The Dukes of Ripley, Ashmont and Blackwood are known throughout London as the Disgraces and have gone past the point of being rakes to being considered unmarriageable. This is rather uncommon since men are usually forgiven their wild side in these stories but the three friends have made it a habit of going too far. While they may be seen as untouchable by their peers, the workers actually are rather found of them because despite all their fighting and carousing (or perhaps because of it), they are actually in the habit of paying their bills and any damages caused promptly and generously.
Olympia is the eldest daughter in her family. Unfortunately her parents are loving spend thrifts so Olympia has long been the pragmatic family member trying to manage everything. As a result, she agrees to marry Duke Ashmont after he pursues her, thinking she won’t have better offers and that is the right thing to do for her family. While Olympia is fond of the Duke, she is also incredibly nervous about the wedding and drinks just enough before the wedding to become reckless and run away. Ashmont, on the other hand, asked her to marry him after all this time spent carousing because she treated him with kindness, and seems to truly want this union. Despite this, he too is thoroughly drunk on his wedding day, leaving his friend Ripley in charge of going after the runaway bride and keeping her safe.
When removed from her family and her responsibilities, the bookish Olympia finally has a chance to let the more adventurous part of herself loose, and the chemistry between her and her fiancé’s friend soon becomes apparent. While Ripley is one of the Disgraces, and they have competed for women before, falling for a fiancé is a line even he never thought to cross. Ripley fights against his feeling as he finds himself drawn towards Olympia while also blaming Ashmont for not being a better suitor who left Olympia excited about her wedding day rather than anxious. Not to mention that it would have been nice if Ashmont had stayed sober enough to pursue his own bride and prevented him from even getting into this situation.
I quite enjoyed this novel though I felt like it lost some steam halfway through, once the Ripley and Olympia actually admitted to their feelings for each other. The escape from the wedding and the misadventures were so much fun that it was almost disappointing when the tension ended. I am looking forward to see where the next two novels in this series go as it follows the other two difficult dukes, and I really hope there is a novella about Aunt Julia and Uncle Fred.