In order to save her gaming father from certain death, innocent Aveline Stoddard offers herself to rakish, rogue Lucien DuFeron. In return for her father's vowels, Aveline will submit to three whole nights to satisfy any of Lucien's deepest, darkest desires and passions. The nights are a revelation for them both but when they are over - Lucien vanishes.
Betrayed by someone close to him, Lucien is handed over to evil brigands and imprisoned by them. Five years later, he manages to escape back to London, determined to find the enemy responsible. Instead he finds the one woman who he has never been able to forget - Aveline. But things have changed a lot in five years and despite passions still running high between the pair, Lucien can't let go of his need for revenge. If his quest leads him to someone close to Aveline, he may destroy a love that is powerful enough to free his tormented heart.
I am a huge fan of Debra Mullins and she doesn't disappoint with this story. Lucien and Aveline are larger than life characters and you are easily drawn in to their story through their interactions. Lucien is a fantastic, tormented hero who has a heart-warming vulnerable side while Aveline is an innocent miss who is also strong and determined. There are no missish, stupid heroes or heroines in this book!
The story is primarily about Lucien and Aveline and their relationship, with the 'mystery' of who betrayed Lucien really only taking a small part. And it's not really a mystery as we are told enough, quite early on in the story to realise who is likely to be the culprit.
The sensuality and deep characterisation in the novel are typical of Debra Mullins and this book is really a page turner. While being by no means her best novel, it's still engrossing and a very good read. If I had to have one complaint, it would be that the conclusion of the mystery/betrayal plot was ever so slightly disappointing as I personally felt that the wrong people got their comeuppance at the end and some people got none at all! But this wasn't enough to ruin what is essentially a delightful, romantic story. 4 stars.