Title: Lord of Scoundrels
Author: Loretta Chase
Narrator: Kate Reading
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.
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.