Series: Rules For The Reckless #5
Also in this series: The Sins of Lord Lockwood
Published by Pocket Books on February 28, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
The next steamy historical romance in USA TODAY bestselling and RITA award-winning author Meredith Duran’s “wonderfully indulgent” (Publishers Weekly) Rules for the Reckless series.
A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL...
Trapped in the countryside, facing an unwanted marriage and the theft of her fortune, Jane Mason is done behaving nicely. To win her freedom, she’ll strike a deal with the most dangerous man she knows—a rising star in politics, whose dark good looks mask an even darker heart.
...NEVER GOES TO PLAN.
The bitter past has taught Crispin Burke to trust no one. He’ll gladly help a lovely young heiress, provided she pays a price. Yet when a single mistake shatters his life, it is Jane who holds the key to his salvation. And in a world that no longer makes sense, Crispin slowly realizes that she may be the only thing worth fighting for...
I was provided a review copy by Publisher; this did not influence my opinion of the book.
❝…regret is the very last thing I will feel when I think of touching you.❞
A story of empowerment, redemption and unconditional love, A Lady’s Code of Misconduct was beautifully written. From the first page to the last, I was captivated by not only this author’s writing style but of the incredibly romantic and surprisingly mysterious story she weaved within its pages. The characters were thoroughly and beautifully developed. Each experienced growth, love, and pain. And I dare say, I did too as I read this book. I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the dialogue. It was real, it was poignant, it was perfect. Whether it was fast paced or slow, it conveyed true emotion, helping to develop this beautifully romantic story.
❝I do find my thoughts worth sharing, sir. I think the fault must lie with the listeners. But even if I were a fool … it would still be worth the effort to think.❞
How would you feel if your thoughts and feelings were stifled? If you were not allowed to have a voice? If you were stuck in the corner with your knitting and expected to not have an opinion on what was happening around you? Jane’s father was a political figure and her mother a philanthropist, they raised Jane to have a voice, an opinion, a heart. She was ahead of her time. But when her wealthy parents died, she was sent to the countryside to live with her scheming, money, and power hungry uncle. She was the golden egg. The answer to what he had planned. She would marry his son and her inheritance would be theirs. Jane bided her time. She listened to the men who came and talked and she gathered information. She planned her escape, for she knew if she stayed, while she may live, she would die inside.
❝But of course a man like Burke could not imagine what that was like to live, day after day, as a shadow — to speak and be ignored. To protest and be patted on the head, as though one’s concerns were a child’s. … And so in the act of communicating an opinion, she had committed the egregious offense of insisting on her humanity.❞
As a young man, Crispin Burke had been scorned. He had been belittled and demeaned. He had been devalued. As the years passed, he took on the worst everyone thought of him and turned into a vile man. One who looked out for only himself, one who trusted no one. Because there had never been anyone who cared enough to prove they should be trusted. He used people, he bribed and bullied to get what he wanted. What he wanted was power. When he suffers at the hand of fate, and all he once was, all he once knew was gone, forgotten, he must trust in the one person he does not remember.
The romance was subtle, yet glaring. From simple looks to slight touches, from angry outbursts to passionate pleas, this author laid out romance on a platter. I was sitting at a smorgasbord and never got full.
❝But if our connection means ANYTHING to you.❞ He pushed out a ragged breath. ❝If you meant those tears you shed when I told you of Jonathan. If your laughter was real, and your smiles. If you feel, as I do, that you could wish for no better partner — in politics, as much as in life. If all of that is true, and not simply an act, a mask to cover your indifference — then tell me so now. Because I am finished with this stalemate. I will not endure a wife who tells me to go back to a mistress. I will not have a wife who refuses to DEMAND explanations.❞
Gah! I freaking love this book. Me, the non-historical romance reader. I know, I am shocked, too. This book has cemented the notion that I need to climb, fight and shove my way out from under the rock I’ve been hiding. I savored every last word! I had no idea what I’ve been missing. This is not your mother’s historical romance!
Other Praise for A Lady’s Code of Misconduct:
“Political intrigue and conspiracies abound in Duran’s engrossing fifth Rules for the Reckless Victorian romance (after Luck Be a Lady), which boasts plot twists galore…Duran is at the pinnacle of her craft as she weaves together humor, forgiveness, and love in a flawlessly executed plot. Jane, Crispin, and the rest of the characters are all well drawn, and the love scenes strike the perfect balance of steamy and sweet. Each layer in the story is suspenseful and delightful, making this the best installment so far.”
—Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW
“A sham marriage, political intrigue, and a case of amnesia provide a backdrop for this absorbing Victorian romance. Although Duran (Luck Be a Lady, 2015, etc.) has written a novel as layered as an onion, the characters are well-drawn and the plot flawlessly executed. Add in some very steamy sex, and the fifth installment of Duran’s Rules for the Reckless series can’t help but delight. This book weaves its spell so thoroughly that the most fortunate reader will be the one who has time to read the entire thing in one sitting. A masterful tale of suspense, forgiveness, and love.”
—Kirkus STARRED REVIEW
“Political intrigue drives a captivating historical romance…This Regency romance, part of the Rules for the Reckless series, is a smart love story, peopled with complex and absorbing characters.”
—BookPage, TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
“A riveting story.”
—Heroes and Heartbreakers
“A masterful author of historical romances…A Lady’s Code of Misconduct takes worn threads of old tropes, like amnesia and the tortured hero, and weaves them into a lush tapestry with sophisticated, beautiful writing. Crispin seems power-mad and Jane seems saintly, but as Duran slowly unravels their characters amidst a plot of intrigue, betrayal, and dark secrets, we discover they’re more alike than they (or we) realize. The hero is swoonworthy, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Jane as his flaws shine a light on her own. The tale and characters so captivated me, that I literally couldn’t put it down.”
—Omnivoracious Amazon Book Review by Sabrina Jeffries
“Thoughtfully written and the story creates not just a simple story of two people but an entire world for them to inhabit. If you like your historicals to have some meat to them, I highly recommend this one.”
—All About Romance
“Extremely relevant to our current political state…I could have easily sat and devoured this in one evening as each of the chapters seemed to end on a cliffhanger that just won’t let you put the book down.Quill says: A Lady’s Code of Misconduct is the perfect book to sit in your favorite chair with and let the world pass by for a little while you get lost in the past.”
“I absolutely love this series… Meredith writes intelligent characters with a fast paced plot. Her writing is sensual, witty and totally captivating. This book has everything you would want in a Historical Romance. It is witty, sensual with a mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end. Crispin and Jane are extraordinary characters in a riveting story that will leave you wanting more. The journey of Crispin and Jane to their HAE is fabulous. I will read anything that Meredith writes.”
—The Reading Wench
“A fun read. I enjoyed Duran’s characters and plot…there’s a villain who made me think of a Regency era James Bond villain.”