by Amelia Grey
Series: The Rakes of St. James #1
Published on March 7, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all?
The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind--until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.
Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride?
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Oh hey. Another duke. Fancy that.
I love my romances but there are other ranks in society to pick from. Really. Promise. But quite often the gentleman of the book tends to be some kind of noble so I won’t fault the author for choosing a duke.
I’m just going to sit back and silently judge the entire genre because it’s starting to get old.
ANYWAY, I enjoyed Last Night with a Duke to a degree. I say that because if the duke hadn’t been a duke or if the chaperone hadn’t been a chaperone, this might have been more believable. Instead, it played into the same story I’ve read over and over again. The man is reforming his rakish ways (or working on it) and ends up falling for someone way beneath his station.
I don’t doubt that this could happen but this one was a bit far-fetched. Esmeralda is in charge of a business she kind of got stuck with, managing other women in the work force. Griffin (the duke) comes in seeking a chaperone for his younger twin sisters and decides that it HAS to be Esmeralda because he can’t keep it in his pants.
They proceed to be at verbal war for a while, the air filling with sexual tension because every other word out of Griffin’s mouth is an innuendo. And, of course, they have to fight quite a bit while coming to terms with their attraction that suddenly becomes love.
Yet, the pacing was ALL over the place. It starts quite slow as they have their little war of wills, one trying to out-stubborn the other, before it starts picking up. Apparently there’s all this chemistry between them and it got hot and heavy at times. Those scenes were alright but as soon as the physicality was taken out of the scene they lost it. Not to mention that their “romance” was so fast, I don’t know how they could have possibly had time to form that sort of relationship. It didn’t fit with how slow the plot moved, save for the ending.
Everything about the story seemed to just be too convenient or explained away. The fact that Esmeralda is so young and going to chaperone Griffin’s sisters is just him being strange and not one for social customs and practices. Esmeralda’s sister causing mischief to bring the two together. You get the idea.
It was a fun read, I will say that. And quick. I liked that despite the two clashing for half the book, Esmeralda didn’t let Griffin boss her around. She stood her ground and did what she felt was right versus what he wanted just because he wanted it. I applaud her character for holding her own. And while Griffin really needed to tone it down a bit, it made for more humor within the story even if it was laughing at how ridiculous he acted. If you’re not looking for more than a light read with plenty of sexual humor and fun banter, this is a good book for you. If you’re looking for more of a story, less insta-love, probably not the best choice.