The Ruthless Charmer: The Rogues of Regent Street Mass Market Paperback – 3 Jun 2008
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..." a rising star."
-- Romantic Times
Don't miss Julia London's acclaimed romances
The Devil's Love
The Dangerous Gentleman
Available from Dell
.".. a rising star."--"Romantic Times"
..". a rising star." "Romantic Times""
From the Inside Flap
No woman could resist Julian Dane. Except Lady Claudia Whitney. Julian had known her since childhood, but the headstrong lass had grown into a beautiful woman. Julian vows to teach her everything he knows about passion. But Claudia, in her most innocent ardor, promises to challenge him to the most dangerous emotion of all: wild, all-consuming love.
The rogue met his match in the woman he was forced to wed....
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Top Customer Reviews
Julian is wracked with guilt over Phillip's death, because through the downward spiral, Julian was at Phillip's side, drinking and partying with him and just not realising the desperation that Phillip was feeling. Add to that a large portion of jealousy that Phillip received the attention of the lovely Claudia, just as Julian himself realised what a jewel had been hiding in plain sight.
Claudia, for her part, had always had a huge crush on Julian, but knew that nothing would ever come of it. Julian, knowing Phillip's dire financial striates, had warned Claudia from Phillip, which she misinterpreted. Following Phillip's death, Claudia holds Julian at least partly responsible for exactly the same reason Julian blames himself - because he was there, right next to Phillip.
There are several things that these two must overcome. Their own grief, the misconceptions that they have for each other, the scandal they are part of that forces their marriage to save Claudia's reputation, and then the situation that Claudia involves herself in which causes Julian's sister to be placed in harms way. Each have rather violent feelings towards each other for most of the book and for the most part they are negative ones - hurt, anger and jealousy.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Julian & Claudia are a H/H to die for!! He is even better than Adrian from The Dangerous Gentleman..
Claudia is feisty & independent, you will love her she is SO before her time! Opening a home for battered women & using her influence in society to support her cause! It's a wonderful story & warms the heart!!
Julian, is guilt ridden & tortured because he's loved Claudia for two years & feels he may have held back, helping his dear friend because of that love. When he compromises her at a party it's the beginning of the end of his bachelor days & his peace of mind! You'll love the ride this story takes you on & you'll feel like your watching a movie!! That is how vivid Julia writes!!
The sexual tension keeps you turning pages to get to the "HOT" part.. *G* But really the story is written with the heart & feeling that makes you able to "SEE" the story as it unfolds!! This is a tribute to an author's talent & Julia sure has that & more. When you read an author this good you wish they had a back list that could keep you busy until her next book comes out!!
However, that changes when Julian and Claudia are caught kissing. To save her reputation, he knows he must marry her. She wants nothing to do with him, especially at the cost of her beloved independence. He broods over the death of Phillip, who Julian feels was Claudia's true love. Although passion threatens to enflame them, neither one is ready to admit, even to themselves, that love has blossomed between them.
The ruthless charmer, the second novel in Julia London's "The Rogues of Regent Street" (See THE DANGEROUS GENTLEMAN) is a captivating historical romance. The story line continues the train of thought set in the first novel as readers gain an understanding of the psychological problems eroding Julian's well being. The era comes alive through the cast and Claudia is a wonderful, feisty heroine, but Ms. London's plot belongs to THE RUTHLESS CHARMER whose mind has frozen that one deadly moment, haunting him forever.
Centering on Earl and guardian Julian Dane and Earl's daughter and woman's activist Lady Claudia Whitney. While both characters are initially compelling both suffer from a variety of issues that are never fully flushed out. He ends up being overbearing in things that make no sense to even himself and she becomes a whiney, shortsighted brat.
Having known each other for years, one night they are compromised into a marriage neither of them want. They both love the other but believe the other hates them, then convince themselves that they hate the other. With no one main issue dividing them, it becomes a mishmash that you ultimately don't care much about.
In the background is a tragic story with Julian's youngest, self-conscious sister Sophie. She runs off with a terrible man who ends up extorting money from the family and beating her. The helplessness felt by the entire family is too big a thing to be a background to Julian and Claudia's bickering.
While Sophie is saved in the end, things are wrapped up too quickly and suddenly for the main couple.
A Shame, the characters if they would have remained true, rather than wishing washing between strange fights and long romantic and self effacing monologues, they might have been a good couple.
Julian Dane is the roguish hero who is tiring of that lifestyle. The suicide/death of one of his closest friends, Phillip, has left him shaken, even two years later, and he blames himself for his friend's death. He believes he could have prevented it had he just paid more attention. We don't really see Julian in full rogue mode. He has become increasingly interested in a long time friend, Claudia Whitney, and wants to pursue a relationship with her. However, she doesn't seem the least bit interested.
Claudia is a nineteenth century feminist. She is quite happy with her life as a single woman who spends her time and efforts on helping women. She is constantly attempting to raise funds for both a woman's shelter and a future girl's school for the less fortunate. She had been involved with Phillip prior to his death and blames their mutual friend, Julian Dane, for his death. If only Julian hadn't always encouraged Phillip's rakish ways, he probably would still be living. There is a lot of history between Claudia and Julian. She had grown up as a close friends to his many sisters and had a crush on him as a teenager. Although she is still attracted to him, she would never be foolish enough to hope for his love because she believes him to be too corrupt to ever be faithful. It seems Claudia is one very judgmental heroine. And she is one of the more belligerent and hateful ones I have read as well.
Julian proves to be a very likable character with much more patience than the average hero. The leads argue most of the book and don't even seem to like each other all that much. They each hold affection for the other but neither seems able to comprehend this glaring fact. Their continued conflicts become old quickly and it becomes tiresome, as we are privy to their insecure thoughts again and again and again. This is one story that is based largely on The Big Misunderstanding but in this case it should be referred to as The Big Misunderstandings. This couple has so many of these misunderstandings between them as one determines to show their love to the other only to give up just as the other has determined to show their love in return. There is so much angst between the two and they both appear a little stupid to not recognize or believe actions or actual words of love from one to the other.
Despite these conflicts, I still managed to be entertained and there are certainly some tender moments between the two. The sensual scenes are infrequent and rate about a 3.75 out of 5.0 (see More About Me for rating guidelines). This is a story that is primarily about the romance. There is a villain but thankfully, he only occupies a little of the story.
As I mentioned earlier, this is the second in a series of three. Although I was aggravated with the leads' interactions, I still recommend this series for some enjoyable reading. I am currently reading the third, The Beautiful Stranger, and it looks like it will be a five star rating. Julia London is an author I will continue to follow as her new books are released and I look forward to reading the remaining books on her backlist.