Review: After Dark with the Duke by Julie Anne Long

After Dark with the Duke by Julie Anne Long
Series: The Palace of Rogues #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 30th 2021
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sparks fly when a daring diva clashes with an ice-cold war hero in the newest thrilling romance in USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long’s Palace of Rogues series.

She arrives in the dead of night, a mob out for blood at her heels: Mariana Wylde, the “Harlot of Haywood Street,” an opera diva brought low by a duel fought for her favors. But the ladies of the Grand Palace on the Thames think they can make a silk purse from scandal: They’ll restore her reputation and share in her triumph…provided they can keep her apart from that other guest.

Coldly brilliant, fiercely honorable, General James Duncan Blackmore, the Duke of Valkirk, is revered, feared, desired…but nobody truly knows him. Until a clash with a fiery, vulnerable beauty who stands for everything he scorns lays him bare. It’s too clear the only cure for consuming desire is conquest, but their only chance at happiness could lead to their destruction.

The legendary duke never dreamed love would be his last battleground. Valkirk would lay down his life for Mariana, but his choice is stark: risk losing her forever, or do the one thing he vowed he never would…surrender.

After Dark with the Duke was fabulous! I haven’t read too many Julie Anne Long books but this is easily my favorite one so far. I’m a sucker for a stoic, older hero!

Mariana Wylde is an opera singer known as the “Harlot of Haywood Street.” She needs some help in restoring her reputation, and the ladies at the Grand Palace on the Thames are determined to do just that. There’s just one little chink in this plan, and that takes place in the form of General James Duncan Blackmore. He’s 18 years older than her and very straight-laced. He doesn’t approve of Mariana because of her supposed reputation. There’s wit, banter, and plenty of chemistry between them. I loved the push and pull and the way the romance slowly developed.

If you love opposites attract and forced proximity in your historical romances, I highly recommend this book. Even though they get off on the wrong foot in the beginning, James and Mariana have this fantastic connection that draws them in. They’re both hiding at the Grand Palace in their own ways and manage to find love and solace with each other. It was just a very swoony romance and I really want to read more JAL books now!


lacey


Reading Order: The Palace of Rogues series

#1 ~ Lady Derring Takes a Lover: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Angel in a Devil’s Arms: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ I’m Only Wicked with You: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ After Dark with the Duke: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ You Were Made to Be Mine: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads (June 28, 2022)


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