The Palace of Rogues, Book 3
From the publisher:
USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long continues her Palace of Rogues series with a brand-new romance about an ambitious American and a headstrong British heiress.
Nothing can stop Hugh Cassidy’s drive to build an American empire…unless it’s his new nemesis, the arrogant, beautiful, too-clever-by-half Lady Lillias Vaughn. The fascination is mutual. The temptation is merciless. And the inevitable indiscretion? Soul-searing—and the ruination of them both. Hugh’s proposal salvages Lillias’s honor but kills their dreams for their futures…until they arrive at a plan that could honorably set them free.
But unraveling their entanglement inadvertently uncovers enthralling truths: about Lillias’s wounded, tender heart and fierce spirit. About Hugh’s stunning gentleness, depth, and courage. Soon Hugh knows that as surely as he’d fight a thousand battles to win her…the best way to love Lillias means breaking his own heart.
I think this is my favorite book of the series so far! This series is supposed to conclude with the next book, but who knows. It seems simple enough to add characters who are staying in the boarding house at the center of the story.
Hugh Cassidy is an American from New York. His mentor’s daughter has taken off for England, and Hugh offers to go after her. He can’t help thinking of her as a possible wife, but he is more concerned for her father, who is very worried. Hugh is staying in the boarding house, and because he has building/construction experience, he volunteers to help out the ladies who own the house.
Then an aristocratic family comes to stay in their newly acquired addition to the boarding house, an annex with suites for families. They are having some trouble with a snake missing in the house, and are staying put until it is found. The eldest daughter, Lady Lilliana, appears to be a typical debutante. She’s gorgeous and expected to make a good match with a titled man, and those plans are pretty much set in stone. But when Hugh enters the annex to work, he finds her there, smoking. He brings her back to her father and tells him, and she is grounded for a couple of weeks.
Hugh is immediately taken with Lady Lilliana, but realizes she is out of his league. Nonetheless, they start spending some time together, until they are caught in an embrace by her family and some friends. Hugh immediately realizes her reputation is on the line, and tells everyone they are engaged.
The only fly in the ointment is that Lilliana is in love with her childhood friend, except that he is expected to follow a long standing family tradition and marry a cousin. Lilliana is devastated, but can’t show it. Hugh realizes what she is feeling, and cares enough about her to try and help her land the man of her dreams. But when she does, she realizes that Hugh is the man for her.
There is a lot of drama, laughter, and some sizzle before Hugh and Lilliana reach their happy ending. This was a fast paced story and I just loved it.
9/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
I’M ONLY WICKED WITH YOU by Julie Anne Long. Avon (August 24, 2021). ISBN: 978-0063045088. 400 pages.