Reviewed by Sarah Brew
A rogue ruined...
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London's corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he's dreamed of...absolution.
A lady returned...
Mara planned never to return to the world from which she'd run but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple's exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows...that he is no killer.
A scandal revealed...
It's a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady - and her past - are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything . . . even true love.
Twelve years of Temple’s life have been blighted by his conviction (and that of society) that he must have killed Mara Lowe on the night before she was due to marry his father. Disowned by his family, he lives his life in the underworld of London.
After 12 years with no trace of her, can you wonder at his anger when Mara turns up at his house? He needs the truth to be known so he can set his demons at rest – but she wants something in return. In exchange for paying off her brother’s gambling debts, Mara will show the world she is still alive, thus freeing Temple from the suspicion of murder and allowing him to take his rightful place in society. But are his feelings against Mara too bitter to allow him to take this course?
An archetypal Regency hero and a heroine I initially I didn’t think I’d like but to whom I ultimately
warmed, helped by learning that it is family loyalty that propelled Mara back into Temple’s life and that her demands are driven by this, not by greed. This is no frothy Regency romance – there’s plenty of darkness here, in Mara’s background and in Temple’s way of life.
The novel offers plenty of sharp, snappy dialogue with an abundance of witty sparring between
the lead characters – Mara’s a feisty one. Despite his desire for revenge and the plot he hatches to disgrace her in the eyes pf society, Temple finds himself irresistibly falling for Mara. By the end of the story, I was rooting for both of them and hoping they would find a way to the happy ending that Temple especially so richly deserved.
I always enjoy reading books in a series like this – while the stories do not depend on each other and are perfectly enjoyable as stand-alone novels, there’s that element that enjoys re-meeting characters from other stories.
I'd like to thank Sarah at Piatkus for sending me a copy of this book to review and Sarah for reviewing it for me.