Book 2 in the Scoundrels of St. James Series
January 2009 - 978-0-06-135564-6
Once a pickpocket and thief, Jack Dodger is now the wealthy owner of one of London's most exclusive gentlemen's clubs.
But after one of his patrons bequeaths him his London residence, Jack finds himself dealing with the man's lovely widow.
When Olivia, Duchess of Lovingdon, is forced to share her beloved home with the notorious--and deliciously wicked--Jack Dodger, she quickly discovers that between the devil and desire, the only choice is surrender.
My Thoughts: I admit I chose this book for its cover and title. I don't think I even read the blurb that went along with it until I had my heart set on buying this particular book. I had never read Lorraine Heath, so why not give another author a shot at staying on my radar. Little did I know that it was the second book in Ms. Heath's Scoundrels of St. James series. You can read this one by itself, it is written to where you won't be in the dark by missing the first book. However you know, well anyone that reads romance on a regular basis will know, that there has to be another story before Jack's and that there most likely will be more to follow.
The blurb definitely describes Jack to a "T", he is deliciously wicked. He was a bastard child running the streets of London until one fateful day when he was notified that he had acquired an anonymous benefactor. The money he received from his benefactor aided him in building one of the most popular gaming hells in London and earning him quite a reputation among the elite. Ladies are whispering their tales of him over tea, while the men are paying enormous prices for him to keep their secrets in his club.
Jack has been summoned to a not so familiar Lord's residence for the reading of the will, his first encounter with the Duchess, Olivia. Sparks fly and wills collide after the reading is complete. Not only has Olivia lost her home to Jack, but she just may lose any say in the raising of her only child. Olivia is the epitome of everything that is proper, following the rules of society to a T. She is finding it rather difficult to share her home, well not her home, with the devil himself.
I enjoyed watching Jack and Olivia battle each other at every turn, watching them fall in love, despite what society deemed proper. Between the Devil and Desire was a fun, fascinating read that kept me enthralled to the very end. Jack has some scars that he hides and makes it difficult for him to care for anything other than his next coin, and watching these scars come forward was heart wrenching. I had only one small problem with the book, but thankfully the author did not go into great detail, and it did not take away from the 5 star rating that I have given to this book. I loved it!