Devlin Markham, the notorious "Devil Duke" of Huntington, needs a woman. And not just any woman. If he can't woo one of the most eccentric bluestockings of the Ton within the month, he can kiss his hard-earned fortune goodbye. But he's always thought love a wasted emotion and marriage an inconvenience at best. And oddly enough, Lady Sophie Wolcott seems unmoved by his charm...
When Sophie learns her beloved orphanage is in imminent danger, she will do anything to save it. Even marry a ruthless rake who takes what he wants in business and pleasure. A man who's everything she's always feared most-but whom she reluctantly begins yearning for.
Then Sophie becomes the target of a killer lurking from the dark shadows of Devlin's past. And they find not only their lives in jeopardy but their very hearts.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.91(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The night was turning into an utter disaster.
Lady Sophie Wolcott strode down the gas-lit path edging the gardens of the Duke of Huntington's palatial townhouse, the soft strains of music emanating from the nearby ballroom a constant reminder that this particular ball was not going as expected.
Instead of dancing with the man of her dreams, she was forced to spy upon him. Really, what else could she do after he disappeared into the library with another woman?
And the library was on the second floor. That could pose a problem.
Disregarding her new ball gown snagging on the twigs and branches lining the path, Sophie spotted an old oak tree directly below the library window. That would do.
Her mind set, she trudged over to the stone bench positioned next to the trunk. She glanced in both directions ... not a soul around. Luckily, most of the guests were occupied by the notorious Duke of Huntington's lavish affair — at least she prayed they were.
Steeling her resolve before all of the ways in which her plan could go horribly wrong overcame her, she deftly lifted the skirts of her gown and untied the string of her crinoline, letting it drop to the ground. She kicked it under the bench and gathered the petticoats and material of her dress in her hands.
Before she could change her mind, she stepped up onto the bench and grabbed hold of the branch hanging above with her free hand. Putting her foot into the small groove of the trunk, she rather awkwardly swung herself up until she was comfortably straddling the branch. Thankfully, she had not lost her knack for climbing trees, though it certainly hadn't been as cumbersome when she had been a girl wearing a pinafore instead of a ball gown.
She glanced around the gardens. Still deserted. Not that anyone would be all that surprised to find her up a tree, given her reputation as a bluestocking and a bit of an eccentric. Though she'd prefer not to give the gossips any further morsels for their ravenous tongues, if she could avoid it.
"You can do this, Sophie," she murmured to herself, forcing her eyes forward instead of straying down to the shrubs below. "It's not that high." She could hear the lack of conviction in her own words, but she was on a mission and would not be deterred. Deftly, she pressed her body flat onto the bark and began carefully edging her way across to the window until she could see through the glass.
She pushed away some wayward golden curls from her forehead and looked into the room until she saw Richard, the Earl of Abelard, standing near the hearth. He was so handsome with his light brown hair and those vivid green eyes. He'd always struck her as heaven sent, looking rather like an angel.
An angel she'd always thought she was destined to marry.
A sigh escaped her lips. He had been ever so kind to her at her mother's funeral all those years ago, when she was only eight, that she had known since then that he would eventually make her the perfect husband. He liked books, he always asked about her charity work at the orphanage and listened attentively when she talked, and ... those eyes.
Now all she had to do was convince him of that, too. A rather difficult endeavor, considering that for the past fifteen years, he'd only seen her as his younger sister's best friend.
Sophie scowled when she saw Miss Grace Davies with him — a woman all of the gossiping old biddies of the Ton claimed had captured his heart. The old biddies had to be wrong. The Earl was far too sensible to be taken in by such a superficial female. Why, the only time Sophie had ever conversed with Miss Davies, the woman had spent the entire conversation discussing her latest reticule and pointing out all of the bachelors vying for her attention.
Gripping the branch harder, she leaned slightly forward when he got down on one knee and pulled out a small box from his pocket. Surely he was not proposing? No. Fate could not be so cruel.
But evidently it was.
Sophie gasped in stunned horror as Richard placed the ring onto the woman's finger before standing and softly kissing her.
That hurt. Quite badly.
She could only gape as they both gently parted and smiled at one another before walking to the door and leaving the room. As the door closed behind them, Sophie could literally feel her dreams crumbling into a pile of dust.
She laid her cheek against the rough bark of the branch and let herself dangle in misery. Perhaps she would join a nunnery? Though waking up at dawn and practicing devout obedience were not duties she was all that keen to embrace.
