Dueling with the Duke by Robyn DeHart
Series: Brotherhood of the Sword (# 2)
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Entangled (Scandalous)
Source: book provided by the publisher for review
Gabriel Campbell, Duke of Lynford never intended to carry that title, but when his reckless brother gets himself killed in a duel over a woman, Gabe has no choice. Now he’s sworn off love, blaming the woman that broke his brother’s heart and led to his untimely death.
Lilith Crisp, Lady Thornton, knew from a young age that pretty girls grow up and get married off to the highest bidder. Being paraded around London as her husband’s trophy has taught her some unique skills and now she can manipulate any man for his darkest secrets.
Gabriel’s position in the Brotherhood of the Sword leads him directly to Lilith’s door. For Gabe, Lilith is the one woman he’s always wanted, and Lilith is now forced to deal with a man who seems immune to her charms. But a secret about Lilith’s niece brings them together to face a danger that threatens not only their lives, but the fate of England’s Crown. Resisting Lilith is getting more and more difficult and Gabe finally recognizes that he can’t keep blaming her for his brother’s fate. Finding love means forgiving the past and that might be the one thing they simply can’t do…
Review: The first time Lilith and Gabe met, there was a connection between them, but it was not meant to be. Gabe is a second son, and bowed to his brother, who swept Lilith away. But, in a sad twist of fate, a duel over Lilith ensued and Gabe’s brother was killed. Lilith ended up in a cruel marriage to Lord Thornton instead, and Gabe placed the blame solely on Lilith.
From the day Gabe lost his brother, forced to accept the title of Duke of Lynford, he stopped his womanizing ways, and joined a secret agency, ‘The Brotherhood of the Sword’, founded to protect the crown.
When an attempt is made against the Queen, Gabe finds himself facing Lilith again, bearing bad news regarding her husband. He must also attempt to discover what information Lilith may have concerning her husband’s activities.
However, he is stunned to find she plans to leave town immediately, with her niece, Isabel, and make a fresh start. But, when it becomes clear Isabel is in danger, Lilith and Gabe must learn to trust each other in order to keep her safe.
This story is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a stand alone.
The book got off to a fantastic start, promising plenty if intrigue and danger. I liked the mix of tension and sensual chemistry between Gabe and Lilith in the beginning, which of course develops into much more.
The story nearly careened out of control on a few occasions and some characters were left underdeveloped, like Isabel, whose story is most intriguing, but in this thread I was left feeling dissatisfied, unless we learn more about Isabel in future installments.
Having said that, this is a quick, action packed story, with a sensual, mildly erotic love story that finally gives Gabe a sense of peace regarding his brother’s death and relieves him of the unrequited love he’s tried to overcome all these years for Lilith, and frees Lilith from an abusive marriage, reuniting her with Gabe, the man she should have been with all along.
I enjoyed the romantic suspense elements in the novel and although there were a few bumps in the road, I ended up enjoying this one and am certainly interested to see what happens next in the series.