Series: The Debutante Files #1
Published by Avon on July 29, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy, Avon Addicts
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The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .
Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society. Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he's determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.
. . . is about to become the only one he wants.
But Rosalie isn't about to go along with Declan's plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity—and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.
In a shadowed alcove, Declan can't resist the masked temptress who sets his blood afire . . . any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin.
This is the first book in Sophie Jordan’s The Debutante Files, and it begins with our heroine Rosalie Hughes being dumped upon her step brother, Declan the Duke of Banbury.
Rosalie is about 20 or 21, and was sent to boarding school, but then forgotten. Her mother liked to pretend she didn’t have a child. Rosalie’s mother was a piece of work. She’d been a legendary beauty, and still was, but being reminded she had a daughter reminded her she wasn’t a young girl anymore. That was simply unacceptable.
Poor Rosalie was still at the school 2 years after she’d finished her studies. The headmistress, even though she liked Rosalie, knew she couldn’t stay any longer, and left her at the duke’s house.
Declan didn’t recognize Rosalie as the girl who used to climb trees and tag along after him, and barely remembered her. But he hates her mother, so the idea of her staying with him was ridiculous. Even if he knows Rosalie is not her mother, the past still haunts him.
But unable to unload Rosalie on anyone, and with her mother in Italy with her latest conquest, he settles a huge dowry on her, and decides she will marry this Season, or she’s on her own.
Rosalie hates it, she hates every bit of it, especially when Declan accepts the first proposal she gets without even asking her. And when she rushes to tell him off, the worst part is that she realizes he’s right. He’s doing her a favor. And it sucks.
But Rosalie wants one night to herself before her life is no longer hers, so she and Declan’s cousin Aurelia disguise themselves and go to a club.
And she asks the proprietress to find someone who will give her her first kiss. When the woman brings in Declan to take care of the job, Rosalie knows she cannot do this with him. He hates her so much, she just knows it would be wrong. But Declan can be very persuasive, and the two of them have such off the charts explosive chemistry, that he can’t stop thinking about her.
Through it all, Rosalie realizes she’s in love with Declan, but she knows he’ll never love her back. Even after their chemistry and passion are so explosive Declan finally recognizes it, she knows she’ll still have to marry.
And then her mother comes back into the picture. What a piece of work. And suddenly she’s not just angry she’s old enough to have a grown daughter, she sees that her daughter is now competition for the younger men she favors. This simply will not do.
The biggest problem is, will Declan realize he loves Rosalie before something happens that he can’t fix?
I loved this book, and I’ve really enjoyed this author’s style. With only two novels in this series so far, I really hope we see another this year. I for one, can’t wait! Full of emotion and action, this author engages the reader from page one, not letting go until your heart has been ripped out, and then repaired, because happily ever after, of course.
***ARC courtesy of Avon