The third book from Eva Leigh in her London Underground series dares to take the era through some changes and upheaval, but in all the best ways!
Dare to Love a Duke
Tom is the son of the Duke of Northfield, raised with the understanding that his life will be one of duty and honor, so he’s taking the chance to grab all the gusto he can, while he can. While having experienced love seen from his parent’s view, and adoration from his much younger sister, while he’s not callus with their feelings, he’s not such the rogue as to bring shame to the family. He’s got a fascination with Amina, the manageress of The Orchid Club, a clandestine ‘pay what you can afford’, masquerade club that allows the carnal to take center stage. Not quite the more commonly encountered scenes of brothels or kept women, this is a place that allows people to explore their sexuality with only two rules: no names and everything utterly and completely consensual. Tom’s first introduction to the club comes from one of his friends, The Earl of Blakemore, a notorious libertine we fully met in book 2. While intrigued by the sex itself, Tom is more curious about the manageress, and finds that he enjoys her company and presence above all else.
But, his unexpected ascendancy to the title with his father’s death creates a wholesale change in what he believes he must do – and one trip for one night before he disappears into the House of Lords and endless obligatory functions, he convinces Amina to grant him some answers to questions long held, and her company for the night. Discovering not long after that his very proper father was the founder of the club, and now he’s got to decide on it’s future…. Well, things get complicated. Perhaps unduly so as the ton seems more involved in their neighbor’s business then their own, and the implicit and then later stated threats to derail his sister’s upcoming engagement (and perhaps threaten his own family’s reputation and prospects for evermore) Tom has a crisis of conscience: do what he knows will help alleviate the ills facing society and help make things better for those in he worst conditions, or act as requested, and follow in his father’s old path, punishing those without options or means simply to enrich the upper crust.
What Leigh does so well is let us see the awakening of Tom to the hardships of poverty and the choices are borne of those limited opportunities. With Amina sharing her name, Lucia, her background – daughter of a wealthy Englishman and a poor uneducated woman from Naples, and her paternal family’s treatment of her, not to mention her own determination to open a school for girls from Whitechapel, keep those in her employ at the Orchid Club safe and well-paid, and carve out a life that she has determined for herself, the growth and ending for Tom, along with the clearly presented sense of his character, his mother and sister’s love for him, and the worthiness of Tom as the hero of his story, a thoroughly modern (perhaps even far more of the present than the past) man, to the reasons why he Kit and Alex are such good friends – it all folds together neatly to provide an intriguing and interesting trek into London, without all the smells and soot.
Title: Dare to Love a Duke
Author: Eva Leigh
Series: The London Underground #3
Also in this series: From Duke Till Dawn, Counting on a Countess
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon
Published on: 24 December, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 45 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
For a dashing duke and the proprietress of a secret, sensual club in the London Underground, passion could lead to love… if they dare
Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield, knows he should be proper and principled, like his father. No more dueling, or carousing, or frequenting masked parties where Londoners indulge their wildest desires. But he’s not ready to give up his freedom just yet. The club is an escape, a place where he can forget about society and the weight of his title… and see her, the woman he’s wanted forever.
Lucia—known as Amina—manages the Orchid Club, a secret society where fantasies become reality. But for Lucia, it’s strictly business, profitable enough to finance her dream: a home for the lost girls of the streets. Surrounded by lovers, she only observes, unwilling risk her future for any man. No member has ever intrigued her...until him, the masked stranger whose heated looks sear her skin. After months of suppressed longing, they dare to give in to temptation…
But the late duke’s legacy comes with a shocking secret, and the scandal threatens to destroy everything Tom loves… his family, the Orchid Club, and even Lucia.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.