Men tended to take their rules seriously, especially the ones that kept women submissive, subservient, and on the wrong side of doors.”
Reviewed by Angela
Lady India Rochester is an adventurer and an archaeologist with a sharp tongue and a keen intellect. She doesn’t accept the doors closed to her and couldn’t care less about the dirty looks of her male counterparts, she is determined to break the rules and create a name for herself in her chosen profession. The only thing standing in her way, and her only real weakness, is her childhood best friend/current arch-enemy, Daniel Bonds, the Duke of Ravenwood.
Raven has his reasons for driving Indy away and keeping her at a distance all these years. Ever since the death of his father he has been training for his role as spy for the English crown. He won’t put the only woman he has ever loved through the kind of pain his mother went through when his father passed so suddenly. So he plays the part of a rogue and a scoundrel and a thief of antiquities. He’ll argue with Indy, get her worked up and angry so that she’ll never realize it’s all a ruse to protect her from his enemies. She’ll never know he sometimes dreams of the life they could have had.
When Indy manages to gains access to a meeting of the Royal Society (by dressing as a man) in order to get a closer look at the Rosetta Stone, it doesn’t take Raven long to see through her disguise. Indy quickly realizes that whatever is in the Royal Society, it isn’t the Rosetta Stone. They soon find out that it is indeed missing and they are tasked with discovering it’s whereabouts and bringing it back to London. Raven wants to go alone, Indy doesn’t really care what he wants. She’s going to Paris, either with him or alone, makes no difference to her. It’s happening.
I enjoyed this romance so much. These characters were introduced in the first book in the series, What a Difference a Duke Makes, and all their back and forth sniping and passionate verbal warfare had me fairly desperate to get my hands on their book. Their chemistry was so yummy. I loooove a couple with history. I love second chance romances.
I was kind of expecting Raven to have to go through some sort of redemption arc after how India described him previously, but there really was no need. The real Raven comes through to the reader right away. His every thought is of Indy and how desperate he is for her. I wasn’t expecting it, but I enjoyed it immensely. So romantic.
He couldn’t have her for a friend, or a lover, so he took what he could get. If enmity were all he could have of her, he’d battle to the bitter end.
She was the most brilliant, complicated, vexing, and gorgeous woman in the world.
I really loved this couple. Lenora Bell tends to write unique, independent heroines and I think India is my favorite one yet. She’s fierce and intelligent and has no problems holding her own with anyone. She’s so angry at Raven, mainly because she doesn’t understand why he up and disappeared on her and then betrayed her at an important point in her life. She’s hurt and still resentful and can’t understand why he lives in the manner that he does. But once their investigation creates time alone together, and they are forced into a few intimate circumstances Raven can’t pretend any longer. And India can’t deny that the reason she never formally ended their betrothal is because she never wanted to marry anyone else. Their romance is passionate and sensual and oh, so lovely.
They have an adventure along the way and it had that Indiana Jones feel to it. Which is always a good thing. This author always delivers a wonderfully romantic and tender love story and I can’t wait to find out what comes next.
Final Grade- B