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Angel in a Devil's Arms

by Julie Anne Long

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585360,770 (3.82)None
He has devil's blood in his veins. At least, that's always been the legend. How else could the Duke of Brexford's notorious bastard son return from the dead? The brutal decade since Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt, allegedly drowned in the Thames forged him into a man who always gets what--and who--he wants. And what he wants is vengeance for his stolen birthright . . . and one wild night in Angelique Breedlove's bed.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
It was a very comfortable book to read. I've somehow managed to go this long without reading a Julie Ann Long book, and I was delighted with her writing. The dialogue was fun and witty or lovely and evocative. I genuinely liked both characters and felt like they made sense together.

BUT. It was really easy for me to put the book down. I wish there was a nicer word than boring, but it kinda was a little. Both characters made good, sensible decisions throughout the book, and almost always without prompting from anyone else. Even those worldview tilting changes in perspective each character needs in order to make the HEA possible just seemed like quiet epiphanies they had on their own.

There wasn't really any point where I was frustrated or anxious while I was reading. And sometimes you just want a comfortable book where everything works out without too much drama! Since I just finished reading Jennifer Estep's Crown of Shards series with all its assassination attempts and threats of war, this almost too-comfortable read didn't bother me quite as much as I think it normally would have.

I gave four stars instead of three for the likable characters and the lovely writing, especially the dialogue which was both clever and swoon-worthy. I'm a slut for fun dialogue. ( )
  chichigrrr | May 23, 2021 |
Angel In A Devil’s Arms is the second book in the “Palace of Rogues” series, and after the ending of book one ” Lady Derring Takes A Lover” I was highly intrigued to read this one, since she gave us a teaser on the beginning meeting between our two protaganists: Lucien and Angelique. I will admit that in the first book I didn’t know quite what to make of Angelique. There is quite a bit of mystery surrounding her in many respects, and it was this mysterious cloud that is hinted at that makes you want to know more of her. I am not sure why exactly it took me so long to pick up this book but I had completely forgotten of this release, it really just slipped my mind but when I saw the audio available at my local library, I just grabbed it instantly, knowing it was time to grab it up. I will say I am relieved that I did so, because it had the balance of what I was looking for.

Angel In A Devil’s Arms places the reader back into the setting of the Palace of Rogues and this beautiful and elegant boarding house in the docks of London. We get to see the fun interactions between all of the guests but most especially we get drawn into the drama that is building between Lucien and Angelique. At first, our two protaganists don’t care for each other, its more of a toleration mixed a bit with intrigue. But as they grow to unveil that mystery that surrounds each other, there seems to be a sense of intimacy that builds between Lucien and Angelique. Angelique is determined not to grow fond of Lucien, his charm is dangerous to her, because she has secrets and he could harm her and what they have built here with the boarding house. But she soon realizes that love is worth the risk, but will Lucien be her champion and partner?

“Is it something about me? Or do you feel as though you can treat all men as though what we feel is of no consequence?”

I have to say I had such a blast with this book, and I laughed my socks off. I had forgotten how witty this author’s writing can be, and all that dry wit just had me smiling all the way through and it definitely was the book I needed to help lighten my heart. I found the romance between these two to be quite endearing. It has a sense of “enemies to lovers” but that light angst that exists between them isn’t consistent all the way through. I really liked how the author implemented the healthy boundaries for a relationship by both the man and the woman, it showed a sense of equal fairness I was drawn to. I was also fascinated by the story behind the hero and trying to figure out who was behind the attempt on his life and a budding relationship with his younger half brother (who was adorbs)

But what surprised her most was the gratitude for everything, including all the heartbreaks, upheavals, betrayals she’d so far known. The wrong men had simply prepared her to recognize the right one. The seemingly wrong turns had led her precisely to where she wished to be.

I did find that overall this story offered the comfort and distraction that was desperately needed and it gave a lighthearted tone to a story that will leave the reader with a smile and aching for more! ( )
  addictofromance | Jan 8, 2021 |
Angelique Breedlove is one of the co-owners of a boarding house down at the London docks. The mysterious new boarder is Lucien, Lord Bolt, the illegitimate son of a Duke who 'died' ten years ago by drowning in the Thames. Despite her reservations, the two are drawn together.
I love Ms. Long's writing. She can make me laugh out loud and then swoon at a steamy romantic love scene. Angelique and Lucien are appropriately cast as the hero and heroine, supported by the other boarders who we met, for the most part, in the first book of the series. Their interactions provide some of the best parts of the stories and make the reader long to sit with them in the best sitting-room, knitting while listening to another person read.
I did think the ending was a bit weak and wrapped up too conveniently, which is why I didn't give it 5 stars. Still, it's a wonderful romance, and Julie Anne Long is always worth the read. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Nov 12, 2019 |
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What mattered was she was standing, and that was very much in spite of the men who had populated her life.

Readers first met Angelique in Lady Derring Takes a Lover, first in The Palace of the Rogues series. A mysterious man had just arrived when we left the series and Angel in a Devil's Arms picks right up from that. It wouldn't be hard to start the series here, you'd miss emotional foundations between Angelique and Delilah (Angelique was Delilah's husband's mistress) but the author does a good job of revisiting Angelique's background and the romance between our leads starts here.

