The Duke and the Lady in Red - Lorraine Heath

Chris De Burgh drove the point home, right?

 

Rosalind was Avendale's Lady in Red from the very first page, from that first dance. He, a debauched Duke with no desire for any emotional strings, and she, a mysterious lady with her own agenda, were bound to get what they wanted from each other - though they were vastly different things.

 

Avendale started off with an obsession with Rose that could have cartwheeled the book off the the edge of what is acceptable for me in domineering heroes. But once Avendale sort of, got better (in a way that I can't really put my finger on, it just worked out for me), the real story of a man who found a kind of deliverance in the way that Rose loved someone else, was really very satisfying.

 

 

Some of the very best scenes included Harry. There was a particular line that invoked a surprise choking sob. Without giving too much away about Harry,  I've not seen a side character so integral to a love story with out being the hero or heroine. I wouldn't say that he stole the show, but he certainly stole my heart.

 

 

For the good, the thing that didn't resonate with me was Avendale's careless use of money. It became absurd how much money he spent during the course of his relationship with Rose...the bargain money, the solicitor, the lease, the debts, the necklace, the bracelet, the tailoring bill for EVERYONE SHE EVER KNEW, then what must have been the enormous amount he had to pay at the end and...just it didn't make me feel good. Paying her debts was one thing, but the gifts on top of that sort of cheapened Rose to me, and Avendale too.

(show spoiler)

 

I've read 13 Lorraine Heath's this year, including the entire "Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James" series. As with any author, some are better than others, but this particular series hit all the right notes for me and I enjoyed each one very much.