Monday, October 17, 2016

Wicked Rivals by Lauren Smith



Merciless and powerful, Ashton Lennox is a wealthy man because he puts business before everything else, especially love. As a member of the infamous League of Rogues, he’s no stranger to scandal. His bedroom conquests are as legendary as his fortune. As he searches for a way to bring down an old enemy bent on destroying the lives of his friends, the last thing he needs is a Scottish widow getting in his way.


The daughter of a Scottish lord with a dark and treacherous past, Rosalind Melbourne has spent years distancing from her past. After escaping her tyrannical father and marrying an aging English lord, she has become a powerful widow with a business empire at her command. Her business dealings are everything to her, leaving her no time for love. Especially not with her business rival Ashton, a man with a scandalous reputation as striking as his blue eyes.


Ashton is fascinated by the strong-willed, intelligent and sensual lady who, up until now, had outsmarted him at every turn. Rosalind wishes she could deny she is falling for the brooding, handsome baron. How can she possibly trust him when doing so could cost her what she values most—her freedom? When Ashton discovers Rosalind might hold the key to saving the League of Rogues, he knows he will do anything to woo his wicked lass. As their pasts return to haunt them and dark forces rise to keep them from exposing a deadly spymaster, their game of love turns to a game of survival…

Warning: This book includes a brooding baron who’s wild in bed, a crafty Scottish lass who never knows when to quit, a wicked game of strip chess, and a merry band of rogues whose first instinct is to run they hear wedding bells ring.

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Lauren Smith’s Wicked Rivals is an engaging, sensual story filled with romance and intrigue. The romantic tension between Lord Ashton Lennox and Lady Rosalind Melbourne has been building during the last two League of Rogues novels. Lord Lennox initiated an encounter between the couple in Her Wicked Proposal and was not amused when Lady Melbourne bested him! I have been waiting to read Ashton’s story - - and it exceeded my expectations! 

Lord Lennox and Lady Melbourne are fierce business rivals. Rosalind has outmaneuvered Lennox several times during the past few months. Lennox has lost several lucrative shipping contracts to the Scottish widow. Ashton sets a trap for Lady Melbourne when he meets with the heads of five of the largest banks in London. The end result of these meetings is a promise from each banker that Lady Melbourne’s credit will not be extended. Lennox’s friends have bought Lady Melbourne’s loans and he arranges to have the notes payable immediately. Rosalind has no money or credit and Ashton owns everything, including her home. 

Both Ashton and Lady Melbourne are strong characters. Ashton is a calm, cool entrepreneur who thrives on buying and selling companies and thinks in terms of possessing people and businesses. Rosalind is my favorite heroine in this series. She has survived her father’s cruel treatment, married well and has learned to make her way in the world of business. As a widow, she has more freedom than many women and she treasures it. Rosalind will not be owned by anyone. 

Lauren Smith has created a unique group of characters who have banded together to fight a common enemy, Hugo Waverley. Waverley’s presence is felt during each of the novels in this series. The reader learns of a new connection between Waverley and a main character. As the story intensifies, the reader learns that Waverley has placed spies within the League households and inner circle. The author provides a subtle clue as to how the reader can identify Waverley’s employees in the next novel. I enjoyed how the author blended the romance between Ashton and Rosalind with this suspense filled storyline. The pacing in Wicked Rivals is superb as each word, each scene leads the reader towards the novel’s stunning conclusion. I can’t wait for the next book in this series! 

Reviewed By Susan Gorman
Copy of the book provided by the author.
I enjoyed it so much that I bought it too!

Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night for Grand Central Publishing, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. To connect with Lauren, visit her at or twitter at

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