I can’t believe this is my first book by Madeline Hunter. I could have sworn I read her before and I’m so disappointed that I haven’t! Hunter is a great writer and really knows how to deliver a good story! She had all the elements that I like! The writing is engaging, the story flows and I really like the characters.
First, I really liked the heroine. I liked that Lady Lydia Thornton was her own person. She doesn’t care for societies rules and she does what she wants. This has obviously caused her to earn a reputation. Lydia is known as the “sphinx” because in society she holds her emotions in check and doesn’t let anyone into her private thoughts. All except her closest friends. This part was the only part that I missed out on. In previous books all the friends had their stories so many of the characters in this book I was not familiar with. But it didn’t stop me from enjoying the story. Lydia is considered too old to marry and she also enjoys gambling. She is known to be a great gambler and really enjoys it. There were times I had to confess that I thought she had a problem…
The Duke of Penthurst was an interesting hero/anti-hero. It was hard to figure him out at times. He seemed very stuffy and judgemental. He seems to coincide with Lydia when she is getting herself into trouble and has a certain degree of delight in reprimanding her and at the same time enjoying her “scandals”. I started to like him more and more as the story unravels. The author alluded to different encounters between Lydia and Penthurst in previous books. So if anyone has read them (I know I will) they get to see Lydia and Penthurst get their story.
So what is the conflict? Lydia is blackmailed, Algernon- who is so loathsome and ghoulish- has his hands on a book she wrote years ago. Algernon decides to blackmail her, but like all spineless jerks he is never satisfied and keeps increasing the ransom. I really liked how the author introduced the conflict and how it developed into another problem. Lydia really gets herself in all different kinds of situations and one obviously involves Penthurst. This story is lengthy but it is very good and very intriguing. The things that made this book a five star for me where: the hero and heroine and their connection. It wasn’t insta- lust with them. As the story unfolded so did their relationship. I highly enjoyed and recommend this book!
**ARC provided by Publisher**
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