Series: Regency Unlaced #7
Published by Smashwords Edition on October 28th 2016
FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable little novella that is hot. The short nature of the story doesn’t allow for much characters development but the characters of Sebastian and Tia are fun in their interaction with one another.
THE STORY: Sebastian Falkner, Duke of Stowmont, is a rake who ironically keeps getting unwanted wards. Having just gotten rid of one, he finds himself guardian to a seven year old boy. And this child comes with his adult step-sister. Horatia “Tia” Chelford is a self-described mousy woman whose betrothed was killed in Waterloo. Believing that she has lost her chance for love and marriage, Tia has dedicated herself to her step-brother. While the duke intends to rid himself of the opinionated and mouthy Tia as quickly as possible, Tia intends on finding a way to stay. At the same time, Tia and her stepbrother are in danger from the person who murdered Tia’s stepmother.
OPINION: I’ve come to enjoy Mortimer’s Regency Unlaced series which are generally short novellas with an emphasis on the hot sex. The stories focus on the sexual relationships and the characters tend to be in situations which heightens the tension in that relationship.
This book follows in that formula. The characters are set in the beginning. Sebastian is a man who never expected to be a duke but has taken on the role with a disdain for society. He cares deeply for his family, including his illegitimate half-brother who acts as his secretary. When he is given the guardianship of a young boy, he intends to fulfill his duty but doesn’t want anything to do with the older sharp-tongued step-sister — until he can’t resist her.
Tia is a woman who has lost everything except her younger step-brother and is willing to do anything to stay with him. She has loved and lost and she accepts her limitations. When she has the opportunity to find some happiness, she is willing to take it — even if society would not approve.
I liked this book. My one complaint is that everything is wrapped up too quickly and too neatly. I wanted a bigger confrontation on Sebastian and Tia’s relationship or a bigger part for the villain in the story. Instead, things are just resolved too quickly (in a couple of pages) and that left me wanting in the story.
WORTH MENTIONING: The duke’s illegitimate half brother looks to be getting his story next.
CONNECTED BOOKS: PLEASURED BY A DUKE is the seventh book in the Regency Unlaced series. It can be read as a standalone. The only connection to the prior books are the mention of other characters in the epilogue.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.