Lord Henry Radcliffe, the scarred but sinfully sexy Earl of Langlevit, is a beast. The only way Henry can exorcise the demons of his war-ravaged past is through intense physicality. In and out of bed. An endeavor that has no shortage of willing participants.
Intent on scandalizing London, Princess Irina Volkonsky is a hellion and every gentleman’s deepest desire...except for one. Irina knows better than to provoke the wickedly forbidding earl, but she will stop at nothing short of ruination to win the heart of the the one man she cannot stop thinking about.
But when one scandalous kiss makes dangerous passions ignite, neither of them can fight their sizzling attraction. When a sinister plot emerges to threaten them both, they will have to fight one last battle, this time for the ultimate prize...love.
Each book in the Lords of Essex series is STANDALONE
*My Rogue, My Ruin
*My Darling, My Disaster
*My Hellion, My Heart
*My Scot, My Surrender
About the Author
Amalie Howard’s love of romance developed after she started pilfering her grandmother’s novels in high school when she should have been studying. She has no regrets. A #1 Amazon bestseller and a national IPPY silver medalist, she is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s IndieNext title. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.
Angie Morgan lives in New Hampshire with her husband, their three daughters, a menagerie of pets, and an extensive collection of paperback romance novels. She’s the author of several young adult books, including The Dispossessed series written under the name Page Morgan. Critically acclaimed by Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, and The Bulletin, Angie’s novels have been an IndieNext selection, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Book Club Read, and a #1 Amazon bestseller. Visit her at www.AngieMorganBooks.com
Read an Excerpt
Paris, France June 1820
Princess Irina Volkonsky ignored the scandalized glances and hushed whispers of French society's crème de la crème as she downed the last of Lord Deroche's whiskey. Savoring the bite of the liquor on her lips, she returned his glass and nodded to the ballroom floor where partners were lining up for the next dance.
"Again?" Deroche asked with a low laugh. "Three dances? You'll ruin my spotless reputation, and I will be forced to offer my hand like the rest of these enamored whelps."
Irina eyed him from over her fan and flashed him a sultry smile. "Let's call a spade a spade, Deroche — you are well and truly ensnared by my charms."
"Quite," he said. The way his lips shaped the word made her eyes settle there for a moment. Those lips had been on her knuckles — and then on her mouth — moments before in an alcove on the balcony where they had retired for some air. Despite his play at sarcasm, Irina knew he wanted far more than a few kisses. She, however, did not.
"And you should know by now that I don't care for such silly rules." She stifled a derisive snort as they took their places for the set. "If two dances suggest special attention, and three imply I'm off the marriage mart, then heaven help us should we dance a fourth. I'd likely be impregnated."
"You don't mince words, do you?" His dark eyes met hers, widening slightly at her provocative and entirely deliberate response.
"Why should I? Gentlemen aren't encumbered by such restraint." Irina fluttered her eyelashes and peered up at him, the demure look at odds with her direct speech. She hadn't shocked him, Irina knew. Her unconventional opinions seemed to amuse Deroche. "And honestly, it's just so tiring the way people soften the blow when one straightforward word will do. In this case, an immaculate conception."
An answering smile curved her companion's lips. "Then I shall endeavor to solicit such a dance. Though I must warn you, my methods are hardly immaculate."
Despite the heated flush that rose to her cheeks, Irina couldn't stop the laughter that bubbled in her throat. Unlike most of his peers, Deroche was good fun, but even with his diverting company, it seemed as though this season was shaping up to be exactly like the last: boring, lackluster, and a complete disaster. Irina was simply making the most of what was left of it.
She glanced over his shoulder as they paired for a rousing quadrille, feeling the burn of dozens of eyes upon them. It wasn't that she didn't want to wrangle an offer from Lord Deroche; she simply did not want to have to turn him down. Her guardians in Paris, Lord and Lady Marceau, close friends to her sister's in-laws, the Earl and Countess of Dinsmore, had turned down no less than seven offers on her behalf since the start of the season.
