Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #6
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2), The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3), The Duchess in His Bed, The Earl Takes a Fancy
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Genres: Historical Romance
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She wants lessons in seduction
Althea Stanwick was a perfect lady destined to marry a wealthy lord, until betrayal left her family penniless. Though she’s lost friends, fortune, and respectability, Althea has gained a scandalous plan. If she can learn to seduce, she can obtain power over men and return to Society on her terms. She even has the perfect teacher in mind, a man whose sense of honor and dark good looks belie his nickname: Beast.
But desire like this can’t be taught
Benedict Trewlove may not know his parentage but he knows where he belongs—on the dark side of London, offering protection wherever it’s needed. Yet no woman has ever made such an outrageous request as this mysterious beauty. Althea is out of place amongst vice and sin, even if she offers a wicked temptation he can’t resist. But as the truth of his origin emerges at last, it will take a fierce, wild love to overcome their pasts.
Althea Stanwick is a Duke’s daughter working at a tavern in Whitechapel. Strange? Yes. Unfortunately her father was tried and hung for plotting to assassinate the queen and then the title, lands and money were stripped from the family. Althea and her two brothers were ostracized and ended up moving to Whitechapel, which is the only place they could afford. After taking care of the house (hovel) for a while, Althea decided that she needed to contribute. Her brother Griff was working the docks, but they needed more money to survive.
Althea ends up working at Gillie Trewlove’s tavern and is only there for a short time when she meets Gillie’s brother, Beast. Beast (Benedict) is completely taken with Althea personally, but he also sees in her someone who was educated and trained in the finer arts. He proposes that she become a tutor for the prostitutes that live in his building so that they may find other professions. Althea agrees to his terms, after driving a hard bargain with her pay, but also requires that Beast teach her seduction so that she may become the most sought-after Courtesan in London. Beast agrees, but he’s not sure he can complete his end of the bargain without losing his heart.
I’ve liked all of the books in this series, but we never really got to know Beast all that well. He was pretty absent in the other books, and when we did hear about him there was very little info. I loved getting to know this man and the huge heart he had in him. I won’t ruin the surprise of how he got where he is now, but he was just as determined as his siblings to make something of himself. He wasn’t a brothel owner, nor did he run it, he just allowed the brothel to be in a building he owned so he could watch over the girls. He never took a penny from them and made sure they were always taken care of. In taking care of them, he helped them to learn other professions so that they could stop being prostitutes and make better lives for themselves. I seriously loved that. He deserved a good woman and one that appreciated him. Althea was that woman.
Althea was strong. She had been through hell and never imagined that she’d be living and working in the dregs of London. (Althea’s brothers were in the story somewhat as they are trying to clear the family name but that was all hush-hush.) All of her “friends” had turned their backs on her because they didn’t want to be near the daughter of a traitor. She wasn’t the traitor, but she was treated as though she was. It’s in the blood, right? eyeroll Though I couldn’t agree with her decision to become a courtesan, I did admire the fact that she had set a goal for herself and was working her way to accomplishing that. She liked Beast from minute one, but never thought to fall in love with him. Their slow burn romance was wonderful, and I so enjoyed watching these two characters fall in love.
Overall a great book and a wonderful end to the series.
Rating: 4 out of 5