The Last Hellion by Loretta Chase

She was not unaffected.  The devil in her, one she normally kept well concealed, was bound to be drawn to its counterpart in him.  But she was not a fool either.  She knew well enough that this was a rogue’s own countenance, and she could sum it up in one word: trouble.

Title: The Last Hellion

Author: Loretta Chase

Redonk Nutshell:

Official Synopsis: Vere Mallory, the Duke of Ainswood, has everything–he’s titled, he’s rich, he’s devastatingly good looking–and he seems determined to throw it all away. Disreputable, reckless, and wild, the last of the Mallory hellions is racing headlong to self-destruction…until a mind numbingly beautiful blonde Amazon knocks him off his feet–literally. Lydia Grenville is dedicated to protecting London’s downtrodden. Dissolute noblemen like Ainswood are part of the problem, not the solution. She would like him to get his big, gorgeous carcass out of her way so that she can carry on with her work. The problem is, Ainswood can no more resist a challenge, especially in female form, than he can resist the trouble she seems to attract.

Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man. Gads, how I loved this book. It’s predecessor, Lord of Scoundrels is also a favorite of mine and me, in my infinite idiocy, didn’t realize these two books were even connected in any way whatsoever.  So imagine my surprise when I start to read this…and WHAM! I realize there are characters featured here and there that I’m familiar with, and have previously adored.

The Last Hellion is the story of the Duke of Ainswood and his unintended entanglement with journalist Lydia Grenville. They are both brash, insistently stubborn, and terribly notorious for getting into trouble.  In short, they’re perfect for each other.  Vere has spent the past several years wearing the facade of a mongering brute after inheriting the title of his family’s estate upon the death of his young cousin. Lydia is a successful and adventurous author who works to write about the lower classes, using her own experience having grown up in poorhouses and slums. These two collide in a hilarious encounter outside a pub, and both their lives are forever changed. After exchanging ripping taunts and sarcastic retorts, Lydia makes quite the impression upon the haughty Duke:

For one perilous moment, her mind gave way as her muscles did, overpowered by heat and strength and the chaotic brew of masculine scent and taste.  But her instincts had been honed in a hard school, and in the next moment she reacted.  She sagged in his arms, making herself a dead weight. She felt his mouth leave hers. “By gad, the wench’s faint–” She slammed her fist into his jaw.

This book had me laughing out loud, heartily and often.  The exchanges between these two go beyond comical.  Lydia is as haughty as Vere, though both in their own individual ways.  Watching them encounter one trial after another is nothing short of brilliant. The Last Hellion has quickly become a favorite go-to book of mine, along with it’s sibling Lord of Scoundrels.

“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.” – Vere Mallory -”

Rating: A

Romance: 4/5            Raunch: 3/5

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