Notwithstanding her title and her fortune, she'd been declared an Original, an Incomparable, and all manner of ludicrous names meant to awe and excite. Rich and eligible bachelors fawned at her feet, but none of them came remotely close to taking her fancy. Take Lord Deroche, for example. He was a fine specimen of the perfect catch — wealthy, titled, and devilishly handsome. But something was missing.
Something was always missing.
Deep down, Irina knew she was being unreasonable. She would eventually have to marry someone. Her coming out in St. Petersburg the year before had resulted in a dozen rejected proposals, and by the end of this season in Paris, she knew that some of the monikers she'd received during her first would return to torment her. Ice princess, stone heart, and her favorite, cold fish. She jutted her chin as the music began. No matter. She would weather this season as well.
By the end of the set her heart was racing and her earlier thoughts had vanished. She thanked Lord Deroche for the dance and, rejecting his wicked invitation for a fourth, retired to the ladies' salon. While she'd enjoyed the innuendo and his attentions, Irina did not want to play games with someone as dissolute as Deroche. She'd likely end up with her skirts over her head and her already spare reputation in tatters. And as much as she claimed not to care for the precious thoughts of the beau monde, Irina still had her sister's position to consider, if not her own. Lana was now a respected viscountess in English society, and from the tone of her last letter, she was not pleased with reports of Irina's latest vagaries.
A trio of pastel-wrapped debutantes twittered as she walked past them toward a pair of empty armchairs. Irina paid them no mind as she sat. Her recent behavior was scandalous she knew, and despite her social standing, associating with her would be viewed as foolish. As a result, she was surprised when she was joined by a red-cheeked lady drowning in layers of aquamarine tulle.
The woman fanned herself vigorously and smoothed tendrils of fiery red hair that had escaped the jeweled combs at her temples. "I loathe the quadrille," she announced with dramatic flair as she signaled for a glass of champagne from a nearby footman. "It does absolutely nothing for my complexion."
Irina recognized her as Lady Lyon, an English countess close to her own age who had only recently married. No English rose, Lady Lyon was known more for her bawdy humor than her beauty, and though their paths had crossed before, they had never exchanged more than a few words.
Irina smiled and nodded her head in greeting. "Lady Lyon."
"Please," she said with an exaggerated eye roll before draining the contents of her flute. "No more titles. Countess this, lady that. Call me Gwen. And I shall call you Irina."
Irina suppressed another smile. It was clear that the countess was shockingly into her cups, which would explain why she had voluntarily sat in the first place. And the use of given names after what could hardly be called an introduction was unheard of. Such a breach of stuffy etiquette suited Irina immensely. "Lady Lyon ... Gwen ... are you well?"
The countess's pale blue eyes swung to hers. "Why wouldn't I be?" She waved her glass and added, "Oh, you mean this? Not to worry, my mother was Irish."
As if that explained everything.
At that moment, Irina realized she had found an unlikely kindred spirit.
"So?" Gwen asked, leaning forward in a conspiratorial fashion. "Deroche, eh? I hear he's made of gold — everywhere it counts. Good catch."
Irina laughed to herself at her suggestive wink. Three dances had indeed been enough to insinuate an interest in marriage. "I hate to disappoint, but no. Lord Deroche is a passing entertainment, nothing more."
Gwen stared at her circumspectly, something like interest dawning in her eyes. "Are you ever in London?"
"I haven't been as of late, but my sister does live there, as well as in Essex."
"Ah yes, Lady Northridge. Lovely woman." She grinned. "I used to fancy your brother-in-law. Thankfully, North did not return my affections, otherwise he would have been ruined for any other woman."
A reformed rake, Irina knew her brother-in-law had had an active past. He'd conceived a child with one of his mistresses and a few years later, had fallen in love with Irina's sister, who had taken the child in as her own. Though she missed Lana and had seen her in St. Petersburg months before, Irina hadn't set foot in England since she'd left four years ago. Her throat tightened painfully. There was a reason for it. One she refused to entertain at the moment. She drew a calming breath.
