Release Date: Jul 28, 2020
Series: The Union of the Rakes
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: Avon Books
Leigh’s latest is an enjoyable fish out of water, secret identity, Cinderella-esque romp!
Cue our secret lady, Jessica McGale, a lady’s companion looking to save her family’s farm and soap business. Headed to London to prepare her employer’s trip to the continent, she has two weeks to try and get her family some investors to help repair damage to the farm from a fire. But instead she finds a duke and the Bazaar.
First, the Duke. For anyone who read the first book in this series, My Fake Rake, they have met the Duke of Rotherby. He’s a paragon of looks, fashion, and everyone wants to talk to him, to know him. Except Jessica. Sure, his influence and support could change things around, but she doesn’t expect to care about him. To see him as more than a duke. Then there’s the Bazaar.
Determined not to take advantage of Rotherby, she turns her attentions on the Bazaar, though the Duke is her way inside. It’s a feast of rich toffs looking for investment opportunities and what better way to get her business booming with the help of other rich folks turning their investment sights on her family’s soap making. It’s a curvy, winding tale of potential pitfalls everywhere as Jessica navigates high society and falls deeper in lust with Rotherby, who is inspired by Jessica’s intelligence, confidence, and her willingness to point out his faults.
I loved watching these too fall for each other, though I’ll admit what holds this book back on the star factor for me is that I kept putting it down. It wasn’t a rapid page turned and that might be because Jessica has to pull off a lot of subterfuge and Leigh does an amazing job of making me feel like there was no way for these two to have a relationship. Thankfully, I found the resolution much less stressful than what I made it out to be.
Outside of that personal hiccup, there’s a great depiction of regency England, fabulous descriptive pieces, forward-thinking friendships, and even some play with dominance and submission. The dialogue and continuing relationship between the male members of the Union of Rakes is fabulous too. P.S. There are two members of the Union I’m hoping for a story on, but not sure if we’ll get one.
Overall, if you love Regency romance, this book continues to add to Eva Leigh’s tendency toward heroines who are empowered and brave with heroes that don’t seek to stifle them, but support and uplift. For readers who enjoy Sarah MacLean.