Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Duchess Society #2
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: In this enemies-to-lovers Regency romance by award-winning author Tracy Sumner, a bold lady and a ruthless duke realize they need to agree to an ardent alliance to get what they want.
He knew at first sight.
She knew at first kiss.
Helena Astley, Lady Hell to the ton, has plans. To control her father’s shipping business, to live her way, by her rules. Her plan is going remarkably well until one ill-advised kiss invites the duke she doesn’t want but cannot resist into her life.
Hardnosed Roan Darlington, Duke of Leighton, cares little for society or finding a duchess. The only person ever to challenge him is the incorrigible, infuriating Helena Astley. The one woman he’s never been able to forget. When they’re caught in a ruinous situation, Roan offers her an alternative. A sham engagement she can break off after Christmas.
As they discover a world of forbidden pleasure, Helena must decide if she can relinquish a heart she vowed to withhold from the only man powerful enough to seize it.
And Roan must decide if falling madly, passionately in love is worth the risk.
REVIEW: Another exciting read from Tracy Sumner! An enemy-to-lovers romance was the perfect addition to the The Duchess Society series.
Book two was more toned down than the previous, but still sensual, thrilling, and had lots of pining. You have a reluctant, defiant duke and one helluva businesswoman constantly competing or at each other’s throats while simultaneously longing for the other. How enchanting!
Helena is very independent and a caregiver, proudly living life as she pleases while managing her father’s shipping business. But beneath her steel exterior is a vulnerability that keeps her on the outside looking in.
Roan is a charismatic nerd who loves archaeology. I loved when he would go off on nerdy tangents. He protects his heart by surrounding himself with a chosen family. Being unmarried and on the outside of society suits him just fine. It was love at first sight for this caring, intelligent man. He becomes smitten, a goner, unable to stay away from the firestorm that is Helena Astley.
I loved Roan and Helena together. They have more in common than they think. Both don’t fit in with society’s expectations, leaving them to feel not good enough for society or love. To compensate, they live life on their own terms. Even after a falling out ten years ago they can’t seem to stay away from each other, immensely attracted yet unable to properly show it.
Spending the Christmas holiday together allows their relationship to grow, but also forces them to confront the reasons why they’ve always fiercely guarded their hearts. Then it becomes a question of who they will be and what they’re willing to risk if at all for love.
I liked reuniting with characters from past books who helped elevate this story. Pippa – Roan’s little sister – and Theodosia – Helena’s younger half-sister – were so delightful. And I loved all of Xander’s parts in this story because he’s such a roguish charmer and complex character with a mysterious, deep-seeded hatred of the ton. I’m even more excited to read his story in book three.
I really loved The Scandalous Vixen. It was an entertaining, romantic, and pleasant read.
More by Tracy Sumner
The Duchess Society
The Brazen Bluestocking (#1)