Gwen stood, her cheeks still violently flushed. "Well, I suppose I should go find my husband. No telling what trouble he has gotten himself into by now." She peered down at Irina. "I like you. You should visit me in London next spring. Lord Lyon gives the most marvelous midseason ball."
"I have no plans to —"
Gwen cut her off with an airy wave. "No plans? Wonderful, then I must insist."
The young countess swirled away in a whirlwind of blue-green skirts. It wasn't often that Irina met another female who left her feeling bewildered. She was usually the culprit of such mayhem.
Smoothing her hair and her dress, Irina exited the retiring room. Lost in thought about Gwen's invitation and what returning to London would mean, she almost crashed into a gentleman's back.
"Oh, please excuse me," she said, the blunder one more potential thing for people to chide her for.
"It is I who should apologize to a lady of such mesmerizing beauty," the gentleman said, turning to fawn over her gloved hand. "You are an Incomparable. The Ultimate. The Prize. The Toast of Paris and Thief of All Hearts."
"Max, you wretch!" Irina shook her head and swatted at her childhood friend as he pressed melodramatic kisses to her knuckles. Distant cousins, they had been close as children and had reconnected at the start of the season in Paris. In a few short weeks, they had become inseparable.
"I should have pushed you down just now. Where have you been all night?" she asked. "I've been looking for you."
He arched a slim, golden eyebrow. "Didn't seem like you were looking for me. Deroche, I hear?"
Irina groaned. "What is wrong with people? We danced, that is all."
"Four times I was told."
"Three, and my best friend deserted me, so what choice did I have?" Irina eyed her longtime friend, noting his tousled blond hair and bee-stung lips. Her eyes narrowed, and she lowered her voice. "And where exactly have you been, Lord Remisov?"
"Remi," he said, handing her a glass of champagne and escorting her to a quiet corner of the massive ballroom. "And none of your business."
It wasn't any of her business. She knew the type of lovers Max favored, and none of them were ever appropriate. Women, men, young, old, beau monde, demimonde, it didn't matter. It was some kind of defiance, she knew, against the rules of his stringent father. Max was sowing his wild oats, so to speak, and had been for a while, leaving a trail of broken hearts across the Continent, from St. Petersburg to Paris.
"Max, you really should think about settling down. You have more than enough variety to choose from."
"As do you, my sweet, and yet I don't see you settling."
She shook her head. "That's different."
"How so?" He sipped his champagne. "I've heard you turned down seven suitors."
"I am a princess," she grumbled. "With standards."
"Size doesn't matter," Max said sagely.
Irina swallowed her shocked giggle. "Someone will hear you," she said, blushing fiercely. "And that's not what I meant."
"Surely there is a gentleman here who has taken your fancy. There has to be someone you can fall in love with."
Irina's mood sobered. "Alas, falling in love is not as easy as the romance books make it out to be. Most of the men here want only one thing — a beautiful face or an enticing body to warm their beds. They care naught for a woman's mind." She took a sip of the champagne and grimaced. She didn't know how Max enjoyed its frothy taste; she'd much prefer a good whiskey like the one she'd pilfered from Lord Deroche earlier. "A woman's place is to be seen and not heard. Poppycock, if you ask me."
"Which would be torture for you, I expect."
"What would?" she asked, distracted by the sight of Deroche escorting a gorgeous blonde to the terrace. It supported her earlier assessment that men were only out for one thing. It didn't surprise her that Deroche would seek it elsewhere. Still, it stung. Slightly.
"Not being able to speak."
She grinned at Max's insult. "You know me too well." She linked her arm in his. "Why can't I fall in love with someone like you? Handsome, when not rolling in stable barns. Clever and witty. And someone whose company I genuinely enjoy." With a sigh, she added, "Perhaps I will have better luck in London."
"London?" he asked with a surprised look. "I thought you hated the place."
