Review: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

I have enjoyed every single book in the Season for Scandal series by Kelly Bowen. In fact, I think this one was my favorite. It features Alex Lavoie, the male member of the Chagarre and Associates team. He’s also a spy of sorts and owner of a gaming hell. That is where he meets our heroine, Angelique.

She is something of a card shark. Brilliant with math. And it’s that skill she hopes to use to save her family from complete destitution. Both of her parents are dead and her brother, though a peer of the realm, is young and stupid. He drinks and parties and cares nothing for the fact that they don’t have enough money to run their household. So Angelique tries quietly to earn it at the card tables. She stays under the radar for the most part, but Alex has a sharp eye, and he is intrigued by her.

Instead of being angry that she keeps winning, he hires her for his club to help make him money. That’s how he gets wrapped up in her family drama. It’s drama that only gets worse when her brother gets accused of a crime he did not commit, and she has to turn to Alex and his special skills to figure out what’s going on and save her idiot sibling. In the meantime, of course, they fall in love.

I really enjoyed Angelique as the female lead. I liked that she uses her brain to solve her problems. She is very smart and she never whines or simpers about her dire straights. I liked unraveling the mysteries of Alex. I liked that there is nothing too huge and dark in his background for a change. Yes, he’s had some life changing circumstances that are worth exploring, but I’ve almost gotten to a point where in every book I read, there is a huge deep dark secret in the hero’s past and well, Alex’s backstory works quite nicely. I also enjoyed that while he fought against falling for Angelique, he didn’t fight all that hard. It was sweet to see him head over heels for this woman who society had rejected. He saw the beauty that so many others missed.

One other thing that I thought was cool, without giving away too much, was the fact that I did not figure out who the villains were right away. It completely made sense, but it’s fun when the mystery isn’t too obvious. There was one big clue as to why Angelique’s family was targeted, and that was enough to let you figure out just enough to feel smart and still be surprised at the same time.

The plot move quickly, the romance with satisfying, and the sex was good. Now all I need is a happy ever after for King. If you aren’t reading this series, it’s totally worth checking out.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Between the Devil and the Duke
by Kelly Bowen
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Forever


  1. When I tap the Goodreads button below, I get Katie Michaels?!? I thought I was following Jen on Goodreads, but haven’t been getting any reviews in my digest emails (never do get much from Goodreads with folks whose reviews I try follow), so I thought I’d try again from here. However, there seems to be a problem with the link?

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      Ha! You went to the right place, Nihcki. When I started writing, I adopted an author page on Goodreads. My books are written under the name Katie Michaels, but I’m still Jen. 🙂 All the reviews under “Katie Michaels” are mine. Sorry for the confusion and thanks for following me.

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