Saturday, May 20, 2017

Early Review of From Duke Till Dawn (The London Underground #1) by Eva Leigh

Title: From Duke Till Dawn: The London Underground
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: London Underground (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (May 30, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062499416
ISBN-13: 978-0062499417
Author's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EvaLeighAuthor/
Notes:  I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
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Alexander 'Alex' Lewis, the Duke of Greyland, had been taught from an early age to be perfect--The perfect gentleman, a man above reproach, and the example all others should follow. He's always done his best to be what his father expected him to be, except for once when a beguiling young widow in need of help distracted him and left him wanting...

Cassandra Blake learned from a very young age how to run a good con and she is good at it. At the age of thirty-one she's still never been caught, and has finagled serious blunt from hundreds of marks. While she longs for a normal life, she knows that just isn't in the cards for her. Fairy tales are the stuff of stories and not real life. When the Duke of Greyland crosses her path for the second time in as many years, she knows the jig may well be up, but the attraction and feelings she had that led her to flee two years ago are definitely real...
This was a fun story that took me awhile to get into, but once it got going I didn't want to put it down. While I loved how Alex and Cassandra are polar opposites and adored the heat and chemistry between these two, I had a hard time dealing with Alex's. shall we say. over fondness of his one night with Cassandra? His nickname of the "Lost Queen" for her was a bit too over-the-top for me and had me rolling my eyes once or twice. Thankfully, the pining and (I'll just go ahead and say it) cheesiness were quickly left behind and the story gained momentum, weight, and depth. Parts of this sexy romp reminded me of a little of Sarah MacLean's book, "Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover" with a smidgen of the  movie "Eyes Wide Shut" thrown in, and a  hint of "My Fair Lady" but with a bit of a twist mixed in for good measure.

I rather liked Cassandra. She was a wonderful character who did what she had to in order to survive in a world where woman had little to no options when all alone in the world. She doesn't make excuses and doesn't apologize for the lifestyle she's led. She has a 'take me as I am or not at all' attitude that I admired. Her only flaw, besides scamming people, was that she, ironically, didn't see her own worth. She felt she wasn't worthy of being a Duchess which given the time and the etiquette society dictated is understandable. Alex is the exact opposite of the people she's grown up around. He's noble, honorable, and rather selfless. It's no wonder she was drawn to him.

Alex was born with the weight of the world upon his shoulders. He was raised knowing those around him would look to him in time of crisis, and that he had to be their "True North". It would be a lot for anyone to handle, but handle it he did. His father had great plans for him, and it's rather amazing he never rebelled against the demands that entailed. What drew Alex to Cassandra is that she seemed to see him as he truly was--just a man with wants and needs like anyone else. What he didn't know at the time was that she also saw him as a mark. That is one hurdle he'll have to come to terms with and work through.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I liked seeing Alex go from a besotted fool who didn't really see Cassandra to a man who saw her clearly and assessed her situation objectively rather than allow his temper and emotions get the better of him. The chemistry between these two was something to behold and I enjoyed seeing them get to know each  better as they worked together to right a wrong that affected many. On the Lisarenee Romance Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

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