My choice for June’s Book Review Club is Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase, a historical romance set in 1828 Paris and England.
Loretta Chase has long been one of my favorite Regency/historical romance authors. This book balances her trademark humor with the hero’s emotional trauma.
The hero is Sebastian Ballister, the Marquis of Dane, known as the “bane and blight of the Ballisters”, a rake with a terrible reputation. The book starts with a chapter on Dane’s childhood, which is kind of a no-no in romance, but in this case was absolutely necessary. Without understand his miserable childhood, the adult Dane would have been complete unlikable, but knowing that there was a hurt, damaged child inside made a big difference. Still, there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into him.
The heroine, Jessica Trent, is the twenty-five-year-old spinster sister of one of Dane’s friends, Bertie Trent. Bertie isn’t the brightest candle in the room, so he’s easily led astray by Dane, whom Bertie tries to emulate. Unfortunately, Bertie can’t afford to lose money gambling, so Jessica and her grandmother Genevieve go to Paris to rescue Bertie from the clutches of the despicable Marquis of Dane.
Jess got all the brains in the Trent family, so she is more than a match for Dane. The clash between them is quite delicious, full of biting barbs and sexual tension. Jess is a marvelous heroine: smart, wise for her years, and Dane’s worst nightmare: a respectable woman who drives him mad with lust. Theirs is a volatile relationship, but really fun for the readers. Highly recommended for lovers of historical romance.
If you enjoy audiobooks, Kate Reading’s narration is brilliant. She does a fabulous job with all the different voices, accents and foreign languages, in this case French and Italian. (Dane’s mother was Italian.) Kate Reading is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.
Dear FCC: I bought this with an Audible credit and listened in the car.
As always, click on the graphic below for more great reviews in the Barrie Summy Book Review Club.
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