By Loretta Chase
“I love these pet names,” she said, gazing soulfully up into his eyes, “Nitwit. Sap skull. Termagant. How they make my heart flutter!”
“We’ve been wed more than a month. Since it appears you mean to stay, I might as well give you leave to call me by my christian name. It is preferable, at any rate, to ‘clodpole.”
Lord of Scoundrels has been on my TBR list for more than 20 years. It is probably on more “best” lists than any other traditional historical romance. It is considered by many as one of the best ever written. I was very happy that from the first chapter, it lived up to its press. What a refreshing turn of events!
And this is despite the Marquess of Dain being one of my least favorite types of heroes. But we are given enough of a glimpse into his childhood to make his current personality sort of understandable. He is still over the top with his alpha powerful maleness and bad behavior, but it is caused by a lack of self-esteem and body dysmorphia. His self-loathing gets a little tedious, but it is more than balanced by our heroine, Jessica Trent. She is a force of nature, full stop. She is never intimidated by him, not the least little bit. She has his number from the very beginning and he doesn’t stand a chance. When they cross swords, she always comes out the winner. He is playing Go Fish, and she is playing Chess. Yet somehow, he is worthy of her. He is intelligent, witty, usually fair-minded, not to mention all of the other physical attributes alpha romantic heroes possess. In one noteworthy scene Jessica walks into an orgy Dain is participating in and shoots him. The bullet hits his arm, and he is paralyzed there for almost the rest of the whole book. He doesn’t have a temper tantrum or sulk about it, plot revenge, or, indeed, blame her in the slightest. He just gets on with it, and it is hardly referred to. Their interactions were exciting, dramatic, fun, and funny throughout.
I listened to it on Audio, and the narration of Kate Reading really brought out both of their personalities. I wish there were more books that would bring back this couple, especially a sequel about Dominic or future offspring. There appear to be more in the series, but they seem to be unrelated. In any event, on the next occasion, I have a hankering for a historical romance, 5 will get you 10 it will be another book by Loretta Chase.**4 1/2 stars**
September 19, 2021