To the Duke, With Love: The Rakes of St. James

To the Duke, With Love: The Rakes of St. James

by Amelia Grey

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Overview

To the Duke, With Love: The Rakes of St. James by Amelia Grey

The next lush, romantic novel in the Regency romance series, The Rakes of St. James, from New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey!

There may be times when a gentleman is desperate to gain a lady’s attention, but a gentleman would never resort to desperate measures to obtain it.
A Proper Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady

Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn is guardian for his sweet, younger sister. Due to his misguided past as one of the infamous Rakes of St James, Hawk is hoping to avoid the Season by securing a match for her before it begins. He has the perfect gentleman in mind, but for one infuriating—and unexpectedly intoxicating—obstacle: the intended groom’s own sister, Miss Loretta Quick.

Having narrowly avoided her own arranged marriage to an unacceptable nobleman, Loretta is determined that her dear brother—a gentle, good-natured soul—should marry for love. Matching wits with Hawk may be her greatest challenge yet. . .until she realizes it may also be her greatest pleasure. For the young duke’s irresistible charm has not only begun to crumble her stubborn resolve, it has claimed her heart in true love as well in To the Duke, With Love.


“A master storyteller.”—Affaire de Coeur

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250102522
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/05/2017
Series: Rakes of St. James , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 18,675
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

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

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

There may be a rare occasion when a young lady is wrong, but a gentleman must never resort to pointing out that fact to her.

A Proper Gentleman's Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady Sir Vincent Tybalt Valentine

Through a hazy drizzle, the stately, two-story house came into view. Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn, stopped at the top of a rocky knoll. It was already late in the day. On such a dreary afternoon it would have been nice to see a welcoming light in one of the front windows, hear the warning bark of a dog — anything to keep the massive stone structure from looking so forlorn. The only visible sign of life was a barely discernible plume of grayish-white smoke ascending from a chimney top and quickly dissipating into the moist air.

Hawk had never been a patient man, and today had stretched his limit further than he thought possible. That his current situation was his own impulsive fault didn't help his grumbling spirit. On this cold but bright February day, he'd thought to save time and make the journey faster by leaving his carriage behind and leasing a horse from the inn where he'd lodged for the night. Now, several hours later, not only had the horse gone lame so that Hawk had to walk the poor creature, but the directions he'd been given to Mammoth House were severely wrong and he'd had to retrace his steps more than once. On top of that, a damned chilling rain had been falling on him for the last half hour.

However, if Mr. Quick accepted Hawk's offer and agreed to make a match with Adele, it would all be worth it. Hawk's search for the right man had not been impulsive. Quick was the nephew of an earl, more than average height, and even though Hawk considered him on the lean side, he assumed most young ladies would consider the man handsome enough. And the fellow seemed to always have a smile on his face and a bounce to his step.

What more could his sister want in a husband?

Still confident his plan for Adele was a good one, Hawk hunkered further down into his cloak and continued his slow trek toward the house, leading the limping horse behind him.

After all the trouble his friend Griffin had gone through with his sisters last year, Hawk wasn't going to take any chances with Adele's future. He wasn't one to stand around and wait for something to happen. He was taking matters into his own hands. And as he'd hoped, his sister had agreed.

The Season was still more than two months away and already Miss Honora Truth's Scandal Sheet was fueling gossipmongers all over London about Adele's debut in the spring. What the tittle-tattle writers didn't know was that Hawk intended to have his sister's betrothal already settled before the first dance of the Season began. That would fool them all, and there would be no opportunities for mischief from anyone who might be seeking to exact revenge on Hawk by pursuing his sister with less-than-honorable intentions.

A gust of icy wind whipped across Hawk's face as he tethered the animal to the hitching post and then strode up the three steps to the door. Knowing someone from inside the house could send a groom to take care of the mare, he rapped the iron knocker before peeling off his damp leather gloves and stuffing them into his pocket.

After a few moments, the door opened slowly. A round-cheeked woman's face appeared. "May I help you, sir?"

"I'm the Duke of Hawksthorn," he stated. "Mr. Quick is expecting me."

With dark, distrusting eyes, she looked him up and down as if she couldn't believe a duke was standing before her wearing a drenched cloak and a dripping hat. She then perused the landscape past him, no doubt wondering where his carriage and entourage were hiding.

"I am alone," he added, removing his hat and dusting off the excess rain.

"You'd best come warm yourself by the fire," she said.

That would be most welcome, he thought, swinging his cloak from his shoulders and giving it a good shake.

The woman opened the door and stepped back, giving the customary curtsy to Hawk as he passed the threshold and into the spacious, cavernous vestibule. It must have been a grand entrance at one time, but now it was hardly more than a large empty room. A worn settee was backed against one wall. Opposite the small sofa stood an ornately carved table with an unlit lamp sitting on one end and an unused candlestick on the other. He couldn't help but think the inside of the house looked as forsaken as the outside, but then he caught the aroma of bread baking in an oven and knew this was a lived-in home.

He handed off his cloak and hat to the short, rotund woman with a ruffle-edged mobcap covering her hair. She laid them on the table and said, "Follow me."

She preceded him down the wide corridor and into a drawing room that was furnished only a little better than the vestibule. Two floral-patterned settees faced each other in the center of the room, and a table barely large enough for a tea tray had been placed between the two. Matching armchairs upholstered in a brown-and-gold-striped fabric were arranged near the fireplace. Against the far wall by a window stood a highly polished secretary and chair. Little else filled the drafty room.

