Lady Justine is willing to trade her good name, her reputation and her place in London's gossip-hungry ton to secure her father's release from prison. But when the notorious Duke of Bradford counters her offer with a proposal of marriage, the stakes grow higher still. For while the smoldering lord is famous for his conquests, the man is oblivious to both her devotion and her charms. And Justine is soon afraid she has wagered all for naught….
Justine is desperate. Her father’s observations of animals in South Africa were published in London and the King is not happy. You see he observed that humans aren’t that far removed from animals and if girl on girl and boy on boy animal action is A-ok in the wild, then why can’t it be ok for us humans. You can see where this might be a sore subject in the kingdom? Anyway, Justine needs her father out of prison and the only way she can think of is to offer her services, in the bedroom, to her father’s benefactor in exchange for the paying of the fines her father has incurred. Though it’s not what she really wants, she wants more from him, she does it anyway. When she gets a response from the Duke that asks for her hand in marriage she’s thrilled!
As the weeks move on toward the wedding Justine is a bit bothered by the fact that the Duke refuses to see her. She decides to take matters into her own hands and barges into his home one night. What the Duke confesses is beyond what she can comprehend. The Duke is obsessed with sex and he can’t be around her until the wedding or he may do something he’s not proud of.
The Duke has kept himself in seclusion in order to try and break his obsession with sex. But when he sees Justine, who he has always found incredibly attractive, he’s not sure he’ll be able to control himself, even after they’re married. The Duke has some serious issues to work through. Justine tries to help him by giving him the book she’s had to read called How To Avoid A Scandal. She gives him the book in an attempt to open his eyes to how he might act in a situation when he is unsure. But does the book help him at all?
I’ll tell you right off the bat that I had very mixed feelings about this book. While I liked the story I felt that there was too much going on for me to get really into all of it. We had the sex obsession issue, then there was another part that dealt with the Duke’s brother and his mistress, then another with her parents (which tied loosely into the mistress story). I thought dealing with the sex obsession alone would have been more than enough for the hero and heroine in this book to deal with and more than enough for me as a reader.
The Duke, Radcliffe, and Justine were great together, when they were together, but they were apart for a lot of the book. I didn’t feel that I got too invested in either of their lives although I did find myself pulling for them by the end of the book. I also felt that while the couple worked out their issues of love the sex obsession part of the book was too easily rectified. Now, what I know about sex addiction could fill a thimble but it seemed that the hero dealt with the situation rather well – except for one promise that was broken.
All of that being said I liked the book. I like the way Ms. Marvelle writes and even though the book wasn’t a fast paced read it was satisfying. I have book 2 in this series (what joins them as a series is the book they read about avoiding scandals) and look forward to seeing what happens next.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I received this book for review from the publisher.