Undressed with the Marquess by Christi Caldwell

Undressed with the Marquess (Lost Lords of London, #3)Barbara’s rating:  3 of 5 stars

Series: Lost Lords of London #3
Publication Date: 11/17/20
Number of Pages: 364

The opening scene has Dare walking to the gallows to be hanged for theft. He’s been there several times before – all for theft – and he’s managed to escape. But it doesn’t look like it will happen this time. The scene describes the previous hangings that day – ones that Dare had to witness – one person’s head comes off and another dangles and twitches forever. The bag is put over Dare’s head, the noose is put over his head and they are moving him forward over the trap door – when …

Temperance Swift was born in the rookeries to a mean, abusive drunk and a Vicar’s daughter (we didn’t learn how that matchup happened). Her mother took in washing and her father ran street gangs. Temperance, her mother, and her brother all suffered horrible beatings from her father. Yet, temperance always took care of others – especially her brother. She does have a loving and giving heart. She marries Dare Grey because he will protect her from her abusive father – and – well – she loved him. She wanted desperately for him to change his ways, but she still loved him.

Darius Greyson (Dare Grey), Marquess of Milford, has to meet one of two requirements from his grandparents in order to receive the twenty-thousand pounds they have for him. He NEEDS that money in order to help more people in the rookeries, so he agrees. He has to either marry off his sister or marry and produce an heir. Little do they know he’s already married – and they all learn that in a really dramatic way.

Old enemies emerge to cause trouble for Dare and Temperance gives him some devastating news before they finally get around to the ending. That ending – well – it was just there – all of a sudden – and it left me unfinished. I’m not sure I felt the HEA – thus the need for an epilogue.

Please realize it is with great sadness and dismay that I tell you this book just didn’t work for me. If you read it, I sincerely hope it works for you. The book, as always, is well written – it is just that the story didn’t work for me. It is one of the darkest, most depressing books I’ve ever read – without a single ray of sunshine. I didn’t find a single character that I really liked – except for a couple of the supporting characters. The main characters, especially the heroine, were so busy wallowing in self-pity that they couldn’t move on with their life. I totally understand Temperance’s loss, I just think 5 years is enough time to come to grips with it. Not accept it – not like it – but to at least have dealt with it so she can live her life. I also thought the plotline itself was implausible – so many things just didn’t make sense to me. I guess the bottom line is, it just didn’t make me feel good when I finished reading it. I also believe this is one book that simply cried for an epilogue set a couple of years into the future so maybe we find out they managed to have their own child after all – or – we find them surrounded with several foster children – something to put a little sunshine into the book.

There were so many things in the premise of this book that just didn’t make sense to me. For one thing, there was no way society was going to accept these two – especially Temperance – back into society even if his grandfather is a duke. Then, there is the arrest of him for trying to bribe a prison guard – after he was the Marquess – just wouldn’t have happened. A peer might have been arrested for murder, but not much else. And the ledger he had – with all of the names of folks he helped in the Rookeries – how did he still have that after being locked up in Newgate then going to be hung?

Anyway – I’m truly sorry this book didn’t work for me – and I truly hope it works for you should you choose to read it. I love this author and always love her books – I just couldn’t love this one. I do look forward to reading more books by her though.

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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