"Wait here," the woman said and left.

Hawk walked over to the fireplace. The flame was hardly more than a few sizzling embers, and while the heat immediately warmed him, it would do little to help dry out his boots or wet collar and neckcloth. Kneeling down, he grabbed the poker and stoked the fire before adding wood to the grate.

"Your Grace."

At the sound of the soft feminine voice, Hawk rose to his full height and turned. A tall, slender young lady was standing near the entrance to the room. She curtsied when their eyes met. She looked pure, sweet, and completely untouched by masculine hands. A sudden, deep rush of desire flamed through him, and the rhythm of his heartbeat changed.

She wore a modest dress of pale-blue wool, void of bows, lace, or any of the embellishments usually sewn on to enhance the common fabric. No jewelry hung around her neck or dangled from her ears. Her light-blond hair was pulled up on each side, but he couldn't see how far down her back it hung, or if there were satin ribbons or fancy combs to hold it in place. What struck him instantly about her was that he'd never seen such a beautiful young lady so unadorned by frivolous accessories meant to enhance her beauty.

"I am Loretta Quick, Your Grace. How can I help you?"

Mr. Quick's younger sister. It should have dawned on Hawk that he might see her, but quite frankly it hadn't. He'd been too caught up thinking only about his own sister. He knew Miss Quick's story, of course. Everyone in Society did. As he studied her lovely face, he was certain they'd never met. He would have remembered those dark-blue eyes that seemed so steady, yet wary. He would have remembered the strong surge of sensual awareness that seared through him at the sight of her.

"Miss Quick," he said with a nod. "I'm here to see your brother."

Her slightly arched brows furrowed with an uneasy expression, and she took a tentative step toward him. "Is something wrong?"

He thought that an odd question for her to ask but answered, "With what?" "With my brother."

"Not that I'm aware of."

Her gaze continued to search his face as if surely he must be hiding something from her. "So he's not in any trouble?"

That comment gave him cause for concern. Perhaps there was something about the man Hawk didn't know. "Does he often get into trouble?"

"Often?" she asked, clearly dismayed by his question. "No, of course not. Not at all really. Why would you ask that?"

"Because you asked me if he were."

As if taking note of the slight accusation in his tone, her spine stiffened. "It was a logical question to ask."

"How so, if you say he never gets in trouble?"

"What else am I supposed to think?" she asked innocently.

"Perhaps that I wanted to talk to your brother, which I do."

She let out a deep audible breath and took another step farther into the drawing room. "So there are no problems?"

Hawk shook his head in exasperation. "I just said as much. You are frustrating me, Miss Quick."

"And you are the pot calling the kettle black, Your Grace," she said defensively.

Another prickle of awareness rushed through him. It was rare anyone had the nerve to speak their mind so quickly and candidly to a duke. It surprised him, but it also impressed him. "That's a rather rash statement."

He watched her softly rounded shoulders relax a little. "Nonetheless, true. You are the one making this conversation difficult."

"Me?" She was unbelievable. "Does your boldness have no boundaries, Miss Quick?"

"Not where my brother is concerned. But aside from that, what am I supposed to think other than something is wrong when a duke arrives unexpectedly to see my brother."

Unexpectedly? More reason for him to worry.

"We live a little too far from Hawksthorn for a social call, Your Grace," she added as if to give credence to her statement.

Hawk could easily attest to that fact. When he'd started this venture, he had no idea that Mammoth House was so far from the village of Grimsfield and still another half day's ride from London. He had doubts that even a hermit would embrace a place this far from civilization. Living out here took being alone to an extreme.

As the nephew of the Earl of Switchingham, Quick was a socially acceptable husband for Adele. Quick always wore a friendly smile and kept a cheerful attitude, which might become obnoxious to Hawk if he had to spend a good deal of time with the man, but he thought Adele would love it.

While Hawk had no idea what kind of allowance the earl had bestowed on Quick, it really didn't matter. Adele had a generous dowry and, once she married, she'd have access to a home in London as well. She wouldn't have to reside in Mammoth House if she preferred not to, which he was fairly certain would be the case.

With graceful movements, Miss Quick walked the rest of the way into the room to stand in front of him. He could see clearly the tempting shape of her inviting lips and her smooth, delicate-looking complexion, which enticed him to want to reach up and caress her cheek with the tips of his fingers. She had uncommonly long, dark lashes for someone with hair so satiny blond. Her eyes were so expressive he found it difficult to focus on the matter at hand.

Ah, yes. It would be easy to concentrate on the intriguing miss, if not for the important issue before him.

"I don't believe I'm unexpected."

"You must be," she answered without the least bit of hesitancy or caution that she might be wrong.

More impertinence.

"I have an appointment with him, Miss Quick."

"But Paxton isn't here."

Hawk's jaw tightened. He'd just walked for the better part of half a day on cold, rough, uneven ground, and was chilled to the bone for most of it. He was in no temperament to hear that her brother wasn't home. Perhaps Hawk had misjudged the man after all and should go on to one of the other gentlemen he'd considered for Adele's future.

"I know I'm late by a few hours because of unavoidable circumstances, but I would have assumed that he'd wait for my arrival before taking his leave."

