I do not want to ruin it for you. I suggest getting all three books. I am off to get the other two now.I hope you enjoy this book as Much as I did. If you do like this book, please consider leaving a review. The Authors really like it when you do, they value your opinions too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loverofromance More than 1 year ago
Plot and Story Line This is a story that anyone who loves a charming and endearing romance can come to love. There are many things that occur in this story. First we have the mystery of the woman who is trying to kill the Libertine Scholars. So the hunt is on…and it continues with this story. This book is the third installment and is Gray’s story. This is a newer author to me, and with each book I read from her, I become more and more impressed. There aren’t too many recent historical romance authors I love this much. She creates stories of depth and character…the type of stories that stay with you, and make a big impression and A Touch of Passion was no different. The story begins with our heroine making a mistake, a mistake that ends with her being held captive. I loved seeing Portia being a less than perfect character. She has many faults, but she also has many qualities that seem to make her seem…human and very real to the reader. She ends up being rescued by the man she has always loved. The plot is pretty steady and it does have some twists, a bit of mystery and intrigue elements, but the majority of the story is focused on the couple and working through their issues that holds them back from loving each other fully. We see flaws in the heroe’s character, and he does have some good reasons for feeling as he does. But there were a couple of instances in the story, that I just wanted to wring his neck, and you see the negative effect it has on Portia. What truly affected about this one, was the level of emotion that is displayed through the story. Its stong and poignant and ends up capturing your attention. The dialogue is engaging and sweet and keeps you entertained. The humor is great, and I loved the antics of Graysons’ friends. They were just a delightful bunch and can’t wait for their stories to come up next. Cover Now I have seen lots of different covers especially for historical romance, and this is one of my favorites. The pose is sensual and holds you in the moment. The first time I saw it I got lost in it, and I lost track of my own world. I love the colors, and Portia’s dress is so beautiful and richly colored. Overall View  A rich and poignant romance that takes you back through time, a love story of sensuality, adventure and enriched emotion. A truly sensational romance that is a must for any romance lover, a story to inspire and leave you feeling breathless for more from this author. A TREASURE!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
Lady Portia Flagstaff lives life to its fullest. After a close brush with death she's not about to let life pass her by. Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood has decided to guard his life and his heart for protection after the death of his family when he was 12 years old and later losing his dearest friend to war and being to late to save him. Portia has loved Grayson for what seems her entire life but Grayson keeps her at arms length. After Portia goes missing after a supposed secret rendezvous to meet with Grayson at midnight he fears the worst. Another person who means something to him may be gone forever. He's off to rescuer her. Once he's found her he is honor bound to salvage her reputation by marrying her. It's Portia's dream and her worst nightmare. The man she loves has offered marriage but not his heart. Never his heart.  My heart hurt for him and all that he'd had to endure at such a young age. He struggled with what his father had started to teach him and what he'd lived and observed in the Flagstaff household later. He so wanted that for himself as a man but to afraid to allow. Portia is such a strong and smart woman she wanted to give him that but not with out his heart and respect for the person she was. With out that Portia will not marry him or anyone else ever. Grayson comes to realize he's losing her if he does not come to see love is worth opening yourself up to hurt and possible grief to truly enjoy life to its fullest.  I enjoyed this book so much. The other books in this series were fun and enjoyable and I thought Christian was my favorite character but Grayson just might of kicked him to the curb. I'm looking forward to the next book and I so hope its Maitland's. I want to see him fall for a woman and fall hard. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
silvatrend8553 More than 1 year ago
A Touch of Passion is the story of Portia Flagstaff and Grayson Devlin, Lord Blackwood. Portia has known Grayson for years since he and her oldest brother Robert were school friends. When Grayson's parents and younger sister died in a carriage accident, Grayson is embraced by the family as an honorary brother. The book opens up at a Cyprians' Ball that Portia has snuck out to attend. Robert and Grayson are there and Grayson recognizes her. They share a passionate embrace, but Grayson follows Robert and another of Portia's brothers to fight Napoleon. Two years later, Portia visits Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens where she believes she is to meet Grayson after receiving a note presumably from Grayson. Spotting a man wearing Grayson's jacket, she rushes to meet him and then everything faded to black. Grayson finds out Portia has been kidnapped and rushes with her brother to free her from a harem in north Africa. The rest of the books deals with the journey home and trying to figure out who is setting up the members of the Libertine Scholars. I enjoyed both Portia and Grayson. Portia's desire to enjoy every moment of life she has after almost dying as a 16 year old was very understandable and helped explain her willingness to flaunt convention. Grayson's intense fear of risking his heart after losing so many loved ones and the guilt he was carrying was understandable, even if I wanted to shake him a couple of times and tell him to take a risk on loving Portia .I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.