Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny’s dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There’s only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe’s brother Andrew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.
This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.
But Mina is no damsel in distress. She’s daring, intuitive, passionate…and halfway to melting Drew’s cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?
I really enjoyed the relationship between Drew and Mina–whether they were getting along or not, their chemistry was great and their banter was a lot of fun. Ms. Bell put them in a lot of ridiculous situations–many were a bit OTT but they were still so entertaining to read. The two of them on the page were such magic that I could have read a dozen more chapters of the two of them getting into scrapes and doing…other things. 😉
The one aspect of the story that felt like it needed some work, though, was the spying plotline. It was a bit hard to believe that Rafe (Drew’s younger brother) was really a skilled agent, partly because we hardly see him in that persona and partly because of how his mission turns out–there’s more explaining that Rafe has skills than actual witnessing said skills in action. The big confrontation with the villain also left me a bit nonplussed–he really didn’t come off at all like the big bad that he supposedly was.
Or maybe that was just me, rushing through that scene to get back to more quality Drew-and-Mina time. I fully admit this could be the case…
Drew and Rafe’s younger sister appears to be a heroine of a future book, and I am absolutely here for that. This was the third book in the series, but should work fine as a standalone as well. Past series characters are mentioned, but you don’t have to have read their book to enjoy Drew and Mina’s story.
Just an aside–I love the way the cover actually matches two scenes in the book. So often the cover art seems totally separate from the story itself; it’s refreshing to see that wasn’t the case here. Two thumbs up!
Rating: 4 stars/ A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.