Curiosity settled on her delicate features. "Your words puzzle me. I'm certain if Paxton had an arrangement with you he would be here. He's very reliable."

Apparently not.

The fire he'd stirred had caught hot and was warming the backs of his legs. The beautiful and outspoken Miss Quick was warming his temperament.

Hawk wasn't used to explaining himself, but felt compelled to say, "I sent him a post last week stating I'd be here today to discuss an important matter with him."

Her countenance went from inquisitive to affable. "Ah, therein lies the source of your problem."

"My problem?" She just wouldn't give up.

"Yes." She folded her arms across her chest in a comfortable pose and nodded. "Paxton has been gone almost three weeks. We only receive mail once a week, when Mr. Huddleston takes the carriage into the village for purchases. Paxton has had correspondence arrive but, of course, I don't open his private letters."

A few words that were not appropriate for Miss Quick's ears tumbled to the tip of Hawk's tongue, but he held them silent. What were the odds this would happen? He'd come all this way to the middle of nowhere and Quick was gone. That was damned inconvenient. Still, Hawk was a fair person. If Quick had never received his post, he supposed he couldn't fault the man for not being here to meet with him.

"Perhaps all is not lost," she said, lifting her chin and looking more solidly into his eyes. "Maybe I can help with whatever it is you wanted with Paxton."

"That would be unlikely, Miss Quick."

She dropped her arms by her side and assumed an air of authority. "I am quite capable of handling many things, Your Grace, and take care of most things here at Mammoth House."

He wasn't indifferent to her assertion. He believed her. She was strong and seductive, and he hadn't seen an ounce of fear in her. But neither her abilities nor her appeal had any bearing on his mission. He'd be damned before he'd let her admirable qualities let him stray from that.

"That I don't doubt in the least. Yet it is your brother I came to see. Where is he?"

Undaunted by his determination, she responded casually, "Paxton doesn't make me privy to all his goings and comings. He has several friends that he visits with from time to time. Besides, I'm not certain I would divulge Paxton's whereabouts even if I knew, when I don't know the reason you want to see him."

If she thought to discourage him, she was mistaken. If Hawk could arrange a betrothal for Adele before the Season began, her future would be settled. He wouldn't have to worry about her falling victim to a prankster or any bachelor hoping to get even with him for his past misdeeds.

It wasn't often he'd met an innocent who wasn't afraid to speak her mind. Perhaps he never had. And Miss Quick was a lively young lady to converse with, but they were not making much progress.

"Must you challenge me on every issue?"

She crossed her arms again. "When you aren't forthcoming about your reasons, yes. Dukes are very powerful. It's only natural for me to be concerned."

Hawk wondered what made her so wary. "It's not for nefarious purposes that I want to see him, I assure you. I have a proposition to make to him, and I'd rather do it sooner than later."

She tilted her chin upward again. "Oh. Then you won't mind if I ask what it is?"

Yes, actually, he did mind her asking. However, much to his chagrin, her imperious expression was more engaging than defiant. It took great courage to ask a duke what his business was with another man — even if she was asking about her own brother.

Hawk supposed there was no harm in telling her. If he did, it might speed up her telling him the whereabouts of her brother so he could get on with the matter of getting this business settled as quickly as possible. He wanted to find Adele a suitable husband and then get back to doing some of the things he wanted to do. Hawk was fairly certain Quick hadn't been in London the past week. He would have seen the blade at White's.

"Very well," he offered. "My sister will be making her debut this spring, and I'd very much like to arrange a betrothal between her and your brother before the Season starts."

Miss Quick went very still. "Surely you must know that arranged engagements don't end very well in this family."

There was no malice in her tone, just a statement of fact. Hawk summoned what he remembered about her and wondered how much of it was rumor and how much was true. The Earl of Switchingham had arranged for her to marry Viscount Denningcourt. Apparently, all the guests and the viscount had arrived at the church for the ceremony, but the bride never made an appearance.

Her uncle took a very harsh view of her rejecting his choice of husbands for her. If the rumors were true, she had vowed to never marry. The betrothal was broken and shortly thereafter the viscount married a different young lady. As far as Hawk knew, Miss Quick hadn't been seen in Society since.

"I heard," he said, "but I aim to change that. I've put a good deal of thought into this, Miss Quick, and your brother is the husband I want for Adele. I've never seen him too deep in his cups, and he never gambles more than a handful of dollars at the tables. I've never heard a harsh rumor about him at White's; nor have I heard Mr. Quick complain about anyone else. By all accounts he's a fine gentleman who prefers books over swords, poetry over carousing, and tea over brandy."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "To the Duke, with Love"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Amelia Grey.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.

