The Return of the Disappearing Duke
A scarred mercenary…Or the Disappearing Duke of Greybourne?
Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo he discovers a fellow outcast—and a fierce desire! Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma—because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long!
Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.
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Tracy’s Rating 3 out of 5 stars
Rafael Edgerton, heir to the Duke of Greybourne, ran away after yet another violent confrontation with his father. At 16 he left home, became Rafe Grey and enlisted in the military. Years later he works as a mercenary and has learned of his father’s death. He knows he has to return to England, but is in Egypt trying to coax his younger brother Edward “Edge” out of hiding. This is when he meets Cleopatra Osbourne – who is also trying to find her younger brother.
Cleo and her brother Dash decided it was time to return to England, but Dash would not leave Egypt without telling their father, so he set out, found out his father was dead and having some trouble with an “associate” – this man wants a book that Dash took when he got their father’s belongings, but Dash disappeared and a case of mistaken identity has put the villain on Cleo’s trail. She “hires” Rafe to get her to Cairo safely, he agrees, but is not willing to let her go on alone once they reach the city. He insists on taking her all the way to London – with or without their brothers!
I really liked Cleo and Rafe, but the story was not my favorite. It was a very slow-moving story that dragged in several places, then the last chapters are jam-packed with reunions, revelations, secrets and resolutions. I will reiterate, Cleo and Rafe are wonderful characters, the banter and dialogue between them is fantastic and I LOVED Rafe’s little names for her – but all in all, everything was slow and felt dragged out. The love scenes are mild and never lead to consummation, his secret was built up, but really ended up being a bit of a red herring. The epilogue was the saving grace of this book – it was so sweet and so fun that it made up for all my previous frustration.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me.*