I'm no stranger to this series. I've been hooked on the talented Alexandra Hawkins and those wild and wicked Lords of Vice since picking up the first book in this series. I love me a bad boy, and the Lords are the wickedest boys around. I still get shivers every time I think about Sin and those damn pearls. Aside from Frost, Hunter has been the most intriguing of the bunch. I just knew he would give his lady love (whoever she was) a hell of a chase. Well, I was wrong. Fed up with all the years he'd ignored her ...it was Grace who had the sexy Hunter chasing his tail. My goodness...what a lovely read this was. This was worth the wait to see Grace sink her teeth into Hunter ... in more ways than one.
A very young and shocked Nicholas Towers (Hunter as we've come to know his sexiness) was wrangled into a betrothal with two year old Lady Grace Kearly. His Grandmother commands that he marry the child before her 21'st birthday or lose half his inheritance. Hunter rebels and earned his reputation as a Lord of Vice...a skirt chasing and extremely practiced seducer. He felt that his chance at love was taken from him, and he unfairly blamed his betrothed. He resented Grace and never checked up on her even after he became her guardian. Now the time has come to leave his carousing behind and take Grace as his wife and get on with begetting the heirs.
Grace has waited nineteen years for Hunter to claim her as his wife. Years of being alone, while stories of Hunter's romantic escapades and affairs were whispered in her ears. Years of fantasizing about him, as he carried on with his mistresses. Finally, she decides that Hunter has no intention of honoring the betrothal agreement and seeks a way out for herself.
The story gets interesting when Hunter and Grace keep missing each other. They've actually met but don't recognize each other. Time is running out, and Hunters creepy cousin is waiting in the wings to claim his inheritance. Hunter is shocked when he sees Grace for the first time, and realizes that she is the lovely lady he has already met (and lusted after) and not the bitter shrew he had envisioned for all these years. Imagine the arrogant Duke's surprise when Grace sets him straight and lets him know that there will be no wedding. Hawkins set this scene up with a finesse that had me picturing Hunter's shock that the sassy Grace would refuse him. Not taking no for an answer, a clever Hunter puts in motion his plan to ensnare Grace and his inheritance.
Hawkins injected some intrigue into the story with the villains who plot to keep Hunter and Grace apart. And not unlike the previous books, the true villain was hiding in plain sight. I liked the suspense part because it never overpowered the story, leaving it to center around Grace and Hunter's relationship.
Hawkins succeeded in gaining my affection for Grace. I felt bad that Hunter turned his back on her. I got tears in my eyes as she described how lonely she felt and how she had dreamed of Hunter. I really wanted to smack him for abandoning her and not looking back. In the end, I felt that she should have punished him more and held out longer. However, I totally got that she could only hold out so long against an alpha guy like Hunter.
This book was fast paced and kept my interest right up to the last page. Not surprisingly, I read it in one sitting. Now I'm looking forward to the long awaited book as Frost gets what's coming to him....and some lucky lady will get what's coming to her.
They were children when the Duke of Huntsley was introduced to Lady Grace Kearly. The young duke—nicknamed “Hunter”—took one look at his future bride and thought only of escaping his responsibilities to his family. Marriage was for grown-ups and Hunter still had years of skirt-chasing ahead of him. But now the time has come for Hunter to heed the call: if this Lord of Vice hopes to keep all of his inheritance, he’ll have to claim his long-neglected betrothed…
With her twenty-first birthday approaching, Lady Grace dreads the thought of marrying the duke she has met only once—especially since he’s grown into a notorious rake who will probably beget his heir and abandon her in the country while he pursues fresh game in London. So when Lady Grace coolly decides to call the wedding off, even Hunter is surprised by his refusal to let her go. Suddenly, the notion of claiming and taming this green-eyed beauty is one challenge he cannot resist…