(Rules for the Reckless, #3)
Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)
The third searing novel in the Rules for the Reckless series by Meredith Duran, the USA Today bestselling author of sexy and evocative Regency romances in the tradition of Sarah MacLean.
Catching the Lady Red-Handed
Born to a family of infamous criminals, Lilah Marshall has left behind her past and made herself into the perfect lady. Working as a hostess at Everleigh’s, London’s premier auction house, she leads a life full of art, culture, and virtue. All her dreams are within reach—until a gorgeous and enigmatic viscount catches her in the act of one last, very reluctant theft.
Chasing One Red-Hot Passion
Christian “Kit” Stratton, Viscount Palmer, is society’s most dashing war hero. But Kit’s easy smiles hide a dark secret: he is haunted by a madman’s vow to destroy anyone he loves. When his hunt for the enemy leads to Everleigh’s Auction Rooms, he compels Lilah to help him. But one tempting touch may be their undoing—for what Kit needs threatens all Lilah holds dear, and losing her may destroy Kit.
This is my first Meredith Duran book and I enjoyed the intriguing story, intelligent writing, fascinating characters and sensual love story.
This is book 3 in the series but can easily be read as a standalone.
I love Lily’s character. She’s intelligent, tenacious, ambitious and courageous. We see it in her determination to fulfil her sister’s dream and make a better life for herself; in the hard-work and self-discipline needed to become a perfect lady; in her desire to earn an honest living as a hostess at the prestigious Everleigh’s Auction Rooms. I like how she holds her own in the initial verbal battle with Christian and I love the knife throwing scene where she certainly comes out on top!
I had mixed feelings about Christian. I liked the rakish, flirtatious side we see in his interactions with Lily but he also has a darker side. He is obsessed with finding and killing Bolkhov, the madman responsible for his brother’s murder and now threatening the lives of his mother and sister. I didn’t approve of the way he is prepared to use Catherine Everleigh as an innocent pawn in his plans. I thought this was particularly reprehensible given he knew full well what would happen to her if she fell into Bolkhov’s hands.
I enjoyed how Ms Duran develops the romance between these two… the witty banter, the heady attraction, the smouldering kisses and the desire and passion that burns between them.
One of the highlights of the book for me is the developing friendship between Lily and the previously obnoxious Catherine Everleigh. Here are two women who refuse to be constrained by what society expects of them. Both are strong, capable women and I love how they use their own abilities to outwit the villain.
I was intrigued by Nick O’Shea, Lily’s ruthless uncle and infamous ruler of Whitechapel and it will be interesting to see how Ms Duran redeems him in the next book, LUCK BE A LADY. Pairing him with “Ice Queen” Catherine Everleigh should definitely prove interesting!
MY VERDICT: This was a very enjoyable book and I will certainly be looking to read more by Meredith Duran.
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS
SENSUALTY RATING: WARM
Read October 2015
Rules for the Reckless series (click on the book covers for further details):