Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan, is determined to be the antitheses of his depraved father, repressing his desires so severely he is dubbed "the Monk" by Society. But when Olivia Weston turns up demanding payment for gowns ordered by his former mistress, Rhys is totally flummoxed and inexplicably smitten. He pays her to remove her from his house, and mind. But logic be damned, he must have this fiercely independent woman.
Olivia's greatest fear is becoming a kept woman. She has escaped the role of mistress once and vows never to be owned by any man. Rather than make money in the boudoir, she chooses to clothe the women who do. But when a fire nearly kills her friend and business partner, Olivia's world goes up in smoke and she is forced to barter with the lofty duke.
As their lives weave together, Olivia unravels the man underneath the Monk, while Rhys desires to expose the lady hiding behind the dressmaker. Will his raw passion fan a long-buried ember of hope within her? Can this mismatched pair be the perfect fit? (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review courtesy of Red Moon Book Tours.
This was a passionate romance without overly explicit or erotic scenes that often put some people off when reading this genre. Russell does a great job balancing moving forward the romantic story, action and keepings us just a little on edge waiting to find out what is the FULL story of the character’s pasts. Both Olivia and Rhys have many more layers than I originally anticipated when reading the synopsis. The book could have easily been a shorter novel, but at 370 pages, we get to know all of the characters on a deeper level.
While having the opportunity to get to know the characters on a more complex level was something I enjoyed, on the flip side there were moments I felt the book could have been shortened. Some interactions between Rhys and Olivia that felt just a bit too stretched for my taste, but I would anticipate complete hopeless romantics to enjoy it more. Overall this was a very enjoyable historical fiction romance with a touch of modern tendencies.
Warning: Contains some violence and some reference to sexual activity.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Hopeless romance fans looking for a historical setting, but some modern mannerisms.
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