The story of a woman who makes a horrible mistake that ruins her life and the man who she betrayed, this story is compelling and makes a reader want to know how there can be a happy ending.
THE STORY: Zachary Black, Duke of Hawksmere operated as an agent for the Crown during the war with France. One night when entering his carriage, he finds a veiled woman in black who wants his help to get information to British authorities about the imminent return of Napoleon that will result in another war. Zachary is determined to find out who this mysterious woman is. What he doesn’t expect is that it is Lady Georgianna Lancaster, the woman to whom he was briefly engaged and who eloped with her brother’s French tutor. Georgianna has returned, unmarried, ruined and — Zachary suspects — now a French spy.
OPINION: I loved the dark tone of this book. Georgianna made a horrible choice that ruined her life and irrevocably changed her. Zachary, in fact, doesn’t even recognize her at first. Torn between his continued attraction to her and his suspicions about her motives, Zachary has a difficult time dealing with Georgianna. I liked that Georgianna made such a terrible mistake and that readers get to see how she has changed. She is a strong woman who is not intimidated by Zachary and he is even more entranced with her because of it. While the book has an incredible turn of events where Georgianna is still a virgin, I so enjoyed the sparring between the main characters, that it did not diminish my enjoyment of the book.
WORTH MENTIONING: Although Zachary is referred to as the Duke of Debuchery, it is hard to actually find him acting in that manner. Instead, he is honorable and quickly becomes remorseful about how he has treated Georgianna.
FINAL DECISION: I really liked this book. My only complaint is that it would have been better with more pages to resolve more of the relationship between the main characters. After only mildly liking the prequel, I did not expect to like this one as much as I did. The complex relationship between Georgianna and Zachary, however, had me completely engrossed wanting to know how it would be resolved.
CONNECTED BOOKS: ZACHARY BLACK: DUKE OF DEBAUCHERY is the first full length story in the Dangerous Dukes series. There is a prequel novel but this book is better and a reader missing nothing by starting here.
STAR RATING: I give this one a 4.5 rating because I loved the angst filled story that seemed impossible at the beginning and yet worked out perfectly.