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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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Lord I Left by Scarlett Peckham (2020)

The Secrets of Charlotte Street, Book #3

Heat Factor: I’m way too prim and proper to tell you how smouldering this gets, but it burns

Character Chemistry: I have never been so distraught thinking that two people were doomed to be apart in my entire life, honest truth

Plot: Alice learns that her mother is at death’s door and accepts Lord Lieutenant Henry Evesham’s invitation to deliver her home as quickly as possible despite his role as an evangelical reformer tasked with investigating the sex worker trade and recommending changes. This is nuts, because Alice is currently a housekeeper in training to be a whipping girl at a house of pleasure in London…

Overall: Look, take everything you thought you knew about sex work and faith and romance novels about the above and just toss it out the window because this book is about to shake you to your BOOTS, I’m telling you

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Miss Bennet’s Dragon by M. Verant (2021)

Austin Fantasy, Book #1

Heat Factor: It’s mostly about the pride and the prejudice and the pining

Character Chemistry: More readily apparent than in the original

Plot: It is Pride and Prejudice, but it is also a completely brand new fantasy story

Overall: It was about 30% longer than I expected, but I very much enjoyed the composition of this book.

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Review

Review: The Hellion’s Waltz by Olivia Waite (2021)

Feminine Pursuits, Book #3

Reviews of Feminine Pursuits, Book #1 and Book #2

Heat Factor: There’s some passion

Character Chemistry: It’s obvious that they like each other

Plot: This swindle keeps getting more and more out of control

Overall: It was kinda busy

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Review

Review: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen (2017)

A Season for Scandal, Book #3

Review of A Season for Scandal, Book #2

Heat Factor: Steam city!

Character Chemistry: For the first time, her skills are appreciated. 

Plot: Angelique is desperate for money, so she’s been counting cards at the vingt-et-un table at Alexander’s gaming club. (NEVER DO THIS.) When she gets caught, Alexander offers her a job. And then her brother is arrested for murder. 

Overall: This is the most romantic suspense-y of Bowen’s books I’ve read, but it works pretty well

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