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To the Duke, With Love: The Rakes of St. James 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Sloane and Loretta's story!! I really love stories where the H/H meet in an unexpected way and are able to get to know each other without the watchful eye of the ton. In fact most of the story was away from anyone but family and that was a nice change of pace. I'm very excited for the last book in the Rakes of St. James series to come out in May, but I'm going to miss these 3 handsome rakes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This tome should have been wonderful. It has a decent plot, a heroine with honor, and a duke. It just doesn't gel. I had to force myself to finish it. I will not have this problem again. Save your money!
Crazybooknerd More than 1 year ago
To the Duke, With Love by Amelia Grey Series: Rakes of St. James #2 4.5 Stars - I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I jumped at the chance to read the second. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the banter between Hawk and Loretta, which started off right away. The secondary characters were good and I would love to watch Farley grow up a bit more and possibly have a story of his own one day. Ms. Grey has an easy to read writing style, which I truly enjoy. Her wit is fun and her characters are well developed. I will continue to look for books by her. ** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review** ~Paragraphs and Petticoats~
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
When revenge is best avoided! This is a highly entertaining historical romance with great characters, plot and writing - I really enjoyed escaping into it! A few years ago a prank carried out by Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn (aka Hawk), and his friends caused them to be notorious and embarrassed the young ladies who were the victims of their actions. Now his own younger sister is due to be making her debut into society, Hawk is worried about others seeking revenge in some way that would be to her detriment. In an attempt to avoid any potentially damaging situations arising, he has convinced her to consider having a match secured before her debut. He has determined who he believes will be her perfect match and is endeavouring to speak to this potential groom to make the arrangements by travelling to his home. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for him and things won’t be as easy as he hoped! To begin with his horse is injured, then there’s a storm and then the gentleman’s sister, Miss Loretta Quick, doesn’t agree with arranged marriages! To top it all, the potential groom is away from home and Miss Quick is at home with only servants to chaperone them . . . . and he has to stay the night.  This was a lovely, sweet read. As well as the main characters the range of secondary characters give a glimpse into the world of the poor and children during the era. The quotes from ‘A Proper Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady’ which appear throughout the story add humour to the story - I would hope no man would ever think to follow the guidance, even in those times! Loretta was a great heroine! Her punishment for refusing to marry the man her guardian selected has led to her isolation in the family's original hunting lodge. She's determined to keep her vow and it takes time, patience and ingenuity for Hawk to be able to convince her to give their love a chance. This is the second story in a series but works well as a standalone IMHO. I found it to be a page turner and delightful to escape into. I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who enjoys historical romance with a rake finding love when he least expected to do so! I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn, known as Hawk to his friends, is one of the well-known Rakes of St. James. He has arrived at Mammoth House to call upon Paxton Quick hoping to arrange a marriage between him and Hawk's sister, Adele. Her first season in London is due to start soon and he would like to see her engaged to help avoid anyone hurting her as revenge for some of his youthful shenanigans. Paxton’s sister, Loretta, greets Hawk and informs him that Paxton is not at home. But as the weather is very bad and Hawk has ridden in on a horse, she invites him to stay overnight. Although she is chaperoned only by her servants, she cannot ask him to leave in the bad weather. Enter young Farley, a waif begging outside Mammoth House in an ice storm. Loretta and Hawk bring him inside and she nurses him back to health. Hawk feels that as a street boy, his place would be working in the stables or as an apprentice. Where will the boy fit in her life? Paxton and Loretta were taken in by their uncle, the Earl of Switchingham, after their parents died. At her first season, her uncle tried to marry her off to Viscount Denningcourt, but she wanted nothing to do with it and at the wedding, refused to go through with it. As revenge, her uncle made her take a vow in church to never wed. He then sent her to the isolated Mammoth House where she has been made to stay for several years. As Loretta an Hawk chat, she disagrees with him about Paxton and Adele becoming engaged saying it is unfair to them. She and Paxton have not met and Loretta feels that both of them need time to meet other people and decide whom they would like to wed instead of planning an arranged marriage. But when Paxton and Adele meet, they are both charmed by one another. Especially in light of her own experience, Loretta is surprised that Paxton is not opposed to an arranged marriage. In addition, Hawk is also surprised that Adele is not against it. Hawk is smitten with Loretta and she with him. He does not like that her uncle has decreed that she not leave Mammoth House, but she has accepted her fate and has become content with knowing she will will honor the vow she took and remain unwed. This is yet another great book by a favorite author of mine. and is the second book in the series, the Rakes of St James. The first book, “Last Night with the Duke” was a bit more appealing to me. I understand that the author wanted to add Farley to the mix to introduce readers to the plight of children during this time period, but somehow it didn’t seem to add to the story. However, the plot is well-written and I am enthusiastically looking forward to the third book in the series. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