"I do. It's gloomy and stodgy, but my sister's last letter made me feel guilty for being away for so long. I feel I should spend some time there."
Her heart doubled its pace at the decision she'd just made. She would go to London. A decision made is a decision kept. It was something her father had said numerous times when she and Lana had been young and still happily growing up in St. Petersburg. Many years had passed since her mother and father had died, but there was always a little prick of pain whenever she thought of them. Seeing Lana would help soothe it away.
She had just given birth to little Kate at the start of Irina's first season and had been unable to act as chaperone, and earlier this season Irina had decided upon Paris considering Lana was again increasing. Sadly, a letter had arrived at the Marceau's home two weeks before with horrible news: Lana had lost the babe. She'd been only less than two months into the pregnancy, but Lana and Gray were devastated. They already had three children in addition to Gray's daughter, Sofia, and from Lana's letters they were the center of their world. Irina had always known her sister would be a naturally wonderful mother, and had, admittedly, greatly missed feeling the glow of her care and attention. Now that Irina was older, she longed to do the same for her older sister. Going to London for the following season would be good for them both.
Swallowing hard, Irina wondered if she'd see him.
From her correspondence with Lana, Irina knew the Earl of Langlevit had not yet married. Once she was in London, their paths would undoubtedly cross. He was an earl, after all. He'd be at balls and soirees and dinners, and as his handsome, unforgettable face forged its way into her brain once again, Irina imagined how she would react. She would be cool and aloof, a princess to the core. He would take her hand and brush his lips across her fingers. The image was so visceral, so real, that the mere thought of it made her breath hitch painfully in her lungs.
"Or perhaps not," she said, draining the vile champagne and rethinking just how dedicated she was to her father's old saying about decisions made and kept. "Perhaps a second season in Paris may be best."
"No," Max said. "London sounds fetching. I haven't been there in years, either. It will be a new start for both of us. And just think ... after the two seasons you've had, the gentlemen there will be vying for your hand. You'll have your pick of the litter." He waved a dramatic arm, warming to the subject. "The competition will be so fierce that men will bet fortunes on whom you will choose."
"Now you're being silly."
"I am not," he replied with an affronted look.
She laughed. "Well then, if that's the case, I can assure you that entire fortunes will be wagered and lost."
Irina had not accepted any offers for the past two years for a reason, and it was as unshakable a reason as it was a secret. As she'd expected, not one potential suitor had come close to the image of the man who held her heart in his keeping ... who had held it there for the better part of four years despite her own good sense. No other man could compare to the Earl of Langlevit.
Not that he knew, of course.
She and the earl had crossed paths once during her first season in St. Petersburg. The Gorchev's soiree had been a crush, and yet he had still managed to be the only person in attendance she seemed to be able to see. Irina had not expected Henry to be there; she hadn't even known he was in the city. And just as quickly as a swell of pleasure and hope had filled her chest and spiked her pulse, it had been extinguished. Langlevit had bowed, made the necessary pleasantries, and had hardly looked her in the eye before moving on across the ballroom.
He'd kept his distance for the remainder of the evening. Seeing her again after so many years had meant nothing to him. Clearly, the Earl of Langlevit still thought of her as a child, as his mother's ward. He would never see her as otherwise — not as a woman, and not as marriageable material. It had chafed her pride to no end when he'd left the soiree with not one, but two unattached ladies of her acquaintance. The rumors about him being a profligate had run wild, but they had done little to temper the fire of her affection for him. In fact, the knowledge had made it burn brighter.
She'd imagined and reimagined scenes of when they would next meet. She'd seduce him thoroughly and lead him on a merry chase, whereupon he'd fall madly in love with her. But their paths hadn't crossed since. Her fevered imaginings had become nothing but a dearth of hopeless wishes.
