|AMAZON | KINDLE|
Heroine: Lydia Grenville – Journalist, Philanthropist
Hero: Vere Mallory – Duke, Jaded
Vere Mallory, the reluctant last Duke of Ainsworth, is, simply, an overgrown ass. Since getting his title, he has been on his worst behavior. Debauched and constantly inebriated. Watching as all of your family dies around you will do that though. Grief takes many forms and, sadly for Vere (and womankind), his form appears to be selfish and self-sabotaging.
Unfortunately for Lydia Grenville, it’s this version of Vere that she meets, loathes, and reluctantly loves sparring with… even as he makes her life more difficult. Lydia is a journalist for The Argus—an honest (and thus not liked) journalist. She’s known to most men as Lady Grendel. And Vere becomes her very own Beowulf.
These two do not like each other very much. Or at all. They mix as well as water and oil. But, for all their bickering and fighting, neither one is truly the person everyone else thinks they are. I loved seeing them slowly reveal their true selves to each other. Unravel each other completely. It made for a lot of sexual tension between them. Thick, heady, fiery tension you couldn’t help but feel.
“If you try to find a replacement, you'll be sadly disappointed, I can't be replaced. I'm the only man in all the world who possesses the right combination of qualities for you.You can turn your Ballister stare upon me all you like, but you can't petrify me. You can knock me about to your heart's content without worrying about doing any damage. You can perpetrate any sort of outrage your wicked mind conceives and be sure I'll join in, with a will. You're a troublemaker, Lydia. A Ballister devil. Nothing less than a Mallory hellion would ever suit you."
The pace did slow down around 70%. I can't say I was a fan of the villain and that whole subplot. It came across predictable and a bit boring. Once it reached its conclusion, and the focus was back on Lydia and Vere, I was a much happier camper. Their bickering and squabbling and sneaky barbs, combined with a mutual (albeit reluctant, at first) respect for each other, are the heart and soul of this story.
Though not as wonderful as Lord of Scoundrels, which is an all time favorite, I was enchanted by The Last Hellion. I loved Vere and his often misogynistic self. The man comes across as one thing but proves to be something different—something incredible—instead. It isn't easy to fall for those heroes who behave so badly at first, but once you do... It’s completely worth the wait.