Hawk is one of the Rakes of St James and is afraid his younger sister will be a target for revenge because of his past actions. To avoid this the duke wants to find a suitable match for his sister before the Season starts. He has someone in mind, a kindhearted young man named Paxton. However, Paxton has a sister, who's a lot tougher to handle. Instead of having his first meeting with the man he wants to be his sister's future husband, he has to deal with Loretta, a woman who doesn't believe in arranged marriages. Loretta wants Paxton to marry someone he loves, so she isn't going to help Hawk with his plans. Loretta has made a vow and is paying dearly for it. To escape an unhappy marriage to a nobleman chosen by her uncle she's now on her own, not allowed to leave the remote house she's living in. Hawk thinks he can change this, but he hasn't counted on Loretta's stubbornness and her determination to keep her vow. He's in for a challenge, will he succeed in his quest to make Loretta change her mind? To the Duke, With Love is a fantastic romantic story. I was captivated by Hawk and Loretta's story from the start. Hawk has a reputation, but he also has a good heart and wants to protect the people he loves. He's honest and resourceful, something I really liked about his character. Loretta is strong, smart and resilient. She doesn't let anything get to her and I admired her courage. She's a good match for Hawk and I loved their banter, their sparks and their easy companionship. It's a good basis for a story and for me it worked very well. I couldn't put To the Duke, With Love down and read the book in one sitting. It put a big smile on my face and I loved every sentence. Amelia Grey has a wonderful heartwarming writing style. I can easily picture the time she writes about because of her vivid descriptions of houses, clothing, food and etiquette. I love how she makes her main characters come to life. To the Duke, With Love is entertaining, charming, surprising and sweet. I absolutely loved this fantastic story that's filled with beautiful true love, romantic gestures and fascinating chance meetings and highly recommend it.
KindleLady More than 1 year ago
Hawk Sloane is a Duke who, due to the death of his parents, became responsible for his young sister Adele. Now it's time for Adele's first season, and as a result of a prank Hawk took part in when he was younger, he fears some members of society will take revenge on him by hurting Adele. Hawk decides the best way to prevent that from happening is to get Adele engaged before the start of the season, and he has searched for the "perfect" match for her. He has decided that Paxton Quick is the one, and so he sets off to approach Paxton about said marriage. What he didn't anticipate is finding Paxton has an older sister, Loretta, who has been banished to the country three years earlier when she refused to marry the man her Uncle arranged for her to marry. Loretta is determined that her brother will never be forced into a marriage based on anything but love, and she butts heads with Hawk over the marriage. While locked in this battle these two find themselves attracted to each other and they have to find a way to have a happily ever after for all concerned. What ensues is an enjoyable romance novel. I received an ARC for my honest opinion.
Brigittehf More than 1 year ago
To The Duke, with Love is tale of three youngsters who played a prank without thinking of the repercussions. They are now Dukes with responsibities, and that careless action wants payback. Hawk, the Duke of Hawksthorn is trying to protect his younger sister's good name. With the new season coming up, this could be the ideal opportunity for revenge as a result of what he did so many years ago. The best way to avoid any scandal is to find her a husband. Loretta is the ward of an Earl who is very disappointed with her since she turned down an arranged marriage. She now lives in a secluded countrynhouse and no longer allowed to socialise. On a cold and wet day, Hawk appears on Loretta's doorsteps, looking for her brother. Unfortunately, he is absent and despite Hawk's reluctance, she convinces him to divulge the reason for this long journey. She is a romantic, and having escaped her own arranged marriage, she wants the best for her brother. True love and happiness. Hawk is determined, but then again so is she, and the head butting begins. Hawk's mission is complicated by his attraction to the strong and witty Loretta. He has met his match! Loretta is quite taken by him, despite the vow she made three years ago. Their interactions are comical at times and there is no denying the strong chemistry between them. Hawk goes in battle mode to win her over. He always wins his battles. Can he win this one? This also shows the fate of the most deprived, living in London. Loretta shows love and compassion and despite Hawk's reputation, he is loving and sympathetic. Her brother Paxton is carefree and easygoing, but means business when it matters. Adele, Hawk's sister is an endearing young lady. I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions between Hawk and Loretta. Even with the awful side of poverty, it's a light and entertaining read. I was kindly issued with an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley and the views expressed are my personal opinion.
gigiluvsbooks2 More than 1 year ago
There may be times when a gentleman is desperate to gain a lady’s attention, but a gentleman would never resort to desperate measures to obtain it. ―A Proper Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn is guardian for his sweet, younger sister. Due to his misguided past as one of the infamous Rakes of St James, Hawk is hoping to avoid the Season by securing a match for her before it begins. He has the perfect gentleman in mind, but for one infuriating―and unexpectedly intoxicating―obstacle: the intended groom’s own sister, Miss Loretta Quick. Having narrowly avoided her own arranged marriage to an unacceptable nobleman, Loretta is determined that her dear brother―a gentle, good-natured soul―should marry for love. Matching wits with Hawk may be her greatest challenge yet. . .until she realizes it may also be her greatest pleasure. For the young duke’s irresistible charm has not only begun to crumble her stubborn resolve, it has claimed her heart in true love as well. . . Review: This is my first time reading this Author and I quite liked her style. Of course this is the second book in the series, but I was never lost or confused from reading out of order. One of my favorite parts is the verbal sparing between Hawk and Loretta. They were fun to read, and loved that they both gave as good as they got. Plus, it added to the sexual tension. One of my least favorite parts was the insta-love on Hawk's part seems a little odd for one of the Rakes. That the street urchin isn't immediately changed after bring taken in by Loretta, made the story more realistic. I also, liked the differences in the romances between Loretta's brother and Hawk's sister and Loretta and Hawk. Overall, a very entertaining and engaging read. I will definitely read more books by this Author. 3.5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
Ajgray More than 1 year ago
