STORY: Georgiana Dudley, the ‘Ice Duchess’, has just emerged from mourning after a nine-year marriage of convenience to the Duke of Darby, her twin brother’s lover. Deeply hurt by a scoundrel a decade ago, Georgie swore she would never turn her head for any man, let alone another rakehell. But then she encounters the wickedly handsome and all too charming Rafe Landsbury, the Earl of Markham and against her better judgment, her interest is reluctantly aroused. An affair may be impossible to resist but dare she trust Lord Markham with her most intimate secrets… and her heart?
Society believes Rafe to be a diplomat but for many years he has been working on the Continent as a spy for the Crown. Leaving the shadowy world of espionage behind, he returns to London with the intention of finding a wife. When he is paired with the frosty yet fascinating Duchess of Darby at the picquet table during a ton ball, he is intrigued. Do-or-die man that he is, he’s certainly not going to let her cool demeanor dissuade him from pursuing her.
When Rafe’s dark past returns to endanger Georgie, he is determined to protect her at all costs, even if that means hiding who he once was. With the stakes so high, both Georgie and Rafe must decide if love is a risk worth taking…
Author’s Note to Readers: This historical romance has a steamy heat rating. It contains open door love-making scenes and frank language is used.
REVIEW: Latimer House, Mayfair London – 1816
Georgiana (Georgie) age 28, the widowed Duchess of Darby, is attending a soiree at the home of her friends, Helena and her husband, Phillip Latimer, the Earl and Countess of Maxwell. Georgie’s twin brother, Jonathan, is escorting her. Her brother and her friends want to see her get back into life and put the grief for her dead husband, Teddy, behind her. Even though theirs had been a marriage in name only, Teddy had been her best friend. It so happens that Teddy and Jonathan had been lovers. Holding back her tears, she calls upon her cool facade which has earned her the title of The Ice Duchess. As much as she wants to leave the party, she knows that she must stay awhile and not disappoint her friend, Helena. Georgie has never cared for social events. But she enjoys playing cards and her brother takes her in to play.
In the card room, Rafe Landsbary, Lord Markham, introduces himself to Georgie and asks to play cards with her. The man has a reputation as a spy for Britain although she knows nothing about the man. In fact, Rafe has just become heir to his father’s title, the Marquessate of Avondale. When he beats her at cards, she is angry because she has always been a very good card player. Stepping outside for air and to cool her anger, Rafe accompanies her. He kisses her which arouses her but she pushes him away thinking that her brother has set him up to try and get Georgie to relax and learn to live again.
As she meets more people, Rafe is always nearby teasing her. However, she is adamant that she is not interested in him. Although he has retired from his work for Britain, he is still on watch for anything unusual. At the party, he is aware that someone outside in the garden is watching him so he is on alert.
As Rafe and Georgie see more of one another, there is a definite attraction but one that she fights.
Will Georgie be able to let down her guard and allow herself to come close to Rafe? What is the danger lurking in the shadows?
This book a good book but I found there were too many characters introduced that tends to make it confusing for the reader. However, I have enjoyed the the author’s work before and I’m sure I will continue to do so in the future.
Complimentary copy provided by the author
Connie for b2b