on December 28th 2016
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To win a lord, you can’t be a lady…
Darcy Blake, Earl of Chase, is a solider, rogue, and a loyal King's man. Commanded to spy on the luscious actress Amelia Fox, Darcy must pretend to be her student for a court theatrical. He is certain he can school her in the art of seduction while discovering if she is a traitor. But to his shock, he finds Mrs. Fox teaching him an entirely different kind of lesson. As London's most popular actress, Amelia is famous at court, and she doesn't have a husband to tell her what do. Unfortunately, the king has ordered her to train the rakehell, Lord Chase to act for the court. Before long, the Earl is driving her wild with desire and awakening her heart to love. As an actress, society dictates she can never be more than Lord Chase's mistress, and Amelia has vowed never to be less than a lady.
When Darcy learns the witty actress is indeed linked to a traitor, he'll have to decide if love or loyalty will rule the day.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Less Than a Lady by Eva Devon is a book set in the times of King Charles II. He has recently been returned to the throne in England, but there are still many of Cromwell’s supporters eager to usurp him off that throne at the first possible opportunity. Charles II and his supporters must take every care that that does not happen.
Darcy Blake is the Earl of Chase, and one of the King’s Men. He’s a bit of a rogue too, and finds himself in front of the King both to be given a new mission, plus a punishment of sorts for having ‘relations’ with a married woman that he should have stayed well away from. Darcy is the embodiment of all that is a man, his masculinity oozes from him. When he finds out what his mission is he definitely is not amused.
Amelia Fox is one of London’s finest actresses, and she adores her profession. She isn’t too keen on the reputation actresses have of all being loose women, for she definitely Isn’t one, but she’s not about to give up doing what she loves purely because of people’s misconceptions of her. Unfortunately despite being a supporter of King Charles, Amelia’s brother, and now deceased father were very much on Cromwell’s side. Her father even wrote pamphlets and organised meetings about ousting the King. Since his death, Amelia changed her last name, and is very much relieved to not be privy to any of the wrong- doing that her father was caught up in.
Information has reached King Charles that Amelia and her brother could be committing treason against him, so to kill two birds with one stone, the King decides that Darcy must have private lessons from Amelia. He is to learn how to act and dress as a woman so he can perform in a private play for the King’s entertainment. While in Amelia’s company he is to quietly watch her and learn what he can about what she and her brother are involved in. Of course if he has proof that they are conspiring against the King he must turn them over as traitors and they will be hung or beheaded. Darcy is more than happy to do the job for the King, but he’s horrified that he has to dress as a woman. A man as masculine as Darcy shouldn’t be wearing corsets and skirts even in a play! The ultimate punishment for him from his King.
The problems arise for him when after spending time with Amelia, he finds himself infatuated with her. Perhaps even more than infatuation. He is torn between his feelings for her and his gut feeling that she can’t be even thinking treasonous thoughts, and all the proof that he is finding which point to both her and her brother being highly involved with the enemy! If she truly is conspiring against the King, he knows he has to turn her in, but can he do that when he might be in love with her.
This book from the very first look at the cover, to reading the blurb about it, to reading the book itself was pure pleasure. There was the seriousness of treason, the lightheartedness of Darcy dressing as a woman, including a fun scene where he had to suffer wearing a corset, the passion and the love developing between him and Amelia, and of course the heartbreaking moments that I won’t go into, spoilers and all that. All in all, the story is one of the best that I have read recently, it made me run the gamut of emotions and I definitely didn’t want it to end. I thoroughly enjoyed it and fully recommend it.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.