Also in this series: From Duke Till Dawn
Series: The London Underground #3
Published by Avon on December 24, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Narrator: Zara Hampton-Brown
Length: 9 Hours and 1 Min
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.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Dare To Love A Duke is the third book in the London Underground series by Eva Leigh. I am not sure why I haven’t read Eva Leigh in such a long time, but after hearing some raves about this book on multiple romance podcasts and the big controversy on the Twitter Romancelandia that dealt with a review from Smart Bitches on this book, I decided that I needed this book in my life especially with the set up of the story which involves a Duke and a passion club madame. I grabbed this up from my local library in audiobook format. So first I want to discuss the fantastic narration done by Zara Hampton Brown. Now she is a newer narrator so this is my first time listening to her but she needs to do more historical’s for sure because she is just beautiful to listen to. And she really handled this book so well and pretty quickly I was drawn into this audiobook so BRAVO to this wonderful narration that was done here.
Dare To Love A Duke begins with our hero Thomas Powell, is different from who his father the current Duke of Northfield wants him to be. Thomas has always been a bit more rebellious to his father’s views in politics and he has wanted to bring about change that is not the most popular opinion. While out with a friend, he is taken to a secret club “The Orchid” , that is a sex club that is all about pleasure and consent. Thomas has an attraction to the madame of the club, but she never participates but Thomas and Lucia have created a friendship over the past year that Thomas has been attending the club.
But when Thomas’ father passes away he is to take his rightful place as the Duke of Northfield and certain parties expect him to play along with their political desires. Thomas is torn in two over his heart and to protect his family. His sister is in love with the son of the man that is blackmailing Thomas and if Thomas doesn’t fall in line with the right votes that goes against everything that Thomas believes is right, then his sister will lose the man she loves. But before he makes a decision he goes to the Orchid club for one last night and seeks to make love to the beautiful Lucia and after one night of beautiful passion, they both know that this will be the last night they will see each other. But then a dreadful secret comes out, about Thomas’ father and Thomas and Lucia are bound to run into each other as Thomas faces a horrible decision where he will have to battle with what is right over what is easy especially when there could be horrible consequences for his mother and his baby sister. But with Lucia by his side, Thomas will find his path and find a breathtaking love worth fighting for….
Dare To Love A Duke is one of the BEST historical romances I have read in years!! My goodness, this book blew me away in so many different ways but honestly, this book was so fulfilling to this reader and I don’t think I could sing this books’ praises enough. Eva Leigh has done wonders with this book and even though its book three in the series, you definitely can read this book as a stand a lone. But I definitely need more Lucia, so I want to see her interactions in the previous two books. Now I have NO idea why the Smart Bitches review was so horrible and negative about this book and I HELL NO agree with them. Because honestly, I love seeing the matches that form with the members of the Ton and the members of the London underground. I would like to say that I loved both Thomas and Lucia. Normally with Eva Leigh, its all about the heroine and her strength and “bluestocking” ways, however, what I really loved the most was the focus being equaled between the hero and the heroine and seeing the true intimacy that forms between these two.
The hero, Thomas, was so beautiful and breathtaking and I loved his character so very much. First off, he is so devoted to his family in such beautiful ways. He is the protective older brother to his sister. They have always been really close ever since they were children and even as adults they have such a great close-knit bond to each other. He will do anything to make sure that his sister is happy and wants her to be with the man she has found love with. Thomas may not believe in love in the beginning, but he does believe that it is real and wants his sister to find happiness. Thomas is also one that wants a life better for everyone especially those that live in poverty. His political views are the opposite of his father, where he wants more amendments and laws to benefit the poor more than benefiting the rich and titled. But when his father dies, and he is blackmailed he begins to face up to what is right and he has to make a difficult choice but you see that Thomas is a man of honor and true to himself.
Lucia also known as “Amina” is not originally from England, from the narrator’s accent for her, Lucia is from Italy. She grew up poor and then she found a way to come to England and she was a prostitute for a while and then was lucky enough to have this position as a madame for the “Orchid Club” which gave her the money to supply the people she loves the most with what they need and she found her family in those that run the Club. And which could give her the dream of building the girl’s home that she wants more than anything. Lucia is a woman that is independence and is hard working and has such a kind heart and wants to help those girls out in the streets and teach them the tools to find better positions in society to benefit them and give them hope of a brighter future. I adored Lucia because she isn’t ashamed of who she is and what she has had to do in the past to survive but also she isn’t ashamed of enjoying the pleasure of sex.
The romance that develops between Thomas and Lucia is so well done and I loved the closeness that these two feel for each other. They fit so perfectly together and have the same dreams for the future. We see how well they work together and despite the difference stations in society that these two fit in, they understand one another and they find what they need for one another. There are so many poignant moments between these two and seeing them find common ground and find what they need in each other is pretty stunning. From the pleasures between the sheets to fulfilling both of their dreams, and finding the balance that they need to get to their HEA is so beautiful.
The only drawback to this story is when a big scandal comes out in the story, the heroine Lucia doesn’t treat Thomas very good and pretty much blames him for everything when its obviously not his fault and he is just as much a victim as she is. So I didn’t like her treatment of Thomas in the end, but the ending was beautifully done so it made up for it.
Overall I found Dare To Love A Duke to be a beautiful portrayal of this Regency romance that is truly outstanding in shape and form, a tale of an intimate romance that brings you all the feels and depths of emotion and heart….a gutsy love tale that will make you fall head over heels in love!