Setting - London, England 1814 --- William Thorne, Duke of Berinwick, was missing an eye due to a childhood accident. Growing up he survived the cruel taunts of his fellow playmates adopting such a belligerent and fearsome attitude that people walked in fear of him never realizing that under the prickly veneer beat a heart of pure gold. Those not privy to the real duke, believed the tales of his surliness - which were embellished way beyond the truth in the re-telling - so much so that he was known to be the `Beast of Barren Wycche'.
In the previous two books of this delightful trilogy we have seen his mother and sister settled in loving marriages, and "Elf", his ward off to Oxford. Life is lonely but that changes suddenly when a proud and prickly beauty, Julia Delacroix, enters his life hoping to sell a treasured heirloom to him. Her agenda included not only gaining the necessary funds to launch her beloved niece into society but more importantly destroying the man who she held responsible for the ruination and death of her eldest sister. After, not only buying her treasure but also uncovering her true motives this absolutely wonderful hero of ours, will take up her cause stating......."I am the Beast from Barren Wycche. I am impertinent, audacious and feared. I possess enormous power and cunning and a rapier more deadly than any pistol. And though I cannot explain why, I find that I am at your service, body and soul. By gawd, woman, make use of me!"...
Again, I found myself immersed in this wonderful book that I could not put down. Although the romance builds slowly - and it should - as Julia discovers little by little the secrets contained in the heart of this audacious duke, the story is fast-paced. Filled with intrigue, wonderful characterizations, and outstanding dialog, the reader will come to love and root for this impossible but wonderful hero. The memorable dialog will simply warm your heart and make you sigh with pleasure. This is fun, poignant, and an absolutely splendid read that I highly recommend.
Excellant read...always enjoy reading about someone less than perfect that comes out the winner in the end.....was somewhat disappointed that it did not offer more follow up on the second book and the goings on with his sister
If you want a good mystery set in Egypt, this is for you. I am not really fond of Ms. Peter's other books/series, but I do like this one...mainly because of the characters.