Sunday, June 9, 2013

Never Love a Scoundrel by Darcy Burke + Featured Freebie

Never Love a Scoundrel (Secrets & Scandals #5)
Vengeance is seductive…
Labeled a lunatic and a reprobate, Lord Jason Lockwood finds solace in debauchery outside the realm of Polite Society. Years after provoking Jason’s downfall, his bastard brother rises from the rookeries to emerge as the premier gentleman of the ton. Jason vows to uncover the supposedly reformed criminal’s secret motive and use it against him to exact revenge—even if it means using a beautiful young debutante whose only mistake is her relation to the woman who has ensured his family’s infamy.

But revenge is sweet
Lady Lydia Prewitt is everything a debutante should be: beautiful, dowried, and in possession of a sterling reputation. But life beneath the thumb of her malicious aunt is eroding Lydia’s faith in her peers and in herself. When the scandalous yet seductive Lord Lockwood solicits her help to gain entry into the best ballrooms, she jumps at the opportunity to be more than her aunt’s minion. But the revelation of his true purpose and the anger that lies beneath his scarred exterior draws her into his dark past. Intervention doesn’t come without a price—can she risk her own future to save his?

My Rating: 5 Roses

Things are not always as they appear. And in this book, we see a labeled lunatic and gossip who are not what everyone says they are. Full of secrets, family drama, and sweet romance, Never Love a Scoundrel was a fantastic read.

Lydia was labeled as a gossip, thanks to her malicious aunt. She's been forced to collect gossip for her aunt if she wants to remain in London for the season. She started out as kind of weak, under her aunt's thumb. But, as the book went on, she grew a backbone and stood up to the mean old dragon. She was a likable heroine-strong, determined, and willing to do anything for what she wants.

Jason had my heart as soon as he appeared on the page. He's not a perfect man. He host vice parties because normal ones are not open to him anymore. He has a deep and intense feud with his half brother that drives him to irrationality at some points. But, I still really liked him. He's been a victim of Lydia's awful aunt, who has made it her sole mission to ruin Jason. And, yet, he still defies society and does what he pleases. He was also such a sweet guy. Even though he was wary of Lydia's connection to her aunt, once he realized he loved her, nothing was going to stop him from winning her over. I though he was a perfectly flawed hero and I adored him.

The romance was mostly sweet, with just a hint of spice. Lydia and Jason were a lovely couple, both of whom were willing to sacrifice anything to be together. I loved them together.

The problems between Jason and his bastard brother, Ethan, played a huge role in the book. These problems began almost from day one, when Jason's father showed more preference to Ethan and flaunted his mistress (who was Ethan's mother) in his front of his wife (Jason's mother). Since then, the resentment only deepened. That relationship was very well done. Throughout the course of the book, the relationship between them began to heal and that progression was interesting to see. Ethan is getting his story in the next book and I'm curious to see how that turns out.

Another person who played a big role was Lydia's aunt (read, the most bitter old bitch I've ever seen). Wow, was her character nasty. Talk about a woman scorned. She had a bad experience in her past and, since then, has made it her hobby to ruin everyone who steps out of line. She was one awful woman. I don't think I've ever seen a more hateful character. Kudos to the author for that.

The plot was fast paced. There was plenty of family drama, scandal, and secrets to keep things interesting. And the ending tied up Lydia and Jason's story while leaving a hook for the next book that has me very curious to find out what happens with Ethan.

Never Love a Scoundrel was a wonderful historical romance. Lovers of the genre, you should definitely read this book.

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a historical romance that sounds interesting: The Rogue's Reluctant Rose by Daphne Du Bois. Go forth and get it for free!

Miss Araminta Barrington, clever, pretty and unexpectedly poor, bravely decides to sacrifice her own happiness in a marriage of convenience, in order to save her family from certain ruin. She sets out to win a proposal from the wealthy Sir Timothy Stanton while struggling with her guilt over using a good man so poorly.

Just when success is in sight, she catches the eye of Jasper Devereaux, the scandalous Marquis of Chestleton, whose own growing fascination with the enigmatic young woman compels him to pursue her at all costs. If he can only win her into his bed, his absurd fascination will surely evaporate!

Araminta knows that to be seen in Chestleton’s company could ruin her chances of securing a marriage that will save everything she holds dear. She knows that Chestleton is not the sort of man to take a wife, and with poverty looming, she knows that love is a luxury she cannot afford. When a riding accident forces her to be his unwilling guest at a secluded country house, will her undeniable attraction override her sense of duty? Will a night of passion really be enough for the dastardly lord? And does the strange bitterness she glimpses in his eyes have anything to do with the secrets he is determined to keep close?

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