Hello, and welcome back! Despite the summer coming to a close on my calendar, it seems Mother Nature hasn't yet had enough of the heat and humidity here. I'm so sick of it, but so glad I have things to keep me busy inside where it's air-conditioned. I suppose I could thank Mother Nature for all this reading time this year. I'd rather sit outside with my books, however. Perhaps next year instead?
This time, I have the last of the August releases, Till Dawn with the Devil (St. Martin's, received from publisher) by Alexandra Hawkins, the second in her 'Lords of Vice' series. Gabriel 'Reign' Housely, Earl of Rainecourt, has a mysterious past, with a wife who died under suspicious circumstances. The gossips have cast him as a murderer over the years, though he doesn't let that bother him, as it keeps the mamas seeking a titled lord for their daughters far away from him. Until he meets Lady Sophia, that is. Sophia suffered an attack as a child that has left her with limited vision, something her brothers use as an excuse to leave her alone at the family's country home while they carouse in London. But Sophia has come to London at last, and when she meets Reign, her life takes a turn she never expected. Her brothers are not very concerned with her desires, only keeping her from ruining their fun. And their fun will be very definitely ruined if they lose their home, so her eldest brother sells her to a man offering a big enough dowry. But Sophia won't meekly do their bidding, not anymore, and when Reign offers her another way, she accepts, despite the violent and awful connections their families shared in the past. Reign is content to have the world believe him a rogue, but he won't let any harm come to Sophia, and, from the first, he wants her as his own. This story was absolutely delightful, and I could not put it down. Reign and Sophia's romance is sweet and sexy and believable. The twist at the end, revealing secrets from their pasts, may come as a surprise, but even without it, there is never any doubt that this pair will live happily ever after. I'm giving this one four and a half of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!