I would say the title is reaching a bit with this one since the only dukes that appear are not exactly main characters, but the alliteration is nice, and Alex is definitely portrayed as a bit devilish in the beginning, until the heroine gets to know his true self rather than the front he portrays to the public.
In my review of the previous novel, I had made a comment wishing for a few more twists before the happy ending, and this novel certainly delivers them. It’s funny, I was looking at Malin’s reviews/comments on this series, and she and I appear to have had opposite reactions (though we both liked both novels) – I wanted more twists for A Duke to Remember, while she could have skipped at least a little of the drama of Between the Devil and the Duke. Kind of nice that the same author can have enough variety between her novels to satisfy all readers in one trilogy.
Alex notices Angelique at his club at the gambling tables though she thinks she has cleverly disguised herself. However, after a minor ruckus with a patron, Alex invites her back to his office to offer her a job. He has noticed her skill at vingt-et-un (basically Black Jack as far as I can tell) and realizes that she has a certain skill with numbers (oddly enough, this is the second romance novel I have read this year with mathematically talented gambling leading ladies, even if I haven’t reviewed the other one yet – fingers crossed on that yet). He plans to use this skill to his advantage by having her be the house dealer rather than continuing to have this game simply involve players against players.
Since Angelique’s parents died, her family has been struggling financially. Her father mysteriously sold off large portions of land during their mother’s illness and after her death, but the money has disappeared. Her brother is better at spending money, drinking and philandering with his friends, so it is up to Angelique to support the family and find the funds for her two youngest brothers’ tuition. As a lady, there aren’t exactly many career options for her without giving away the fact that the family is broke, which is why she has been using her skills to gamble. Though she did not want to accept Alex’s job offer, after her brother takes her previous night’s winnings along with the advance from Alex, she has no choice but to take his offer.
When her brother is arrested for murder, she has nowhere to turn, especially after the one man with enough political power to help refuses to get involved. As a result, she turns to Alex for help to prove her brother’s innocence, and figure out why anyone might want to frame him.
Since Alex is Elise’s brother, his backstory isn’t exactly a surprise for anyone reading the series in chronological order (not that it’s necessary). While Alex likes to play the rogue, as the novel progresses, Angelique learns why Alex can understand her loyalty to her brother so much given his own family.
As I said earlier, I quite enjoyed all the twists and turns and misdirections that Alex and Angelique follow to eventually uncover the truth. While Alex fights against his desires because he doesn’t like to mix business with pleasure, their chemistry is strong, and Bowen doesn’t have them come up with excuses against pursuing each other longer than necessary.