book 3 in the a season for scandal series is utterly delightful, and given that i hadn't read books 1 or 2, it also stands very well on its own. alexander lavoie is intrigued by the woman who comes in to his club to gamble and who does so successfully while trying to attract the minimum amount of notice.
between the devil and the duke, may relate to angelique archer's difficult circumstances. you could also say she's between a rock and a hard place. her father's fortune has gone missing, her idiot brother is drinking himself silly, and her only way of maintaining some form of food on the table is to chance the vingt et un tables. although chance may be a stretch, since angelique has a unique talent for maths and a memory that allows her to remember the cards. she's always tried to hide her abilities, but alex catches on quickly after an evening at the tables turns sour when one of the gentlemen she plays against becomes aggressive.
once alex figures out her talent he is intent on using it to his advantage. he also wants to know what her circumstances are, because for some reason he is intrigued by angelique, he wants to help her, he wants to keep her close.
the chemistry between alex and angelique is undeniable. they can't keep away from each other, even when angelique is suspicious of his motives and distrustful of his ability to help, she can't keep him away, and soon she can't stay away. the secrets of angelique's family are the key to figuring out her present circumstances, and once she realizes she can trust alex with everything, her secrets, her livelihood, her heart, everything gets swoonworthy.
alex is an amazing lead. its funny because he refuses to admit his love for angelique even though every other character calls him on it, even when his actions speak so much louder than his words. and while that is occasionally frustrating, how perplexed he is about his feelings for angelique are entertaining. and i mean, it's just so obvious how head over heels he is.
i really enjoyed this story. angelique is such a strong female lead, likable and independent, but not so independent that she gets annoying. she's not stupid. and she's definitely not single-mindedly stupid. which is a welcome thing. and alex, again is just a great foil for angelique. he truly appreciates her gifts, and that is just so damn sexy.
**between the devil and the duke will publish on january 31, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/forever (grand central publishing) in exchange for my honest review.