All Night with a Rogue by Alexandra Hawkins

BLURB:

Notorious, handsome, and decadent, the Lords of Vice prowl the glittering ballrooms of Regency London— breaking rules and hearts with equal aplomb. But even the wildest rogue must eventually meet his match…

Seduce Lady Juliana Ivers and then cast her aside: Those are his sister’s instructions. Alexius Braverton, Marquess of Sinclair—known as Sin to the ton—is happy enough to oblige, especially when he catches a glimpse of his target. Juliana is completely unlike the empty-headed chits who barely hold his attention for a week. A true gentleman would leave her to find a worthy suitor. But then, a Lord of Vice would never claim to be a gentleman.

Juliana is expected to marry well to improve her family’s finances, even if she secretly longs to make a living through her musical compositions. A dalliance can only complicate matters, though not even practical Juliana can help succumbing to the aptly named Sin. But one unforgettable night will draw her into a scandalous affair—and a seduction begun as sport will soon become deliciously, dangerously real…

RHL CLassifications:

Regency Romance

Heat Level:  3/Erotic

Rating: three and a half stars

REVIEW BY PATRICE:

INTRO: Let me begin by quoting actor George Takei, “My, my, my”.  All Night with a Rogue, the first book in the Lords of Vice series by Alexandra Hawkins, is promising. I’m glad that I tend to make up my own mind because if I had followed some of the reviews about this book, I would have dismissed it.  No lapse here.  There is nothing I love better than reading about a group of wealthy, ruthless, and gorgeous bad boys who finally meet their doom at the hands of a virtuous, good woman. Honestly, what enthralled me was the fact they were not nice, not at all, while having an inbred sense of right despite their horrid behavior. What raised my hackles was how often they skated that fine line of misogyny true to the standard of vain, self-absorbed products of their time.   Of course, the world of the ton is as cold as diamond; glittering to blind you, and sharp enough to cut out the hearts and dismember the souls of the weak and less valiant.

SYNOPSIS OVERVIEW: Lady Juliana Ivers and her family are an example of what happens to noblewomen without fortune or male protection.  To marry well was survival not just for the lady’s future but sometimes the entire family, in a place and time where the fragile are fodder for the ravenous predators of world.  Juliana is the youngest and the loveliest of her sisters with the most promise; an artist and innocent.  Her two older siblings are on the cusp of respectable proposals, while their mother hovers on the precipice of financial ruin, fighting to keep the family’s circumstances from being revealed.  When Juliana encounters the Marquess of Sinclair (aka Sin), Alexius Braverton, in a compromising situation that reveals his licentious nature, she knows she must steer clear of him and marry well, since a male of his vile reputation will not offer her security or propriety.

Sin is procured by his elder sister to seduce and discard Juliana who she views as a threat to her love interest.  Initially, he’s not comfortable with this request because Juliana is defenseless and a virgin, yet he cannot refuse.  Despite his misgivings, he becomes entangled in a web of deceit and succumbs to his passion as the young musician captures his heart.

PROS: Juliana is unusual, intelligent; a gifted composer-musician which makes her interesting.  She resists Sin, fights him and gives him a run for his efforts.  Her bravery in the face of adversity is moving, but she is a lone, powerless girl forced into womanhood, pressed into defending her self-respect and her family.  She is the force that drives the story.  The modesty, strength and perseverance against the troubles she faces make her admirable.  Another reviewer was very unkind about her character by calling her a wanton and slut.  I heartily disagree.  Juliana fell mercilessly in love with the wrong guy.  Sin, to give him credit, changes his despicable ways to deserve her.

CONS: Suffice to say, men like Sin are the worst because they prey on women struggling to survive and once the fun and games are over, abandon them to the hardships they face after ruin. In other words, I respected Ms. Hawkins for keeping him in true form, but that doesn’t mean I had to like it.  He was at times, a cruel, vicious scumbag. His egocentric, borderline psycho sister is not much better.  I hoped in vain that she would receive the nasty kick of karma to her backside. She didn’t.

The author does elaborate on what makes Sin and his sister so vile, but somewhere along the way, I just don’t feel bad for them. I was left with was ill will based on their cruel, self-serving actions.  A horrible childhood does not give you the right to ruin other people just because you have the power to do so.

Let’s face it; I didn’t like Alexius, or Sin, as he is called.  I was intrigued enough by Juliana, and the motivations of those surrounding them.  I got to see this brave, selfless girl flower into a woman to shatter this manipulative player.  She did not disappoint.

Which means…?

Should she have taken him back at all? Ok, she did put him through his paces—and there would be no HEA.  Also, I didn’t care for how Juliana was victimized by the men circling her like sharks.  Oh, how I wished this was the English Renaissance period when women carried fashionable bodkins and could stab a would-be brute.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The basis for this series might trigger recall of Stephanie Laurens’ The Bastion Club series.  The writing is solid with some graphic language.  The storyline is neatly mapped, filled with erotically charged scenes that may fry the eyeballs of readers who don’t want so much spiciness in their reading diet.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sin’s companions, the remaining Lords of Vice have their own books, and are fascinating scoundrels that will intrigue you with their sex appeal, cunning, and potential for redemption.   My final verdict is that I will continue reading this series and hope to review the next book.  The small excerpt I read from the sequel was most promising.

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