title: Lord of Scoundrels
author: Loretta Chase
published: Avon (March 30, 1995)
genre: historical romance/classic romance
rated: 5 out of 5 A must read for fans of the genre.
Tough-minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain’s reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction…
LORD OF SCOUNDRELS
Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him… and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place—and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it!—Though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof… and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady’s considerable charms.
I have had Lord of Scoundrels sitting in my Nook for many years and I finally got around to reading it. This one is a popular classic in the genre and I had heard nothing but good things about it so I finally dove in. Google “best historical romance novels” and you will probably see this book pop up. This is book 3 in Chase’s Scoundrels Series but can be read as a stand alone. I’ve read Loretta Chase before but this one is my favorite by far.
Look at the original 1995 cover, a tad bit orangey looking for my taste, but so dramatic.
Well, can I say “Oh my gosh, this book!” That about sums it up. It was so good, so entertaining and very swoon-worthy. Books like this are why I love reading romance. Great sexual tension between the hero and the heroine. Check. Alpha male who is gruff and rugged with unconventional good looks, and is often referred to as Beelzebub. Check. I love a hero/anti-hero with a dark-side like that. A heroine who can take care of herself. Check. Nice descriptive backdrop. Check. Plenty of plot twists to keep the story moving. Check.
Lord of Scoundrels starts with a glimpse into Lord Sebastian Dain’s rough childhood. His parents are neglectful, his mother runs off with another man and he is teased mercilessly for his looks. His father sends him off to school where he spends most of his youth and graduates as a young adult. Sebastian grows up to depend on himself since he has no real family to show him love or care for him and he becomes a shrewd and wealthy business man. He does not believe in love and if he wants time with a female, he pays for one.
Cue Miss Jessica Trent. I liked her character from the moment she stepped onto the page. She is smart, sassy and independent. Her dream is to open up her own consignment shop and she has saved up enough money from buying antiques and reselling them to the wealthy. She knows this will make some people look down on her, a woman running her own store and supporting herself, but she doesn’t care. She has an eye for a good find, and she knows she can make alot of money buying and reselling antiques. Play on player!
First Jess has to help her younger brother who is in debt of course. Someone in historical romance novels is usually in debt. Her brother owes alot of money and he has been hanging around Dain in Paris and getting himself drunk and into even worse debt, so Jess wants to get Dain to unfriend him. Dain of course finds the whole situation amusing and decides to keep hanging out with the brother so he can still see Jess around. As the story flows, there is alot of sexual tension between Dain and Jess. I found myself swooning at some parts and saying ‘oh my god!’ at other parts. Plus there are funny scenes thrown in here and there. I won’t say too much more so not to spoil it, but the storyline just kept moving right along.
The writing was excellent, I was swept away. Dain speaks French and Italian. Chase is great with dialogue too, the back and forth between Dain and Jess was fantastic. I love a good kissing scene and this one delivered that in spades. Great kissing scenes were in abundance. Dain and Jess were great together and they were such a fun couple. There were plenty of twists and turns all the way through to keep the plot going.
I enjoyed the hate to love trope very much, because it makes it all the better when these two finally get together. There is alot of passion there. I also liked that Jess was always just one step ahead of Dain, she knew how to get into his head, in a good way. Look at these snippets:
“It would have eased Jessica’s mind, could she but have known, that she gave Lord Dain nightmares.”- p.42, Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
“It wasn’t amusing, either, to know it was better he didn’t come, and to want him here all the same and to hate herself for wanting it.
She had even left two dances unclaimed, in the mortifying hope that his Satanic Majesty would take a whim to haul her about the dance floor.”
p. 85, Lord of Scoundrels
Dain having had such a tough childhood and not being what people might view as conventionally handsome, believes himself unlovable. He has had bad luck with women and thinks he will never fall in love. Until of course, Jess comes along and changes everything. He can’t believe she could possibly want him, but she does. She fascinates him and she also open his eyes and helps him face his past. One of the main themes in the story-line is love without judgement, Jess accepts Dain flaws and all and makes him realize what real love is. This one has a slight beauty and the beast theme to it.
“You made me want you, he told her in his mother’s language. You’ve made me heartsick, lonely. You’ve made me crave what I vowed I would never need, never seek.”
p.95, Lord of Scoundrels
The love scenes had my Nook sizzling. I could quote the entire book, but here is one last favorite scene:
“This was what she’d needed, hungered for, from the moment she’d met him. He was a monster, but she’d missed him all the same. She’d missed every terrible thing about him…and every wonderful thing: the warm, massive, muscular body vibrating power, insolence, and animal grace…the bold, black eyes, stone-cold one moment and blazing hellfire the next…the low rumble of his voice, mocking, laughing, icy with contempt or throbbing with yearning.
She had wanted him from the start, without understanding what desire was. Now he’d taught her what it was and made her want more.”
p. 97, Lord of Scoundrels
I have Lord of Scoundrels on my Nook but I am going to have to buy a permanent copy for my shelves. This is one I will want to re-read again one day. If you are looking for a nice historical romance with fantastic writing and a sassy heroine and a brooding hero who is a softy on the inside, look no further.
I lied about that previous quote being the last one, here is a final favorite:
“He wanted it that way, because it was love that mastered him, happiness that shackled him. She was passionate chatelaine of his body, loving mistress of his heart.”
p.280, Lord of Scoundrels
about the author:
Loretta Lynda Chekani was born in 1949, of Albanian ancestry. For her, the trouble started when she learned to write in first grade. Before then, she had been making up her own stories but now she knew how to write them down to share. In her teenage years, she continue to write letters, keep a journal, write poetry and even attempt the Great American Novel (still unfinished). She attended New England public schools, before she went off to college and earned an English degree from Clark University.
After graduation, she worked a variety of jobs at Clark including a part-time teaching post. She was also moonlighting as a video scriptwriter. It was there that she met a video producer who inspired her to write novels and marry him. Under her married name, Loretta Chase, has been publishing historical romance novels since 1987. Her books have won many awards, including the Romance Writers of America RITA.
disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels #3) by Loretta Chase. Nothing in this post is available for download.
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