Less Than a Lady
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To win a lord, you can’t be a lady…
Darcy Blake, Earl of Chase, is a soldier, rogue, and a loyal King's man. Commanded to spy on the luscious actress Amelia Fox, Darcy must pretend to be her student for a court theatrical. He is certain he can school her in the art of seduction while discovering if she is a traitor. But to his shock, he finds Mrs. Fox teaching him an entirely different kind of lesson.
As London's most popular actress, Amelia is famous at court, and she doesn't have a husband to tell her what do. Unfortunately, the king has ordered her to train the rakehell, Lord Chase to act for the court. Before long, the Earl is driving her wild with desire and awakening her heart to love. As an actress, society dictates she can never be more than Lord Chase's mistress, and Amelia has vowed never to be less than a lady.
When Darcy learns the witty actress is indeed linked to a traitor, he'll have to decide if love or loyalty will rule the day.
Best Historical Romance This Year
Less Than a Lady was absolutely wonderful! We start out with an Earl trying on a dress by order of the king. Definitely an interesting way to get a book started. Darcy is wearing a dress so that he can go undercover to find traitors in the world of London theater. His mark is actress Amelia - famous in the theater and one of the most beautiful ladies in London.
Amelia also has quite a bit of attitude. I really loved this woman and her devotion to her own standards and way of life. She isn't about to fall for some Earl's suave ways and attempts to seduce her. She'll give as good as she gets and put him in his place. And that works for quite awhile, too.
Meanwhile, Darcy is falling head over heels in love with the woman he may have to arrest for treason. But there's so much more to her story that he realizes at first. There were a lot of fun twists to her history and reasons for doing things that kept throwing me (and Darcy) for a loop - but in a very good way. A good dose of mystery and suspense here to really round out the story.
In the end things get even more interesting. I had to laugh at a few of the scenes - they were just so clever and watching Darcy's friends react to the situation was amusing. One of the best endings I've seen in a book in a long time. It all worked out beautifully, but still a little unexpectedly.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*