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Publisher Description

After years of playing the rake to hide a dark family secret, the Duke of Aversley feels tainted beyond redemption and cynical beyond repair. Never does he imagine hope will come in the form of a quirky, quick-witted lady determined to win the heart of another gentleman.

Thanks to a painfully awkward past, Lady Amelia De Vere long ago relinquished the notion she was a flower that had yet to blossom. But when her family faces financial ruin and the man she has always loved is on the verge of marrying another, she’ll try anything to transform herself to capture her childhood love and save her family―including agreeing to participate in a bet between her brother and the notorious, dangerously handsome Duke Of Aversley.

Bound by the bet, Amelia and Aversley discover unexpected understanding and passion beyond their wildest dreams, if only they can let go of their pride, put trust in each other and chance losing their hearts.

August 5
Julie Johnstone
Draft2Digital, LLC

Customer Reviews

Ashli Abac ,

All the feels!

This book actually made me cry and that rarely happens. Definitely a great read!

truefeather77 ,

Delightful, then dumps you

I was charmed by the first 2/3 of this book, and thought it one of the most delightful escapist things I’d found in a long time. Unlike many romantic novels, there were few typos, no glaring, teeth-clenching gaffes, and the two lovers didn’t just start panting the moment they looked at each other and decide that was all they needed to know.

There are scenes of them getting to know each other, and having delightful conversations that we get to share, and as the duke dallies with her, discovers her, we are charmed into falling in love with him, too. Engaging and very believable.

Then it’s as if an editor called the author and ordered her to quit this story, and turn her attention to another. Things abruptly change, as if someone had pressed a fast-forward button, and the author goes through a short checklist, checking off the few steps remaining to get to the desired ending. The other characters just evaporate, and we’re left with a gratuitous sex scene, the first and only — that is as ludicrous as it is improbable for the period, the location, and the characters — and that’s all she wrote.

And as if bearing out my theory about the editor calling, there’s a teaser chapter of the next story — voila, this is becoming a series! — that includes a cameo of the couple from the first book, and seems to trivialize them and their love, in order to get on to the next couple.

So in the end, it’s as if the author just told you how the book ended, instead of writing it. But because the first part was so good, I still will keep this on my drive, and I’ll rewrite the ending in my head. Sigh.

Ontelligent ,

Great read, disappointing ending

I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to finally have a heroine who could banter, and who fell in and out of love with other men - it wasn’t *quite* as cut and dry as many other novels. I loved that she was bookish, and entirely in her head too much. I even liked the hero, for the most part, although I’m not sure I find his backstory completely believable.

The ending was a letdown. It wrapped up entirely too quickly (and stopped before anything could end cleanly or really be tied up - we don’t exactly know what becomes of the villain). The writing got a bit sloppy at the end, too. The characters started to lapse into monologues, which was a bit of an issue throughout the book, but becomes pretty intolerable at the end. The forgiveness, too, seems a bit fast and forced. I think it could happen, but the way in which it comes about could be teased out more believably.

I personally dislike stories that end with a couple coming together; it’d be nice to see more development of the relationship /after/ it becomes established. I’m tired of novels ending at weddings, beddings, or births. This is one of those.

If the ending hadn’t felt so rushed, I might have given this a five star, because I thoroughly enjoyed the heroine and her brother.

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