Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Review : From Duke To Dawn by Eva Leigh

A seductive new series that sizzles with 
the dark secrets of London’s underworld...

The London Underground #1
Eva Leigh
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books

Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld...

Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. But after one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie.

In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help.

Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over again.  


As much as I love the HR genre, its at times to difficult to find books that don't have repetitive storylines. So amongst all these reading From Duke Till Dawn is like a breath of fresh air as it is so different from what we usually find. Usually very few books focus on characters that aren't nobles, because even though the aristocracy had its own set of problems, the poor and the general populace had it even worse, and those stories are hard to romanticise. So that's why I love finding books like these that dont focus on the nobles alone. 

In this book, have Alex, the Duke of Greyland who gave up a piece of his heart to a poor widow years ago and he hasn't been able to find her again. Little does he know that his widow is actually a con artist, Cassandra. When he finds her in a gaming hall, he's overjoyed to meet her, and after some deliberation, is finally ready to give her everything. Just as he's about to do so, he finds out the truth about her and cuts all ties. But when Cassandra gets embroiled in a problem well beyond her limits, the duke is the only one she can turn to for help. Will he help or will the desire for revenge overshadow his feelings? And even if they work together, will they be able to resist the passion that burns hot between them? 

I really loved the story and its characters! It was so well crafted and executed brilliantly! Alex in the beginning was a little stiff, controlled and proper. But as the story progresses the events bring out the passionate man in him and I loved seeing the other side of him come out. And how Cassandra was the catalyst for all of it. He might have been attracted to the demure widow that she played, but its the real, fearless, loyal Cass who actually steals his heart, even though he wanted nothing to do with her! Each made the other see a different side of the world as they'd never seen before! 
In addition to the romance, I also loved the descriptions of the London Underground, the places that they visited in search of the person who Cassandra trusted the most, but the one who betrayed her. Cassandra has had a hard life, and though Alex might hate her for what she did, he slowly begins to see things from her perspective too. Another thing I liked about Alex was that, even though he was hurt and angry, he never unfairly took it out on her. He helped her to the best of his ability. 

All through the book, I was so scared about the ending as I knew there's no way for this relationship to practically work out and be accepted by the ton. So I was dreading the ending. But the author cleverly came up with a way to bring these two together and I loved it! 
Cant wait to read the next in the London Underground series!! 
And if you're looking for something different from a traditional HR book, then this is the one for you! Trust me you'll love it!! 


Describe yourself in five words or less.
Feminist who believes in HEA.

Can you tell us a little about your book? 
Alexander Lewis, the Duke of Greyland, met a beautiful, destitute widow and lost his heart to her—but she disappeared. Two years later, the duke finds Cassandra again as she manages a gaming hell. Alex is prepared to offer Cassandra everything, even his name, until he discovers a gut-wrenching truth. Cassandra is not a genteel widow. She’s a confidence artist, targeting aristocratic men with her swindles. Heartbroken and furious, Alex wants nothing to do with her. Fate steps in when Cassandra’s business partner vanishes with the profits from the gaming hell, leaving Cassandra at the mercy of dangerous people. In desperation, Cassandra turns to Alex for help. Delving into London’s underworld, they form an uneasy partnership as they track down her partner. Yet the passion they’d shared two years ago is nothing compared to their desire now. Can Alex protect himself, or will Cassandra once again steal his heart?

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story? 
As with my Wicked Quills of London series, I enjoy having characters that aren’t necessarily part of Regency High Society. I’m fascinated by confidence artists—their methods, their motivations—and thought it would be exciting to see what would happen when England’s most morally upright duke falls for a morally ambiguous woman.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
Exploring the other, shadier side of Regency London was a lot of fun. That time period is so rich with possibility, with so many people of many different walks of life all living in one place. I also really enjoyed having Alex learn to lighten up a little and free his wild side. Nothing like a buttoned-up guy who loosens the reins of his control. (It turns out Alex likes talking dirty!)

What do you like to do when you aren't writing? 
Baking is one of my favorite things to do, because, unlike writing, you finish with a tangible result. Plus, you make something delicious. I read, of course, and spend too much time on the internet. When I’m feeling industrious, I crochet little soft toys called amigurumi and give them to friends.

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less. 
Uptight duke. Beautiful con artist. Trouble and sexytimes ahead.

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? ;)
Alex has been born and bred to be a duke. Everything he does falls within a strict code of responsibility and honor. He doesn’t fully understand degrees of morality. Having a brief, passionate affair with Cassandra two years ago was entirely out of character. Once she comes back into his life, he’s shocked and infuriated to learn that he was just another mark. He’s ready to write Cassandra off as a cold, calculating criminal—despite the fact that he still desires her. If Alex was stranded on a desert island, he’d need his walking stick. He doesn’t have an injury that requires it, but a walking stick can be a useful took for building shelters, using to hunt for food, or making it into a sundial. He’s a no-nonsense, practical guy!

Cassandra grew up alone on the rough streets of London. She had to learn how to survive in a brutal world. With no one to take care of her, she turned to crime as a way to keep from starving. Her life changed when she met a man who taught her the art of pretending to be a gentlewoman while swindling members of the gentry. Instead of sleeping on filthy hay, now she could rest her head on feather mattresses, and she had as much as she wanted to eat. She always thought of aristocrats as targets to be swindled, until she met Alex, who treated her with dignity and kindness. With Alex, she broke her rule of never sleeping with a mark, and later fled out of self-preservation. Cassandra is street wise, self-sufficient, and has learned to view everything with suspicion. Only Alex sneaks past her defenses. If she was stuck on a desert island, she’d be practical and take a small knife (which could also be used as a lock pick if she found buried treasure).

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Find a way to sit down in front of your computer and just start writing. Even when you doubt yourself, you have to keep going. It’s trite, but books really don’t write themselves. And also, enjoy the process of writing simply to write. Success isn’t a guarantee so we have to love what we do.


Eva Leigh is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the '80s. Eva and her husband live in Southern California.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting your review today!
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