by Amelia Grey
Series: The Rakes of St. James #2
Published on December 5, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
There may be times when a gentleman is desperate to gain a lady’s attention, but a gentleman would never resort to desperate measures to obtain it.
―A Proper Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady
Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn is guardian for his sweet, younger sister. Due to his misguided past as one of the infamous Rakes of St James, Hawk is hoping to avoid the Season by securing a match for her before it begins. He has the perfect gentleman in mind, but for one infuriating―and unexpectedly intoxicating―obstacle: the intended groom’s own sister, Miss Loretta Quick.
Having narrowly avoided her own arranged marriage to an unacceptable nobleman, Loretta is determined that her dear brother―a gentle, good-natured soul―should marry for love. Matching wits with Hawk may be her greatest challenge yet. . .until she realizes it may also be her greatest pleasure. For the young duke’s irresistible charm has not only begun to crumble her stubborn resolve, it has claimed her heart in true love as well. . .
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The Rakes of St. James are back with another tale of a duke attempting to protect his sister’s reputation after his younger days come back to haunt him. To the Duke, with Love felt a lot like Last Night with the Duke (book 1). Very similar premise, another case of a duke versus an independent young woman who aren’t in a position to fall in love but do anyway.
To be honest, this book simply wasn’t memorable. Perhaps I read too many historical romances back to back but it didn’t stand out. I wasn’t into the characters for starters. Hawk speaks for his sister entirely and she lets him because it’s so difficult to have your own thoughts apparently. Loretta does something similar with her brother, though more out of “misguided” love (if that’s the right word for it) having been in his shoes in the past and knowing the repercussions. Also, Loretta. . . it’s one thing to be optimistic and positive about every situation but wow could she be naive. And Hawk was far too overbearing at times. He got better but it took time.
But together they weren’t so bad. The romance did work here, better than in the last book I’d say. Loretta and Hawk aren’t jumping through crazy hoops and illogical plot points to have a relationship. They’re simply two people thrown together by circumstance who get to know each other and develop a bond from it. Did it take on the insta-lovey tendency of many a romance? Oh yes, you bet it did. More with Hawk than Loretta but their first meeting was all sorts of lust that was a bit over the top. It got better, mind you, so it wasn’t the end all but it was pretty dramatic and off-putting to start.
As for the story. . . I mean it was there, considering that’s how these two meet in the first place. Hawk wants to marry his sister off to Loretta’s brother to avoid any pranks during the Season because of the prank he and his friends pulled in the past. They end up interacting often and that’s really all there was to the plot. It’s definitely character driven and there were little side stories going on but they weren’t important enough for me to remember them beyond “oh yeah, that happened.”
Was this a bad book? No. I read it in one sitting and Grey’s writing is solid even if the characters are a bit exaggerated when it comes to certain characteristics. I’ll probably read the next book in the series, just hoping that it doesn’t involve the next rake of St. James also having a sister in need of protection as these first two books have. You can only read the same story so many times. . .