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.
My Review ~ 5 stars
Passionate, heart felt and compelling
This Historical Regency Romance by Amy Rose Bennett is a compelling read, containing a heart felt romance, oodles of sexual tension, red hot passion and a suspenseful plot. It also contains one of my top male leads in my reads this year in the form of Rafe Landsbury! It is an erotic read dealing with some dark emotional issues.
Georgiana, a widow is a vulnerable heroine who affects the façade of the ‘Ice Duchess’ to protect herself and her heart. Deeply hurt by traumatic events in her past she avoids relationships with the opposite sex, keeping rakes in particular at arms length. Yet when faced with the mysterious and debonair Rafe Landsbury her fragile mask crumbles under his devilish charm, piercing wit and intelligence.
Once Rafe gets a glimpse of the woman beneath the act his interest is piqued, and despite her protestations he embarks on a mission of seduction which Georgiana finds hard to resist. I not only LOVED how Rafe courts Georgiana (as an alpha male he pushes her boundaries whilst respecting her fears), but also how he seeks retribution against the man who hurt her in the past. Rafe too has his own demons and he struggles to reveal his own secrets until he is compelled to do so by events.
Yet there is a foe at large who seeks revenge on Rafe and who threatens the couple’s growing happiness. As Rafe does all he can to protect Georgiana whilst keeping her in the dark about his past, will their growing affection be enough to counter his lies of omission and the danger she is now in? The read takes some dark twists before it reaches its conclusion.
I absolutely adored the sexual charged banter between the hero and heroine. Rafe is an alpha male who will stop at nothing to claim this woman and protect her from others and even himself. There are some great characterizations in the book, not just the hero and heroine but also Georgina’s brother Jonathan. We also get to meet characters from Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal (click on title for review). The story has a great deal of depth, not just emotionally but also in the ability of the author to immerse the reader in the life of Regency England, the sights, sounds and the social mores of the time.
A top read for fans of Regency Romance.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
A copy of this book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review.
Connect with the Author
Click on the title for my review of Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal