Lady Derring Takes A Lover by Julie Anne Long

Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues #1)Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Palace of Rogues #1
Publication Date: 2/26/19
Number of Pages: 384

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book by this author and it is nice to see her in the historical romance category again. I really, really, really wanted to absolutely love this book and from the blurb, I was sure that I would. I liked it pretty well but didn’t absolutely love it. I absolutely adore a great romance with a great mystery, but these seemed to both fall a bit short.

Delilah Swanpool, Countess of Derring, has always been someone’s property to be bargained for their betterment and not her own. When her husband dies suddenly, she finds that he was totally broke and she is now completely penniless. What will become of her now? Her husband had one piece of property that he owned outright and it is now hers, it is all she has – but – it is the first thing she has ever owned, the first thing that is hers.

When Delilah goes to see the property, it is located near the docks – definitely NOT the best part of London. Before trying to enter the forbidding property, she and her maid decide to have something to eat at the nearby pub. In the pub, they meet Delilah’s husband’s former mistress, Angelique, who is in the same predicament as Delilah. Delilah and Angelique decide to sell the few jewels they have left and team up to open a boarding house in Delilah’s property.

Captain Tristan Hardy is the Captain of the King’s Blockade. He’s the king’s favorite hunting dog and has almost rid England of smugglers. There is one group of smugglers left and they have done the unthinkable. They set fire to an aristocrat’s residence and took the lives of the entire family – one of whom was the king’s former mistress. So, the king wants those smugglers caught and punished and he wants it to happen now!

Tristan’s investigation has brought him to London and all information points to the Earl of Derring. Now what? The Earl has just died and Tristan is at a loss. He finally learns of the one piece of property the Earl had left and that the widow has taken possession of it. Is she involved in the smuggling ring? It is up to him to find out.

For the go-getter that Tristan is supposed to be, he certainly seems to carry on a laid back investigation. The romance also didn’t feel real to me. To me, if he had shared who he was and what he was doing with Delilah and they investigated together, there could have been a lot of interest and excitement that the story was missing. As it was, it wasn’t particularly exciting nor romantic, but I did enjoy the read.

I believe the next book will feature Angelique and I look forward to seeing how that one goes.

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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