Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Book Description:
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 Lord Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction... Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him...and then for 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 this means marriage, so be it -- though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remian aloof...and steel his heart to the sensuous, head strong lady's considerable charms.

This is one of those legendary romances I've heard about, always in the top 10 list of best romances out there - now I know why. It was great! Great story, hot alpha hero (with his own particular insecurities, as usual), smart, clever heroine who is hero's foil and downfall and a compelling romantic storyline that gets better and better as the book goes on. In addition, the bedroom scenes are sexy as well! ;) This was my kind of romance!

Book three in the Scoundrels Series by Chase, it is by far the best so far, though Book 2 was very good as well. This is the story of Lord Dain, born to a cold English lord and a high strung Italian noblewoman who runs off with her lover when he is eight, he has an unhappy childhood. Considered homely with a big nose, blackamoor dark skin and a body he hasn't grown into yet, he is teased as a boy at Eton. To make up for it he becomes an indomitable force to be reckoned with as a young man. He becomes known as the Devil and no one crosses him ever again. He amasses a fortune and develops a reputation, one who does not travel in polite society, prefering the salons of the demimonde: whores, courtesans, roues and other rakes like himself. Tall, broad in shoulders, handsome with dark Italian good looks and a Roman nose that Caesar would envy, he is not the sort to marry. Most women cringe or are scared of him.

Jessica Trent meets Dain while trying to get her brother, who has a major hero worship devotion to Dain, out of Paris and away from Dain's bad influence. Her brother is too much of an idiot to stop himself and smart, clever and determined Jessica is. She winds up being the perfect foil for Dain. She bests him over and over again and the two have an interesting courtship. She admits to herself right off the bat she is in lust with him, but he has a harder time of coming to grips with the fact he's besotted with her. One of my favorite parts of the book is a scene in the rain by a lampost and I like her nickname for him, Lord Beezlebub. The Great Dain doesn't even consider respectable women - much less a bluestocking sister of one of his annoying minions. The whole play between them is delicious and delightful to read about. Can Jess bring Dain down a peg? Will he lose his heart to her? What will happen next between them? I devoured this book in one day, it held my attention and I didn't want it to end.

Jessica and Dain, due to an unfortunate series of events are caught in a compromising position and must marry. The whole lead up to this event and the occurence is great to read and very entertaining. Their marriage night though is not what you'd expect. Dain becomes overwrought at the idea of deflowering a virgin and puts it off, but Jess is having none of that. She takes the bull by the horns and seduces him, it's very well done and I really enjoyed seeing how she gets around him, for he vows he will not be managed by a wife. Yet, over time he realizes, maybe being managed isn't such a bad thing afterall. There are compromises they both need to make and it was a pleasure to read this book all the way through to the end. The basic gist of the story is, can an uber male like Lord Dain overcome the series of heartaches he suffered as a child to let love into his heart and not repeat the same mistakes his father did? Can Jess tame this proud, brawling lummox of a man and show him how easy it is to open his heart?

Chase's heroines are all smart and clever women. Albeit virgins, they have backbones and are not shy and timid. That's one of the things I love about the women in her books, as well as their grandmother's who seem to be made of stronger stuff as well. I think I'd like to read romances based on them in their youth, they'd make good stories too! We also see some of the characters from Book 2, Captives of the Night although from a different perspective which I liked!

A great, great romance - a must read, I highly recommend it!



Maija P. said...

This really was a fantastic book. I always heard good things about it and finally picked it up last spring - and loved it. It deserves all the praises!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Maija - Glad you agree! Did you read the other books in the series too?

Blodeuedd said...

It sounds good indeed. I am liking that hero. You have me interested now and i have never read a novel by her either

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Blodeuedd - I'm surprised you've never read anything by her yet. The first book in this series, I wasn't crazy about, but the next two made up for it.

The_Book_Queen said...

Great review, Julie! ;D

I'm so glad you loved this book! It's been a while since I read it myself, but it's still towards the very top of my favorite historical romances! Wonderful characters, plot, and writing. In other words, practically perfect in everyway! :D


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

TBQ - yes, I agree with everything you said, I'm already missing these characters and wish I could go back into their world! A near perfect romance! Are her other books and series as good - or is this a fluke?

Maija P. said...

I actually haven't read other books in that series, but will correct this "mistake" in the future ;) I've read one or two other books by her and really like her style. So I will definitely be buying more from her!

Penelope said...

Julie!!!! I can't believe you just read this book for the first time. (I guarantee it won't be your last!)--you are right that it is "legendary" and for good reason. It's like a little bit of heaven wrapped up in an awesome cheesy book cover (I, too, have a copy with the old cheesy cover which I adore!). This book is as close to perfection as you can get in romance...and I think Jessica and Dain are one of the greatest romance couples ev-ah! So glad you liked it!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Penelope - LOL, yes this cover is cheesy, but I like it better than the other one, which doesn't seem to represent the passion in the book at all! This cover at least gives you the impression that they have a tempestuous romance (the the guy on this cover looks nothing like Dain - I wanted to see his nose!) I have to concur, the book is perfection, such an enjoyable read!

Renee said...

Oh, this is one of my all time favorite historicals, and reading your review makes me want to read it again!
I LOVE how Jessica coddles Dain, and tells him he's too high-strung. Makes me laugh every time I think of their interactions.
Great review, Julie! :-)

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Renee, thanks for commenting - yes, I love it how she says he's high strung too and also how she always calls him Lord Beezlebub - they're a great match, one of the best I've read about!

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