3.5 stars because even after all the things that bugged me throughout, it was an entertaining read. No full review so I'm just gonna try to summarize a bit of what bugged me.
The plot was predictable, characters melodramatic (I did quite a bit of eye-rolling). It wasn't as dark as I thought it'd be, not even by half. I also agree with one review that says Dukes were the highest ranking peer, right after the Royalty, so Devlin being shunned by the Ton for whatever reasons was unbelievable. He was young, handsome with an air of mystery about him. He was as rich as, if not more, than Croesus. Any mama with a marriageable daughter would feel grateful if she could make him her son-in-law. No one cared about a Duke's private life or family drama. They wanted the social status that went with the marriage.
Even Lexi's father's (who is not a peer) dismissive attitude towards him was unbelievable.
Lexi was so 'perfect' in everything (from looks to deportment) that I found nothing special about her. And it felt like Devlin basically fell for her because of her beauty, since that's what he'd been waxing poetics about throughout, over and over again. A case of insta-lust, definitely. Love, maybe... don't know.
Last, but not the least, all the while Devlin stated that he was used to living his life the way he wanted to, society can go take a hike seeing how they treated him due to his family's scandalous past. He wanted Lexi more than anything in the world too. Then why, even knowing Lexi returns his affection, he'd balk several times citing reasons like she's his ward, that the society will shun her too etc. etc? Even when she said she didn't care about any of that? I mean, he lived by his own rules, nothing should've stand in his way to marry Lexi and make her his own! Very contradictory IMO. *SMH*
Good writing and had potentials but, as a whole, wasn't executed well enough.