Annabelle Flynn is looking to wed – to make a respectable match in the upper Ten Thousand of the English gentility. Annabelle is lovely, she is spontaneous and passionate, and she’s also tainted by the scandals left in her brothers’ and her departed father’s wild wakes. Although Rafe (her oldest brother) has settled down as the Duke, Crispin is still running wild with little regard for his own reputation, let alone those of his family. Regardless, Annabelle still loves her brother Crispin dearly and when Rafe takes the tough love approach, Annabelle takes matters into her own hands. When she finds out that Crispin is acting recklessly at the club of debauchery owned by a family friend, Marcus Rivers, she dons a masquerade mask and walks right into the club in the hopes of saving her brother’s lost soul herself!
What she finds are the most arousing of images…and a scorching kiss from Marcus himself. Marcus has watched Annabelle from afar for years. He has loved her since he’s locked eyes on her person…but there is no future in his feelings since Annabelle deserves far better than a wretch like him – an owner of a house of sin and perched far below her social status. She’s like a spotless white lily and he’s as dark as the dankest corner of his devil’s den. However, he understands what drives innocent Annabelle into his club – he can respect devotion to one’s family and when it comes to Crispin, he views him much like a brother and offers his protection and his agreement to allow Annabelle into the club (in disguise to preserve her reputation) to watch out for her brother’s welfare.
But another bargain is struck – one in seduction. Annabelle can’t fight her attraction to Marcus or her hidden and dark desires, so she comes to Marcus for not only her brother’s sake, but for her own – for her passion. Allowing him everything BUT her virginity, (she’s saving THAT for her future husband) she and Marcus embark on a dangerous and forbidden love affair. Just when Annabelle’s hope for a society match comes to fruition, she begins to question the importance of such a match in her life if she can’t have a man like Marcus by her side. He isn’t just a club owner to her…he’s a man of integrity, concern, passion, and love. Will she realize that true love is her’s for the taking if she’s willing to take a risk or will she give up the passion that she and Marcus share for the sake of a loveless society pairing?
Overall, this is a good, but downright dirty read. I guess it’s be expected that some of the scenes are a bit, well, explicit, given the setting of the book itself. Regardless, if you’re looking for a quick read full of raunchy romps…go for it. I’m still trying to decide if I want to read the third installment.