First Lines: There is beauty in the moment when flesh meets bone. It is born of the violent crunch of knuckles against jaw, and the deep thud of fist against abdomen, and the hollow grunt that echoes from the chest of a man in the split second before his defeat.
We’re over halfway through my reviews for this series! This cover is…unfortunately green, though. Like, does anyone actually like that shade of green that heavily? Who thought that was a good idea? It looks like Elphaba threw up on it.
Temple doesn’t remember the night he earned the moniker the “Killer Duke.” He doesn’t remember murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. For the last twelve years, he’s been beyond redemption and fighting his way through the darkest parts of London. Mara never meant to return to London society, but when her brother falls into massive debt at Temple’s gaming hell, she has no choice but to try to convince Temple to cancel the debt if she’ll reveal he’s no killer. But Mara is more than she seems and Temple has a hard time despising the woman for her choices…in fact, he might not hate her at all…
I said the previous book in this series felt more character-driven; well, this one is the opposite in many ways. Given the history between Mara and Temple and both of their goals, this book focuses much more on their struggles and the obstacles they encounter along the way. And the plot kept me on my toes. It never quite went where I thought it would.
And the characters are just as engrossing as any others in this series. Temple is a fighter, a real mountain of a man who has used his fists more than his words these past twelve years. He’s hardened his muscles, but not his heart. Mara is clever and practical. She knows revealing that she’s alive will ruin the life she’s created for herself, but she hasn’t a choice, really. She’s also someone you don’t want to mess with, as she can be brutal when necessary. When I first started this book, I thought there was absolutely no way a romance could blossom between these two, but it works. I don’t know how, but it does.
It’s wonderfully written and pulls you in quickly. While Temple and Mara aren’t my favorite couple in this series, this book is one of the best written.