This book is considered to be one of the best historical romance novels of all time, and it launched the modern iteration of the genre. I’ve had this book for a few years, where it lingered in my TBR queue.
But then some of my favorite authors were talking about it on Twitter, and some of them were reading it for the first time. My curiosity got the better of me, and I finally started reading.
The Marquess of Dain has been alone for most of his life. His mother absconded, and his father dropped him off at Eton and never came back for him. Dain inherited an estate encumbered by debt, and through sheer will and cunning, amassed a fortune. He has an entourage of hangers-on, but he doesn’t really have close friends.
Jessica Trent travels to Paris to retrieve her brother Bertie, who has fallen in with Dain. Bertie doesn’t have the sense that God gave a goose, and it’s time for him to return to England.
Naturally, Jessica crosses paths with Dain, and what ensues is the most delightful strategic maneuvering that I have ever seen. At first, there’s nothing but antipathy, but then there’s a shift in their dynamic.
Jessica has gone long enough with a man, and she doesn’t need one now.
Dain once lost everything to what he thought was love, and he is determined not to repeat the experience.
The plot is absolutely bananas. I can’t say anything more about it without giving too much away, but there were so many twists and unexpected happenings- I never knew what was going to happen next.
Ultimately, this is a story of love and redemption and learning to trust. Dain and Jessica are perfect for each other, and Dain would have figured that out much sooner if he wasn’t so stubborn. He’s used to getting his way through intimidation, but Jessica never backs down. In a matter of months, she breaks down the barriers that he spent years building.
I would recommend Lord of Scoundrels. It’s such a lovely book full of memorable characters who are truly original. There’s a nice balance between sardonic and poignant, and there’s a seamless transition between these vastly different moods. I’m almost ashamed to admit that this is the first Loretta Chase book that I’ve read, but I’m already hooked, and I’ll be adding more of her books to my (never-ending) reading queue.