"I thought to use you as a weapon to – er – punish him for something – he had once done to me."
"Is – is that why – why you made me your ward...?" she asked in a small voice.
He rose, and went to the window, and stood looking out. "Not entirely," he said, and forgot to drawl. [p. 394]
Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon, is wicked and charming and witty and very elegant: he's one of those characters whose appeal is plain on the page, but who would be insufferable -- or intolerable -- in reality. His reputation is appalling, and he lives up to it, but he does also have a strong sense of honour, and his machinations on Léonie's behalf seem oddly selfless for a man with a history of very public amours.
I didn't care for Léonie much on first reading. She's a survivor, and she's beautiful and charming and funny -- she wins the hearts of the Duke's family and friends -- but I don't find her temper or her forthrightness especially attractive. Still, hurrah for a spirited heroine and a happy ending!