No, it would be best she remain a dedicated scholar, helping the children at the orphanage learn to read and write, as her mother had done before her. After all, keeping her mother's vision for Grey Street Orphanage alive was what was important and what Sophie had to focus on. And if she could not marry the man she'd had her heart set on, since childhood, she would prefer to not marry any man.
The sound of a wholly different man and woman's laughter flittering across the gentle night breeze interrupted her thoughts. Twisting her head, she peered out into the darkness, but the dim light from the gas lamps cast a soft glow on the path, and she could only see vague shadows in the distance. But those shadows were clearly heading in her direction and getting closer.
She sighed. Fate was surely having a grand old time at her expense. Here she was up an oak tree, her longtime beloved engaged to another, and a couple had obviously decided to cavort with each other in the gardens before she could get down.
Edging her body backward, she gritted her teeth at the coarse bark grating roughly under her gloves. She stopped and gripped the branch hard as it began to wobble. Perhaps her wretched luck this evening would change, and the couple would keep walking by without even realizing she was above them.
The couple strolled closer, murmuring in the darkness. She held her breath, disbelieving as the man sat down on the stone bench below. She could see them quite clearly now, in the circle of light from a nearby lamp, and prayed that she was not equally visible to them.
What more could go wrong?
Instead of sitting down next to the gentleman, the lady sat upon his lap.
She felt her jaw drop open. That was definitely not proper behavior.
She blinked when the man claimed the woman's mouth in what was the most carnal kiss Sophie had ever witnessed. A kiss at complete odds with the chaste one Richard had bestowed on Miss Davies but a moment ago.
Sophie started to feel uncomfortably hot and bothered as an unfamiliar warmth curled in her belly.
"Devlin," the woman moaned, "we must hurry before my husband realizes I am gone."
A small gasp of surprise escaped Sophie's lips, and she immediately held her breath, hoping they hadn't heard her. Devlin, as in the Duke of Huntington? And he had a married lady sitting astride him? Did the man have no morals whatsoever?
Obviously, the rumors circulating about him being an out and out rake were indeed true. No wonder everyone called him the Devil Duke, if this was the sort of shenanigans he took part in.
Her moral outrage aside, she couldn't help but admire the way the light hit the hard angles of his face, the full mouth that he obviously used to his advantage in more ways than one. She craned her neck to get a better look.
Her body began to slip.
She hugged the branch as hard as she could, but her satin gloves were slowly losing their grip, and she began tilting precariously to the side. "Oh dear!" she yelped, a second before gravity took over, and she tumbled from the branch.
"What the hell ..." the Duke growled as Sophie landed in the shrubbery below.
She lay there, too dazed to feel embarrassed, her head thrown back and her back arched across a particularly uncomfortable azalea. Then slowly, she blinked. Someone's feet began crunching through the knee-high plants, so she pulled herself out of her stupor and turned toward the noise. She saw some black boots, followed by a pair of perfectly tailored trousers, covering some very long and muscular legs.
Of course he would have excellent legs as well ...
"Are you hurt?" the Duke asked, crouching down.
Considering his question, she adopted what she hoped was a blasé expression, as if ladies tumbled out of trees on a regular basis. It did not feel as if anything was broken. "No, just dazed, I think ..." She rolled into a slightly more dignified position and lifted a hand to rub her temple, finding her gaze held captive by the most wickedly handsome man she'd ever seen. From this angle, all of the shadows were cast from his face. Gleaming white teeth flashed sinfully against bronzed skin, and dark stubble covered his jawline in a manner that was frowned upon by the majority of Society but gave him an air of dashing danger.
And from the highly thorough onceover he was giving her, she could tell the man had earned every bit of his notorious reputation as a rake.
"Well, no wonder. What the devil were you doing up a tree?" he asked.
"Surely that is obvious," the lady screeched as she stood by the edge of the garden bed, some wayward flaming red curls, which had escaped her chignon, bobbing wildly around her. "She is spying on us, at the behest of my husband no doubt."
"Felicity, enough with the theatrics."
"She was spying on us, I tell you," Felicity insisted.
"I was not." Sophie struggled to sit up, rolling in what she hoped was at least a somewhat graceful manner onto the soft green plants surrounding the azalea.
"Of course you were," Felicity continued, circling Sophie like a cat about to pounce. "I would not be surprised —"
"Enough!" the Duke commanded, his tone brooking no argument. He looked down at Sophie. "Stay still while I check if you have any broken bones."
