Rupert Stirling, Duke of Stratton, has long since acquired the nickname Devil. and with outrageous exploits both in and out of ladies’ bedchambers, my, has he earned it!
Risqué behavior is beyond Pandora Maybury, widowed Duchess of Wyndwood—although with her dark secret she’s far too well acquainted with being the subject of ribald gossip for her liking. If only the Ton knew just how innocent she really was...including Rupert who, after rescuing her from a compromising situation, seems intent on wickedly compromising her himself!
Pandora Maybury was thought to have many lovers during the 3 years of her marriage. Then scandal really hit home when her husband fought a duel in which he and Pandora's supposed lover both died. Since she's come out of mourning she's been cut so many times she's started to think she just needs to live in solitude in the country. Pretty sad for a widow just 24 years old.
On one night, at the ball of a new friend one of the men of the ton take it upon himself to show Pandora how wonderful he is. Unfortunately Pandora wants none of it but this guy's not taking no for an answer. She is saved by Rupert Stirling who is thought to be a horrible man. But how can a man be so horrible when he's willing to save a damsel in distress.
Pandora soon finds out that Rupert is one stubborn son of a bitch. She tells him to do something – like leave her alone (he keeps visiting her!) and he just says no and continues. She tells him that she's moving out of London, he tells her she's not. Who is this guy? She soon finds out and as frustrating as he can be sometimes she finds herself liking him more and more.
Rupert doesn't take into consideration too much of what the ton says. Ok, he doesn't take ANY of it into consideration so when he decides he wants Pandora for his bride he ignores the fact that she's a walking, talking scandal. He just knows that he likes her a lot and she needs his protection. He, of course, gets something out of the deal as well and as his part of the bargain is the main reason he asks her to marry him he's a happy guy. Haughty men, however, find themselves knocked down a notch or two, I've found, and Rupert's one of the haughtiest heroes I've read in a darned long time.
Pandora and Rupert were a highly unlikely couple. Rupert was a bit of a bastard at times, always getting his way and frankly as strong as Pandora was she was quite the innocent, despite what the ton said. He was experienced and she, was not. Despite their differences though I liked them together.
Now Rupert is the hero that we're told is a bad guy, we don't actually get to see any of that. Yeah, he's an ass at times but he's really nothing but kind to Pandora. While I thought he was annoying throughout the book, for the most part, I couldn't help liking the guy. He did turn into a big ole sap at the end of the book which seemed a bit out of character but so did Pandora so they were perfect for each other. :)
In the end it was a cute book. There was an overuse of exclamation marks, imho, but overall a good read.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Mini-Reviews: Dukes and Black Ops
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