The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Note: I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book free through the Goodreads First Reads program.
Our heroine, Lady Lucinda Grey is beautiful and intelligent and besieged by suitors because she is also incredibly rich. Our hero, Will, the Duke (10 points!) of Clairemont, is a rake and a spy! But that is not all, oh no, that is not all. He has received the sobriquet of "Iron Will" because he when he gets really angry he goes to the boxing ring and beats people up; also he breaks furniture. I'm not sure how you get "Iron" from that, but the nickname sounds formidable. At any rate, his mysterious spy agency--mysterious because exactly how the need for an unofficial spy agency embedded within a gentlemen's club arose and developed is completely unexplained--discovers that a notorious French assassin is plotting to kidnap Lucinda for her money (the assassin is working for Fouche, supposedly, but again, it is unexplained why Fouche would find in using a murderous psychopath to kidnap an English heiress essential to protecting the national security of France). Will is assigned to guard Lucinda under the guise of courting her. This goes awry, as things will do, when they start falling for each other for realz.
Overall I thought this book was a pleasant, light read, but with some issues that I hope will not be in the other books in the series, like the unexplained plot points. Also there is a lot of "telling, not showing"--we know Lucinda is witty and intelligent because the author and other characters say she is witty and intelligent, not because she actually says or does anything witty. She does do some brave things, particularly at the end, though, which almost of makes up for it. Will's character interested me and I would have liked to see it more fleshed out. Sloane is also better at building sexual tension than resolving it, alas, and the book, like the tension, shows more promise more than fulfillment.
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