Monday, March 22, 2010

Review: To Sin With A Scoundrel by Cara Elliott

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.


  1. Hmm. I think "Lud" would bother me, too. I'd be thinking "Luddite" the whole time.

  2. You're a more generous reader then I am. I had trouble with this one-couldn't get past the second chapter.

  3. Chris: I kept thinking of Stephen King's The Waste Land (Dark Tower series) where they go to the Cradle of Lud. Creepy.

    Buckeye Girl: I had to set it down and then restart (wasn't in the mood for historical at the time) but I did enjoy it.

  4. I have this book in my TBR pile... and I love the title cuz I always think it is something else when I look at it and it makes me laugh... My mind is evil like that, lol!!!
    Great review honey!

    LOL ->"My only complaint, and it's totally a personal issue, is the use of the word "Lud"
    I will keep this in mind when reading, lol!
    Thanks for the push!
    I hope you had a great weekend and a wonderful Monday!

  5. Since I don't even know if I have heard that words before..well yes then it would annoy me too

  6. Cecile: Hope you like it. Hope you have a great day too!

    Blodeuedd: I guess it's supposed to be slang for "Lord" but it just came off funny.

  7. Wonderful review! For some reason I hardly ever read historicals, but I don't know why ;)

  8. Lud, this is a nice review ;)

  9. Nice review! I have this one on my TBR plie, can't wait to read it! :)

  10. Janna - I haven't been reading many historicals lately, I don't know why.

    Mandi - you made me spit out my drink!

    Hilda - hope you enjoy it, it was sweet.

  11. LOL re Lud. I noticed it but it didn't really bother me. Great review Patti.

    What I really liked about this story was certainly the progression of the romance but also the camaraderie between Lucas and his friends. I thought they were a hoot.

    I too am looking forward to Allessandra's story. Will have to see.

    Thanks Patti

  12. Lea: I really did like Lucas. Even though he was a man-whore, he reformed nicely!