Series: Scandal and Scoundrel #3
Published by Avon on June 27, 2017
Genres: Regency Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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The one woman he will never forget…
Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.
The one man she will never forgive…
After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.
A love that neither can deny…
The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day The Day of the Duchess.
I have so many feelings. This is one of those books that when I first realized it was about Sera and Haven, I wasn’t sure I’d like it, after all, Haven’s an ass. And after the first book The Rogue Not Taken, well, I hated him as much as her sisters did.
I did know that if anyone could fix their relationship and give them a romance, it would be Sarah MacLean. Not all authors can bring a character back from that, but she absolutely did.
We get to be in Haven’s head quite a bit, which I liked. I think in a book like this, you need that.
Sera and Haven fell madly in love. But Sera’s family is rumored to have gained their title from Prinny himself in a card game. Being that their father is rich as can be, but his money is from working coal, well, we all know how the ton looks down upon the working class, let alone, working class who are now titled. The Talbot sisters will never be one of them. And the Talbot sisters love it. (Think of them as the Kardashians of the Regency…they’re disliked for no reason other than they’re scandalous, and they’re scandalous because it’s expected of them. They revel in the drama).
So when Sera and Haven are noticed making eyes at each other and sneaking around, her mother points out that the gossip pages have gotten ahold of their story, and that he’ll never marry her, after all, he’s a duke, and she’s a Talbot. He’s never even taken her out in public or met her sisters. So her mother schemes to catch them in the act. Sera pretty much has no choice, but at the same time believes their love strong enough that this won’t matter.
Well, it matters.
They marry, and it’s unhappily ever after for them it seems. But something happens, and Sera flees. Haven searches for her, for three years he searches, and all he can think of is the look on her face when he told her to leave. How he wished he’d had another chance with her, and when he thinks he has one, it’s snatched from his grasp. He was a much better hero than I expected. It’s my own fault for doubting Ms. MacLean, but seriously, I hated him in The Rogue Not Taken.
This is a book where I truly was able to forgive Haven. I never thought it would happen, but I was. Sera, though, I wanted her to see him. I wanted her to stop and tell him how she felt. Actually several times I wanted them both to do that. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a book where everything could be fixed by one conversation, not at all. But it could have helped.
These two had such a long and emotional road, I wanted them to talk, to say, hey, you aren’t the only one who’s hurting here, and I’m sorry I hurt you. But communicating has never been their strong point. Once they admit that to themselves, things are able to progress.
There are some big hurdles to cross, and some deep conversations to have. This couple is able to make me not only want them to reconcile, but I believed in them. I wanted them to be happy. Together. When you go in hating the hero, that’s huge. I hope everyone else loves this book as much as I did, it was one that stuck with me for a while afterward.
We get to see some familiar faces-the guys from The Angel gaming club are there for a bit. I liked that. I’m keeping this as spoiler-free as possible, so I won’t continue beyond my own feelings. Oh, and by the way, if you read the author’s note first, you will spoil yourself for something, so don’t be like me lol, read it afterwards.
***ARC courtesy of Avon Books