Angel in a Devil’s Arms by Julie Anne Long
The Palace of Rogues #2
October 29, 2019 by Avon
I went into this book having already enjoyed the first book in the series, Lady Derring Takes a Lover, and excited to see Angelique Breedlove, the other proprietress of The Grand Palace on the Thames, finally meet a man worthy of her and find her happily ever after. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself positively enchanted almost from the moment Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt, walked through the door.
Honestly, the banter between Angelique and Lucien is unparalleled. Devious flirting, sly sarcasm and all the witty back and forth my heart could take.
His brow furrowed slightly as he looked across their beloved parlor.
“Americans always seem as though they’ve been hewn from a log with an axe, don’t they?
Angelique stared at him in astonishment.
“A big log. A dull axe,” he clarified, turning to her, as though her silence was instead a request for specifics.
“Perhaps they thrive away from the dismal English climate and the shade of the towering importance of notorious aristocrats.”
His grin grew slowly, wickedly, as if he thought this was a darling, darling thing to say. As if he’d known she’d had it in her.
These two positively crackle and spark with chemistry and tension. The dashing rogue, bastard son of a noblemen who has been thought dead for the past ten years and the former mistress who has found her safe space and independence. I wanted Angelique to put him in his place and show him she couldn’t be swayed by a pretty face, yet I couldn’t wait until he realized what a special woman she was and finally swept her off her feet. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for their first kiss, first intimate touch, and goodness gracious I was not disappointed. Their first sex scene was gorgeous.
I loved that there wasn’t any unnecessary plot threads thrown in to build page or word count. This is simply a passionate and beautiful story of two people with complicated backgrounds meeting and falling slowly in love. I thought there might be more time spent with Lucien as he discovered who pushed him in the Thames and maybe a little more of him and his father finally seeing each other after so long, but the author uses his backstory as a way to introduce him as a guest at The Palace. And maybe as a way for readers to understand him.
I’ve truly enjoyed the theme of found families and making safe spaces for yourself and those you love. Angelique and the heroine from the first book, Delilah, are such good friends to each other, despite how they came to know one another. What a beautiful partnership and support system.
This series is such a refreshing change from the ballrooms and glittering mansions of the ton. The Grand Palace on the Thames is in a questionable part of town, down by the docks and was at one time was a brothel, but this author has created a wonderful home where likable, interesting, sometimes quirky characters can gather and find comradery and comfort.
This is a fabulous series and fans of historical romance should absolutely give it a try. Highly, highly recommend.
He smiled drowsily.
Angelique would of course slip out of the room before the maids came. And she wouldn’t sleep at all. Then again, she might never need sleep again. He was champagne and coffee and opium and fresh air all in one and surely all she needed from now on was to breathe him.
She didn’t say, “I will never really leave you again.”
But somehow they both knew this was true .