Dueling Review, Recommended Read

Dueling Review: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (1995)

This month, as part of talking about morality chain romances, we all read Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. It comes up frequently as a “canon” romance, but none of us had read it before. Spoiler alert: we all really liked it.

Scoundrels, Book #3

Let’s start by each giving our metrics for the book:

Holly

Heat Factor: Purple prose alert!

Character Chemistry: Sarcasm abounds. Also, she tells him that he’s sensitive and he’s baffled but she’s not wrong. 

Plot: Jessica must rescue her brother from the clutches of the Marquess of Dain. He compromises her. She shoots him. They get married. 

Overall: ZOMG. The plot gets a little saggy towards the end, but I still had a blast.

Erin

Heat Factor: Kissing in the RAIN! 💕 But yeah, standard histrom fare albeit on the steamy side

Character Chemistry: She’s competent AF and he’s a man baby, and they’re both super besotted, so it’s pretty excellent, in fact

Plot: antagonists → spouses → exasperated (Jessica)/emotionally constipated (Dain) → lovers

Overall: Bottom line, this is simply a very fun read

Ingrid

Heat Factor: Oh, my.

Character Chemistry: Had Dain been with any other woman, I would have hated it…but since he was with Jess…swoon.

Plot: Dain is fully committed to a life of debauchery when he meets Jessica, who is a spinster and really doesn’t have any time for his nonsense unless he’s got her pressed up against a wall. Once he ruins her and refuses to do the right thing, she shoots him, they negotiate, and they’re pretty much in a bout of emotional fencing until the book ends.

Overall: Obsessed.

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Review

Review: Love is a Rogue by Lenora Bell (2020)

Wallflowers vs Rogues, Book 1

Heat Factor: The hanky panky scenes are steamy but

Character Chemistry: The romance feels a tad forced and the couple seems kind of ill-fitting so

Plot: When bibliophile Lady Beatrice Bentley inherits a small property, she grudgingly hires the carpenter who lives and works on her brother’s property to complete the work as she struggles to retain it. They don’t seem to have much in common and they certainly don’t live in the same social spheres, but they’re drawn to one another nonetheless.

Overall: It was a lovely read but I did struggle to see how the couple fit together and the “teasing” was a little clumsy

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Review

Review: His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare (2019)

Heat Factor: PG-13…mostly

Character Chemistry: good enough to scratch the friends to lovers itch

Plot: Navigating a marriage of convenience between friends who are also secretly in love

Overall: a fluffy, fun read

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Review

Review: The Bluestocking by Christi Caldwell (2019)

Wicked Wallflowers, Book #4

Heat Factor: Regency romance fare

Character Chemistry: emotionally solid

Plot: Everybody calm down while we figure out the return of the lost heir

Overall: Heavy but satisfying

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Review

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen (2018)

Devils of Dover, Book 2

Heat Factor: The sex scenes are excellent and well-integrated 

Character Chemistry: They are both soooooo morally upright, so I guess they are perfect for each other

Plot: Earl presumed dead returns, runs into former friend’s former fiancée, woos her for himself

Overall: Not my favorite of Bowen’s oeuvre

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