"No, that would be completely inappropriate!" Sophie knocked his hands away from near her ankles. "Besides, I am fine." Pushing her body up, she felt a sharp pain slice up the small of her back, and she winced.
"Perhaps now you will stay still?" the Duke asked as he placed his hands upon her shoulders and held her in place. "It may be inappropriate, but it is necessary. I promise not to hurt you, all right?"
Finding her gaze trapped by his ridiculously blue eyes, she saw the truth mirrored back in them. Slowly, she nodded.
"For goodness sakes, Devlin," Felicity rasped, "the girl said she is fine. We must leave before we are discovered." She picked up the skirts of her ruby dress, which, even though it covered her from shoulder to ankle, still had an air of scandal about it.
"Stop being so heartless for once in your life, Felicity," the Duke admonished as he quickly patted his hands over the material of Sophie's deep blue gown, checking for any injuries to her legs. Deep down, she knew she should swat him away, but she just sat, mesmerized by the conversation and by his touch.
Felicity put her hands on her hips. "You, of all people, call me heartless? How can you speak —"
"If you are going to be of no assistance," Devlin interrupted, "leave."
The other woman bared her teeth. "Well, if you think you shall ever have another opportunity with me, you are highly mistaken." She whirled around toward the direction of the ballroom.
"A tragedy to be sure, but Felicity" — the Duke's voice became deadly soft — "this incident tonight is not to be discussed with anyone, or I shall call your husband's markers in. Do I make myself clear?"
Felicity slowly swiveled around and faced him. It appeared the lady's complexion had become even paler. "I assure you that no matter how much of a cad you may be, it would be beneath me to gossip about us or some idiotic girl who fell out of a tree."
Sophie opened her mouth to reply but then closed it again. Truthfully, her behavior could arguably be called idiotic. What had she been thinking? Actually, that was the problem. She hadn't been thinking at all. It was her heart that had led her astray. Well, no more.
"Good. See that it remains so," Huntington said.
Felicity's eyes glittered with malice before she turned and strode off down the path.
"Do not pay her any mind," the Duke said, continuing to gently examine Sophie's legs with his hands. "She will not disobey me."
A small shiver ran through her from his touch. She did her best to mentally brush it aside. "I shall not worry overly," she muttered. "My future plans are already ruined. Though I do suppose my aunt would care. If she ever found out, I am certain she would have a permanent fit of the vapors. And then my life would truly be a nightmare."
He ignored her dramatics completely. "What is your name?"
She sighed, supposing she would have to tell him. "Lady Sophie Wolcott, Your Grace."
"Ah, Lady Sophie, and it appears as though you know who I am. Perhaps then you should call me Devlin."
The man's lack of proprietary knew no bounds. Though she couldn't say she was particularly surprised. He had obviously earned his reputation. If he thought issuing such an untoward invitation would have any effect on her, he was sorely mistaken. "That would be highly improper," she said. "As well you know, Your Grace."
"Your decision," he said, sitting back on his haunches. "Now it seems as though nothing is broken."
"Apart from my heart," she mumbled.
"A useless muscle." His startling blue eyes bored into her own. "However, you did have a rather decent fall. How do you feel?"
"Sore and somewhat mortified. However, I shall recover." She pushed Abelard and his fiancée firmly out of her mind before she could consider whether she'd ever recover from the scene she'd recently witnessed. Carefully, she started to rise. The Duke offered her his hands, and when she took them, he pulled her to her feet.
"So you think yourself in love then?"
"That is none of your concern." A flutter of awareness shot down to her toes. His hands were strong. My goodness. What on earth was wrong with her? The fall had to have unsettled her more than she realized to make her react in such a manner from his touch.
When she was steady on her feet, he released her. "Love is a wasted emotion that only brings with it heartache and loneliness. It is an utter waste of time to dwell on. The sooner you realize that, the better you shall be."
"You have a very cynical attitude about the matter." She dusted her palms off and focused on calming her suddenly erratic heartbeat. Instinctively, she knew this was a man who would take advantage of any sign of weakness, much like a predator.
"Perhaps." He agreed, though he sounded unfazed by the notion. "But I rather think of it as being pragmatic. I myself have never been caught falling out of a tree."
Folding her arms across her chest, she narrowed her eyes. "I shall have you know that my future happiness was torn apart tonight, and only the direst of circumstances compelled me to climb a tree!" Though, oddly enough, she wasn't feeling nearly as heartbroken as she would have expected to. It seemed her verbal sparring with the Devil Duke was enough to cheer her spirits considerably.