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Enjoyed the story of Hawk and Loretta and how they came to find love when least expected. The book is well written and holds your interest. I would highly recommend this book and the previous ones in this series.
Melanie Kornacki More than 1 year ago
To the Duke, with Love was an excellent continuation of the Rakes of St. James series with a delightful romance between an outspoken heroine and a charming, rakish hero. In an effort to avoid the possibility of his sister being affected by his past misdeeds as one of the Rakes of St. James, Sloane Knox the Duke of Hawksthorn is hoping to arrange a marriage for her before the Season begins. However Hawk did not count on the intended groom’s own sister fighting to stop the match from taking place. Miss Loretta Quick narrowly avoided an arranged marriage of her own and does not intend for her brother to fall into such an arrangement when he could marry for love. Hawk and Loretta soon engage in a battle of wills, but the more the two spar, the closer they become. Loretta has been in self-imposed exile for the last three years after she vowed never to marry when breaking her engagement to the man chosen by her uncle. Despite vowing never to marry, Loretta believes in the love found in her poetry books and thinks love should be all consuming. Her convictions surrounding her vow are strong and even after meeting Hawk and finding herself attracted to him, she intends to stick to her vow. I really liked Loretta right from the start and admired how determined she was and unwilling to let Hawk steamroll her just because he’s a duke. Despite Hawk’s reputation as a rake, he’s actually a very kind and compassionate man who simply got into some mischief in his youth. He knows that as one of the Rakes of St. James, his past misdeeds may harm his sister now that she’s set to attend her first Season. As a result, he sets out to prevent any harm to her reputation by arranging a marriage before the Season begins. Hawk cares deeply for his sister and as a result has a tendency to indulge her. I admired how much his sister means to him and enjoyed the scenes where they were together. Loretta and Hawk’s relationship began with some great verbal sparring and I loved watching them banter back and forth trying to beat the other. The two are pretty much instantly physically attracted to one another and quickly come to care for each other as they spend more time together. There are some great kissing scenes with a bit more throughout the book that culminate in one sex scene at approximately the 90% mark. All of the scenes are very well done although personally I would have liked a bit more as I prefer my romances slightly more explicit. Over the course of To the Duke, with Love we have a few scenes with the other Rakes of St. James which were enjoyable. There are also a number of scenes with Paxton (Loretta’s brother) and Adele (Hawk’s sister) considering the goal is to arrange a betrothal with them. I found Paxton and Adele’s budding relationship to be very sweet and enjoyed the way things played out between them. Probably the largest side character/plot line outside of the siblings is the orphan Farley that Hawk and Loretta find. His storyline felt a bit out of place and definitely wasn’t a happy aspect of the book, but after reading the author’s note I understand why she included it. Overall, To the Duke, with Love was an excellent addition to the Rakes of St. James series and I’m very excited for the final book to release next year. I highly recommend checking out these books if you’re looking for a new historical romance series to read. **I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher which I voluntarily reviewed.**
Aquamarine1951 More than 1 year ago
When the very first page has my undivided attention I knew I am in for an exceptional read. I have never read Amelia Grey’s works before but “To the Duke, With Love” is a definite Winner! It had every element I look for in a well crafted regency novel: the plot is carefully thought out and not rushed; the characters are well defined and not one dimensional; the storyline captivated me from beginning to end and most importantly there is a wonderful epilogue with an HEA. I never give specific storyline detail, because I do not like to give away a plot to a reader before they buy a book. What I will say is that this story is well worth the read. It flowed smoothly and was extremely well written. Hawk and Loretta have great chemistry together. You could literary feel the sexual tension between them in every scene especially in their banter and sparing. Hawk is the perfect hero: a combination of rake with a gentlemanly side. Loretta is kind, strongly independent and steadfastly holds to her convictions. I highly recommend this novel and I know without a doubt you will love it as I did. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest opinion.
Lokithor More than 1 year ago
Ms. Amelia Grey has given us another entertaining and enjoyable story. “To the Duke, with Love” has all the elements of a typical Regency romance, however, Ms. Grey has also included a storyline regarding the lost or abandoned children of the period. In “To the Duke, with Love”, the hero is confident, good-looking, rich and loving. The heroine is smart, beautiful, and strong-minded. The secondary characters are well written and add an enjoyable layer to the overall plot. I was a little disappointed with how quickly the H/h became enthralled with each other. While I did enjoy how these two matched wits, I prefer an attraction that develops slowly and is a bit more intricate. On the other hand, Ms. Grey wrote a pleasurable romance without scheming ex-girlfriends, unhappy relatives, or any mix-ups that could easily be explained if one of the characters would just speak up. If you enjoy a nice paced, uncomplicated regency romance with a touch of realism, I would definitely recommend this novel.
LindaC1 More than 1 year ago
I started this book on a Tuesday night and was done on a Wednesday morning. I could not put it down. The story was so entertaining. Hawk wants to arrange a marriage for his sister, Adele. But when he approaches the intended groom, Paxton, he gets opposition from Paxton’s sister, Loretta. It’s a battle of wits and attraction between these two worthy competitors, Hawk and Loretta. Who will win....or will they both come out victorious....in love. :)
DebDiem More than 1 year ago
To The Duke, With Love by Amelia Grey is an awesome historical romance. Ms Grey has delivered a well-written book filled with amazing characters. Loretta wants her brother to have a love match marriage, Hawk wants Loretta's brother for an arranged marriage with his sister. Loretta and Hawk's story is a tangle of unfortunate events surrounded by drama, humor, and sizzle. I loved reading this story and look forward to reading more from Amelia Grey soon. To The Duke, With Love is book 2 of The Rakes Of St. James Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
