“magnificent... a fast-paced and seductive treasure.” – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review & Best Summer Books pick)
A 2017 RT Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee for Best British Isles-set Romance!
Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld...
Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. But after one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie.
In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help.
Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over again.
Leigh's magnificent Regency-era erotic romantic thriller, the first installment in the London Underground series (which has nothing to do with present-day London's mass transit system), crosses class boundaries with abandon. Alexander Lewis, Duke of Greyland, believes he's finally found love, but after one unforgettable night, the object of his affections vanishes without a word. Two years later, he learns that the affair was nothing but the end of a well-practiced ruse by beautiful Cassandra Blair, who's been forced into a life of crime. When Cassandra is abandoned by her mentor and left to fend off angry investors and jilted employees, she turns to Alex for help. He reluctantly agrees, but insists they work together to retrieve the funds she's owed. As they brave the unsavory areas of London, Alex's wild side emerges and he gets to experience life outside of wealthy enclaves, while Cassandra learns that not all "aristos" are selfish and uncaring. With her dedication and loyalty to Alex, Cassandra challenges the old adage of "no honor among thieves," and Alex breaks free of his ducal shackles to claim his beloved despite her bloodline. A variety of weapons, plenty of riffraff, a couple of wanton and witty friends, and a hint of kink make this a fast-paced and seductive treasure.
This was a sweet, enjoyable, romantic book. The hero and heroine complimented each other quite well, and I like that this story told a different side of England; the more rough and seedier side. I still felt like there was something missing....but, over all a great book.
From Duke Till Dawn
Bravo Ms Leigh!
London's underground is alive with swindlers, thugs, and of course a Duke. A captivating adventure, this time the Duke wants to get his hands on the maybe not so bad girl. Thoroughly loved the ride in to the seedier side of London.
Something a bit different with twists - this is the book for you!
The chance to read another series by Eva Leigh was too good to pass up: her ability to create characters and situations that explore the vastness of London society, and not just the tonne makes her a favorite of mine. In this story, we are introduced to two very different characters who are light years apart in birth. The Duke of Greyland (Alex) was born to the title, and takes that responsibility very seriously. Perhaps a bit too seriously as after his one divergence from the straight and narrow led to his being relieved of a large sum of money, a beautiful woman and his heart. Now, he’s reserved and guarded, having firmly lodged a stick up his backside. His friends, however, are convinced he is retreating from heartbreak and have come together to jolly him out of it with a trip to the newly opened gaming hell.
Cassandra Blake was raised in poverty, spent time in debtor’s prison before her father’s death, and learned to survive by her wits and the careful tutelage of a man who taught her the confidence game. Successful and even a bit angry at those who have everything without seeming to notice or care for those who have less, she’s been successful and mostly unidentified until now. For Greyland spots her, the ‘widow’ he’d lost his heart to that night – and the game is on. Particularly when Cassandra has a run of bad luck and a clever twist that brings her to the place of mark, not trickster.
Oh this was fun – surprisingly difficult to like Alex wholeheartedly at first as he was SO uptight, but as he allows himself to recognize his feelings, and starts to share with Cassandra, he demands that you embrace him…. After all, he is just wanting love. And Cassandra: while the whole scamming people to survive was uncomfortable, as her history unfolded combined with the fact that she is a woman in a time when options are severely limited, she becomes sympathetic. Especially after she is placed in the place of her marks, and realizes just how dispiriting and destructive her cons had been. With a touch of mystery tossed in as Cassandra’s mentor steps up to threaten, and a surprisingly dirty talking hero once this slow burn romance starts to spark, I couldn’t help but enjoy the book. If you want something just a bit different, with a heroine that you can’t help but enjoy and appreciate despite her past, this is the book for you.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.