“I’ve had all manner of experiences and known all manner of people . . . I believe I can say with some authority that people become who they are more because of the pain they experience than the pleasure. And you, my friend, I do believe you carry about your pain the way you might carry eggs in your apron.”

Angelique popped off the pages for me in the first book and I was highly anticipating her story. Almost all of the story takes place in the inn she runs with Delilah and except for a slight revenge plot, this story is focused on character driven and the relationship between Angelique and Lucien. If you're a reader of Long, you'll know how beautifully she can turn a phrase and describe emotion, for example: He paused. She would not be surprised if it was because he heard her heart beating. He’d toyed with the rhythm of its since they met. He ought to know it the way a violinist knows his own instrument. Gorgeous writing. The story has many sentences like this, but I still ending up feeling a lack of connection between our couple.

Imagine a woman who could shorten his breath and blank his mind with just one curve of her lips.

Our hero Lucien was born a bastard but his Duke father started off very loving until he married and then he shunned Lucien and his mother. Lucien started to act out for attention which caused his step-mother to be embarrassed about him and possibly is behind assailants pushing him into the Thames. He gets rescued by a passing ship and ends up sailing the seas for ten years. We're told this and I think I needed some flashbacks of his time surviving, fighting, and building himself up to feel closer to his character. A developing relationship between Lucien and his half brother helped to add layers to Lucien's character and I can't help but already wish for the half brother's book. However, there wasn't anything that really stood out for me with his character and Lucien ended up feeling pretty benign.

But what surprised her most was the gratitude for everything, including all the heartbreaks, upheavals, betrayals she’d so far known. The wrong men had simply prepared her to recognize the right one. The seemingly wrong turns had led her precisely to where she wished to be.

When Angelique and Lucien are together, they do have some good byplay but the sparks just weren't there enough for me. The bedroom scenes were there but felt strangely short and rushed for what Long usually writes. A revenge plot ends up sputtering out and I just don't think the characters and their relationship was strong enough to carry the character driven focus. Angelique and Delilah have screen time together, more towards the end and I missed feeling their connection like I did in the first. The inn's guest are all here again and provide some comedic relief but secondary characters couldn't make up for the lack of punch I was missing between our leads.

Living one’s truth, it seemed, was more liberating than the false safety of no emotion or no risk. It was just so much easier to do when you knew you were loved.

Long has talent and skill for writing and describing human emotions and complexities beautifully and truthfully, but the breadth of the romantic relationship between Angelique and Lucien was missing for me. The epilogue sweetly sets up the next couple in the series and I'll definitely be reading it and hoping the setting can leave the inn more and our main couple will have more scope to their relationship. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Nov 9, 2019 |
I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. Angel In A Devil’s Arms is the second book in Julie Anne Long’s delightful series The Palace of Rogues. I do think that in order to properly enjoy this book you need to read the first book. Angelique Breedlove left destitute when her protector died has reached a point where she is starting to feel secure, she has good friends, a lovely place to live, a successful business and she’s beginning to dream of better things when Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt arrives to be the new tenant in their boarding house and shakes up her hard won equilibrium with his very presence. Lucien has returned from the dead a wealthy man after an absence of 10 years, and his purpose for returning is to seek revenge on those who had him tossed in the Thames all those years ago. One of the things I loved most about this story is that when Angelique uncomfortable with the intensity of the chemistry they generate between them asks him to be her friend he agrees and they do become friends making the long slow burn of their romance a wonderful thing. I enjoyed this book immensely and it’s going to have a secure place on my keeper shelf. Medium Steam. Publishing Date October 29, 2018 #Edelweissplus #AvonBooks
#AngelInADevilsArms #JulieAnneLong #AvonRomance #HarperCollinsCanada #Bookstagram #RomanceNovels #HistoricalRomance ( )
  nmgski | Aug 12, 2019 |
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Mrs. Angelique Breedlove stared at the little tokens—a sort of half unicorn, half lion—nestled in the man's palm.
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He has devil's blood in his veins. At least, that's always been the legend. How else could the Duke of Brexford's notorious bastard son return from the dead? The brutal decade since Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt, allegedly drowned in the Thames forged him into a man who always gets what--and who--he wants. And what he wants is vengeance for his stolen birthright . . . and one wild night in Angelique Breedlove's bed.

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He has devil's blood in his veins. At least, that's always been the legend. How else could the Duke of Brexford's notorious bastard son return from the dead? The brutal decade since Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt, allegedly drowned in the Thames forged him into a man who always gets what—and who—he wants. And what he wants is vengeance for his stolen birthright...and one wild night in Angelique Breedlove's bed.

Angelique recognizes heartbreak when the enigmatic Lord Bolt walks into The Grand Palace on the Thames, and not even his devastating charm can tempt her to risk her own ever again. One scorching kiss drives home the danger.

But in the space between them springs a trust that feels anything but safe. And the passion—explosive, consuming—drives Lucien to his knees. Now his whole life depends on proving his love to a woman who doesn't believe in it...because his true birthright, he now knows, is guardian of Angelique Breedlove's heart.
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