HeyerF4n More than 1 year ago
The Rake and the Unbreakable Vow Miss Loretta Quick was banished to a remote property when she embarrassed herself, her family and her betrothed’s family when she left her groom at the altar. For three years she has lived with only her brother for male companionship until the day a very damp Duke lands on her doorstep and she starts to crave a different life. I loved this story, the characters and the introduction of an unreformed street urchin was interesting to say the least. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Pinky1979 Reviews More than 1 year ago
The Rakes of St. James are back with this second book of the series where the Duke of Hawksthorn has to atone for being part of the infamous prank with his other two Duke friends and which has made the three Dukes infamously known as the Rakes of St. James. Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn, or Hawk as he is known by his friends is ready to launch his younger sister Adele into society when he hears rumours that there are a group of young men who want to make the Rakes of St. James pay for the prank that they played many years ago. It seems that this group will use the sister's of the three dukes to exact revenge on them. Hawk, like the other two dukes, regrets having played the prank and wants to make sure that nothing happens to ruin his sister's season. So he has decided to find her a husband himself. And Hawk has found the perfect husband for Adele. The nephew of an Earl, Paxton Quick will do perfectly for his overly talkative, sweet and indulged sister. All he has to do now is talk to the young fellow and arrange an engagement before the season starts. But it seems that things will not go as easily as planned when he meets Paxton's older sister Loretta. Loretta Quick is a force to be reckoned with. Having jilted an Earl at the altar when she was eighteen she has been banished from society and is living with her brother in the middle of nowhere, dependent on their uncle who still hasn't forgiven Loretta for her act. She has taken an oath to never marry and hates arranged marriages with all her heart. The last thing she wants for her sweet and docile brother is to be the husband of a spoiled and over indulged girl - even if her brother happens to be a Duke. But the spark between Hawk and Loretta is instantaneous and undeniable. Loretta is adamant about keeping her oath and her distance from Hawk, but she also can't deny the feelings that he awakens in her. Will there be two weddings at the end or none at all? If you haven't read this series yet, then do so immediately. These three Dukes will have you swooning! I'm looking forward to finding out who will capture the heart of the third Rake of St. James, the Duke of Rathburne. Can't wait! Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Why are we at our best, when we are acting at our worst? Perhaps it's the thrill of the challenge. A knee jerk reaction to insecurity. Or maybe, we long to be accepted for who we really are and not who others want us to be. My favorite characters are ones that challenge my mind while conversing with my heart. Those are the one's that leave a lasting impressing on the soul. To the Duke With Love is what a love story should be. Not perfect, but true. Sloane and Loretta believe that they are unworthy of love, but long to help the people they care about find happiness. Ms. Grey has penned an insightful tale of sacrifice, love and happy endings. It takes a while to get there, but the trek is worth the wait.
grammyx3 More than 1 year ago
In To the Duke, With Love, Amelia Grey's second installment in her Rakes of St. James series the author takes a slightly different path from her usual and centers the story in a lonely, very isolated manor where the heroine, Miss Loretta Quick resides. I leave it to the reader to find out just why Loretta lives in such an isolated place. Amelia Grey also introduces the reader to a London street urchin who stumbles onto the manor property during a snowstorm. Reading about the background of a London street urchin definitely gives a different, darker view of this era. How Hawk, the Duke of Hawksthorne meets and falls in love with the lovely Miss Loretta Quick makes for an enjoyable read. This was a fascinating read for me. The interaction between a rogue and an innocent had me anticipating what could possibly happen next. The author's portrayal of the personalities of the Duke of Hawksthorne and Miss Quick is a masterful bit of writing. I really enjoyed this story!
carvanz More than 1 year ago
Years ago Loretta made a vow that she will never break. Since that moment she has been isolated, away from friends and society. When Hawk arrives to present an arrangement to her brother she feels the whisper of discontent at what her life has turned out to be. Hawk is instantly taken with Loretta and her forthright attitude and determination to win any argument. Even as he takes steps to solidify his plans for his sister he maneuvers circumstances to his benefit regarding the charming woman who has captured his attention. While parts of this was wordy and full of introspection, the building relationship between the main characters was engaging. They are perfect for each other and yet Loretta cannot yield to Hawk’s desires. There is a couple of secondary storylines that helped to move the book along and the one regarding Farley was heart wrenching. Overall, this was a pleasant read. This is an honest review of an advanced copy provided by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. Dual POV Safe No apparent triggers
def618 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book of the Rakes of St. James series and can easily be read as a standalone book. The Duke of Hawksthorn wants to find a husband for his 18-year-old sister, Adele, before her spring debut to avoid the gossipmongers. He has selected Paxton Quick, nephew to an Earl. Arriving at the country house where he expects to find Paxton, he finds Paxton’s older sister Loretta and a few servants in residence. Due to the snow and his borrowed horse going lame, he must stay there. Hawk is very attracted to Miss Quick but she claims to want nothing to do with him. At 18, she refused to marry the man her uncle had selected, and he exiled her to this remote house. She has vowed to never marry, but that was before she met Hawk. Loretta and Paxton agree to visit Hawk’s country estate to meet Adele. There is a minor character in this book that Loretta and Hawk must deal with, but I won’t spoil his causing them to interact with each other. I loved the verbal give and take between Hawk and Loretta. I don’t like spoilers, so I hope I’ve said enough for you to try this book. I can easily recommend it. Thanks to the publisher for giving me an ARC.
