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(Scoundrels of St. James, #5)

Genre:  Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath brings us the eagerly awaited final story in the Scoundrels of St. James series.

William Graves is the last of Feagan’s scoundrels. A onetime grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others—because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady like Winnie. Though undeserving of her touch, he cannot resist. His passion cannot be tamed…even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she’s discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now, confronted by the past she thought she’d left behind, Winnie must face her fears…or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I loved this conclusion to one of my all-time favourite series. The Scoundrels of St. James  series (obviously inspired by Dickens’s Oliver Twist) tells the story of five child thieves Lucian, Jack, Frannie, James and William, all members of Feagan’s merry little band of ne’er-do-wells. Their lives are irrevocably changed when it is discovered that Lucian is the lost heir to the Earl of Claybourne.  William was a constant presence throughout the other books and I am so pleased that he finally gets his own happy ending in this novella.

In the first book, In Bed with the Devil, Winnie is the dearest friend of Lady Catherine Mabry, the heroine of that book. She is married to the Duke of Avendale, a brute of a man who abuses his wife both physically and sexually. When Catherine discovers Winnie after a particularly severe beating, she fears for Winnie’s life and sends for William. He not only nurses Winnie back to health but also provides sanctuary in his home for her and her son, Whit. Shortly afterwards, the Duke of Avendale dies in a fire at his estate leaving Winnie free from his tyranny and free to explore her growing feelings for William.

William is drawn to Winnie but keeps a respectful distance because he believes he doesn’t deserve someone like her. He knows he has kept a terrible secret from her and fears that, if she discovers the truth, it will destroy any feelings she has for him. But when past deeds come back to haunt him, William must risk everything to protect the woman he loves.

William is such a wonderful hero. He has risen above his humble origins to become a renowned doctor but, he can never quite forget his past and the guilt he feels over his mother’s death. He has tried to make amends by helping others.  I love how he treats Winnie with such tenderness and sensitivity. He sees her vulnerability but also her hidden strength.   He makes her feel safe and protected and treats her with respect. I love how, with William’s support, Winnie gains in strength and confidence, facing her fears head on. She is no longer the timid, fearful woman she once was but a force to be reckoned with.

Those who have read In Bed with the Devil will know the terrible secret William and the others are hiding but I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn’t read that book. Suffice to say that things are not always as they seem and past events can often come back to haunt you. I enjoyed seeing the other scoundrels whose loyalty to each other still remains strong.

 Memorable moments

She was the kindest person he’d ever known. In his youth he had longed for one kind touch, one sweet caress that would ease all the hurts. He imagined she would be a balm to his harsh soul.

 He didn’t need to save the world to atone for the sins of his youth. He merely needed to save a portion of it. He’d only needed to save her.

She relished his nearness, his holding her . She’d never been held simply for the pleasure of being held. There was comfort in it, an easing of loneliness without words.

She saw a woman who stood a bit taller, had no fears, was confident regarding the path she was on. A woman who was loved.

She lightened his days, eased his burdens, brought joy to his nights.

This is was a wonderful end to a fabulous series. Now I can look forward to reading the stories of the next generation in Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James.

 

REVIEW RATING:  4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read May 2014

Scoundrels of St. James series (click the book covers for more information):

In Bed With the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #1) by Lorraine Heath Between the Devil and Desire (Scoundrels of St. James, #2) by Lorraine Heath Surrender to the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #3) by Lorraine Heath Midnight Pleasures With a Scoundrel (Scoundrels of St. James, #4) by Lorraine Heath The Last Wicked Scoundrel (Scoundrels of St. James, #5) by Lorraine Heath

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I managed to read all my five books for April although they were not the ones I actually selected. I started reading the second book of Máire Claremont’s Mad Passions series and I just had to finish the series. This set me thinking and I’ve decided that, from May, I’m going to concentrate on catching up with the various series I have instead of choosing books from different categories. I think that might work better for me and give me more of a sense of achievement. I can move onto other categories later.

These are the books I’m hoping to read in May.

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(Scoundrels of St. James, #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

The eagerly anticipated final story in the Scoundrels of St. James series!

William Graves is the last of Feagan’s scoundrels. A one-time grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others, because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady such as Winnie. Though underserving of her touch, he cannot resist, his passion cannot be tamed…even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she’s discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now confronted by the past she thought she’d left behind, Winnie must face her fears…or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

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(The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Once upon a time, he was Lord Tristan Easton—now he is Crimson Jack, a notorious privateer beholden to none, whose only mistress is the sea. But all that will change when exquisite Lady Anne Hayworth hires his protection on a trip into danger and seduction. . .

Desperation brought Anne to the bronzed, blue-eyed buccaneer. But after the Captain demands a kiss as his payment, desire will keep her at his side. She has never known temptation like this—but to protect her heart, she knows she must leave him behind. Yet Tristan cannot easily forget the beauty—and when they meet again in a London ballroom, he vows he won’t lose her a second time, as fiery passion reignited takes them into uncharted waters that could lead the second lost lord home. . .

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(The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

A Lost Lords of Pembrook Novella

Christmas is a time for miracles … and second chances at love. 

In her dazzling first Season, Lady Meredith Hargreaves gave her heart to Alistair Wakefield, the Marquess of Chetwyn, only to have it shattered when he proposed to another. And now that he’s free to pursue her? It matters little, because she’s on her way to the altar, heartbreak be damned.

Chetwyn once set aside his dreams in favor of duty and honor. But as Christmas approaches, he is determined to put his own desires first and lure Lady Meredith back into his arms, where she’s always belonged.

First he steals a dance; then he steals a kiss. But when they find themselves alone in an abandoned castle during a snowstorm, reignited passion consumes them both. And Chetwyn will have one last chance to steal back Meredith’s heart, once and for all.