Excerpted from "My Hellion, My Heart"
Copyright © 2017 Amalie Howard & Angie Frazier.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Princess Irina Volkonsky is beautiful, rich, and titled, which means she should have no problem snagging a husband, right? I mean, those are the only things needed according to the ton, so the question remains, why is she still single? Because she’s turned down all offers. So many, in fact, that her rigidity has garnered her some very cold nicknames. It’s not that she feels she’s above everyone else, which she could claim since she’s a princess. She’s more down-to-earth than that, which made me love and root for her even more. Irina has refused to wed because the one and only man she wants doesn’t return her affection. So she believes, and so he says. But what fun with this novel be if there wasn’t a little untruth in there somewhere? Let’s evaluate that shall we? Lord Henry Radcliffe has many secrets. The war has left him bruised in many ways, and he’s gotten good at hiding his scars. He doesn’t allow himself to get close to anyone,- other than physically, that is-, and despite his almost obsession with Irina, he refuses to go there. She was previously his ward. For goodness sakes, she’s just a child. Or at least she was when he first met her. Not so much so now that they’ve reunited. She’s nineteen – marriageable age. But his other secret still makes her off limits. The war changed him, and he’s afraid if she finds out what he’d been through, she’d be disgusted. He’d rather have her as a friend than not have her at all. Irina is having none of that “just friends” business, though. She’s definitely refreshing with her hellion ways – so fun, so forthcoming, so unwilling to adhere to all matters of propriety. What a princess, and what a danger to Henry’s plan to stay unattached. She goes where he goes – well, they travel in the same circles, and all – and she doesn’t hesitate to show – or tell – how she feels. Henry’s will is breaking in the face of her charms, and what fun they have discovering each other and all that’s changed. Now, my absolute favorite romances are historical and suspense (No offense to any other romance subgenre. You’re all my babies.), but how my heart thumps when the two are combined. Historical romantic suspense. I ate this one up. Delicious! There’s so much more I want to say, but I don’t want to ruin it. All I know is I got one helluva a surprise. Talk about a twist and turn – I damn near fell off the bed. The smoothness of it all nearly floored me (pun intended ) Now that’s what I call some outstanding writing. Such original characters and vivid descriptions. I’m totally invested in this series. Kudos to Howard and Morgan!!!
Liked the story characters were good too
I loved Henry and Irina's story!! Irina is definitely not your typical society miss. Her childhood spent trying to survive makes her a very independent and strong-willed woman. Henry has his own demons he is fighting from his years in the war. Irina, having loved Henry since she was a child, does everything in her power to get him to notice her as a woman. Oh, he notices her alright, but tries to deny his attraction. As with the other Lords of Essex books, the bantering between the H/H had me laughing out loud. I'm excited to read the next book in the series!!
This was a entertaining read. Characters you like and ones you hate, a storyline that pulls you in and is well written, and hotness all in one nice package. I enjoyed every second of it.
A Princess with her heart set on an Earl....if only it were that simple. An "ice princess" who will not settle for anything less than what she wants and an battle hardened Earl who thinks himself too damaged. Too head strong characters are inexplicably drawn to each but what will it take to get their happy ending?!?!? Princess Irina was such a strong fearless character and Henry was equally strong but not so fearless. This book just pulled me right in and was hard to put down. Likeable characters, surprising twists, and unsuspecting villains!
