The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.
Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.
The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?
|Title:||From Duke Till Dawn|
|Series:||The London Underground aka The Scandalous Ladies of London (Book 1)|
|Category / Genre(s):||Harlequin / Mills & Boon|
|Trope(s):||Second Chance Romance|
|Point of View:|
|Release Date:||26th July, 2018|
Very absorbing romance
I’m pretty sure that this is the first book I’ve read by Eva Leigh – but it definitely won’t be the last. From the very first page I was hooked. I found myself trying to sneak in a few pages whenever I got the chance and even was quite pleased for a long hospital wait as it meant I had uninterrupted reading time!
This is a slightly unusual premise for a historical romance. We’ve normally got a virginal heroine – probably a lady or at least gentility – and heroes with varying degrees of experience and varying social class. This book pits a duke against a swindler raised on the streets. And one whose first meeting with him was when she fleeced him! I was a bit wary, if I’m honest. Would I like a heroine who wasn’t truthful and honest?
The answer is yes. Very much so in fact. Cassandra is a strong yet vulnerable heroine and while she had done things in her past that were less than savoury – she had a perfectly legitimate reason in her very survival. I loved her honest feelings for Alex and really wanted her to not just survive, but find her happiness, too. When she found herself straddling two worlds and belonging to neither – my heart broke for her.
Alex is my favourite kind of hero. Brooding and grumpy but also dedicated to, and willing to fight for his love. And boy did he love Cassandra. Especially at the beginning, it was swoon worthy stuff and gave your stomach that delicious clutch. As I said, he was strong and (likably) arrogant but he felt unworthy of being loved – and that gave me another reason to root for the pair.
The story was fast paced and very well written. There were only a few very minor Americanisms (sidewalks and blocks being two things that did jump out at me) and I felt the story was nicely absorbed in the time period (which is 1817, by the way).
The love story was great, as was the enjoyment as the two moved from lust and obsession into love. I did feel that once Cassandra moved into Alex’s home, the sexual tension tapered off a little. I would have liked to see some more scenes of simple domesticity between the pair, especially with Alex’s feelings on how people saw him. I was also a little disappointed that they covered up Cassandra’s true identity to pave her way into society. The whole book was about finding your true self and finding someone to love you for who you really are. It just felt a little wrong to then say we’ll now just pretend you’re someone you’re not.
But fear not, it was still a happy ending and the book as a whole was a very worthy read. I’m looking forward to the next in the Scandalous Ladies of London / London Underground series which I’m hoping is the books of Langdon and Ellingsworth.
A recommended read. 4 stars.
As an aside – I personally do not like the word ’till’ as a substitute for until. People might say it’s a completely different word to until and actually predates it. I do not care. Most people are using it instead of until and therefore I feel (ridiculously strongly, it appears) that you should write ’til. If I hadn’t been so generously gifted this copy, I honestly might not have picked up this book because of that small thing. No really – I actually am that pedantic and that sad! LOL!
Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of determined women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoë Archer.