Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen (Season for Scandal #3)

Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly BowenAvailable: January 31, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Their love was always in the cards. He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he’s more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty—in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he’ll have to devise a proposition she can’t turn down.

Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie’s club offered a surefire way to make quick money—until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible.

I have yet to read a book by Ms. Bowen that I did not give over 4 stars to, which is unheard of for me, she writes amazing historical romances, stories full of suspense, intriguing characters and of course romance.

We are again treated to seeing the people who own and work for Chegarre and Associates, a mysterious business that has a way of making bothersome things disappear for those with enough money. Alexander Lavoie works with his sister at the agency however he also owns his own gambling hell. He is rumored to be a spy and an assassin and is intrigued when a beautiful woman comes into his club who not only wins but does it without others realizing what she has done.

Angelique Archer is desperate for money and uses her skill at numbers to beat the system at Lavoie’s club. She makes sure she loses enough so she is not noticed, but Alex has had his eye on her from the first time she came to his club. Before he even knows who she is, he is giving her a job as a dealer. When it is revealed that she is the sister of a down on his luck Marquess, Alex is even more intrigued and uses his knowledge and the resources from the agency to find out about the mysterious woman.

Angelique and Alex find themselves looking at her family and her brother’s friends when tragedy strikes and she is frantic to help her brother. Betrayal, family secrets and mystery are unraveled as the two uncover the answers to her past. As they become close, they realize how much they mean to each other yet danger is just around the corner.

Again, I am shouting out about how much I love each of Ms. Bowen’s stories. I have been in a slump of reading lately but when I picked this one up, I had a hard time putting it down until I finished it. Secrets, lies, lost fortunes all amount to an exciting story.

When we first meet Angelique, she is a very composed and strong woman, yet we get a glimpse of a woman who has had to grow up quickly in order to take care of her family after her parents are gone. She is a wiz with numbers, a savant of sorts and I love that about her, she amazes people with her ability. She is cautious when she first meets Alex but realizes he is exactly what she needs, both to help her with her family crisis and when she realizes how much he means to her.

Alex has been one of my favorites since I first met him, in book one. He has always been a little on the dangerous side, but I love how he gets along with both his sister and “the duchess”, Ivory, they have a great report together, the banter is fun to read. Angelique captivates him from the beginning and he treats her with awe and respect. When they find their attraction is too hard to resist, the chemistry is electric and the passion sizzles. Their romance is one for the ages and I enjoyed their journey immensely.

The story is engaging from beginning to end and I enjoyed seeing past characters as well as meeting new ones, however this can easily be read as a standalone. I love King, the charismatic gentleman who is an enigma, and wonder if we will ever know his story, such a mystery. All in all a great romance with elements of suspense and intrigue.

I give Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen – 4.5 Stars!

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