Angelique Breedlove and her business partner Delilah were on the brink of having to give up on their boarding house when an agent came in and rented their best room for his client for his convenience. All of the previous novel occurred without their mystery guest, but now he is here.
Lucien Durand, Viscount Bolt, has returned to London after years abroad. In fact, most of society thought he had died, drowning in the Thames a decade before after a night of drinking. Turns out, he only nearly drowned, and he used his time away to build a trading fortune. Now, he wants to confront the person he blames for his almost drowning. However, Angelique Breedlove might be a distraction from his mission of vengeance.
While Angelique likes to tease her friend Delilah about men, she doesn’t need to get wrapped up with one ever again. They are a distraction, and only lead to ruin. After all, her father kicked her on the streets after she was seduced by a man, and then when she became someone’s mistress, he up and died on her without any inheritance. She is finally in the position to be self-reliant and she is not going to ruin it with distractions.
Of course, given their living situation, Angelique and Lucien’s cross paths. As it turns out, while Lucien has a sharp and dry wit, he is not nearly as scandalous as his former exploits would have led her to believe. In fact, they both have quite a bit of baggage and hurt in their past, and one of the big things both need to learn is how to let others help them rather than being entirely independent.
Now, I had assumed The Palace of Rogues would focus on the various staff and owners finding love with the former lady’s maid being next, but based on the character introductions in this one, it looks like the next novel will focus on two of the guests. This certainly expands the series since under the original premise, Long would have run out of main characters after three, maybe four, novels if one includes the cook. Which, I am not complaining, more Long is always a good thing, especially historical romances.