The Wickedest Lord Alive

Christina Brooke
The Wickedest Lord Alive
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St. Martins Press
Release Date
July 2014
Book 3 of The Westruthers
Historical Romance

Can an Indecent Proposal

Eight years ago, a tall, handsome stranger entered Lady Alexandra's bedchamber and consummated a marriage of the utmost necessity. The Marquis of Steyne had agreed to wed and bed Lord Brute's admittedly lovely daughter to pay off his mother's gambling debts. But once the deed was done, Steyne's lawfully-wedded wife vanished into the night…

Lead to Everlasting Love?

Years later, Steyne has nearly forgotten about his runaway bride. But when he suddenly finds himself in need of an heir, he has no choice but to track her down. Living happily in a small village under an assumed name, Alexandra is surprised to see her husband—and to feel such a strong attraction to him. But she is downright shocked when he asks her to bear him a son. How can they possibly repeat the heated encounter of their ill-fated wedding night…without falling hopelessly in love?(less)

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Jul 30, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
86 people found the following review helpful
A marriage contrived of necessity, a runaway bride and a rogue who finds himself in need of an heir form the backdrop for this action-packed, British historical romance. The third book in The Westruthers series, this story nonetheless contains a discrete plot, and therefore can be read on a standalone basis. Clever, unexpected plot twists, and a number of steamy scenes, make THE WICKEDEST LORD ALIVE an enjoyable read.

Forced to marry an innocent girl of just seventeen, Xavier Westruther, the Marquis of Steyne, a well-known rake, does what he believes he must do to save his mother from a disastrous fate following her supposed inability to pay off her gambling debts. Shortly after hastily consummating his marriage to Lady Alexandra, however, and to his immense relief, Alexandra disappears.

Lady Alexandra flees into the night and finds herself in the small town of Little Thurston, where she claims amnesia, assumes the alias of Lizzie Allbright, and takes residence with the town's viscount and his wife. There she leads a fairly uneventful life, occupying her days helping others.

Eight years later, imagine her surprise when none other than the Marquis of Steyne shows up in Little Thurston. Soon she learns that, although Xavier had known where she was, he had never attempted to come find her, until he finds himself desperately in need of an heir in light of a recently discovered plot against his life.

Although Lizzie is living rather content in the life she has created for herself, she eventually capitulates to Xavier when he threatens to reveal the truth if she does not agree to a make-believe courtship and speedy "marriage."

It is during this "sham" courtship that she realizes that while Xavier is intent on finally recognizing her as his wife, he is unwilling to ever allow himself to love her. Intent on finding out what deep dark secrets would cause Xavier to seek her out, after such a long time, only to engage in a loveless marriage, Lizzie inadvertently manages to thrust herself right into the sights of the deep, dark danger that haunts Xavier and which is the root cause of his inability to love. In this battle of good versus bad, and love versus hate, who will win over Xavier's heart?

All in all, I found THE WICKEDEST LORD ALIVE to be a good read. The action and suspense were well developed and formed a great subplot to the romance, and there were even a few twists and turns that caught me completely off guard. Perhaps my only wish is that the heroine had taken more time to fall in love with the hero, particularly given his duplicity in her eight-year run away from home.
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