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.
Although "Three Nights..." is not Ms. Mullins strongest effort to date, it's still a nice read that will entertain fans of the historical romance genre. Aveline Stoddard is desperate to keep her father from a dual in which he will surely die. Taking it upon herself she approaches Lucien DuFeron who just so happens to hold her fathers vowels. Hoping to talk this well-known rake from the dueling field Aveline takes the only options she has and accepts this rakes compromise. Three nights in his bed and he will overlook the gambling debt of her father. Aveline agrees albeit reluctantly as she knows that she will face utter ruin if anyone should find out what she has done. But she loves her clueless father and will do what she can to keep him alive. After all it's only three nights...not a lifetime. Or so she thinks. Lucien can't believe how attracted he is to the prim Ms. Stoddard. She is a fiery lady and awakens feeling in him that he would rather forget he has. After the end of their agreement they separate with angry words between them. Lucien can't get her out of his mind. Going to London seems to be the only answer to escaping the memories he created with Aveline at his country home. When he is set upon by brigands he has no idea who wants to cause him harm and when he awakes on board a ship he knows that he must survive in order to gain his revenge. Thoughts of Aveline help him do this. But, when he returns to Cornwall he finds out that he left a little bit more behind. Those three nights produced his daughter Chloe. Now he finds Aveline even more beautiful and attractive than he had five years earlier and although his gut burns for revenge he can't and won't walk away from the one person that has haunted his dreams. But, will he be able to seek his revenge even though it might cost him more than he ever dreamed? The problem with this read was predictability. Otherwise Ms. Mullins has really created some fine characters (saving grace of the read really) that the reader will find totally captivating. Lucien is really a larger than life hero and to be fair one that will stick in the readers mind long after the book is over. The attraction between Lucien and Aveline is potent and they read well together. Sadly there are really no surprises with this read, hence the predictability issue. Ms. Mullins is a very talented author and one that I would not overlook but instead would highly recommend. This read should not be avoided but the reader should be aware that what you see is basically what you get.