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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review -- All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess

All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess
Lords of Vice—Book 5
By Alexandra Hawkins
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 31, 2012





As one of London’s infamous Lords of Vice, Simon Jefferes, Marquess of Sainthill, has never had a problem with women. He often keeps a mistress, but never for too long. One evening, he spies the proprietress of the newest high-class brothel, the Golden Pearl. The mysterious Madame Venna intrigues him with her sexy voice and masked face. Saint tries to coax her into his bed, but she eludes him. Naturally, Saint wants what he can’t have. After much persistence, he is finally granted a single glorious night with her...only to be promptly dismissed by her bodyguards the next morning. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with Saint. He asks to speak with her and is denied repeatedly. He is angry and hurt as he is completely infatuated with the courtesan. Because of this incident, he avoids the Golden Pearl and Madame Venna for awhile, but never forgets their one night together. Years later, Saint comes to Madame Venna to ask for her help and all the old feelings resurface. 

Catherine Deverall, known to most as Madame Venna, must keep her true identity a secret in order to protect herself. Years ago, she fled an abusive situation and came to London seeking shelter. She found it in the form of Mrs. Sweete, a brothel madam who took Catherine under her wing and taught her how to survive. Catherine is the bastard daughter of an earl and a married lady. After her birth, she was sold to a couple whose son later took advantage of Catherine. Now she lives two separate lives—that of the fancy, elaborate Madame Venna and also the quiet, reserved Catherine. Trouble starts when Saint encounters both her personas causing it to become difficult for Catherine to keep them separate. When several people from her past show up, Saint vows to do whatever it takes to protect her. 

All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess is a solid addition to the Lords of Vice series by Alexandra Hawkins. This one isn’t my favorite of the series, but that may be because I’m not a big fan of the “secret identity” theme in books, especially when it goes on a little too long for my taste. And I know that certain themes that may not be one person’s cup of tea, others will love. J Having said that, I did adore Saint and Catherine. They were engaging characters and I especially enjoyed the scenes between them when Catherine was able to be herself, sans mask. Those parts were sweet and charming and allowed each of them and the reader to get to know their true nature. I felt for Catherine and all she had been through and was happy to see her get a happy ending with a man who loves her. 

I love this series and its decadent heroes and am very much looking forward to the last two books in the series. Next up is Hunter, who has been betrothed since he was a boy, and then it’s the enigmatic Frost’s turn. I can’t wait to find out what kind of woman Ms. Hawkins pens to melt his black heart! Until then, fans of the series will enjoy this offering, especially if you fancy the “secret identity” premise.

 
~Andrea

13 comments:

  1. Ack, I think I missed one! -----> Dianna on a mad search for book 4 AND 5
    I love the series as well and I can't believe I missed 4, must have been napping when it came out.

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    1. So glad you love this series, too, Dianna! Book 4 is Sunrise with a Notorious Lord and is Vane's story. It came out in January. I hope you enjoy Saint's story!

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  2. Oh my! What an amazing way to spend the day! The cover is so lovely and almost tells a story by just looking at it. Sigh. I'm looking forward to reading "All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess" and "carry on" with the Lords of Vice.

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    1. It is a beautiful cover, isn't it, Connie?! I hope you enjoy spending All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess. ;-)

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  3. I haven't read her yet but she's an author that I have in my "want to read" list! Thanks for the review.

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    1. I'm glad to hear she's on your list, catslady!

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  4. I've only read To Dawn With The Devil but want so badly to get the rest of the series. I love her writing!

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    1. *Till .....been a loooong day, LOL!

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    2. I hear you, Leah! LOL! I hope you can catch up soon. :-)

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  5. A bunch of bad boys as heroes. I guess the badder they are, the stronger and more special a woman needed to love them. Makes for strong conflict and really good characters. Thanks for the review.

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    1. You're absolutely right, librarypat! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. Two roles, one man sounds like a tight line to tiptoe across!
    I've only read her book ALL NIGHT WITH A ROGUE.

    Thanks for the review.

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    1. Laurie, my favorite so far is After Dark with a Scoundrel. I just love Dare!

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