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    Historical Romance

    Last Night with the Duke by Amelia Grey The Rakes of Saint James #1 Three young men made a wager… A scandalous wager – at least society said it was. Three young dukes gained the dubious “honor” of being named… …The Rakes of Saint James. Years later Benedict Mercer, Duke of Griffin and one of the dubbed rakes has twin sisters to launch into society. With rumors regarding their safety being whispered around and the chaperone unable to fulfill the job he is in need of a strong willed woman to take over. In Esmerelda Swift he finds the woman he believes is best – not only to play chaperone – but perhaps for more. After some bargaining an agreement is made and Esmerelda moves in to fulfill her duties. There are dances, soirees and walks and There are men who come calling and show interest in the twins and There are a few surprises, revelations and kisses. All in all this was a typical regency romance. The descriptions of clothing and rooms and such are luscious. The interactions are for the most part benign (with one steamy more explicit encounter). The story is a bit slow, predictable and bland. There is the token misunderstanding that needs to be fixed. Griffin and Esmerelda are both strong characters that make a good couple – they seem to fit together and I felt they deserved their HEA. Although the scandal did not seem all that scandalous to me I found the book entertaining and the introduction to the two other “rakes” made me feel I would like to read their stories, too. I have a feeling that perhaps they are a bit more scandalous than Griffin proved to be in this story but…only time will tell. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC. This is my honest review. 3 Stars
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    Lovely Lighthearted Read

    Benedict Mercer the Duke of Griffin has the responsibility of his twin sisters come out season in front of him, and his beloved aunt Evelyn cannot chaperone them as planned. It is a big task normally, but with the treat he has heard about he must have a very respectable woman to do the job. Miss Esmeralda Swift is running an employment agency for young women. When the Duke makes his demands she has lots of reasons to deny him, and a very good one to accept. Our hero is paying the price for a misspent youth, and doesn't like it because it threatens his family. Those who are his, will be cared for extremely well. Our heroine is a very capable young woman with her own responsibilities, that are more important to her than her own prejudice against the peerage. A lovely historical romance with mischief and laughs, (although I did cry like a baby near the end). It also had a little mystery to solve. All the characters are interesting and lovable. It is a family I would love to join. If the other two "Rakes of St James" that we briefly met have such good stories I can't wait to read them. I loved this lighthearted read.
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    Loved it!

    Last Night with the Duke 'Last Night with the Duke' by Amelia Grey is book One in the "The Rakes of St. James"series. This is the story of Griffin and Esmerelda. Griffin is getting ready to present his twin sisters to the town. But fears that without proper supervision for his sisters and that his wild past might hurt their them he thinks to get a competent chaperone. When he overhears Esmerelda talking to one of her employees he knows that she would be strong enough to handle his sisters and his past behavior. But what they don't count on is their attraction to each other which is pretty instant. Esmerelda does try to talk him out of her being the one for his sister but he is not having any of that. Esmerelda is the granddaughter of a Viscount but her grandfather disowned her mother when she up and married what he thought was beneath her. So Esmerelda has settled into her life as a worker, servant, and businesswomen. Their story did play out somewhat slow but for me I loved watching it happen. Ms. Grey is one of the authors I go to when I want a good Historical Romance and this did not disappoint. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read.
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    OOh! May have found another wonderful author!

    Last Night With the Duke by Amelia Grey The Rakes of St. James #1 5 Stars! Right from the beginning I fell in love with Ms.Grey’s writing style! Her characters are full, the story is engaging and the dialogue is wonderful. Griffin and Esmeralda were fantastic together. From the first moment they are on the page together you could feel the chemistry begin to simmer. I am intrigued by the secondary characters and look forward to their stories. I am very glad I took a chance and requested this arc from Netgalley and I am super excited to check out this author's back list!
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    I shouldn't have enjoyed it so much, but I did!

    Esmeralda Swift runs Miss Fortescue’s Employment Agency, while she has never been a chaperone, she knows most everything about the position, and when the duke of Griffin, who was literally passing by, offers her to chaperone his twin sisters for the Season, Esmeralda must refuse, and whatever outrageous demands she makes, he accepts, even if Griffin is as stubborn as she is. Chaperoning Griffin’s sisters will be a very hard task indeed, because Esmeralda wonders how she will ever be able to resist the Duke’s considerable charms. LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE is not a complicated story, not much happens in fact, but Ms. Grey’s sumptuous writing makes it a delight to read because of the engaging characters and lovely period details. Griffin and Esmeralda’s road to romance is a quaint and elegant pas de deux: they try not to succumb to the attraction: darling, it just isn’t done! She is but a servant, really, oh but one doesn’t choose whom to love, does one? LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE hit the spot for me! It’s a simple love story between people who oughtn’t to fall in love, and it’s very well done. I liked that there were no misunderstandings, the push-and-pull was realistic regarding their differences in status, and the chemistry between Esmeralda and Griffin was palpable; it felt real to me, and I just basked in the loveliness of it all. I also liked that Griffin did not try to change Esmeralda, he did however try his darndest to get her to wear other colours than her dowdy grey! LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE is a the type of story that could have easily have put me to sleep, or have me skipping pages, but it did not happen because of the quality of the writing, and it takes a real talent to capture my attention when there is so little action, but neither did I feel like slapping anyone, and that is very good indeed. LAST NIGHT WITH TH E DUKE is mostly the road to romance for these two wonderful characters, so readers shouldn’t expect lots of action; neither is there any sex to speak of, but the sexual tension could be cut with a knife. The richness of the descriptions, the superbly conveyed sentiments and emotions kept me entertained and happily reading along. LAST NIGHT WITH THE DUKE is a great beginning to a new series, and I am very much looking forward to Rath’s and Hawk’s stories. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
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