I recently finished listening to the Audible edition of Jennifer McQuiston’s The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel. This is the third book in The Seduction Diaries, and features Geoffrey Westmore, who fans of the series will remember as the younger brother of the heroines of the first two Seduction Diaries books.
We are also introduced to Miss Mary Channing, who is twenty-six years old and has never been kissed. She first encounters “West” (as Geoffrey is called) urinating on a rose bush in her sister’s garden. Needless to say, she is not impressed. They meet again when West follows her to the library at a party. He thinks that she is looking for an assignation, but she is only looking for a book. While in the library, they overhear an assassination plot. And then they share a kiss. And then everybody walks in and sees them kissing. So much scandal!
Mary and West are an unlikely pair- she likes reading and writing in her journal, and he likes drinking excessively and playing pranks. But somehow, they work well together. West would like to conduct an investigation into what he overheard, but Mary insists upon joining him. West is reluctant, but Mary is persistent. But if they ask too many questions, they might be putting their own lives in danger!
This was an especially interesting book. Not only do we have the usual romance trope of two unlikely souls thrust together, but we also have a mystery. Mary and West both feel compelled to try to uncover the conspiracy even though they do not even know the target of the assassination plot. The mystery was very well done, and even though I figured out half of it, the other half came as a complete surprise.
I would recommend The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel. The books in this series function well as standalones, and you don’t have to read the first two books before reading this one. There is a particular delight in seeing the pesky little brother all grown up, but even if you read The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel first, you’ll still enjoy seeing West as a young boy in the first book in the series. This is going to be the last McQuiston book for the foreseeable future, but I certainly hope she comes back to writing when she can. Until then, I am going to have to catch up on her books that I haven’t read yet.