Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the amazing; Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple, I am so excited to be sharing my review with you all, but first I want to say thank you to Lara for my advance reader copy.
Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple
Genre: Historical Romance / Publisher: Mills and Boon, Harlequin / Release Date: 20th August 2020
A scarred mercenary…
Or the Disappearing Duke of Greybourne?
Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo, he discovers a fellow outcast—and a fierce desire! Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma—because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long!
Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my!!
How am I possibly going to string a sentence together and actually write a review for something that is perfect?
The story is stunningly perfect!
The characters are super perfection!
The writing is as always beyond perfection!
The setting is beautifully perfect!
As I have said, how do you write a review for something that is…yes, you guessed it; perfect?
I will admit that I wasn’t overawed with the previous book; Edge’s story, which I always feel terrible at admitting when it comes to Lara’s books, but I will never be anything but honest in my reviews. I did enjoy it hugely but poor Edge just didn’t have the wow factor I am used to. That makes me sound so fussy! Yet saying that the minute Rafe appeared I just knew he would be something very special, I have been very impatiently awaiting this story, it seems like an age since we had that first glimpse of him but my goodness it was well worth the wait.
Boy, oh, boy! Was this story worth the wait, or what?
There is just something about Rafe which really makes you fall in love with him, obviously being a mercenary he is rough, solid, strong, ruthless, predatory the sort of man who you want by your side and also fear as to how far this battle-hardened warrior will go. Yet, the other side to him is a real surprise, he is caring, gentle, fragile, world-weary, lonely, passionate, his vulnerability and his jaded view of the world breaks your heart, you want to wrap in a big bear hug – even though he would be the one doing the bear hugging especially with those amazing arms…Ooooh, don’t get me started on how much I love his arms…those large, muscular scarred arms….sigh!!! Once you know his past, you completely understand why he is the way he is, Rafe has been made into the hardened jaded man before us by an event many years ago, one that is as shocking as it is sad and one that he has been running from all his life.
I adore Cleo, she is a marvellous woman and the perfect partner for strong and silent Rafe. Her stubborn, strong-willed and sassiness is the perfect partner for his rough edginess, add into her kind, caring and compassionate nature is a balm to his fractured soul. All she wants deep down is to the right thing, she has had not your average upbringing being dragged from pillar to post as her father finds yet another way to make money through none too legal or moral means. She is resourceful, intelligent and brave and in need of help which is when she meets Rafe. It’s a good job she has a smart head when she finds herself under the protection of the sexiest mercenary you will ever meet, a man who can make you drop to your knees with just a glance. She needs all her smarts and her well-versed back-chat. What she can’t protect herself from is how her heart beats a rapid tattoo whenever he is around, his rare smiles make her goes weary weak and her head is full of foggy lust.
Hmmm, I may have just been talking about myself there! 😉
Cleo and Rafe are the perfect couple! They match each other so beautifully, they bounce off each other when bickering, their banter is some of the best I’ve read…good jolly, can they banter? I love it, they fling tarts remarks at one another as much as they mercilessly flirt. The chemistry is sexy, heated, passionate, the air crackles around them and the more they try to ignore their feelings the more intense it becomes.
I absolutely adore that we are once again in Egypt, I do have a soft spot for Egyptian history – then again, who doesn’t? Lara has really upped the ante with the Egyptian history and culture, I loved every scene, whether they were in the hot and dusty desert starring up at the darkened star-studded sky or deeply immersed into a little market town. I absolutely loved joining Rafe and Cleo on their journey as they made their way to Cairo and then Alexandria…even if at the time I did feel as though I was a spare wheel when they were having a few private moments together. What makes the book really stand out for me, is Lara’s knowledge of the era and the country, each scene is a masterpiece of historical writing, you become fully immersed into 19th century Egyptian life; the sights, aroma’s sounds, the clothing, what they ate, riding the camel’s the beautiful scenery it is all so rich in vivid detail.
I thin you may have guessed how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I loved the plot which is whirlwind of passion and adventure, the characters are superbly created. It’s grab’s hold of your imagination and takes you on a misty and dreamlike adventure of love and hope. This is Lara Temple at her very best, she is the dominant queen of the regency romance!