Angel in a Devil's Arms by Julie Anne Long
Series: The Palace of Rogues #2
Also in this series: Lady Derring Takes a Lover
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler » No « Hide Spoiler
Genres: Historical Romance
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Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 Historical Challenge
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From USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long comes the second book in an exciting new historical romance series, the first since her beloved Pennyroyal Green series.
He has devil's blood in his veins. At least, that's always been the legend. How else could the Duke of Brexford's notorious bastard son return from the dead? The brutal decade since Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt, allegedly drowned in the Thames forged him into a man who always gets what—and who—he wants. And what he wants is vengeance for his stolen birthright...and one wild night in Angelique Breedlove's bed.
Angelique recognizes heartbreak when the enigmatic Lord Bolt walks into The Grand Palace on the Thames, and not even his devastating charm can tempt her to risk her own ever again. One scorching kiss drives home the danger.
But in the space between them springs a trust that feels anything but safe. And the passion—explosive, consuming—drives Lucien to his knees. Now his whole life depends on proving his love to a woman who doesn't believe in it...because his true birthright, he now knows, is guardian of Angelique Breedlove's heart.
Angelique Breedlove has opened a boarding house with her close friend, Mrs. Delilah Hardy, the former Lady Derring. For the first time in her life, she feels safe and settled. That comes to an end when a mysterious boarder who let a room through an agent shows up. He’s handsome, devilish and as far from safe as Angelique can get. Yet she can’t seem to keep herself away from him…
Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt, is the bastard son of the Duke of Brexford. He was hellbent on raising cane until the night he had an “unfortunate accident” and got thrown into the Thames. He’s fairly certain his father’s wife is responsible, and he’s come back to prove it. The years away have matured him and given him new perspective, but he’s determined to get his revenge. Falling for the lovely Angelique is not part of his plans, but he can no more stop himself than a moth can stay away from a flame. She’s bold, witty and damn near perfect for him…if only she’d realize that.
I haven’t had a lot of dedicated reading time lately, so it took me almost a week to finish this book. I really enjoyed the first half, which I read in a single day.
The first half, where Lucien and Angelique are coming to know one another, trading barbs and learning each other’s secrets, is lovely. I truly enjoyed their banter and how they couldn’t seem to stay away from each other.
“If you could help us understand why you’ve chosen to . . .” she paused ostentatiously “. . . favor . . . our establishment with your resurrection? And what are your plans for the future?”
Oh, well done, Mrs. Breedlove, he thought. He had a weakness for a good, irresistibly subtle piss-taking.
Angelique has had many misfortunes in the love department, and she isn’t keen to try again. While she can’t deny her attraction to Lucien, she knows nothing can come of an affair. While Lucien works to change her mind, he also has to deal with his own affairs – his anger and resentment at his father and step-mother, his plans for revenge, etc. I though both characters were well drawn and I easily connected with both. Neither was afraid to hit the other with hard truths, and I loved how honest they were with one another.
She turned and had taken two steps when his voice rose. “Angelique.” She stopped. And turned. “Is it something about me? Or do you feel as though you can treat all men as though what we feel is of no consequence?”
The second half wasn’t as good, but that may be a result of me reading it in fits and starts. I wasn’t as emotionally involved as I might have otherwise been. The major confrontation between the two, as well as the smaller conflicts, didn’t have the same punch those of the first novel did.
Still, I enjoyed the underlying message of women empowerment and truly love the relationship between Angelique and Delilah. Their friendship remains my favorite part of this series. The books are well done and I enjoy the romances, but they’re worth reading simply for Delilah and Angelique.
“And he wants to open a gaming hell . What manner of pastime is that for a grown man?”
“A lucrative one, I should imagine,” Delilah said practically.
Angelique went mute in astonishment. “Do you see?” she said darkly after a moment. “Usually I’m the one who says things like that. And then you exclaim ‘Angelique!’ in shock, and I laugh, and you learn. He’s already upsetting the natural order of things.”
Parts of the story were a bit too neatly done, but I can’t deny I enjoyed spending time at The Grand Palace on the Thames.
And yet, for a mad, mad moment, if time had stopped and left him sitting here forever, watching her knit, he might not have objected.
Full of angst, romance and a beautiful friendship between two unlikely women, Angel in a Devil’s Arms doesn’t disappoint.
Rating: 4 out of 5