Series: Clandestine Affairs #1
Published by Avon on September 29, 2020
FINAL DECISION: Almost really good. There are parts that I loved, but ultimately, I didn’t get enough of the emotional connection between the hero and heroine. Instead, the story felt somewhat clinical as it was hitting the story beats.
THE STORY: Lady Leela Chambers is at a country inn on a rainy night when she runs into a gentleman who helps her out after she saves herself from some men who accosted her. Leela and the stranger spend one night together. The next day, Leela is shocked to find out that he is the duke who is planning on marrying her stepdaughter. Elliot Townsend, Duke of Huntington, is shocked to discover Leela’s connection to his future betrothed, but he can’t stop thinking about Leela, and the two struggle with the attraction between them.
OPINION: Enjoyable and yet lacked a great hero to make this a great book. Instead, the heroine walks all over the hero and he feels weak pretty much the whole book. I prefer books where the couples compromise together as a real relationship requires not one where the woman never evolves. At the same time, the book is on the edge of developing a great emotional conflict because the hero is engaged to the heroine’s stepdaughter and the two feel like they cannot be together. At times I loved this book, but overall a good one-time read.
I wanted to like this book more, but ultimately the main characters didn’t feel like equals. Eliot never feels like a complete character. It is close, but I have read so many great heroes that I needed him to be stronger or more revealed to the reader or loved more by Leela. Instead, the book is focused on Leela and her wants and needs and Eliot has to be manipulated to fulfill everything that she wants.
At the same time, I loved so much of this book. I loved the emotional devastation of Leela telling Eliot that he must marry her stepdaughter and his willingness to do whatever Leela expects of him. I also thought the twin confrontations towards the end of the book were nicely mirrored with one another.
This book was worth reading, but I was intrigued and yet disappointed.
WORTH MENTIONING: The book was intriguing enough that I bought the other books in the series.
CONNECTED BOOKS: HER NIGHT WITH THE DUKE is the first book in the Clandestine Affairs series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.