Monday, March 22, 2010
I like this cover - it's very sexy. He looks pretty hunky and for whatever reason I find the material of her dress eye-catching; I want to touch it.
Lady Ciara Sheffield is having a rough time of things: she was acquitted of her late husband's murder, but society still refers to her as the "Wicked Widow" and "Lady Murder". Her late husand's family continues to accuse her of murder and run her name through the mud in an attempt to get the inheritance left to her son, Perry. Ciara is a scientist, and performs experiments in her home lab, so the rumors of murder persist; there are several snide remarks made during the course of the book regarding the dangers of accepting a drink from her.
Lucas, The Earl of Hadley, "Mad Bad Had-ley" to his friends, is quite the rakehell. He is in the society papers continually with tales of women and drinking and gambling. His uncle Henry, who raised him after the death of his parents, has asked for Lucas' assistance. Henry is a scholar, and he's found an ancient manuscript that he can't translate. He thinks it contains a secret to health, but needs someone to break the codes. He is wheelchair bound and therefore physically unable to go, so he sends Lucas to ask Lady Sheffield if she would be able to assist him in translating the manuscript. There is instant chemistry between them, but she refuses Lucas' request. He approaches her friends, who are also lady scientists, and they work out a compromise: Ciara will translate the manuscript and Lucas will act as if they are engaged; to act as a protector of sorts against the accusations that have been surrounding her.
Their relationship takes off from there - it's fun to watch him try to seduce her while she challenges him to be less of a rake and more of a man. I don't normally like a hero who's got such a scandalous reputation, but I really did like Lucas. I liked watching him go from a devil-may-care to being concerned about Ciara's person and reputation. His interactions with her son Perry are very endearing. Usually I don't like kids in my Romances but Perry was a cute kid and a good showcase for what an honorable guy Lucas had the potential to be.
The secondary characters in this novel were well-rounded. Ciara's circle of friends were interesting and fun. As they discovered more about the manuscript I was pleasantly surprised at the secret it held (although historically inaccurate). Lucas' uncle and friends (well, some of his friends) were likeable and there was also a side story that was very sweet. I hated Ciara's in-laws, they were downright evil.
The events leading to the end of the story were a bit fantastical, but as I enjoyed the rest of the story I went with it. I wanted a HEA for these two and liked how they changed each other in different ways. My only complaint, and it's totally a personal issue, is the use of the word "Lud", as in "Lud, but he was a rake". I don't know why but it annoyed me and it seemed the author used it several times.
I give To Sin With A Scoundrel 3 1/2 stars, I'm looking forward to her next book, To Surrender To A Rogue, coming out in June.
I received this book from Hatchette Book Group free of charge in exchange for an honest revivew.