Series: The House of Rohan #3
Published by MIRA on October 1, 2010
FINAL DECISION: This book is definitely not for everyone. The hero is one of Stuart’s dark antiheroes who teeters on the edge of being completely unredeemable — and some readers might find his action unforgivable. But for someone who likes Stuart’s antiheroes, Lucien is one of my favorites.
THE STORY: Lucien de Malheur, Earl of Rochdale aka The Scorpion is out for revenge against the Rohans. Blaming them for the death of his only sister, Lucien arranges for the ruin of the Rohan daughter Lady Miranda Rohan. When things don’t go as planned, Lucien sets out to arrange a friendship with Miranda which he intends to lead to marriage as part of his revenge.
OPINION: The romance between Lucien and Miranda is dark and combative and there is something that I just love about them together. I have truly loved many of Stuart’s dark antiheroes, and Lucien is certainly one of those.
Lucien is almost unredeemable. He orchestrates the heroine’s loss of virginity at the hands of a truly awful man. He threatens her throughout the book. But he is totally not in control of the relationship. In the battle of wills, I believe that Miranda is the ultimate victor because she pulls Lucien from his plans and revenge and evil deeds. Miranda is the center and the strength of what is going on between them. She finds her strength and her passion with Lucien.
This book is definitely not for everyone. Readers who are sensitive about rape and threats of coercion probably should skip this book. While the hero does not rape the heroine, he certainly orchestrated what many will see as rape — even if the heroine will not name it as rape.
There is something compelling about these two. Most of the story occurs with them playing games with one another. The romance happens in what is not said between these two. In the moments that bring them together even if their words are a battle.
This ended up being one of my favorite Stuart books even as I dislike Lucien intensely as the book begins every time I read it.
WORTH MENTIONING: There is a secondary romance that is almost a novella in itself and is wonderful itself.
CONNECTED BOOKS: BREATHLESS is the third book in the House of Rohan series. The romance is completely a standalone although the heroine here is the daughter of the hero from the second book and the granddaughter of the hero from the first book.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.