Published by Harper Impulse on April 3, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance
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Book three in Jane Lark's Kindle best-selling Regency romance series!
Isolated by life and choice, John Harding, the Duke of Pembroke, sees an angel in a pale mauve dress across a room and is drawn closer as lust grips firm and hard in his stomach. The wheat-blonde hair escaping her dull dove-grey bonnet and caressing her neck lures his eyes to a spot he'd like to kiss. She speaks with animation her hands moving. Then as if she senses his gaze the stranger turns and looks at him.
A rush of pain and longing spilled from Katherine's heart into her limbs. It was so long since she'd seen John but her reaction was the same as it had been more than half-a-dozen years before. She loved him, secretly, without hope, but a chasm of years and status stood
Title: The Scandalous Love of a Duke (Marlow Intrigues #3)
Author: Jane Lark
Genre: Regency Romance (Historical)
Publish Date: April 3, 2014
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
I was looking for something different. I was bored of the same ole stories with the same types of characters. It feels like lately, you can change out names and locations with any of the NA books on the market. With the exception of a few of course. I came across an opportunity to read this book and I won’t lie, the cover caught my eye. Even though it’s the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I read them all. I recommend you read them too there are things that happen in the first book that come to play in this story. Not necessary but good to have that information.
This was by far my favorite in the series. I felt like the author grew by leaps and bounds with the characters and her story line. The first two books were not as easy a read. I would find my mind wandering on occasion. Not so with The Scandalous Love of a Duke, I was hooked from page one. Maybe because I was anxious to catch up with John, who was just a child in book one. Maybe by now I’m just invested in the characters, the story and the author. Whatever the case may be I was not disappointed.
The story picks up several years after book two. John is now an adult, his grandfather has passed and John is now the Duke. I seriously fell in love with this flawed character. He’s not the philanderer like his Uncle Robert and he doesn’t run from his responsibility. He does however close himself off to everyone. Events from his childhood have molded him and he struggles to break free from that mold. Even though John is in his late 20’s (I think) this story felt very new adult to me in that, John really does find himself in this book and establishes himself as man.
This is a love story. A scandalous one at that. John is reunited with his childhood friend Katherine. There are sparks an obvious attraction on his part. Katherine though has been in love with John for years. Unfortunately, Katherine is not from an aristocratic family and John really can’t have any sort of relationship with her. This doesn’t stop them though. I loved the chemistry between the two. I loved that John and Katherine fought separately and together for their feelings towards each other. Both victims of heredity and circumstance. There is most definitely a Cinderella feel to this book.
I can’t say enough how much I loved this story. I thought that Jane Lark did an outstanding job with John’s character. It would have been so easy to make him normal, or a rogue. He still would have been likable, however she goes above that and gives him the depth that really brings this story together. My heart ached for John and I desperately wanted him to get his happily ever after. I very much look forward to reading more of this series.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
A glass of red wine balanced in one hand, the stem dangling between his fingers, he joined another group of guests, fulfilling his duty. He trusted no one here.
God, this was his life now, duty and falsehood. He missed Egypt, he missed adventure and peace and simplicity. He was already bored with people’s endless supplication. Everyone seemed to want something from him. They sought to attach themselves to either his wealth or his power.
His grandfather had warned of this.
John had had enough. He was seeking his family to escape it for a little while, and looking for Mary particularly. He knew his vibrant sister would bring him back from the cold darkness crowding in on him.
He’d passed his mother and Edward in the hall, they’d been speaking with Richard and Penny, they’d directed him in here.
His gaze swept about the room then stopped.
There was a young woman standing amidst his family, like a blonde beacon of light amongst his dark-haired black-clad cousins. She was an angel in a pale mauve dress.
Lust gripped had and firm in his stomach, an intense physical attraction. He’d never experienced anything so instant before. But it was a long time since he’d bedded a woman – far too long.
Her figure was a sublime balance of curves and narrow waist. Her spine had a beautiful arch as it curved into the point where her dress opened onto a full skirt.
Wheat-blonde hair escaped a dull dove-grey bonnet, caressing her neck and drawing his eyes to a place he’d like to kiss.
She was speaking with animation her hands moving.
He moved closer and as if she sensed his gaze the stranger turned and looked at him. In answer a lightning need struck his groin, a sharp sudden pain. She was an English Rose among orchids, the sort of woman he had seen nothing of abroad. Her skin was pale, with roses blooming in her cheeks, and her eyes were a vivid beautiful blue, like the bluebells which bloomed in spring, in the woods at Pembroke Place.
She was what he had longed for abroad and not even known he’d been lacking.
His attention wholly captured, desire slipped into his blood as his groin grew heavy with hunger.
This was what came from abstinence he supposed. He’d never had a fancy for fair, fay women before. He did now.
She did not look the sort for a fling though, certainly not the she-wolf type who stalked the foreign fields. His mind began rattling through his guest list, but no name fit her, and her dull grey bonnet and shawl did not speak of affluence. Who was she?
He smiled as he grew nearer, then realised he was staring and shifted his gaze to the others in the group. It was then he noticed Phillip as they turned to towards him. “My God.”
“Phillip.” Lord, John hoped Phillip had not come here with a motive. John did not wish to hear oily grovelling from an old friend. His heart thumped in cold anger, not gladness. Then he looked at the blonde and his breath caught as recognition whispered in his head. Kate.