Series: Rules for the Reckless #4
Published by Pocket Books on August 25, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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Romance sizzles between a famous heiress and an infamous crime lord in this fourth sexy novel in the Rules for the Reckless series from the USA Today bestselling author of Fool Me Twice.
They call her the “Ice Queen.” Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.
The Crime Lord
Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not...
This story picks up right where the last one left off (although I read out of order and was in no way confused). Catherine has broken her engagement to Christian Stratton (so he could marry her friend Lilah), and has thought about enlisting Lilah’s uncle Nick O’Shea’s help.
Catherine learned the auction business at her father’s knee. While her brother was to inherit the business, her father stipulated in his will that Catherine owned it as a silent partner, 50/50. Unless she married, in which case she would no longer be silent.
Catherine needs a husband.
Nick O’Shea is basically a crime boss. He owns White Chapel. Except, he knows firsthand how landlords treat their tenants. He makes sure all families in his district have a decent place to live. He provides work and shelter. But he expects loyalty in return.
Catherine will absolutely give him that loyalty, as long as he helps her blackmail her brother into stopping trying to marry her off. Her brother knows that if she marries, she’ll be allowed to take her place as co-owner, but he keeps choosing men for her who wouldn’t allow her to work. He is a shady guy who has been embezzling from the auction house for years.
Nick is A-OK with this plan, but he wants her brother to help him out with some bad politics going on in his area. This works well enough at first…until it seems her brother isn’t afraid of hurting her to get his way.
I really enjoyed seeing Catherine the Ice Queen become a more likeable character than the previous books have painted her. She’s not cold. She’s just a businesswoman. She’s smart and beautiful. No one appreciates her intelligence, though. But Nick does. Nick and Catherine fall in love in a most unlikely match. Even though they’re melting the pages with their sexual chemistry, Catherine is holding off. She’s afraid to feel.
Nick is able to not only appreciate her for both who and how she is, but he wants her to keep working. He wants her to do what she loves. But he isn’t willing to live together any more unless it’s as a true man and wife. And Catherine needs to figure out if she’s willing to risk her heart.
This book can easily be read as a stand-alone. Ms. Duran has created wonderful characters in her lush world, where you can’t help but want them to succeed. You want them to find that happily ever after they’re working so hard for. You want them to win the day and triumph over the bad guys. I think I’d read anything written by this author, no questions asked!
***ARC courtesy of Pocket Books