Lord of Scoundrels
by Loretta Chase
Release Date: January 1, 1995
Publisher: Harper Collins
Book #3 in the Scoundrels series
Number of Pages: 384
Ages 15 and up
CW: child abuse, gun violence
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 scandously 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 stell his heart to the sensuous, head strong lady’s considerable charms.
Another book recommended through the Fated Mates podcast (season 2 episode 12) and another winner. I adored this story! Jessica is tough and pragmatic. She does what needs doing with no fuss or muss. Unfortunately for her, that means often cleaning up the messes the men in her family make. In this case, her brother has gotten involved with a friend group that is not so great for his finances. The “leader” of said group is the notorious blackguard Lord Dain. The Marquess has a reputation for living life his way no matter who gets trampled in the process.
The pull Jess and Dain have from the moment they meet is electric. They want to hate each other but cannot help but be fascinated instead. No matter how much of a thorn in his side Jess is, Dain finds himself trying to earn her respect while acting as though he could care less what she thinks. Jess has a hard time hiding her attraction to Dain when he keeps slipping and being sweet with her.
When it comes to backstory, neither character had an easy life. While Dain had nobody in his corner and was beaten down, both physically and emotionally, Jess at least had her grandmother (such a fun and interesting character!) to bolster her confidence as she grew up. Dain trying to see himself the same way as he’s seen by Jess and others in his very inner circle is a big part of this story. He was told at a very young age that he was bad and even evil, over and over again, until that is all he believed about himself. That is a lot to dig out from underneath.
One of my favorite things in this story is the banter between Dain and Jess. Sometimes they got so into their zings at one another that it was as if anyone else in the room ceased to exist. It was fun and had me laughing out loud. I would be laughing one moment and sucked into the sexual tension the next. It was wonderful.
I cannot adequately explain how these two end up in a marriage of convenience without giving too much away, and you wouldn’t believe me anyway. It’s outrageous but perfect for this couple. It just works when it really shouldn’t. Just as there are too many layers to this story for a mere review to do it justice. Both of these characters grow so much throughout this story and it’s lovely to read about their journey.
Pingback: TTT: Favorite Books of 2022 | All In Good Time