AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

51vmq9hk1xl-_sl300_Title: Lord of Scoundrels
Author: Loretta Chase
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Kate Reading

Blurb:

They call him many names, but angelic isn’t one of them.

Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the “Bane and Blight of the Ballisters”, and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He’s determined to continue doing what he does best – sin and sin again – and all’s going swimmingly…until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.

She’s too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world.

Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she’s going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes. If saving him – and with him her family and future – means taking on the devil himself, she won’t back down. The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible that the person who needs saving most is Jessica herself.

MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely understand why this book lands at the top of so many historical romance best of lists, it really is a wonderful example of the genre.

The Marquess of Dain truly is a scoundrel, in every sense, and Jessica Trent is sassy, smart, determined, strong, and bold. She didn’t put up with Dain’s crap for a second. Their love story was believable and sexy. I loved their banter and inner thoughts were so witty and humorous, I found myself occasionally laughing out loud.

The cast of characters surrounding them were interesting and fun – especially Jessica’s grandmother.

The story has a Beauty & the Beast vibe that I am definitely feeling.

I’m going with 4 stars instead of 5 for the underlying “not like other women” theme that ran through the whole thing. I know this is a common theme in all romance, especially historical romance in which our heroines are usually well-bred virgins. It was, however, a bit too much in Lord of Scoundrels. I can accept a misogynist hero, changed by love, but I don’t like a heroine who joins in referring to every other woman as a tart, trollop, whore, etc – especially in this case. Jessica was extremely close to her sexually liberated grandmother and they both seemed to relish in shocking her brother with their openness about lust and sexuality, so it was pretty disappointing that once Jessica was married, we couldn’t go a chapter without her calling another woman a tart.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Kate Reading, who performed the story wonderfully.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

61rvm6tns3l-_sl300_Title: Say Yes to the Marquess
Series: Castles Ever After
Author: Tessa Dare
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Carmen Rose

Blurb:

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and… and…?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She’s inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother – even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride’s cold feet?

  • He starts with flowers. Ladies can’t have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
  • He lets her know she’ll make a beautiful, desirable bride – and tries not to picture her as his.
  • He doesn’t kiss her.
  • If he kisses her, he definitely doesn’t kiss her again.
  • When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown and vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
  • And no matter what, he doesn’t fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

MY THOUGHTS

A wonderful romance, a cast of (mostly) lovable characters – including a seemingly immortal bulldog, an interesting and sensical plot, plenty of laughs, plenty of steam. I would recommend this whole series, even to those who don’t typically enjoy historical romance.

Many historical romance authors try to create Strong Female Leads, but fall short of independence, settling for headstrong. Tessa Dare, though, crafts heroines who are truly independent, demonstrating that “independent” doesn’t mean “alone”. While the third book in this series, When a Scot Ties the Knot, is my favourite story, Cleo and Rafe are my favourite couple. The way Cleo values and believes in herself, despite her family telling her she’s not good enough and her betrothed never making good on his promises, was moving. Rafe, on the other hand, holds himself in rather low-esteem. It’s lovely to have a couple save each other and life one another up the way Cleo and Rafe do.

I listened to this audiobook and Carmen Rose has a lovely voice. Her characterizations are fun to listen to and don’t go over the top. She is clearly a skilled voice actor and I look forward to listening to her more. However, she speaks reeeeeaaaaallly slowly, so I listen to her at 1.6x speed.