28 May 2017

From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh (The London Underground #1)

Summary from Goodreads:
Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld...

Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. After one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie.

In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help.

Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over again. 

Eva Leigh is kicking off a new series!  More cross-class romance, yes! (I still need to catch up with the last book from her Wicked Quills of London series, Temptations of a Wallflower - I have it, but haven't read it, yet, story of my life.)

From Duke Till Dawn is a wild ride!  We have a Duke in love with a pretty widow who captured his attention then disappeared but turns up months later as the manager of a pop-up gaming hell...who spins a few more glib stories but her house of cards soon collapses.  The pretty widow is really a con-artist, skilled at getting rich men to "help out" a destitute young widow desperate for a few hundred pounds to get her out of a jam, more familiar with the gutter than the ballroom.  The Duke, Greyland, is understandably pissed off at her, not so much for cheating him out of money but for abusing his trust (and maybe breaking his heart).  Cassie was hoping this gaming hell gig would be her last job, a way to get out of the grind and lead a life free of lies. But when her business partner - her supposed friend and mentor for many years - disappears with the takings from the gaming hell, leaving Cassie in mortal danger, she's forced to throw herself on Greyland's mercy.

This is a cross-class romance that gets rather adventurous (in more ways than one) and has some real stakes. I really liked the problem presented by making the heroine a grifter who had made the hero a previous mark - it turns the meet-cute on its head and presents a real problem of social, moral, and personal tangles to the resolution of a Happy Ending rather than just those pesky "three little words." Ellingsworth and Langdon were a hoot as the comic relief - I can't wait to see what Leigh has in store for them.

Dear FTC: I received a digital galley from the publisher via Edelweiss.

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