I have eagerly been anticipating the debut novel of Stefanie Sloane ever since I saw the gorgeous covers for all three back to back releases and then Julia Quinn added her recommendation of her to the mix as well. And I have to say, after months of waiting, I wasn't too disappointed. Yes, this is a storyline line that has been used often before...the secret spy, Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont is tasked to protect Lady Lucinda Grey and the easiest way to go about this is to pretend to court her. But Clairemont has developed quite a rakish reputation through the ton (due to his work) and Lucinda has already turned down numerous suitors, who seem to mainly be after her for her fortune. Lucinda has a hard time believing that this rake is ready to settle down but Clairemont has the one thing that she most desires....a horse. He strikes a bargain with her and the courtship begins.
Lucindas three aunts, the Furies as they are known, add some wonderful fun characters to the book! They each have there own styles and give Clairemont quite the run about when they first meet him. They too have a hard time believing this rake is reforming but as they all want his prized stallion for their horse breeding business, they agree to let Lucinda entertain his courtship. Of course as the story progresses, the truth about Clairemonts "courtship" comes to life and Lucinda leaves him, breaking both of their hearts in the process, though Clairemont believes he is unlovable due to his rough childhood. Lucinda offers him her heart and he throws it back in her face, believing it is for the best.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book that was face paced with some danger and great characters. It just didn't have that 'wow' feel that I wanted. I didn't love Clairemont but thats ok, he did redeem himself. I didn't really like the ending that much...I mean, I'm glad Lucinda got to be the strong one but it did not feel totally right for me. I would have liked to seen a bit more of her aunts and I would have liked a bit more of Clairemonts history and his work with the Young Corinthians. But still, I enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to the next two books and many more from Ms Sloane!! 4 stars
(On a total side note, I was really disappointed with the editing of my ebook. I mean, I paid $7.99 for this thing and I wish there had not many so many errors. I wish I would have kept track when I was reading it, rather annoying)