This book is written by Lorna James, which is the pseudonym of USA Today Bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt and award-winning NYC publisher, Lori Perkins. These two naughty ladies definitely know how to write a good story.
Cromwell Stone and Huxley Brigmore have appeared to hate each other since their days at Eaton. The two dukes are always on opposite sides of any argument and often exchange blows over their opinions. What most people don’t know is that there is one area where they find common ground. Women.
Lady Sophia Hodges is obsessed with tarot cards and the spirit world. Even though the Queen has expressed an interest in all things mystical, Lady Sophia still hears whispers of how odd she is among the other ladies of the ton. The other women cruelly play jokes on her and no one believes that she will ever earn a suitor.
During an event, Miss Hodges goes on a search for a connection to her dead mother, but she only finds Cromwell Stone. Before she knows it, she’s telling him about the erotic manuscript she’s been reading. He demands that she disclose details, or he will tell her father that she’s been reading it. She manages to escape the situation before she does something to cause scandal.
When Lady Sophia’s father admits that he has lost everything they have during gambling on horse races, she prepares herself for life as a pauper. But when her father informs her of how he’s decided to solve this quandary he’s created, she panics.
She has been betrothed to the duke who knows her dirty secret- that she reads and enjoys erotica. To make things worse, she’s been in love with his archenemy, Huxley Brigmore, for years. She deals with her feelings for Huxley by worshiping him from afar, but that seems impossible to continue if she’s married to a man that Brigmore hates.
Miss Hodges is left with only one option- she consults her tea leaves. She’s enthralled to see passion in her future, but there are also many other puzzling omens. Lady Sophia thinks that if she turns down Stone’s offer for her hand, he’ll tell everyone about her inappropriate reading material. If people found out, no one would ever take her as a wife and her family would be destitute.
Sophia is confused when the announcement of her engagement seems to provoke Huxley into pursuing her also. The two men seem to take turns getting her alone to satisfy most of the wicked fantasies a well-bred virgin should not be having. And what’s more confusing is that Stone continues to catch Huxley touching his fiancée, but doesn’t seem dismayed.
Following where her tarot cards lead, the three get pulled into a mystery surrounding Huxley’s family. Together they have an adventure fraught with peril while discovering new levels of intimacy and ecstasy in their search for a consummate future.
I’ll fess up. I tolerate ménage romances with no problem, but it’s not my go-to choice. However, I LOVED this book. It’s so cool to see a heroine who is sexually empowered. In case you’re looking for something specific in your threesome themed books, I’ll let you know that this has no M/M action.
Here’s what I hated about this book: Lorna James is launching a female dominants (girl power!) series. There’s an excerpt from the first in the series, Dominating the Duke, at the end of this novel. It was amazing, but it doesn’t come out ‘til January! How am I supposed to wait that long to find out what happens? SO unfair.
I’m aware that I sound pathetic and fangirly, but I’ve found an author that will make me choose to purchase ménage and domination themed books. I’m very impressed! 5-stars for this enchanting tale.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from the author, free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
No rehab needed. This one’s clean and sober!
Other reading suggestions
Historical erotic romance? I got nothin’. But Two Dukes and a Lady by Lorna James looks promising, too.