Release Date: Dec 24, 2018
Series: The London Underground
Heat Level: Scorching
Imprint: Avon Book
Leigh’s finale to the London Underground is everything I wanted!
First and foremost, this story is a heart-tugger. It grabs a hold with lots of confessions, secrets, and such sweet sorrow. Both hero and heroine seem as if their worlds are too far apart and no way for them to be together. Trust in Eva Leigh to make things happen.
Second, I highly enjoy and love the inclusion I’ve experienced in this series and Dare To Love A Duke is no exception. From a queer secondary set of characters to the description of non-white people in historical romance England, it’s fabulous. It might rub some people the wrong for me to point this out, but I believe it needs to be said. The call for cultural and sexual inclusion has been quite vocal and I am excited to see it appearing from an author with a bigger publishing house.
Third, is there anything more delicious than an imminent HEA for an illegal female immigrant managing a highly controversial and illicit sex club? There is absolutely not. We’ve seen the mistresses get their romance, the courtesans, and even brothel owners. The lovely heroine, Lucia, is not quite any of those. She’s fierce, independent, and ambitious. Throughout the course of this series she’s always been mentioned, hung in the wings, a fabulous, untouchable entity and when we finally get to know her… it’s glorious.
History is filled often with ambitious women, who’ve suffered to make something of themselves only using their body. Often their portrayals are depicted with violence and horrific acts. So, imagine my joy and surprise to see a woman, a sex worker, climb to the highest peak and then have the potential for even more. Huzzah! How does it happen? I can’t tell you, it would spoil the surprise.
Lucia has multiple inspirational thoughts throughout this story. One stuck with me,
All she could do was hope, but hope seldom made for a sound foundation. Without warning, the whole structure could collapse, burying you alive underneath the rubble of your dreams.
This book is filled with both hero and heroine trying to gain their dreams, to be the best person they can possibly be and falling in love in the process of fighting against insane odds.
I waxed poetic on the heroine, let me now on the hero, Tom. The new Duke of Northfield. He’s not an average duke. He’s half-Irish and knows a thing or two about being looked down upon for not having pure English blood. Kind-hearted and progressive, he has respect towards women, from the lowliest servant to the highest of the land. They are all equal in his eyes and that respect endeared him to me. He never talks down to Lucia or attempts to run roughshod with trying to protect her. The whole of the story his battles are waged against his circumstances and though Lucia is entangled in them, his stance towards her is extremely modern.
Finally, the last part of this story I fell for is the sex scenes. Many romance readers claim they don’t really read sex scenes; they typically skim them, etc. I won’t begrudge any reader for doing this, we all have our preferences. Except, Lucia and Tom have something special and Leigh has always been able to weave a good web with intimacies between characters, spilling emotions, spinning metaphors in a way that are grabbing and all the more meaningful. I read every word.
I can only hope for more stories within this world Leigh has created. In fact, I really want Maeve’s story, Tom’s sister. And I pray to the sweet stars that she’s involved in something highly unbecoming of a lady. Because ladies were meant to break rules, to bend the laws of the acceptable, and if they get to fall in love along the way that’s even better.
For readers who enjoy Sarah MacLean.