Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by Netgalley and the publisher*
This book opens with Alex, the Duke of Bedford rescuing Lady Hestia Cary. Hestia has been captured by pirates and is about to be handed over to Sultan Murad Bayezid – the very man who captured and enslaved Alex years before.
Fast forward four years – Alex is a recovering opium addict who uses alcohol and sex to quiet his demons. He has been summoned by Hestia on a matter of urgency and as much as he wants to refuse her, he can’t. Hestia is not for him and as much as he wishes that wasn’t the case, he knows that he will never be worthy of her. For the past few years, Alex has avoided Hestia, he knows she has feelings for him, but believes that it is just hero worship and she will eventually move on. Hestia has loved Alex for years, but has come to accept that he is not interested in her. But right now Alex is the only person she can turn to. Her cousin Fredrick is claiming that her father the Earl of Pembroke is dead and that he is the new earl. Hestia knows that her father is not dead but will soon be if she cannot reach him before Fredrick. Alex is the only man familiar enough with both her father and Mediterranean to save him.
When Alex first hears the problem, he feels bound to help, her father is the man that saved him from Murad all those years ago. But when he realizes that he will have to take Hestia with him, he is not sure he can withstand the temptation.
The story that follows is intense, there is action, adventure, steamy love scenes, betrayals, a hero with demons to fight, great secondary characters, pirates and finally a very hard earned HEA.
I thought this book was great, it is a very emotional book and treads more on the dark side than the usual historical romance. I would never consider Alex a lovable hero, he is too fierce and damaged to be lovable, but he is unforgettable, intense, dark and delicious! Hestia is a wonderful heroine, brave, loyal, loving and can hold her own. She is the light to his dark.
I would happily recommend this book and am looking forward to the next installment!