 

 

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SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODY GUARD BY VANESSA KELLY

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

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(The Renegade Royals #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (18th Century)

Cover Blurb

In this witty, sensual new series, Vanessa Kelly introduces the Renegade Royals, illegitimate sons of the Royal Princes who are finding their rightful places in society…

Accomplished spy Aden St. George prefers to stay away from the frivolous ton, especially after the way his mother was used by the Prince Regent. But his latest mission compels him to guard unconventional, vibrant Lady Vivien Shaw. Rescuing her from kidnappers was easy. Resisting her beauty is not. Duty demands he keep an eye on her—and naturally, his lips soon follow. For someone who views entanglements as a weakness, this is pure, delicious folly…

Though grateful for Aden’s help, Vivien has secrets she must keep hidden. Yet with her abductors still at large, she needs Aden’s protection almost as much as she craves his touch…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

THE LAST WICKED SCOUNDREL BY LORRAINE HEATH

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Scoundrels of St. James Novella #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath brings us the eagerly awaited final story in the Scoundrels of St. James series.

William Graves is the last of Feagan’s scoundrels. A onetime grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others—because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady like Winnie. Though undeserving of her touch, he cannot resist. His passion cannot be tamed…even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she’s discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now, confronted by the past she thought she’d left behind, Winnie must face her fears…or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

DOUGLAS: LORD OF HEARTACHE by GRACE BURROWES

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Lonely Lords, #8)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Douglas Allen needs a home for his aching heart…

Douglas Allen, Viscount Amery, hates having arrived to his title without knowing how to manage what few properties he has. Guinevere Hollister is a distant family connection raising her daughter, Rose, in rural obscurity and stewarding the estate they live on. At the urging of mutual family, Douglas reluctantly puts himself in Gwen’s hands for lessons in land husbandry and discovers beneath her prickly exterior a woman of passion and honor. Yet despite the closeness they find, she will not marry him.

Guinevere Hollister needs a champion…

When the powerful Duke of Moreland arranges an engagement between Gwen and his heir, Douglas knows the marriage is not what Gwen wants. In Douglas’s eyes, Gwen deserves to make her own choices, even if she chooses continued poverty and disgrace over the love Douglas offers her. Douglas will take on their family, the meddling duke, and Gwen’s own lonely, stubborn heart to ensure his lady’s happiness.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT BY CHRISTY ENGLISH

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Shakespeare in Love, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

A Regency-era retelling of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The charming, dissolute Raymond, Earl of Pembroke, is the most notorious rake in London. Home from the war against Bonaparte’s forces, he spends his life gaming, drinking and bedding courtesans, trying to forget the only woman he ever loved.

Arabella, Duchess of Hawthorne, is the woman who betrayed him. Forced into a marriage with an old man against her will ten years before, Arabella never saw Pembroke again. But now her elderly husband is dead, and the new Duke of Hawthorne wants to force her into his bed.

Desperate, Arabella goes to Pembroke in the dark of night and begs for his help and protection. In spite of his anger and bitterness, Pembroke can not turn his old love away. He and Arabella journey to Derbyshire during the midsummer festival to escape the marauding duke. Arabella and Pembroke find that their attraction for each other has not diminished, but has grown to a conflagration beyond their control. They find themselves falling under an enchantment, caught in a dream from which they never want to wake.

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FOREVER BETROTHED, NEVER THE BRIDE BY CHRISTI CALDWELL

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Hopeless romantic, Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh, is tired of sitting with the wallflowers, waiting for her betrothed to come to his senses and marry her. When Emmaline reads one too many reports of his scandalous liaisons in the gossip rags, she takes matters into her own hands.

War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.

The one woman Drake has spent the better part of his life avoiding is now the only woman he needs, but he is no longer a man worthy of his Emmaline. It is up to her to show him the healing power of love.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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HERE IS THE EAGERLY ANTICIPATED FINAL STORY IN THE SCOUNDRELS OF ST. JAMES SERIES!

THE LAST WICKED SCOUNDREL

(Scoundrels of St. James #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Official Blurb 

William Graves is the last of Feagan’s scoundrels. A onetime grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others—because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady like Winnie. Though undeserving of her touch, he cannot resist. His passion cannot be tamed…even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she’s discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now, confronted by the past she thought she’d left behind, Winnie must face her fears…or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

Expected publication date: 7 January 2014 

The other books in this series (click on the cover for more details):

In Bed With the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #1) Between the Devil and Desire (Scoundrels of St. James, #2) Surrender to the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #3) Midnight Pleasures With a Scoundrel (Scoundrels of St. James, #4)

★✩★✩★✩★

Also coming in February is the first book in her new series, Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James.

WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED

(Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Official Blurb 

They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…

Lady Grace Mabry’s ample inheritance has made it impossible for her to tell whether a suitor is in love with her—or enamored of her riches. Who better to distinguish beau from blackguard than her notorious childhood friend, the Duke of Lovingdon?

With no interest in marriage, Lovingdon has long lived only for pleasure. He sees little harm in helping Grace find a proper match. After all, he’s familiar with all the ploys a scoundrel uses to gain a woman’s favor. He simply has to teach the lovely innocent how to distinguish honest emotions from false ones. How better than by demonstrating his wicked ways. But as lessons lead to torrid passion and Grace becomes ensnared in another man’s marriage plot, Lovingdon must wage a desperate gamble: Open his heart fully—or risk losing the woman he adores…

Expected publication date: 25 February 2014 

The heroine of this story is Lady Grace Mabry, daughter of Sterling and Frannie, the hero and heroine in Surrender to the Devil. The hero of the story is the Duke of Lovingdon, stepson of Jack and son of Olivia, the hero and heroine in Between the Devil and Desire.

★✩★✩★✩★

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