Princess Irina Volkonsky is a sought after beauty who is bored with society and their affectations. She doesn't want to be married for her money and her position. She wants love and there is only one man she desires. She cares for Henry James Radcliffe, Earl of Langlevit. She adores him. He protected her and her sister. Now he's a changed man. War and torture changed him into a man who keeps away from others. Can they follow their heart? Princess Irina and Harry are strong people. They both have emotional baggage that controls part of their soul. They are passionate and unconventional. They have powerful chemistry. Irina opens her heart to Henry but he rebuffs her. I hated that he felt so unworthy. He is a good man. Irina is reckless and ruled by her emotions. I liked her spirit. My Hellion, My Heart is an entertaining story filled with passion and danger. The setting is glamorous and the dialogue is witty. The secondary characters are interesting and add their distinctive style to the story. I never knew what was coming next. I'm enjoying the Lords of Essex series. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
This was a very clever reimagining of a Beauty & the Beast-ish tale. Irina is a spitfire intent on getting, and keeping, the only man to ever ignite her heart. Lord Henry is the brooding, wounded bird that you just want to take under your wing and try make it all better. This story was delightfully engaging and the characters were enchanting and heart-warming. I found that I couldn't put this book down, until I reached The End and Irina and Henry's happily ever after. *I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley & Entangled Publishing, LLC in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
I received a free book and voluntarily chose to review it. Irina is a very strong woman. She knows what she wants and doesn’t want. A lot of men have placed wagers on who does what to Irina. A kiss, a walk, more than one dance.This is a romance but there is danger also.
20 Thoughts I Had While Reading My Hellion, My Heart (Lords Of Essex #3) by Amalie Howard & Angie Morgan 1. I love this series. I am ready! 2. Also a moment to appreciate the gorgeous cover . . . . . Okay let's proceed. 3. Irina you have grown into quite a sassy person and I love it. 4. Oh Henry you are a broody one… I love it. 5. That was HOT *fans self* 6. One thing with historicals… everyone has such crazy names and I need them to stop and just be like Joe or something. 7. I love seeing Gray again and Lana too! I wubbs them. 8. Max is not the best of friends is he. 9. This betting nonsense is making me cranky. 10. Agreed. Chocolate does solve everything. Irina is clearly a genius. 11. Henry is being a real jerk. I’m sure I will forgive him but right now I am giving him my best angry face. 12. Okay but really this betting is getting out of hand. 13. No no no this is certainly NOT a marvelous idea. 14. Henry. You really do deserve more. Listen to the smart ladies telling you so. *sobs* 15. I’m seriously beginning to dislike Max. 16. No this is stupid. Don’t fall for the guilt trip! 17. I absolutely adore Rose. She is so wonderful. 18. I. KNEW. IT. I am so smart! 19. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW 20. This book made my heart happy. So good. Wrap Up I have enjoyed every book in this series so far and My Hellion, My Heart was no exception. I so loved Irina and Henry and their chemistry was insane. Amalie Howard and Angie Morgan know how to deliver a good historical romance!
'My Hellion, My Heart' by Amalie Howard, Angie Morgan is Book Three in the "Lords of Essex" series. This is the story of Lord Henry Radcliffe and Princess Irina Volkonsky. I have read the other stories (and loved them!) but I feel this can easily be a standalone book. Irina has been in love with Henry since she was a young girl around the age of 14. But Henry only saw her as a young girl and his mother's ward. Even when she had her coming out he didn't seem to take notice of her. Now she is coming back to London after being away for awhile. Max her best friend has set up a wager on who will win her hand in Marriage. Max did tell Irina of his plan to do the wager and Irina thought it might be a way to bring out Henry to acknowledge her. Henry has been fighting his past when he was help captive that caused him scars inside and out. Dealing with his inside pain with outside pain via the bedroom and elsewhere. When he first sees Irina again at her coming out he at first doesn't recognizes her and approaches her. When he does recognizes her he tries to brush her off and hurry away. Not wanting her to know the intense desire he felt for her. Now she is back, and his mother is making demands that he move forward and marry. But he can only think of Irina but he doesn't want to hurt her. Henry did go back and forth with his feelings with treating Irina but overall I understood he was fighting demons inside himself. Irina was a good strong heroine that I enjoyed watching her story play out. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Princess Irina Volkonsky, is given the name of Ice Princess, to name just one of several. She has been offered for at least seven times this season and more if you count last season as well. But none have excited her, enough to say yes. Earl of Langlevit was once a spy for the crown in France. He felt he was a broken man and deserved nothing. The descriptions are vivid and lush. They help bring the story depth. The characters are varied, realistic and full bodied. The plot is amazing and has twists that will surprise you. It is concise, cohesive, moves smoothly and answers all your questions. I loved it, The authors have done a wonderful job. I can't wait to read another book of theirs, thank you. I received this book from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed.
