I was actually pretty damn excited for this one. I read the Royal Brotherhood books out of order, this one being the last that I got around to reading. When I read the synopsis I was all over it! I love Beauty and the Beast type stories and I found Marcus charming. He despises people and parties, he’s competitive, strong willed, protective and unafraid of social consequences – but deep down he still has a soft side and treats the women in his life like queens.
It’s your classic story of the gorgeous and witty socialite that falls for the aloof but handsome bad boy with a dark past. Regina and Marcus spend the better part of the book squabbling, but the two are inevitably drawn to each other. Some might roll their eyes because this romance plot line has been overdone, but I felt that it was handled quite well.
“He stared past her to the place at the other end of the dining table where Regina would sit as his wife. If she were here. If he hadn’t driven her away.”
There were two main reasons why I didn’t end up enjoying this book as much as the rest of the series. First is the twist about Regina – while her circumstances are understandably difficult for her to deal with, something about it felt like it was a bit cheesy to me. The second is the eventual showdown between Marcus and his past. While I expected it to be dark or cause some drama, what he does I felt was borderline abusive. I don’t support relationships of that nature, and I felt uncomfortable with how Regina went begging back to him despite the awful things that he did. Something about the whole thing just bothered me.
The ending was still satisfying despite the last shot of drama that put a huge damper on the whole reading experience for me. I daresay that this one is the weakest of the Royal Brotherhood series. What was wonderful about this book, however, was that out of the three this one is the one that covered the most story about Prinny, or the Prince of Wales whose bastard sons are the romantic interest of the trilogy’s heroines. This one ties the three stories together quite nicely.
Beautiful Lady Regina Tremaine has turned down so many suitors that she’s called La Belle Dame Sans Merci. The truth: she won’t marry because she carries a dark secret. She sees no good reason, however, why her brother shouldn’t court the lovely Louisa North — even if the girl’s brother, the notorious “Dragon Viscount,” objects.
Marcus North, Viscount Draker — bastard son of the Prince of Wales — is rumored to be a monster who holds women captive in his dark castle to have his way with them. He has been exiled from polite society for years. But when Lady Regina makes a plea on her brother’s behalf, Marcus proposes an outrageous deal: her brother can court Louisa so long as Marcus can court Regina. Can the beauty and the beast survive a proper courtship when the devastatingly improper passion between them threatens to cause the scandal of the century?