THE DUKE AND THE LADY IN RED is book three in the
Gentlemen of St. James series by the delightful
Heath. I am a long time Heath fan, and she has outdone
herself with this book. Last month, I spent a week on the
beach doing nothing but reading all day, and of the large
number of books I read, this is the one that sticks with
and that I will put on my Keeper shelf. The characters
speak to me, the witty dialogue draws me in, and the
sumptuous tale of love leaves me swooning.
Twin Dragons is a former gentleman's club, newly opened to
Victorian women. Rosalind (Rose) Sharpe shows up at Twin
Dragons in a red gown, posing as a widow, and looking for
men to fleece. The Duke of Avendale sees her from a
balcony and instantly is smitten. Avendale has been
bored with his life of complete debauchery, and when
Rosalind turns him down for a tryst, he decides he must
her, at any cost. When Avendale discovers Rose fleeing
with his coins in her pocket, he proposes a scandalous
trade: all the money she could want for a week in his bed.
Rose agrees out of desperation, but stipulates that he
never question her motives.
Avendale sounds like a complete ass based on the bare
of him, right? But he's such a complexly GOOD man
underneath, and a much better man than he realizes. Rose
brings out the best in him as they become close. I adore
when the love of a good woman redeems a rake! The care he
takes of Rose and her secret life are breathtaking, and
break my heart in places. I love, love, LOVE Rose. She's
such a complex character. Fierce and protective and daring
because she has to be, to protect her secrets and those
to her. The reasons for Rose's deception are multilayered
and almost have me rooting for her scams to succeed.
The sexual tension between them is amazingly glorious. I
thought I would go up in flames merely from reading about
him removing her gloves at dinner! The slow change from
con artist and her intended mark to friends and then
is well paced and completely believable. This is
romance at its finest, and THE DUKE AND THE LADY IN RED is
the shining jewel in Heath's crown as the Queen of
Sparks fly in the finale of the Scandalous Gentlemen of
James Place series, as the last wicked rogue meets his
When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the
wicked Duke of Avendale, sheâ€™s torn between her
attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that
heâ€”rich as Croesusâ€”is the perfect target for a deception
that will put her swindling days behind her.
However, Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the
tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins
in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition:
can have all the money she requiresâ€¦for a week in his bed.
Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one
he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees
beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion
pleasureâ€”she is everything he has ever desired. But
her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever.
Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk
everything for a chance at love.