Between the Devil and the Duke (A Season for Scandal #3)
Forever / January 31, 2017 / $5.99 print & digital
No question, Kelly Bowen is an automatic buy for me regardless if I’m purchasing for my own library or gifting her books to all my friends. Why? Because I know when I open that first page, I’m in for a gourmet feast of literary historical romance perfection. Her writing improves with each story, the plot-twists nourish my brain, and the subtle humor and dialogue lift my spirits. All this and I haven’t yet shouted to the rooftops my adoration for the love story driving the narrative.
Can you tell I have an author crush?
Between the Devil and the Duke is the latest in her A Season for Scandal series. Remember Elise deVries from A Duke to Remember? Well, Elise’s brother Alex, also a partner at Chegarre and Associates, finds love at last. And the lucky lady is the bomb. Lady Angelique Archer is a genius with numbers. Like all of Bowen’s heroines, Angelique is no simpering miss waiting to be rescued. When her brother inherited the Marquess estate, worries about money and eating three meals a day should have been non-existent. Instead, all assets from the estate have mysteriously disappeared. Instead of crumpling into a pool of tears and complaining about their once-hefty coffers, she devises a plan to keep them afloat. By using her brain, of course. If she can remain incognito and continue to hustle the men at vingt-et-un, she can return to the club known as Lavoie’s and ensure that bills get paid and her siblings can stay in school.
Except she doesn’t go unnoticed. Not by the owner, Alex Lavoie, who makes it his business to know everyone in his club’s business. That she is counting cards is easy to see. Her identity under the mask? Something he will stop at nothing to uncover. Already seduced by her ability with numbers, one touch and Alex is in trouble.
Except he had gone and made the idiotic mistake of touching her, covering her hand with his own as he had led her through the club, and it was like lightning had sizzled through him, leaving him not a little disoriented. And then later, even when he knew it was unwise, he had given in to his baser urges and ran his fingers across the impossibly smooth, impossibly soft skin at her shoulder. Wishing he could slide that gold silk from her body and explore the rest. First with his fingers. Then with his tongue. And after that, with his—
It doesn’t take long to discover her identity. Under the guise of making more money, he propositions Angelique to deal cards for the club. It’s a calculated move on his part, as he assesses her need for money and protection. That, and he can’t stop thinking about her, despite his “no dallying with the employees rule.” Alex, it seems, holds all the cards. He’s never had to worry about falling in love and sex is never intimate. In fact, caring and bedfellow never go hand in hand. But with Angelique, all bets are off. (I know, I couldn’t resist all the idioms to gambling)…
“You shouldn’t have to…” he trailed off, a strange expression on his face.
“To what?” The words caught in her throat. He was so close to her that she could feel the warmth of him, smell a faint scent of tobacco and whiskey and something darker.
“Be alone.” He found her hand at her side and brought it up and kissed the back of her knuckles. Her mouth sent dry, and that sense of yearning roared back to life, coursing through her, setting her blood on fire.
“I like being alone,” she said, realizing that her voice was trembling as much as her body.
He raised his head slowly and uncurled his fingers where they had caught hers. “Liar,” he whispered gently.
Oh, seeing how this scoundrel falls for Angelique is so delicious, with all the subtle touches and tenderness in each word and action.
Between the Devil and the Duke might just be my favorite. And that’s saying a lot, seeing as how much I adored A Good Rogue is Hard to Find. My only complaint? Where are the farm animals, Ms. Bowen? You know how I love me some chickens! For those of you who haven’t read The Lords of Worth Series and are curious about the chickens?? You won’t be disappointed.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen, available January 31, 2017:
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Tanya is a fanatic of all things romance, dabbles in Happily Ever Afters under the pen name of Lily Kay, and teaches sociology part-time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu, @AuthorLilyKay, or on facebook.com/Authorlilykay.