His Wicked Design (The League of Rogues #2)
By Lauren Smith
Release Date: November 11, 2014Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.
Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.
That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.
But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.
Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.
Review: After reading Wicked Designs, the first novel in The League of Rogues series, I fell in love with Lauren Smith's writing and the irresistible men who belonged to the League. I couldn't wait to read Lucien's story and watch him fall for an innocent lady who just so happens to be one of his best friend's sisters…
Horatia has been in love with Lucien ever since he saved her life in the tragedy that took the lives of her parents. The only problem is that he's the best friend of her brother and she knew Lucien could never love a girl as innocent and inexperienced as herself. Little does she know, Lucien is drawn to Horatia in a way he's never been drawn to any lady before. So when someone threatens the lives of the men of the League and Horatia's life is in danger, Lucien doesn't hesitate to take Horatia away to his country estate where they can finally explore the intense chemistry brewing between them…
Right away, you know Lucien is trouble. He's not shy around women and has definitely earned his reputation as a rogue. So when he finds himself captivated by Horatia, despite the fact that she's completely innocent and unlike the women he normally attempts to bed, he knows he's in for it. The only problem? She's his best friend's sister, and the League has explicit rules forbidding any relations with one another's sisters. I love how overprotective Cedric is, to both Horatia and Audrey, especially because he just wants his family to be together and doesn't want to be alone. That doesn't stop Horatia from going after Lucien, though, and I loved how daring she was when normally she's so innocent and reserved. It was fun seeing her open up to her seductive side and exploring what passions Lucien had to offer.
The only problem I had with their relationship, though, was how forceful Lucien was in the beginning. His advanced tended to border on aggressive and I know that he always offered Horatia the chance to stop him, but I feel like when she did stop him, he kept on going after her until she finally relented and let him. I think a bit more tenderness on his part would have made their relationship better. Other than that, though, I really enjoyed the passion and steamy nights together. The mystery and danger behind who was trying to kill them definitely added some suspense and even more passion to Horatia and Lucien's romance.
Overall, Lauren Smith delivered yet another yummy, dangerous historical romance. The best thing about her books so far, though, is definitely how close the relationships of her characters are. They are all either close best friends or close siblings who will do anything to protect one other. This made the relationship have so much more depth and it was great being getting a glimpse into the lives of this tight-knit group of lovable characters. If you haven't already, I'd definitely recommend any historical romance fan to check out Lauren Smith's League of Rogues books.