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The Dangerous Gentleman by Julia London

The Dangerous Gentleman (edition 2000)

by Julia London

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179366,229 (3.88)None
Title:The Dangerous Gentleman
Authors:Julia London
Info:Dell (2000), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites, England, 19th Century 1801-1900, Romance, Dell
Tags:Historical Romance

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The Dangerous Gentleman by Julia London



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*I gave this audiobook a C- for the story and C+ for the narration at AudioGals*

Where to start? What a difficult book to review. While I loved the heroine, and enjoyed parts of this book, the hero is an extremely trying one. Mostly due to the hero, at different points in this book, I greatly struggled to continue listening. Of course, in the end, I was happy I pushed through, but it was not always easy.

The Dangerous Gentleman is a British historical romance with elements of suspense. The first book in the Rogues of Regent Street series, it may nonetheless be read as a standalone book, as each book tells the love story of a different rogue, who has gained notoriety for his scandalous adventures both in and out of the bedroom.

Adrian Spence, Earl of Albright has had a difficult upbringing. Never loved by his father, who yearns for the opportunity to disinherit him at every turn, he has learned to survive and has created his own wealth. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Benedict, is the golden child in his father’s eye. So when Adrian is goaded into a duel, and kills his opponent in self-defense, Adrian’s father finally finds the means to disinherit him and transfers all of his inheritance (other than an entailed estate which follows his title) to Benedict.

When Adrian finds out that Benedict is planning on proposing to Lilliana Dashell, a 22-year-old spinster country girl, Adrian seeks his revenge by marrying her first. But other than in her bedroom, which he will only occupy long enough to get the deed done (even on their wedding night), Adrian generally ignores her and is indifferent to her attempts to get to know him. Instead, he is condescending, belittling her and generally dismisses her as merely a “Grange Princess”. At one point, he treats her so badly, that there is a scene involving dubious consent where he accuses her of acting like a whore and treats her accordingly. Moreover, even though he promised to show her the world in order to convince her to marry him, he’s not even a man of his word, as he shuts her away on his estate and refuses to allow her to accompany him when he travels.

Lilliana, in turn, desperately tries to gain Adrian’s attention, and notwithstanding her great sadness (she cries every night after he visits her bedroom), still manages to care for Adrian, even when, following an accident, everyone else would turn their back on him. I felt so sorry for her. Even at the same time that she is being horribly verbally abused, she still fights to uncover family secrets, in the hopes of helping Adrian see again the slight glimpses of love that he has shown her.

Please see the full review at AudioGals at: http://www.audiogals.net/2014/07/the-dangerous-gentleman-by-julia-london/#more-2... ( )
  B.J.O. | Jul 18, 2014 |
This story starts with a duel and ends with betrayal and redemption. There is also revenge and forgiveness. I have to say I was very happy with Adrian Spence, Earl Albright through most of the book. He is arrogant and overbearing at times and indifferent at others. When he loses his sight he becomes a loving husband but when his sight returns he is suspicious and defensive. For all his cool headed reserve there underneath a child wanting to be accepted and loved. Adrian has been abused and maligned most of his life. His mother died when he was twelve leaving him to the tender mercies of his father. When his father disowns him after he is forced to kill his cousin he plans to take revenge on his brother by marrying the young lady that Benedict is fond of. Little does Adrian realize that Lilliana Dashell will be his salvation. I must say that Adrian is a wonderful landlord. His tenants love him. He is willing to work building fences, fixing roofs and anything that is needed on his estate. He just can’t convince himself to love his wife. He is so afraid of losing her because he does care that he almost does.

Lilliana is a naive young woman that has been raised in the country all her life. She is a little bit of a hellion not understanding why she has to be prim and proper all the time. She is an excellent horsewoman and is compassionate and fairly intelligent. However she is easily fooled by Benedict. She doesn't have enough confidence to see that Adrian really does love her he just can’t express that love. I did get a laugh out of some of the tricks that she played on him before his blindness. Lilliana becomes quite the shrew in the later chapters of the story. She puts up with so much from Adrian while he is blind and the minute that he gets his sight back she becomes a shrew again. I don’t blame her most of the time because Adrian can be a total ass. It would have been nice to see a little more communication between the two of them. They both believed that Benedict was causing mischief but they never talked to each other about it. So many hurt feelings could have been avoided if they had just sat down and compared notes.

Benedict is a vile and despicable man. I am sad that the author didn't provide and suitable ending for the sorry excuse for a man. He only thinks of himself and what he will get if his father disowns Adrian. He is so passive-aggressive that it gives me a headache. I hope that maybe in future books that there is some mention of punishment for Benedict.

Ms. London is a marvelous writer. She is able to provoke strong emotions from the reader as well as wonderfully flawed characters. She makes you want to cheer or scream that the couple that is trying to find their way in an impossible relationship. She provides great secondary characters that you look forward to getting their own story. This is a wonderful example of the historical romance genre and I recommend it to all those that love these stories. ( )
  LadyIsis | Oct 5, 2013 |
This is actually my all time favorite romance. I have read it more times than I can remember. The story is simple: Adrian Spence, marries his brother's sweetheart to get revenge on him for conspiring with their father on disowning him. Adrian is a tortured soul: always rebuffed by his father, he recently found himself in the awful position of having to kill his very best friend in a duel. So emotionally, he is as closed as an oyster. Lilliana, his wife, is a simple country girl, neither too beautiful nor experienced. She soon realises that her husband is keeping his distance except when they're in bed together. During the day, he hardly speaks or listens to her at all. This of course, is ripe ground for the evil brother to saw the seeds of discordance between them. And the misunderstandings begin...For fans of angsty, emotional reads, this is a great story. Yes, half of the misunderstandings could be solved if only they talked openly to each other. But both, especially Adrian, prefer to keep their pride rather than open themselves to possible heartache. I really don't care why the gap between them takes so long to mend; I just love the incredible tension Ms London seems to build. And every time I re-read it thinking that I'll just skip some pages here and there, I end up reading every single page again, feeling the same agony, of whether these two people will find true happiness after all. ( )
  faniP | Aug 24, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440235618, Mass Market Paperback)

With her trademark sensuality and dazzling storytelling, Julia London brings us the Rogues of Regent Street, three dashing, aristocratic gentlemen whose scandalous exploits are the talk of the ton. Adrian Spence, Earl of Albright, has earned his notoriety on the dueling field, and in the finest drawing rooms—and boudoirs—of England. This is his story....

It was strictly business as Adrian Spence claimed the woman his brother desired. A hasty wedding, and Lilliana Dashell was his—sweet revenge on the father who disinherited him and the brother who let it happen. Their wedding night is a revelation as passionate, innocent Lilliana ignites fires Adrian tries desperately to deny. By day he is a stranger. By night he is the lover of her dreams, and she a shameless wanton in his arms. But Adrian is determined that no woman will ever possess him. And Lilliana knows that her only hope of taming this very dangerous gentleman is to unlock his deepest mysteries and open his shuttered heart to love....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:17 -0400)

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