The Duke of Aces (Ladies of Risk Book 2)

Rachel Ann

Lady Isadora Malbury has been named leader of the Wicked Ladies Salon, a secret group of select ladies. She must secure Wembly Hall for their meetings. Thomas Grandstone, Duke of Avondale, is equally interested in Wembly Hall and Lady Isadora. Tom has determined Isadora is the only lady who will do for his duchess. She’s independent, which is important to Tom because he is a spy for the crown. But why does she want Wembly Hall? They show up at Wembly Hall at the same time to talk to the owner. Isadora proposes they compete in a series of three games of chance. The winner gets Wembly Hall. The catch is that Tom is known as the Duke of Aces, and has the uncanny ability to win almost every game of chance in which he partakes. His goal is to win Isadora as his bride.

Be prepared for a bit of delightful wickedness when beginning “The Duke of Aces”. Tom is devilishly conniving as he competes with Isadora, taking his time to spring it on her that his goal is to wed her. There are several disappointing factors in this fun story, however. There never seems to be any real chemistry between them, even though they admit to loving one another. Character development is lacking, coming across as seemingly emotionless and one dimensional, even though Isadora is described as adventuresome. The Wicked Ladies Salon is never fully explained. The “wickedness” is seen only when Tom and Isadora get together later in the story, then things get really hot! An enjoyable story that would shine more if read in the order of the series.

Belinda Wilson