This cover CRACKS. ME. UP. The male model breaking the fourth wall, as if to say, “Look how naughty I am, heh heh heh!” Makes me giggle every time I see it. In actuality, the hero is not NEARLY as naughty as he’s led everyone to believe.
THE PLOT: Readers met both halves of this couple during the previous “Duke’s Men” series. Artist Jeremy Keane was introduced as Zoe’s cousin in How the Scoundrel Seduces (reviewed here), and Lady Yvette Barlow was Jane’s almost-sister-in-law in If the Viscount Falls (reviewed here.) Both are attending Dominick and Jane’s wedding breakfast when Jeremy spots Yvette and falls instantly in…well, artist-lust with her. He’s been looking for a model for his new painting, and Yvette is absolutely perfect. But she’s a lady, and Jeremy is used to using prostitutes as his subjects (although he lets everyone believe he’s visiting brothels for an altogether different reason, which has led to his horrible reputation).
To get in the household and gt around Yvette’s stodgy brother, Edwin, Jeremy agrees to paint a portrait of Yvette that will actually help her find a husband, since the unconventional lady has yet to find the right man, and her brother is concerned. But while they work on the portrait during the day, at night, Yvette poses for “Art Sacrificed to Commerce.” What’s in it for Yvette? Jeremy has promised to take her hunting in the London brothels for the illegitimate child her other brother, the villain Samuel, left behind when he was transported.
MY TWO CENTS: It’s no surprise that the posing sessions lead to romance. What IS surprising is that it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. At first, Jeremy is almost completely wrapped up in the art. While he’s attracted to Yvette, it’s much more about her “character” than her as a person. Jeremy also has a bit of a dark past. He was married before, and there’s some trauma having to do with his wife and parents that are keeping him from being able to move forward emotionally.
At the same time, Yvette has her own dark secrets. She’s trying to find her nephew, all the while thinking of the past indiscretion that her brother Samuel helped save her from. Maybe Samuel wasn’t always a villain…or wait, WAS he?
Finally, I love stuffy Edwin forming a club for exasperated men trying to save their sisters from rogues. All the while eyeing up his friend’s sister.
BOTTOM LINE: Slightly deeper than the usual fun Sabrina Jeffries romp. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to Edwin and Clarissa’s book.
TEACUP RATING: Four-and-a-half out of five teacups.
ON SALE DATE: Available Juy 21, 2015, in paperback and eformats.
Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.