Their scandalous pasts have left them wounded and unworthy—and hopelessly perfect together.
Sebastian de Leon is adjusting to life after three years spent enthralled by blood magic. The atrocities he committed under its control still weigh heavily on his conscience, but when he’s asked to investigate a series of mysterious murders, it feels like an opportunity to make amends. Until he realizes the killer’s next likely target is a man who witnessed Sebastian at his worst—the Viscount Fine.
Lord Fine—known as Wesley to his friends, if he had any—is haunted by ghosts of his own after serving as a British army captain during the Great War. Jaded and untrusting, he’s tempted to turn Sebastian in, but there’s something undeniably captivating about the reformed paranormal, and after Sebastian risks his own life to save Wesley’s, they find common ground.
Seeking sanctuary together at Wesley’s country estate in Yorkshire, the unlikely pair begins to unravel a mystery steeped in legend and folklore, the close quarters emboldening them to see past the other’s trauma to the person worth loving beneath. But with growing targets on their backs, they’ll have to move quickly if they want to catch a killer—and discover whether two wounded souls can help each other heal.
I have been waiting for Lord Fine to get his own book ever since his first memorable appearance as a secondary character in Therin’s Magic in Manhattan series. Finding out that Sebastian, who also appeared as a secondary character, was the love interest, made me even more excited. Needless to say, this book was 100% worth the wait.
This is a delightful “enemies to lovers” romance. Wesley and Sebastian spend most of the book loathing each other, so it’s extra satisfying when they give in to the attraction they’re trying to ignore. Either way, their banter is top notch both, making for many funny moments throughout the book.
As this is a spinoff, starting with the Magic in Manhattan series is not a requirement, but the paranormal goings-on will make more sense for readers who are familiar with the dynamics of this magical world. Also, as a fan of the series, I appreciated the opportunity to delve deeper into Wesley’s character and discover that there is so much more to him that the snob who used to date Arthur. I also liked that so many of the secondary characters from the main series appeared here as well.
I would absolutely recommend Proper Scoundrels. The main trilogy wrapped up nicely, but I was not quite ready to say goodbye to the Magic in Manhattan world. This book was a much-needed extra helping of one of my favorite series. I read the whole thing in about two days, which is hardly a record, but it brought me such happiness in the middle of my hectic life, and I am so grateful for the respite from the real world. I’m not sure what Therin has coming up next, but I’m already excited for it.
I received a digital ARC of this book from Carina Press/NetGalley.