So I first discovered Leslie Lafoy through The Duke's Proposal which I thought was okay... the storyline was a bit weak, but at least, I was interested in characters of previous books. So I went out and bought them :P
Her Scandalous Marriage by Leslie Lafoy
published by St.Martin's Paperbacks in 2006
Caroline Turnbrigde's life is turned up side down when the new Duke of Ryland shows up at her dress shop. The previous Duke of Ryland, Caroline's father, has recently died and in order for Drayton McKenzie, the new Duke, to inherit all the money, he has to find the previous Duke's three illegetimate daughters, turn them into ladies and marry them off. At first, Caroline refuses, but then, she learns the existence of her two younger sisters and capitulated.My thoughts: Hmmm... I was quite disappointed with this book. I thought the beginning was quite interesting. The three wards are Caroline, Simone (14 y.o.) and Fiona (11 y.o.), all have different mothers, different age and has been raised in different situations. They come together and of course, they adapt to each other with some difficulties. What I thought was very interesting as well was Drayton, learning to be a duke. As a result, he really acted as a "prig" as Simone called him :P although it's not his real nature and it takes a while for Caroline to realize it. So the beginning ws well done and showed a lot of potential, but Ms Lafoy ruins it by falling into cliche and predictability. I think that Caroline and Drayton started being attracted/having sex too early in the novel... and then, bam, Drayton had the obligation of marrying her because they had an affair... and of course, Caroline refused and blablabla. Also, there's nothing new into taking three ugly ducklings and turning them into beautiful swans... and the ppl doing it are so annoying. So yeah, great premises, but that's all :(
Drayton, a high-ranked soldier, never expected to become a duke or whatever and is quite frustrated with the new situation, especially the condition to inherit the money that he needs to restore the poorly neglected estates that his cousin, twice removed, has left him. In addition, Drayton wasn't born a peer and so he has no idea how to act as a duke... so his friends have come to his help... but worst of all, he has now gained three wards and is quickly falling in love with one of them.
And to be honest, I haven't finished the book, but I did skim mid-way to the end. However, for that reason, I'm not giving this book any grade.
The Rogue's Bride by Leslie Lafoy: 3.25/5
published by St.Martin's Paperbacks in 2006
Simone Turnbridge is the daughter of the previous Duke of Ryland and a prostitute. Having lived the first half of her life in a brothel situated in a questionable part of London, she has seen in all and knows it all. Now at 20 years old, she's making her debut in London's society - not because she wants to, but because her sister and brother-in-law have promised her own horse in exchange. Luckily for her, she will still meet the love of her life.My thoughts: I think this book was the best out of the trilogy. I've enjoyed Simone a lot in Her Scandalous Marriage because of her attitude; very frank and bold. She hasn't changed much since the previous book... the only thing that bothered me was it seemed to me she wasn't comfortable in her family. She has things to hide and I found it unfortunate, especially given the past of the three sisters. Tristan was a typical historical romance hero and unfortunately, didn't stand out that much. I enjoyed the book, but I personally didn't understand why nobody was really in favor for Simone and Tristan's union. Tristan wasn't really a rake or if he was, he couldn't have built a reputation yet in London and then, he was only 10 years older than Simone... which is a normal age gap... So why? Also, I thought Tristan discovered his stepmother's involvement in the deaths a little too easily and worst, he still fell for it.
Tristan Townsend has just come back to London from America to assume his title of Marquis of Lockwood. In fact, Tristan never dreamt of becoming Marquis with two older brothers in line in front of her, but there it is and now, he has to look for a wife. After a few encounters, he has chosen Simone for whom he has quickly developed feelings... However, two problems appear: 1) an ex-lover from San Francisco claiming that she is pregnant with is child and most problematic of all, 2) his stepmother who has murdered his father and brothers for insurance money.
Well that's it for these two books :D I still have 1 historical romance novel to review and that's it for a while... I think I'm doing an overdose of the genre :P