Revenge Wears Rubies
By Renee Bernard
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: March 2, 2010
They are called the Jaded. Eight men from various walks of life, but their paths had led them each to India and now this . . . Each was captured and thrown into a raja’s dark, hidden dungeon in Bengal, not knowing the purpose behind the act. During a rebellion brought on by the raja’s own men, the eight men were able to escape, but not before discovering and taking some of the raja’s vast treasure. And thus causing them to have a powerful enemy hell-bent upon finding them.
Galen Hawke is one of the Jaded. After escaping, Galen’s friend and fellow captive, John Everly, died in his arms but not before extracting a promise from Galen that he would look after John’s beloved fiancée, Haley Moreland. Months later, Galen discovers that Miss Haley Moreland is newly betrothed. He is incensed that John’s “angel” could be so callous as to become engaged so quickly after John’s death. Revenge on his mind, Galen formulates a plan: seduce and publicly ruin Haley. Yet once he gets to really know Haley, he doesn’t feel as pleased as he should that his plan is working. In fact, he begins to slowly lose interest in the motive behind his actions . . . along with slowly losing his heart.
Haley Moreland is in London to enjoy her one and only Season. Ever since her mother died, her father has remained in a constant state of mourning by drowning his sorrows in a bottle. The family’s finances have dwindled and Haley will do what she must to save her family and servants – even marry a portly, balding industrialist. One night at a soirée, Haley escapes the stuffy ballroom and happens upon a handsome stranger. There is an instant spark between the two which eventually turns into a roaring fire. Being a practical person, Haley doesn’t think she should wait for love (which is why she is engaged to Herbert), though deep down inside, she craves it. When Galen shows her his decadent life, Haley throws caution to the wind and dives in head first. But will she still feel the same when she finds out Galen’s secret?
Revenge Wears Rubies is the first in Renee Bernard’s Jaded Gentlemen series and introduces readers to six singularly tortured heroes. There were eight men held prisoner—six are heroes, one passed away, and the other isn’t really mentioned in this story, so I can only assume that Ms. Bernard has something up her sleeve for him. In this one, she pairs the sinfully delicious Galen with an equally passionate Haley. The tension between them is explosive and continues into the bedroom and beyond where the love scenes are scorching, including one that may not be for the faint at heart. I really enjoyed their journey and am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, Seduction Wears Sapphires (August 2010), to find out more about why these men were captured and where the treasure they stole is hidden. If you’re a fan of spicy hot romances mixed with a bit of intrigue and set in Victorian London, don’t miss this one!