TITLE: Between the Devil and the Duke
AUTHOR(S): Kelly Bowen
SERIES: Season for Scandal #3
GENRE: Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE: January 31, 2017
LENGTH: 368 pages
DATE READ: February 2017
READING CHALLENGES: 2017 Historical Romance Reading Challenge
CHARACTER ARCHETYPES: Bad Boy Hero, Genius Heroine
TROPES: Employer/Employee Romance, Gambling Hell, Blackmail
RATING: 4 STARS
Their love was always in the cards.He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he's more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty—in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he'll have to devise a proposition she can't turn down.MY THOUGHTS:
Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie's club offered a surefire way to make quick money—until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible.
I received a free eARC of this book from Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Why I Read It...
Kelly Bowen has become one of my favorite historical authors in the past year and I love what she is doing with this Season for Scandal series. Alex has been an integral part of the series and I wanted to know more about him especially in light of the information received in the previous installment, A Duke to Remember.
What I Liked About It...
1. Kelly Bowen continues to provide me with intelligent, spirited heroines who are unorthodox yet still feel realistic to the time period they are living in. I loved everything about Angelique from her affinity for numbers, her determination to keep her family together, and her loyalty even when I felt like certain people (her brother) didn't deserve it. She was a fantastically drawn character that is worthy of every bit of happiness she got in the end.
2. I also liked Alex who, as I mentioned, I have wanted to learn more about since he first appeared. I have a soft spot in my heart for heroes who run gambling clubs...probably the result of my obsession with Lisa Kleypas's Dreaming of You. I love the mystery surrounding his character and that he was such a genuinely nice guy underneath. He figured out how special Angelique was from the beginning and strived to make sure she knew it.
3. I tend to be on the fence when it comes to mysteries in historical romance, but, when it comes to this author and this series, I am coming to really enjoy them. I found the whole concept of who was trying to ruin the Archer family and why to be interesting and surprising. It is clear that Kelly Bowen takes her time developing both the romance plot and the mystery plot since they work so well together.
What I Disliked About It...
1. While I did admire Angelique's devotion to her family, I was irritated by her younger brother and wish there had been more of a resolution to his story. He was a big part of the plot including the murder mystery, but then he just was gone. I am kinda hoping he will return to show readers (and his sister) how much he has grown and become a worthy romance hero.
Would I Recommend It...
Absolutely! The characters are different and likable and their romance was a delight to read. I found myself wanting more scenes of them together just because they made me so happy. My love of Kelly Bowen's writing continues!