Monday, June 5, 2017

Review & Tour: From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh


Title: From Duke Till Dawn
Author: Eva Leigh
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: The London Underground Series (Book One)
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: ebook via Tasty Tours
Rating: ✺✺✺
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SynopsisEva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld...

Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. After one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie.

In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help.

Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over again.



London, England
1817


A woman laughed, and Alexander Lewis, Duke of Greyland felt the sound like a gunshot to his chest.

It was a very pleasant laugh, low and musical rather than shrill and forced, yet it sounded like The Lost Queen’s laugh. Alex could not resist the urge to glance over his shoulder as he left the Eagle chophouse. He’d fancifully taken to calling her The Lost Queen, though she was most assuredly a mortal woman. Had she somehow appeared on a busy London street at dusk? The last time he’d seen her had been two years ago, in the spa town of Cheltenham, in his bed, asleep and naked.

The owner of the laugh turned out to be a completely different woman—brunette rather than blonde, petite and round rather than lithe and willowy. She caught Alex staring and raised her eyebrows. He bowed gravely in response, then continued toward the curb.

Night came on in indigo waves, but the shops spilled golden light in radiant patches onto the street.

The hardworking citizens of London continued to toil as the upper echelons began their evening revelries. Crowds thronged the sidewalk, while wagons, carriages, and people on horseback crammed the streets. A handful of pedestrians recognized Alex and politely curtsied or tipped their hats, murmuring, “Good evening, Your Grace.” Though he was in no mood for politeness, responsibility and virtue were his constant companions—had been his whole life—and so rather than snapping, “Go to the devil, damn you!” he merely nodded in greeting.

He’d done his duty. He’d been seen in public, rather than disappearing into the cavernous chambers of his Mayfair mansion, where he could lick his wounds in peace.

The trouble with being a duke was that he always had to do his duty. “You are the pinnacle of British Society,” his father had often said to him. “The world looks to you for guidance. So you must lead by example. Be their True North.”

This evening, before dining, Alex had taken a very conspicuous turn up and down Bond Street, making certain that he was seen by many consequential—and loose-lipped— figures in the ton. Word would soon spread that the Duke of Greyland was not holed up, sulking in seclusion. His honor as one of Society’s bulwarks would not be felled by something as insignificant as his failed marriage suit to Lady Emmeline Birks. The Dukes of Greyland had stood strong against Roundheads, Jacobites, and countless other threats against Britain. One girl barely out of the schoolroom could hardly damage Alex’s ducal armor.

But that armor had been dented by The Lost Queen. Far deeper than he would have expected.


Eva Leigh is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the '80s. Eva and her husband live in Southern California.

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

When a good man falls for a naughty girl...

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Alex is a duke and his title comes with responsibilities. Like marrying and producing an heir to carry on his legacy. And after being jilted by a potential bride, he isn't entirely upset by it. His heart still belongs to a lost love who slipped away from his bed and disappeared into the night.

Cassandra wasn't who Alex thought she was. Her story about being a lonely widow in need of financial help was all a ruse to get his money. She never expected their night together to lead to her heart being shattered in the process. It wasn't supposed to end that way and her regrets weigh heavy on her.

Now that Cassandra is in London, in the middle of another scheme, she knows the likelihood of crossing paths with Alex is high. But nothing can prepare her for the feeling of seeing him again. Or the way his stolen kisses ignite her hunger from within. It's just too bad that he's about to learn the truth of her identity and things between them will never be the same.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. There were a few things I felt could have been done better, but most things I liked. The plot, for example, was a large part of the story but I never felt that it took over, the way it does in so many of the books I read in this genre. The romance between our couple was front and center throughout, leading to nice relationship development for the pair.

The romance, itself, was well done. I felt the tension and anxiety between Alex and Cassandra from the moment they reconnected. Their story is filled with ups and downs and those emotions were easy to understand and follow. My heart shattered for Alex when he discovered Cassandra's secret. 

The storytelling was well done but I never did get a good picture of our characters. The settings were sufficiently described so I knew where I was, however, I would have liked to visualize my characters better. That's mostly personal preference. Some readers like to have the freedom to imagine what they wish but I am a visual person and it's easier for me to become immersed in the story if I have better descriptions.

The other thing I wanted, that I think could have benefited the story, would be a prologue showing our couple's first night together. They both think and talk about that night but it's hard to get a good sense of what it meant to each of them without seeing it for myself. That sneak peek would have prepared me to root for our couple from the beginning. Instead, I needed Cassandra to prove herself to me a little bit more before I accepted her as a good match for Alex.

In closing... 
Another spicy historical romance with a suspenseful plot and naughty characters (in more ways than one!). Four suns!