astroyic More than 1 year ago
IThis is the second installment in The Rakes of St. James series by Amelia Grey. The second rake in the series is the Duke of Hawksthorn, “Hawk”. His sister Adele is getting to ready to make her debut this Season. But with the scandal sheet fueling the gossip mongers, all over London, about the scandal from his past, he is desperate to have his sister’s betrothal settled before the season starts. So, Hawk sets out to visit Mammoth House and Paxton Quick to arrange a betrothal between him and his sister Adele. But after a long and terrible journey, Hawk finds that Paxton is not at home . But as luck would have it, Hawk must deal with the unexpected, intriguing, as well as beautiful, and shapely, Loretta Quick. His immediate attraction to her beauty, and her infuriating, wit and intelligence, makes it hard for him to concentrate on the important issue before him. Loretta Quick is Paxton’s sister, who has been confined to Mammoth House as punishment for refusing to go through with an arranged marriage. And with everything that Loretta has been through, she definitely wants her brother to marry for love . What unfolds is a delightful combination of romance and stolen moments as Hawk tries to change Lorettas’ mind regarding her situation, as well as the feelings they have for each other. I was immediately hooked. Their immediate attraction and sizzling awareness, between these two characters jumps off the page. I loved and admired Loretta. She is such a strong, relatable character. She's honest and forthright, not afraid to say what's on her mind, but still respectful. You can't help but cheer her on because she's been dealt a pretty crappy hand in life but never complains about it. Reformed rake, Hawk, is a swoon worthy hero and easy to fall in love with. His tenacity and determination to get exactly what he wants is sexy and it's easy to understand why Loretta is immediately attracted to him. What I loved most about his character is his sense of honor and his intense loyalty to his sister as well to his strong feelings for Loretta. Loretta and Hawk find that whether they are together or apart, all they can think of is the other, and the more they spend time together and get to know each other, the more they want each other. I also really enjoyed getting a different side to this era. Instead of reading about Balls and gowns we were given a glimpse of some real life issues dealing with poverty and child labor. Amelia Grey really developed complex characters that added dimension to the story. Even the secondary characters were well developed. Their little story within the book will definitely tug at your heartstrings. We also get to briefly catch up with the other rakes of St. James and I'm really looking forward to Raths’ story next. I also loved that there was even romance outside the story of our main characters and I love that Overall, this was a really heartwarming, sweet read and I can't wait to see what Amelia Grey gives us next. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
TO THE DUKE, WITH LOVE by Amelia Grey is Book Two in "The Rakes of St. James". This is the story of Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn and Loretta Quick. Hawk and a few of his friends caused a scandal a few years back that still seems to live on. Now Hawk's sister Adelethat is coming out / making her debut. So he plans to have her a husband before that happens. Hawk thinks the perfect man for her would be Paxton Quick. When he goes to talk to Paxton he instead meets Loretta. Loretta knows all about arranged marriages. Loretta was strong enough to walk away from one but her Uncle did isolate her to the Mammoth House. Now three years later she is confronted with Hawks ideal for her brother and his sister. Loretta is not wanting that for her caring brother...he should have a love match. I am such a fan of Ms. Grey's writing...so for me this was just a joy to read! Loved it.
julieford More than 1 year ago
To the Duke, with Love is the second in the Rakes of St. James series but can also be read as a stand alone. This is a story of protecting one's siblings and finding peace with the past. Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn is trying to protect his innocent sister from those who seek retaliation against him from youthful pranks that gained him the title of one of the Rakes of St. James. He is attempting to arrange a marriage for his sister to Paxton Quick but Paxton's sister is against the match. Loretta has been banished to her uncle's farthest estate because she refused an arranged marriage and now an arrogant duke shows up to arrange a marriage with her younger brother. The two are instantly at odds but also attracted to each other. The banter between the two is only adding to the attraction. Following Hawk and Loretta through their adventures will keep you entertained through the book. The characters' witty repartee is engaging and the story takes several twists and turns. I received an ARC from the author but all thoughts and feelings are my own.
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
The Duke of Hawthorne, one of the infamous Rakes of St James, was losing sleep over his sister. Adele was about to have her first season, and Hawke was anxious. There were rumors, that because Hawke had been guilty of tainting a few reputations in the past, that some ill-intentioned gentlemen were planning on paying him back. The last thing Hawke wanted, was for his sweet sister to pay for his mistakes. The Duke decided that finding a husband for his sister and securing an engagement before the season started, was the best way to protect her. Hawke declared to his sister that Paxton Quick would make the perfect husband for her. He was good-looking, even-tempered, and didn’t drink or gamble to excess. Hawke never imagined, however, that his greatest adversary would be Paxton’s sister, Loretta. Hawke was not accustomed to people challenging his requests. As a Duke, Hawke was used to people bending to his will, not the other way around. Loretta was dead-set, against arranged marriages, and was irritated with the Duke for even suggesting one. Loretta didn’t want, her brother missing out on a love-match, just because the Duke was waving his sister’s hefty dowry in front of him. Loretta fought her attraction to Hawke. She had vowed never to marry years ago. She couldn’t allow the handsome Duke’s confident charm, to wiggle itself, into her heart. But, the more time she spent with him; the harder it became. To The Duke With Love is an enjoyable Regency romance. It’s the second book in The Rakes of St. James series. This book wasn’t as riveting as the first book in the series, but it was captivating, just the same. I plan on reading the third novel in this series as soon as it is available. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.