I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long
Series: The Palace of Rogues #1
Published by Avon on February 26, 2019
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
A mistress. A mountain of debt. A mysterious wreck of a building.
Delilah Swanpool, Countess of Derring, learns the hard way that her husband, "Dear Dull Derring," is a lot more interesting—and perfidious—dead than alive. It's a devil of an inheritance, but in the grand ruins of the one building Derring left her, are the seeds of her liberation. And she vows never again to place herself at the mercy of a man.
But battle-hardened Captain Tristan Hardy is nothing if not merciless. When the charismatic naval hero tracks a notorious smuggler to a London boarding house known as the Rogue's Palace, seducing the beautiful, blue-blooded proprietress to get his man seems like a small sacrifice.
They both believe love is a myth. But a desire beyond reason threatens to destroy the armor around their hearts. Now a shattering decision looms: Will Tristan betray his own code of honor…or choose a love that might be the truest thing he's ever known?
Lady Derring Takes A Lover is the first book in her latest series “Palace of Rogues” and I am so happy that Julie Anne Long is coming back to historical romance. She just does fabulous work in writing historical romance, especially since she does a decent job with the dialogue and setting up the regency. I was curious how her new series would go and how she would introduce us to this new series and I was pleasantly delighted with this book and even though it wasn’t quite the full page turner I was expecting, it was a fun read and I had a blast with Lady Derring Takes A Lover.
Lady Derring Takes A Lover, when our heroine, Delilah, the Countess of Derring’s husband dies, and she learns that her husband was in deep debt that she didn’t know about and she is now destitute except for a handful of jewelry and a building near the docks. Delilah, knows that her whole life has changed and she will have to be creative in order to survive. While on her way to the only building she owns, she runs into a woman she doesn’t know, but admires after having a conversation with….her husband’s mistress. They decide to join forces and create a boarding house, she has a dream to create a haven for those coming into London from the docks and even though it could be a better neighborhood, she is determined to make a success of it.
Then we bring in our hero, Captain Tristan Hardy, who is on a mission, to discover if Lady Derring is innocent of her husband’s crimes and to figure out what Lord Derring was up to with the secretive shipments of cigars so he goes to the boardinghouse that Lady Derring is showing, takes a room and works undercover to find out the truth behind the building and behind the mystery of Lady Delilah Derring. But as he gets close to the truth their relationship turns into something more than just a business deal and secrets could destroy the fragile trust between them.
This book was simply delightful and I enjoyed every moment. I have to say that the one aspect of this Long’s writing is her sexy bantering that she displays. I just love seeing what she has done here and so well done for sure. It was very interesting to see the series set up as a boardinghouse on the London Docks. I am not sure how realistic that is, but it was written very well so it did work for me. It was fascinating to see Tristan and Delilah come together and yes Tristan has a lot of secrets including his work for the foreign office. Now of course, there are secrets so you know that there will be backlash from that especially since its the scenario where the secret is dragged out. I wasn’t a big fan of this happening, but this author made it work without having it drive me crazy and I have to say that Tristan does a great job in his grovel in the end, PERFECTO!! I got all sorts of good feels seeing this story wrap up so nicely and we get a lovely teaser for the second book, so you do have some great things to look forward to here.
I adored the romance that builds between Tristan and Delilah. Its not a perfect romance by any means, but its quite enjoyable and highly entertaining. I love how well these two get along in and out of bed. Their characters are very charismatic in different ways so I loved seeing how they make a relationship work. It has a whole bunch of give and take that occur between them before they find the balance they need in their relationship. I do want to mention that the chemistry between these two are explosive, my goodness, this author knows how to write sexual chemistry and does it so well so that it doesn’t overtake the relationship. We also have a fun mystery about Lord Derring and this mysterious house on the docks.
Overall I found Lady Derring Finds A Lover to be a stimulating, sensual and empowering romance!! A SEXY ROMANCE TO DELIGHT IN!