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Princess Irina has loved Henry ever since he saved her and her sister from being murdered. Henry, who was held captive by the French and tortured by them, believes he does not believe he knows how to love. Irina insinuates her self in his life every way she can think of to get him to love her. The story includes kidnapping and danger which adds to the book. I would highly recommend this book.
Lurved.This! My fav of the series; I absofreaking adored Henry and Irina! An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review of which this is both honest and completely voluntary.
A princess and an Earl find a future together, eventually, in this wonderful historical romance. As the blurb mentions, Henry is scarred physically and emotionally after his experiences in war. Irina has had a tendre for Henry since she was fourteen and really would like to spend the rest of her life with Henry BUT he is sure he is NOT the man for her - even though the two definitely feel a spark when together. With Henry pushing Irina away, Irina’s scallywag cousin wagering on Irina’s future along with all the young men of the Ton, Henry needing a wife to maintain his earldom, a kidnapping or two, some very evil men to deal with and plenty of drama and some smoldering interactions this is a book that kept me turning pages from beginning to end. Having not read the first two books of the series was not a problem although I do now want to find out what stories were told in them. Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4.5 Stars
Princess Irina Volkonsky has become one of my most favorite characters. She cannot conform to the society's rules, and loves to cause trouble wherever she goes. After spending some time in France, and breaking numerous hearts, she is back in London. There are many young gentlemen vying for her hand in marriage, but the only one she wants doesn't pay any attention to her. she will make him notice her no matter what. She is the most beautiful woman in Town, and no longer the little girl Lord Henry Radcliffe knew. It is becoming more and more difficult to resist her. Will he be able to stay away for long. Knowing that he must marry soon, and she is definitely not the kind of woman he wants as his wife, she is too innocent, and doesn't know what kind of a man her really is. But she is also the only one he can't stop thinking about. Will they be able to make things work or are they making a mistake? No matter, they must try because resisting each other is just not possible any more.... The book is very well-written, with twists and turns which will keep readers on their toes. I enjoyed reading it a lot and hope that others do too.
This story is set in the 19th century. It starts off in Paris and continues in London and Essex. It's the season when all the eligible batchelors and young maidens attend functions, in the hope of finding a suitable match. Henry, the Earl of Langlevit is reluctant to settle down. Whilst working for the crown he was captured, imprisoned and tortured. His physical and psychological scars are not obvious whereas his good looks and physique stand out. He is plagued by nightmares and his escapism is sex. It has come to a point where he has to get married and produce heirs or lose his title. It's part of an ongoing agreement. Irina is a Princess, well known for going against etiquettes. She has refused many proposals since she lost her heart to the one man that she can't have. Max is her best friend and partner in crime. They decide to leave Paris and spend part of the season in London and create havoc! Irina's crush for Henry has developed into something deeper. Everytime she sees him, she goes weak at the knees. He doesn't think that he is good enough for her because of his past but, whenever the opportunity arises, he can't keep his hands off her. He gives her hope, then he pushes her away. The situation appears to be hopeless and they both make alternative arrangements! When Henry decides to fight for what he wants and Irina decides to come clean, an unexpected situation comes into play. Henry's life is at risk and Irina is shocked when she discovers that they have been betrayed. The traitor and his reasons are even more shocking! Can they find a way out of this traitorous predicament? This story portrays two main characters who have been in situations which have left them with post traumatic stress disorders. One far worse than the other. Love is a powerful healer! It's a moving story with convincing characters. It's well balanced with equal portions of sorrow, deceit, greed, betrayal as well as love, passion, fun and laughter. The suspense, especially towards the end kept me glued to the book. As soon as one problem is solved, another one rears its ugly head. A nail biting, captivating and romantic story well worth reading. I was kindly issued with an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley and the views expressed are my personal opinion.