(Scandalous House of Calydon)
Author: Stacy Reid
Length: 251 pages
Date of Publication: March 9th, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars
All of the young ladies whispered about the Duke of Mondvale in hushed tones, their eyes following his tall, dark figure with barely disguised lust. For the newly-ostracized Lady Constance Thornton, he is magnetic and altogether desirable. Irresistibly so. Since her reputation is already ruined in London society, why shouldn't she be impudent and dance with the scandalous “Lord of Sin”?
Little does she know of his plans.
The beautiful and innocent Lady Constance is no mere plaything for Lucan Wynwood. She will be his revenge. By ruining her, he will have his vengeance against her brother. Except that the Lady Constance is full of surprises...and now she could well be the ruin of him. -Goodreads
Chapter TwoConstance had missed seeing the stone bench near the entrance of the conservatory, hidden by shadows and overgrown plants. Mondvale sat splayed in the most insolent manner, his cravat undone, a glass of champagne dangling loosely from his hand. She could sense the leashed power of his personality beneath the casual façade he presented.A blush heated her cheeks. Was she interrupting a clandestine meeting? From the quick frown on his face, she had the oddest thought that he had retreated here for privacy, and she had intruded. She cleared her throat cautiously. “Your Grace, I… Pardon my intrusion, I was not aware someone else was in here.”Despite the dimness of the light, she was able to make out the curl of his lips.“Liar,” he drawled with an icy bite. It was said so softly, it took a while for the word to sink in.She stiffened in affront.Silver eyes slid over her in an encompassing look that was as physical as a caress. “You have been watching me with avid fascination, devouring me with your gaze, since I entered Lady Lawrence’s ballroom.”Constance’s heartbeat thudded in her eardrums. It was so embarrassing to know he had been aware of her regard. Should she deny his humiliating assessment? It was only half true. She had escaped to the conservatory to be away from it all, not to follow him. “My apologies. I was watching you because you reminded me of someone else.” Her excuse sounded inane even to her own ears. His unswerving gaze made her uneasy and propelled her into further speech. “I see now my error, but I assure you, Your Grace, I did not follow you out here.”He gave her a dark, jaded smile, placed his champagne glass on the bench, and rose to his feet, stepping into the light that spilled from the gas lamp in the far corner. She stumbled back, trying to ignore the unwilling interest he roused in her. But she couldn’t look away from him, awed by the ruthless beauty of his face. High cheekbones intensified the aristocratic cast of his features, and cruel sensuality curved the hard line of his mouth. He was tall with powerful shoulders and muscular legs, and she flushed, mortified for noticing. He was clad in black from head to foot, with the exception of his snow white shirt and cravat, and the silver waistcoat which fitted his lean frame to perfection. Each time she had spied him, he had always dressed with simplicity, in dark, well-tailored clothes, never with flamboyance.She found the reaction he stirred in her curious, thrilling—that low tightening in her stomach and the slow drum of her heart when their gaze collided. He had the most compelling eyes she had ever seen—pure silver, making them appear as shards of ice.She fancied it was his eyes that caused the ache inside her, the desire to partake of the wickedness lurking deep within them. It did not matter that his splendid eyes were partially obscured by dark-rimmed spectacles. They should have detracted from the dangerous aura he gave off, but the slight imperfection only added to his appeal. She found everything about him electrifying. Caution urged her to return to the ballroom. Her mother would be horrified at her lack of decorum. Her brothers would lock her away to know how she had flagrantly dismissed conventions and dallied with a man like the Lord of Sin in a dark conservatory, unchaperoned.
Sins Of A Duke, the third offering from the Scandalous House of Calydon series, introduces readers to one Lucan Lynwood, Duke of Mondvale. While all surface details show our dark duke to be yet another privileged child of the ton, come to dip an unearned silver spoon into the trough of it's bounty. One only has to look the slightest bit closer to see that he is so much more.
Joining Lucan in this dangerous dance of scandal, love, passion and lies is the exquisite, albeit socially excommunicated Lady Constance Thornton. Known throughout fashionable circles as "the beautiful bastard," the enchanting Lady Thornton is no stranger to the rumor mill, the furtive glance, or the backhanded compliment.
So when a chance meeting in a moonlit garden turns into a stolen dance, and sparks an attraction that neither the duke, nor his lady are able to ignore...oh how the plot thickens.
For you see, the duke desires Lady Thornton for more than her flashing eyes and untried passion. She is the means by which he plans to right an old wrong and avenge the untimely death of his beloved sister, Marissa.
It goes without saying that authoress Stacy Reid is a masterful 'star maker' when it comes to penning complex and involving characters. The surprise this in this read comes in the knowledge of just who steals the show this time.
From all indications, one would think that Lucan, and all of his devious plotting, scheming, brooding, and stewing would win hands down. On this score though, you would be sadly mistaken. For while it is true that Lucan has the looks, power, past, and sex appeal that romantic drama lovers swoon for; it is the forthright honesty and unabashed belief in the power of self truth exemplified by Constance, that serves to set this read apart from the pack.
Constance may be an 'innocent' in the ways of love and passion but she proves quite the veteran when it comes to overcoming the obstacles that stand between her and her goals. She is the rose among thorns, and watching her mange to not only stand her ground, but bloom amid scorn, deception, and manipulation...is simply exquisite!
The romance between Lucan and Constance is one laced with a raw carnality that draws the reader in like a moth to a flame. The two of them together is a force of nature that sweeps one up to the highest of peaks and drops one into the deepest of valleys with equal aplomb.
This is a romance that lets the 'white knight' look good in and out of her dress. One for the ladies...Sins Of A Duke is nothing short of a romance lover's blessing!
I am an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. From an early age, I started writing short stories for pleasure. I knew the dozens of romance novels I devoured were onto something when I met my husband at fifteen and fell in love after a week!
Life got in the way and I stopped writing for years. Then at the age of twenty-six with a degree in Human Resource Management I decided to focus on my passion—writing. I especially love romance and adore writing sensually hot paranormal fantasy, historical and contemporary stories.
I live a lot in the worlds I create and I actively speak to my characters (out loud). I have a warrior way “never give up on my dream.” When I am not writing, I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese Anime and playing video games with my love—Dusean Nelson.