The Duke said nothing; he merely continued to watch her. Sophie had the bizarre sensation that he was cataloguing her soul. She shivered in spite of herself.
"Are you cold?" he enquired, scanning her wrists as if to check for goosebumps.
"No," she was quick to reply. For some strange reason, even though she was standing in the shrubs outside in the middle of the night and having a conversation with the Devil Duke, she felt oddly safe.
Although, if anyone happened upon them, she was sure to be ruined. Not that she was particularly worried over such an occurrence; she had no intention of marrying now, after all, but her aunt would be devastated.
"Come, let us get you out of the garden," his deep voice drawled. "Then you can amuse me with your explanation about what you were doing up one of my trees." He strode back through the shrubs toward the path.
She rather thought his words sounded like an imperial command. She brushed off the small bits of bark and twigs clinging to her gown and then took a step forward. Blast! Looking down, she saw the hem of her dress was happily entangled in the shrubs. "Darn!" Her luck just kept getting worse and worse.
"First, you fall from a tree, and now you are cursing," he murmured. "I did not think young ladies were taught such interesting etiquette."
She felt like displaying to him just what sort of unusual etiquette she'd been taught as she tugged harder on her gown. It still refused to budge. She couldn't believe she was going to have to ask this bounder for his help. How mortifying. "My dress appears to be caught."
Excerpted from "The Devilish Duke"
Copyright © 2018 Maddison Fitzsimmons.
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
I really enjoyed Devlin and Sophie's story! I loved both Devlin and Sophie! Sophie was not your typical debutant and I loved her all the more for it. Devlin was so much more that his nickname of the Devil Duke gave him credit for. I just loved watching these two interact with each other and the feistiness of them both! This is a wonderful first story by Michaels and I look forward to reading more of her work.
I really liked this book and have already pre ordered the next book.was very surprised by the villain,
Both hero and heroine have decided to never marry. But fate, with the help of a queen, has other ideas. A fun read with a few red herrings thrown in. Enjoy!
Enjoyed this book very much. Very well written, very surprised at the end. Hopefully she will hurry and write more. :)
Could not put it dow.
I love historical romance novels that have humor and romance in them. This is Ms. Michaels debut book. I loved it. Lady Sophie Wolcott had me in stitches all throughout the story with her mischievous ways. I think this story has one of the best “meet cutes” that I have read. “She rolled into a slightly more dignified position and lifted a hand to rub her temple, finding her gaze held captive by the most wickedly handsome man she’d ever seen. From this angle, all of the shadows were cast from his face. Gleaming white teeth flashed sinfully against bronzed skin, and dark stubble covered his jawline in a manner that was frowned upon by the majority of Society but gave him an air of dashing danger.” This story has romance, humor and murder in it. Highly recommend.
I enjoyed this book. It was a great ride from beginning to end. Wish it had a little more sex and the characters talking in adult curse words - like "damn" instead of "darn" . But it was still a very good read.
The Queen will only give Devlin permission for a very important business transaction if he finds himself a wife. Devlin has to make sure all of his hard work wasn't in vain. He's a rich duke and he's proud of what he's achieved. The woman he's supposed to marry is lady Sophie, a headstrong woman who cares more about the orphans she's looking after than anything else. By supporting her charity Devlin can make his first move. While he can have his choice of women, Sophie isn't as easily persuaded. Will he find a way to convince her marriage would be a good plan? Sophie knows about Devlin's reputation. He's a rake and she's seen how much heartbreak cheating can cause. Devlin's offer is a good one, he's a duke and a marriage of convenience between them would greatly benefit her beloved orphanage. However, when Sophie gets to know Devlin she isn't sure he's the heartless person everyone says he is. Her heart is telling her something different. There's a dangerous killer on the loose and somehow Devlin and Sophie are on his radar. Will they have the chance to find out what they mean to each other before this person strikes and can Devlin keep both Sophie and himself safe from harm? The Devilish Duke is a fabulous romantic story. Devlin and Sophie are both headstrong, outspoken, smart and fierce. Because of their fiery natures there are plenty of sparks between them. I loved their arguments and their heated dialogue. There's a strong dazzling connection from the beginning that's laced with chemistry, suppressed feelings, intelligence and longing. The result is a fantastic love story that I enjoyed from beginning to end. Maddison Michaels has written a story filled with danger and mystery. I loved every single page of The Devilish Duke. It's fast-paced, intriguing and well written. I liked that she kept me on the edge of my seat with both the gripping suspenseful part of the story and the wonderful development of Devlin and Sophie's relationship. I was captivated from beginning to end and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out if Sophie and Devlin would get their happily ever after. I absolutely loved The Devilish Duke, it's a terrific mesmerizing story.
