Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple. Another hit for me by this author!
A scarred mercenary…Or the Disappearing Duke of Greybourne?
Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo he discovers a fellow outcast—and a fierce desire! Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma—because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long!
Okay, I suspected before but now I know for sure, Lara Temple is my new favourite historical romance author. I now have to catch up on her backlist from before The Sinclairs.
The Sinclairs series is actually where we first meet Rafe. I remember reading the last of that series which featured Rafe’s younger brother and thinking Rafe’s drama would make for a great story… so glad Lara laid those juicy tidbits down since then. I even admit to rereading parts of The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow while enjoying The Return if the Disappearing Duke.
Now, it’s absolutely not necessary to have read The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow before this one. Having read it though, I was already very invested in Rafe and already knew some of his history, the key bits of which are covered here too.
There is a bit of a mystery for us to uncover as Cleo is in search of her younger brother who left her to figure out what nonsense their scheming father had gotten himself and his family tied into. Those connections provide the suspense element of the story as Cleo has to flee Egypt to save her life. It’s all very enticing stuff.
Speaking of Egypt, Lara Temple once again weaves the masterful setting of 1800s Egypt into her tale. From scenes in a hamman to nights spent in the desert, the setting becomes a character of its own and is one I most certainly enjoyed.
The chemistry between Rafe and Cleo is fantastic. Rafe ends up serving as a not so reluctant protector to Cleo, despite her own intentions. What she thought was merely securing the services of a ‘guide’ ends up being much much more. One thing that becomes abundantly clear is that Cleo can’t help but fall for the mysterious man who offers her protection. His scars don’t scare her and he learns to accept her acceptance of them. For his part, Rafe has no intentions of becoming involved with someone under his ‘protection’ but when Cupid strikes there isn’t much to be done… especially in a romance story! There are definitely some steamy scenes but they are well-written and not gratuitous. They’re quite well suited to these two characters.
I loved the mixing of the Egyptian setting and the english setting. The contrasts between the two and the differences in tone and action is quite clear. Cleo bemoans the restrictions placed upon women, in general, but especially in her home country. There are some funny scenes where she dresses as a boy to be able to engage in some shenanigans… you’ll have to read the story to find out more.
I also loved the introduction of Captain Chris and can’t help but wonder (and hope!) that he’ll be the star of another book…
Overall, I absolutely loved this historical romance with its gorgeous prose and wonderfully vivid characters. I give The Return of the Disappearing Duke 4.5/5 steamy espresso shots.
About the Author
Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.
Social Media links
Amazon author page US: http://bit.ly/LaraTemple
Amazon author page UK:http://bit.ly/LaraTempleUK
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/LaraTempleAuthor
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Blog Tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.