Let me start out by saying how much I enjoyed this book. It spared me many of the frustrating tropes I usually find in historicals. The heroine isn't a ninny or a virgin. The love isn't instantatious. And there is no great misunderstanding. It was a solid romance, with good sex, and enough danger to kick it all up a notch.
We first met Lucy back in Seduction & Scandal
. She is desperately trying to find her former lover Thomas, who she had thought died in a fire. But not only is he alive, but he is somehow wrapped up in a nefarious group, trying to obtain ancient artifacts of the Templar Knights. Adrian, the Duke of Sussex, even claims he saw Thomas kill a man. But Lucy holds out hope she'll be reunited with the man she thought she loved.
Sussex is on a mission to make Lucy his own. It's made very, very obvious from the beginning that he is hiding a secret. (And it doesn't take a rocket science to determine his true identity.) But no matter how much he pines for Lucy, she doesn't return his affections. It's really kind of sad, but the thing is... she can't love him because he hides who he really is. He presents himself with a mask of propriety, but once he begins to allow his mask to fall and his passion to shine through, Lucy doesn't stand a chance.
Even though the "big reveal" of Sussex's secret was no surprise, it was still very poignant. I just wanted to step inside the book and give him a great big hug. How could it take Lucy so long to see what was right before her eyes?? The love story is good... and the sex is hooooot. All this with the backdrop of the mystery set up in the last book. Who is trying to steal the ancient artifacts? And how far will he go to get what he wants? I feel very certain I know the identity of the villain's lover, but I change my mind every five minutes about who the big bad really is.
I really liked the b-plot story surrounding Elizabeth and Alynwick. I'm already in a tizzy waiting for their book to come out! Especially since this one ended on a cliffhanger. How am I supposed to wait until July to find out what happens??
4 1/2 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley