Captain Harry Lidge has done his duty. After losing too many good men on the battlefield, he’s ready to put his responsibilities behind him and live a life free of care. But first he has one last mission: find out what the most outrageous woman in London, the same woman who betrayed him nearly a decade earlier, is concealing, before her secrets take down the crown.
Her heart is the only thing she won’t risk . . .
Surrounded by ardent admirers and a few loyal friends, Lady Kate Seaton glides through the ton on a confection of couture gowns and bon mots. No one suspects that beneath her lighthearted façade Kate hides a sorrow so scandalous she’ll do anything to keep it hidden. But only when she trusts Harry with the truth and only when he trusts her with his heart can they stop the villains all too willing to kill Kate to attain their ultimate goal: destroy England.
REVIEW: In 2010 Eileen Dreyer introduced us to her Drake’s Rakes and to three of them, she gave a Grace for their very own.
In ‘Barely a Lady’, Jack found his Grace, Olivia Grace that is and in ‘Never a Gentleman’, Diccan couldn’t outrun his Grace, Grace Fairchild. And then Harry confronts Her Grace, the Dowager Duchess of Murther in ’Always a Temptress’ and their story, as the earlier two, had me spellbound and on the edge of my seat.
How can I do this novel justice AND keep the ‘spoilers’ out?! I want to shout it out loud and let you know all the why’s and what for’s…but I’ll contain my enthusiasm, and tell you why I loved Kate and Harry’s love story.
We met this flamboyant woman in the first book, and she was someone you couldn’t help but like from the start. She was a daughter, sister and a wife of a Duke; fearless, hated, envied and admired. She surrounded herself with friends from all walks of life; aristocrats, soldiers and a motley crew of misfits in her employ made up an eclectic ‘bouquet’ of friends that kept the darkness away and Kate’s life content.
Until the day that greed and secrets, kept by her and from her, shattered, battered and forced her to face all her fears she carefully and methodically hid, in the dark corners of her soul.
Major Sir Harry Lidge we met in the previous book and we knew from his interactions with Kate that the past they shared would one day come to haunt both, and once it did, both would have ‘some splainin’ to do’.
Harry’s life ten years ago was filled with dreams of travel and love for a girl of a Duke, and as a second son of a squire, that was a dream a bit too high, even for him. That however didn’t stop him and the love he felt for his ‘Katie’ came crashing down all around him, like the famous buildings he dreamed one day of building. Being brought up by loving parents, in a home that buzzed with activity and happiness, Harry’s decision to accept the Duke’s offer of a commission was the right thing to do. He knew that his dreams, if ever he survived the war, might be rebuilt and hopes for that dream kept him alive; kept him moving even when the nightmares of the battles fought tried to keep him down.
Upon finishing this novel, I truly couldn’t decide who was more the hero of this piece, Kate or Harry. Both had major hurdles to overcome, but the strength that Kate displayed was ferocious!
The story opens with Kate’s abduction for her protection and continues with her brother’s attempts to commit her to an asylum for her outrageous behavior. In the middle of it all, Drake’s Rakes are still in pursuit of the cursed verse and assassin’s attempts at killing our hero and heroine almost succeed. To some, this might be too much happening all at once, but trust me, none is, and all is important to the story that is fast paced, and every character we meet has depth, but none so like our Kate and Harry. Their road back to each other despite of all the hardships they lived through was destined to end with love and passion winning the day!
‘Always a Temptress’ had me smile, cry and sigh, but it never, EVER had me bored! Ms. Dreyer, I hear that you’ll be writing more of Drake’s Rakes, so BRING THEM ON! I refuse to think that Ian is dead!
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* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*