Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Ruthless Prince - Gaelen Foley (Avon - Jan 2012)

Series: Inferno Club (Book 4)

The Inferno Club: To London Society, they're notorious for their scandalous pursuits. In private, these warriors would risk their lives for king and country.

His brother warriors fear the Earl of Westwood has turned traitor, but Emily Harper knows this is impossible for the man she has loved since childhood . . . as impossible as a marriage between them could ever be -- she, the gamekeeper's daughter and he, a bold and adventurous nobleman.

Driven by hatred and revenge, Westwood is playing a deadly game of deception, bent on destroying the enemy's dark conspiracy from the inside, and he's furious when Emily plunges herself into danger for his sake. Forced into close quarters, their long-suppressed desire explodes into all-consuming passion.

Emily knows her love can save him . . . but Westwood is a man who doesn't want to be saved.

Really good book. I've been waiting for Drake's book and it was just as good as I had expected. In previous books he had been captured, tortured, lost his memory, and apparently gone over to the bad guys. Emily doesn't believe it. She grew up with Drake and knows that it would be impossible for him to do so. She is determined to save him and uses her skills to track him to Germany, intent on getting him away.

Drake is such a tortured hero. His hatred for the Prometheans has driven him to seek revenge. He is doing this by convincing them, and everyone else, that he has become one of them, until such time as he can find a way to destroy them. He doesn't care what happens to him until Emily shows up and throws a kink into his plans. He has always loved her, but she has been forbidden to him. He tries to get her to leave, but when she refuses has to try to find a way to keep her safe. While he knows that the organization itself is evil, he still has to deal with more personal feelings about the leader. There are also some places where his moral compass seems to go a little off center, and it's only Emily's presence that brings him back.

Emily has great faith in Drake. No matter how it appears, she knows that he is not capable of turning his back on what is right. All she wants to do is get him away from the terrible influence of their leader. When Drake refuses to leave, so does she. She begins to wonder if she's in over her head when the danger to her gets more intense. There are several occasions where she has momentary doubts about her faith in Drake, but they don't last long, and her love for him remains strong no matter what. There is one spot where she truly starts to worry about him and his intentions. Her inner strength is amazing as she finds ways to help Drake.

This story is very intense. We see Drake's thoughts and plans as he plots his revenge. He doesn't expect to survive the attempt, which is fine with him as he feels far too broken to return to his old life. His dismay and horror when Emily shows up breaks through some of the ice that has formed around his heart. Her presence brings some light back into the darkness that has consumed him. Now he and Emily have to work together to pull off his plan, but things don't go smoothly. The love that has been between them, though previously not acted  on, bursts into flames between them now. 

The evil that is the Prometheans is more fully described as Drake is drawn further into the heart of the organization. Drake is able to come up with a plan, but it becomes tricky when the leader makes Emily part of an upcoming ceremony. Add in a leadership struggle and suddenly Drake is in a far stronger, yet dangerous, place than he ever expected. There are multiple times when things could have all come crashing down on him, but each time he is able to prevail. When the final confrontation comes it is amazingly intense and very satisfying in its result.

Drake's three teammates have an important part also. Once they know where he is, their job is to get to him and either rescue him or kill him, depending on what they find. None of them want to believe that he has truly gone to the dark side, but it's hard to disregard what they have already seen. Their appearance at the end added another layer of conflict and emotion. Their participation in the ending was fantastic.

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