Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Three Nights with a Scoundrel by Tessa Dare

In Tessa Dare’s dazzling new trilogy, the men of the Stud Club live and play by their own rules—until passion changes the game.

The bastard son of a nobleman, Julian Bellamy is now polished to perfection, enthralling the ton with wit and charm while clandestinely plotting to ruin the lords, ravish the ladies, and have the last laugh on a society that once spurned him. But after meeting Leo Chatwick, a decent man and founder of an elite gentlemen’s club, and Lily, Leo’s enchanting sister, Julian reconsiders his wild ways. And when Leo’s tragic murder demands that Julian hunt for justice, he vows to see the woman he secretly loves married to a man of her own class.

Lily, however, has a very different husband in mind.  She’s loved Julian forever, adores the man beneath the rakish façade, and wants to savor the delicious attraction they share—as his wife. His insistence on marrying her off only reinforces her intent to prove that he is the only man for her. Obsessed with catching a killer, Julian sinks back to the gutters of his youth, forcing Lily to reach out with a sweet, reckless passion Julian can’t resist. Can her desire for a scoundrel save them both—or will dangerous secrets threaten more than their tender love?

Julian's transformation throughout the series can be likened to an onion: once a layer is peeled away, there are so many more to overcome.  And Lily, God bless her, she breaks through each layer somewhat easily. 

It doesn't hurt that both secretly love the other.

She took his breath away. Oh, she eventually let him have it back, because she was hardly a thief. But she made him work for it, Lily did. To have her within his line of view ws to feel the simple act of drawing air had suddenly become a privilege, rather than an instinctive act.

His thumb caressed her just between the shoulder blades, stroking a current of pleasure down her spine. It was the gentlest of touches, but it was deliberate and true. An admission. I love you, too. He could have stopped the music, called everyone's attention, and declared mad, passionate, everlasting adoration for her-in rhyming couplets-and this would still be better. Now, she felt triumph. His was the only resistance she sought to conquer.

The matter of Leo's murder is fully solved, and we're once again treated to an epilogue starring all three couples.  Happily ever after indeed!

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