These two are a ton of fun together. Sophie is spirited, sassy, and not only willing to stand up for herself but for Devlin too. Which makes her all the more attractive to him. Devlin embraces his “devil” moniker but he isn’t truly as bad as they make him out to be. Instead he’s got some pretty big walls thanks to an awful childhood and it will take a strong woman to get past them. Lucky for him, Sophie is up to the challenge. I do kinda wish there had been more (or maybe better) clues about who the killer was so the reader had a better chance of figuring it out. It was tied up nicely, with a logical motive, a clever villain, and an exciting ending. But I felt like I was given details only as I needed them so there was little chance of guessing what would happen ahead of time. That isn’t necessarily bad but it could be frustrating for those who like to be more involved in solving the whodunit. I read somewhere that Michaels is a new author but she proves herself to be quite the writer. Nicely paced, great characters, excitement, romance, danger … she brings it all and does it well. I’m definitely going to keep my eye on her – I think she’s got a great future ahead of her! *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
Lady Sophie Wolcott is an eccentric bluestocking who spends her time working at an orphanage. She has a crush on her friend’s brother, Richard, Earl of Abelard since she was 8. Attending a ball at the Duke of Huntington’s home she climbs a tree to eavesdrop on Richard proposing to someone else. When they go inside, she attempts to get down only to fall near the Duke, Devlin, and a lady friend. He sees that she gets home safely and makes sure there will be no gossip. A year later, the Queen decides he must marry if he wants her to sign business contracts for him. He has no choice but to marry and decides Sophie would be good, especially since the Queen informs him Sophie is the only choice she’d approve. He has no idea that Sophie might not want to marry a Duke. Sophie is not sure she wants to be married, but she does need Devlin’s help in finding a now grown orphan who has disappeared from her job. He also agrees to generous donations to the orphanage, so she’s not as opposed to marrying him as she lets on. Here is where this wonderfully complex book gets very good. There is danger and several men who might be a killer. On the fun side, Devlin has taken guardianship over a young boy, Nicholas, as his father has died. Nicholas adds humor and opinions to their lives. This is one of the best first books I’ve read. I found it very hard to put down as I had to know what was happening. It is easy to give this book 5 stars.
I received an ARC of this book to read from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Devilish Duke by Maddison Michaels is the first book that I have read by this author and it most certainly will not be the last. I was hooked from the moment our intrepid heroine catches our hero’s attention by falling out of a tree to land at his feet interrupting his assignation with a Lady who is someone else’s wife. Lady Sophie Woollcott has decided not to marry, the one man she thought she loved has married someone else and she certainly doesn’t wish to marry a rake and endure heartbreak like her mother did. Devlin Markham, Duke of Huntington is notorious for his rakish ways and his ruthlessness in business something no good Duke should indulge in. Devlin needs a wife specifically Sophie and Sophie needs support for her orphanage and what starts out as a practical arrangement grows into something more. So if you are looking for a story with great banter, serious heat, a very nasty villain and a satisfying HEA this is your book. Publishing Date February 26, 2018 #TheDevilishDuke #NetGalley
The Devilish Duke is my first book by Maddison Michaels, I look forward to reading many more. Ms. Michaels has delivered a book that is well-written and loaded it with amazing, lovable characters. Sophie has dedicated herself to teaching and training the young people at the orphanage she helps with. Devlin has been told he must marry by the queen if she is to endorse a business plan. Sophie and Devlin's story is packed with drama, humor, suspense, action and sexy bits. I enjoyed every page of this book and hope to read more of Maddison Michaels' books soon. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Absolutely captivating and witty, The Devilish Duke by Maddison Michaels was a great historical romance! I loved it, couldn’t put it down. She had me from the very first chapter, this book was engaging and entertaining. It had me laughing out loud, but it was also heartfelt and at times suspenseful. I think Maddison did an excellent job bringing these characters and their story to life. Lady Sophie Wolcott is hard not to love. She is very strong willed, independent, smart and beautiful, the full package. She finds herself in a predicament when she falls off of a tree while spying on the man she thinks she is in love with. She literally falls at the feet of Duke Devlin Markham, the Devil Duke himself. Her first impression of Devlin was not a good one, he helps her after her fall but then they both go their own ways. She goes an entire year without seeing Devlin, but that didn’t stop her from thinking about him from time to time. Duke Devlin Markham had made quite a name for himself, but his reputation is another story. He isn’t called the Devil Duke for nothing. Not only does his title give him privileges, but it helps that the man is also extremely handsome and charming. He has all of the ladies chasing after him. All except Lady Sophie. He couldn’t figure out why Sophie had made an impression, and little did he know that she would turn his world upside down in the best possible way. When Devlins reputation gets in the way of a business deal, he is left without many options. He decides if settling down and getting married is what he needs to do to continue with his business deal, he will do just that. Having a hard time being able to forget the one encounter he had with Sophie, he decides she would be the perfect bride. Except Sophie wants absolutely nothing to do with him or marriage. Devlin and Sophie had the most undeniable chemistry, and their interactions were gold. They were most definitely meant to be. He pushed and she pushed right back. They quickly became one of my favorite couples. I was immersed in their story. The book had just the right amount of suspense, humor, and romance. I was impressed with the flow of the book. Everything just worked! Maddison gave us a flawless, well written story. I can not wait to see what else she has in store for us. Definitely worth all 5 stars!
