Thursday, February 25, 2010

YOTH: All Night With a Rogue by Alexandra Hawkins (Lords of Vice, book 1)


Seduce Lady Juliana Ivers and then cast her aside: Those are his sister’s instructions. Alexius Braverton, Marquess of Sinclair--known as Sin to the ton--is happy enough to oblige, especially when he catches a glimpse of his target. Juliana is completely unlike the empty-headed chits who barely hold his attention for a week. A true gentleman would leave her to find a worthy suitor. But then, a Lord of Vice would never claim to be a gentleman.


Juliana is expected to marry well to improve her family’s finances, even if she secretly longs to make a living through her musical compositions. A dalliance can only complicate matters, though not even practical Juliana can help succumbing to the aptly named Sin. But one unforgettable night will draw her into a scandalous affairand a seduction begun as sport will soon become deliciously, dangerously real

This book addresses the reformed rake theme. I do love that theme, because a guy with a bit of the wicked in him? Yum. The Lords of Vice take the rake/rogue thing to the extreme, engaging in all sorts of illicit behavior. We are actually shown this on a few occasions, not just told about it. In fact, at one point, Alexius tries to convince himself that he’s over Juliana by getting amazingly drunk and attempting to bed a prostitute. Thankfully, he passed out before he could do the deed. But this happens before he admits what she truly means to him, and he never actually cheated, even though it was his intent. I thought the action fit his character completely.

Alexius begins the pursuit of Juliana before he realizes that she’s the girl that he agreed to ruin for his sister. The scene where Alexius and Juliana meet is terrific. She is caught up a tree and he’s down below having a quickie at a ball. I liked that she wasn’t in the tree for the usual “hoydenish” behavior that is usually the reason for this, but that she was escaping a too ardent suitor and then got stuck, literally. Alexius decides to pursue her without knowing who she was. When he realizes she’s the girl he’s supposed to ruin, he figures he got lucky.

He quickly seduces Juliana into an affair, and she enjoys it as much as he. When Juliana is basically sold into an affair by her mother to satisfy her gambling debts, Alexius goes wild. He only knows that she is with another man who is known for treating women poorly. They have a huge fight, and he leaves after punching his rival in the face. Juliana neglects to tell him the reason that she is with Gomfrey, since secrecy of the reason for the affair was a condition of the payout.

This was where the book lost me a bit. Almost the entire second half of the book involves Juliana being basically traded from one man to another, with very little if no interaction between her and Alexius. He interacts with her family, with his friends, and with her captors, but almost nothing at all between the two of them. During this time, he realizes how much she means to him, that he loves her.

It was interesting that although she basically sold her daughter into prostitution to settle a gambling debt, Juliana’s mother is not a villainous figure at all. Her daughters still love her, and she comes off as a loving, albeit selfish mother. I was torn about this. On one hand, I appreciated that she wasn’t one dimensional. On the other hand, none of the daughters seemed to be angry with their mother for putting them in this predicament.

Another character that gave me pause was Sin’s sister, Belinda. She originally wanted Alexius to ruin Juliana because she viewed her as a rival for a man’s attention. She had no conscience, in fact seemed to relish the idea of her being ruined and publicly humiliated. Yet, I couldn’t really determine if it was simply a case of spite, or if she truly had feelings for Kyd. And Kyd? I never really figured out what he saw in Belinda. He did at one point comment that he knew her faults, but loved her in spite of them. Still… he was such a nice guy. What was he doing with her?

I thought it was a singularly unflattering picture painted of the behavior of the aristocracy, but each character was portrayed with depth, with perhaps the exception of Gomfrey. Even Juliana’s cousin, the second man that she was “sold off” to, had depth. We learn of his obsession with Juliana from the time she was 13, and how he’s now proving himself to be superior to her and worthy because of it, after her father refused to give permission for him to court her years before. So most of the characters, while unsavory and selfish to the bone, had redeeming qualities of some sort, or at least I was able to understand their motivations.

One other thing that bothered me slightly, was the nicknames that the Lords of Vice have. Sin, Reign, Frost, Saint… all plays upon their names, but it still seemed a little hokey to me.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would have liked more focus on the couple in the second half of the book, and less “rescuing”, but I enjoyed Hawkins’ voice and the overall feeling the book gave me. The next book, Til Dawn With the Devil, about Reign, Sin’s friend, is due out in August.


  1. The mother/daughter(s) relationships sounds really strange. And I'm not sure I like that the h/h are apart for what sounds like a good chunk of the book.

    Nice review Lori but I'll probably pass on this one. :)

  2. Hmmm. I'm not sure this one is for me. When Juliana's being passed around in the second half of the book, does she have sex with the, er, passees or does she have "miraculous" (or humdrum for that matter) escapes from the deed?

    I think I'd have a problem with the mother and Belinda as you did. How does Alexius (?is he Russian?) reconcile what his sister asked him to do with his HEA?

    It's possible that Alexius is too much of a rake for me to be happy with him. You obviously believed in the HEA - did he do much grovelling?

    thx for the review.

  3. Kaetrin, no sex for either of them in the second half of the book. So no cheating. No, he's not Russian. I kept waiting for his name to be shortened to Alex, but it never was. He's known as Sin, short for Sinclair (his last name).

    I don't recall a ton of groveling, but he definitely had to give her a lot of I love yous. I thought she rolled over too easily, though. And he did tell his sister to bugger off near the end, but only as it pertained to discussing Juliana. We never really find out if they have any further difficulties. I think that everyone is accepted at face value and almost nobody is held accountable for their actions except perhaps Sin and Juliana.

    Odd that I was left with the feeling that I enjoyed it, huh? It sure sounds like I didn't. I think her voice is quite strong and I liked that. I'll give the next one a go to see if it's any different.

  4. Nice review, Lori! Lots of gray areas in this book.:)

    Was there a good reason for Juliana's "miraculous" (quoting Kaetrin) escape from having sex while being passed around the different men in the second half of the book?

  5. I'm glad you review this book, Lori... since it's on my list to read this month. Hmm, I'm not sure I'm going to like the story, but at least, I'm not going in blind ^_^;

    It sounds like an incomplete story to me though...

  6. Hey Hilcia, Yes, there was a fairly plausible explanation for Juliana's lucky escape. Although, it wasn't revealed until after her rescue, which I thought was interesting. I figured Hawkins wouldn't let her have sex with anyone else, but until that was revealed, I wasn't 100% positive, given the dark view of the aristocracy presented in the book.

  7. Nath, I wouldn't call it incomplete, although the ending was rather fast once it came. Not sure how to characterize it, really. I liked it, but was unhappy with it at the same time. No help, I'm sure.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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