The Duke of Castleford liked his life of gaming and whoring. He felt no need to change it and was in fact writing a book about it. After all, the normal tourist books didn’t tell men where the best place to whore was! When his uncle, the Duke of Becksbridge, died and left him four small holdings, he didn’t think that they would change his life but they will!
Daphne Joyes lives on one of them. She runs a modest flower business named The Rarest Blooms. She also houses women who need a place to stay with the rule of no prying into their past lives or their personal business. She doesn’t share her past either nor does she travel far from her home.
Castleford doesn’t expect to feel the desire he does for Daphne nor does he expect her refusal. She has no desire to accept Castleford’s advances and wants to keep him as far away from her as possible. But she soon has no choice but to visit Castleford in London and he arranges for her stay there, though not in his house.
As they learn about each other, they learn they share a hatred for the new Duke of Becksbridge. They may not agree on the way but each would like to see misfortune descend upon the new Duke.
Can Daphne keep her secrets while accomplishing this? Does the desire Castleford feel develop into something more? Can there be a happy outcome?
This is the fourth book in this series by Madeline Hunter. You do not need to read the previous books to thoroughly enjoy this one. However, if you have read the previous books, you will be happy to know that the main characters in those books appear in this one.
The characters are fun and interesting. Castleford comes across as a bored peer with no purpose. After all, he only attends business on Tuesdays and will not make decisions on any other day. He’s more complex than that though and he becomes more interesting as he gets involved with Daphne. Daphne has secrets she doesn’t want to share. She also has a plan that doesn’t go along with what Castleford wants to do at all.
There is also some wonderful historical stuff going on. Riots and mobs are gathering up north! Daphne is concerned about friends. Will the troops be called in to disperse this mob or will it just be a peaceful gathering? The entitlements that peers enjoy also makes an appearance. What can a titled man do and get away with? Though set in England, there is even a mention of America.
This historical romance is a wonderful story. The pace is perfect and the characters interesting. The historical setting is well done making you feel as if you were there. Though part of a series, this book can definitely stand on its own though it may entice you to look for the previous books. I can’t think of a thing I didn’t enjoy and hope to read more of Ms Hunter’s books in the future.
The breathtaking finale of Madeline Hunter's magnificent quartet...
Outrageously wealthy, the Duke of Castleford has little incentive to curb his profligate ways-gaming and whoring with equal abandon and enjoying his hedonistic lifestyle to the fullest. When a behest adds a small property to his vast holdings, one that houses a modest flower business known as The Rarest Blooms, Castleford sees little to interest him...until he lays eyes on its owner. Daphne Joyes is coolly mysterious, exquisitely beautiful, and utterly scathing toward a man of Castleford's stamp-in short, an object worthy of his most calculated seduction.
Daphne has no reason to entertain Castleford's outrageous advances, and every reason to keep him as far away as possible from her eclectic household. Not only has she been sheltering young ladies who have been victims of misfortune, but she has her own closely guarded secrets. Then Daphne makes a discovery that changes everything. She and Castleford have one thing in common: a profound hatred for the Duke of Becksbridge, who just happens to be Castleford's relative.
Never before were two people less likely to form an alliance-or to fall in love...