A marvelous debut novel for Maddison Michels!!! Skillfully plotted and full of romance and a mystery to be solved, I really could not put this one down. Using the setting of the Victorian era, there is even a meeting with Queen Victoria and our hero, Devlin Markham, the (Devil) Duke of Huntington. When a story starts out and I find myself laughing out loud pretty quickly, I know I am in for a great read. Lady Sophie Wolcott is in love and she finds herself up in a tree spying on her beloved proposing to a lady and is devastated. What is funny is that she is at a party and as she tries to quietly climb down, she falls into the bushes and that is when she meets the Devil Duke. That meeting is very important to the story because it becomes the bases for them meeting again a year later. Sophie is a bluestocking whose main interest is in an orphanage she supports that her mother had started. Devoted to raising funds and helping every child possible she is a feisty, outspoken heroine who has decided she will never marry or fall in love after seeing her mother devastated by her philandering father. Devlin on the other hand feels the same but is pushed into marriage in order to fund his business venture and be shown as a reformed rake. Sophie is the only choice of wife that Devlin can even consider and Sophie will benefit with hugh funding for her orphanage. What could be more perfect? Two people not wanting to fall in love and both benefiting from the union. Well that is when the adventure and mystery begin. Murder, disappearing objects and a growing attachment between Sophie and Devlin had me entrenched in the story. This author made the characters come to life and the secondary characters were delightful. Prepare to be thoroughly mesmerized as you read this wonderful story of fate taking a hand in bringing two people together and their journey to happiness. I cannot wait for more stories from this author!!
The Devilish Duke is one of those books which have everything, romance, intrigue, suspense, mystery, rakish hero, independent and strong heroine, and a lot more. It's a really well-written historical fiction, the kind of book which has the ability to make you fall in love with the genre. I genuinely enjoyed reading it, especially because of the characters. They are all amazing and fun to read about. Devlin and Sophie's first encounter was a year ago, and it wasn't something either of them could forget, although for different reasons. For Devlin it was strange to meet a woman who could resist his charm and he simply could not forget the way she had behaved around him, censoring him like no other person ever had or since.. For Sophie it was simply embarrassing.... but neither could forget it. Now Devlin is back and in need of a wife. The first and only woman who comes to his mind is Lady Sophie. And he is the man who gets what he wants one way or the other. He has decided to marry her so he will. On the other hand, the lady in question isn't thrilled about the prospect of marrying a known rake, however, she wants something only he could give... So will she agree to this farce of a marriage or not? While this is the romance side of the story, there is also a mystery unfolding. One of Sophie's ex-orphan has gone missing living behind a trail of mischief and mayhem. What happened to her and how is it related to either Devlin or Sophie is a question which will plague the readers for quite some time. But we will have our answers eventually... It's a great read. I loved it and would recommend it to all readers who enjoy mixed genres, especially historical fiction.
I absolutely loved this book. The character were likeable and well developed. The sas from them had me grinning ear to ear at times. The murder and mystery had me so consumed, I finished this book in just three days! Watching Delvin and Sophie's relationship evolve from a business contract to a very respectable and loving romance was amazing. Not once did this book bore me or lose my interest. I can not WAIT to read more titles from this author.