Title: Lord of Scoundrels
Author: Loretta Chase
I saw the rave reviews, so I picked up the book. While I liked it, not sure it was worth the hype and I’d probably have liked it better if I wasn’t expecting so much.
Jessica- she is, of course, perfect. Absolutely perfect. Beautiful, slim, elegant. A femme fatal. And a spinster because … Well, I’m not sure why. But she did help raise 10 male cousins, so not only perfect, but she can shoot, punch, and enjoys wrestling. Really, truly perfect. Oh, and she finds priceless art pieces others overlook. And knows all about “the deed” even though she’s a virgin. I liked her dialogue, and the fact she owns up to her feelings. I mean, she’s so perfect she demands they give her husband’s illegitimate son a home with them.
Lord Dain– had a horrible childhood and is reflected in the man he is. He shuns polite society and has set himself up as the lord of sin and debauchery, taking any fool who goes along with him to ruin. He uses laughter to deflect from his true feelings, and he drinks and whores to soothe his loneliness. He’s got the strength and arrogance of an alpha lead, but with these tragic undertones so he can be redeemed in the end.
Jessica’s brother is in over his head with Dain, and Jessica is in Paris to bring her brother home. She meets Dain at an antiques shop, and sparks fly. This is where she unearths a rare and very valuable Russian icon that no one else notices.
When she refuses to sell the icon to Dain, and they make a public scene, Dain decides to destroy her brother to get even with her.
When she storms his house to get her brother back, more romantic hijacks ensue. Somehow, after a couple of meetings, their lust overcomes their sense and they are kissing in the rain on a public street.
Of course Society wants to see Dain fall, so they invite the two of them to a ball and make sure everyone knows they’re both invited. Why either of them shows is beyond me, but they do, and the sexual attraction gets the better of them. At a ball. Where they know everyone is watching them.
Surprise! They get caught. Dain acts the scoundrel and leaves her knowing he’s ruined her and she will never be accepted into polite society again.
With nowhere to turn, Jessica hunts Dain down and shoots him. She is such a good shot, she only gives him the flesh wound she intended. After their lover’s quarrel, of course the Parisian authorities press no charges… Not sure what she thought this would get her.
The nobleman courting Jessica’s grandmother gets her in touch with an attorney who helps her bring a lawsuit against Dain for defamation among other things, and demands recompence so Jessica can afford to go far away and start a new life after ruining her.
Dain says for that price, he’ll marry her and take breeding rights as well. He’s such a great catch…
Insulting as it is, she has to accept as the offer of marriage nullifies her lawsuit. If she scrapes together her pride and says no, she’ll be a penniless outcast.
They’re wed, and while the sex between them is apparently amazing, Dain continues to shut her out emotionally despite how much he loves her and wants her to love him.
They end of the story is how he comes to terms with his childhood, his love for her, and his illegitimate son all so she’ll love him.
Overall, the plot was thin, but not uncommon in Regency Romance. And, frankly, I’m okay with that. I have seen too many outlandish plots as of late. While I can accept that the plot is simple, the heroine was a bit too perfect. If you go for the brooding, alpha male, this will be your thing.