Book: Lord of Scoundrels
Author: Loretta Chase
Spoiler level: pretty HIGH
I have a friend who is holding off on reading specific books until she is elderly, so she has things to look forward to. I suppose it might have been smart to do that with this book, but actually I'm glad I didn't, because I am SO into it. It is delightful at every turn. A feast! Still, I’m trying to savor it, though I may yet gobble it all up in one sitting. Or maybe ravish it. Maybe even tonight!
At present, however, I am just a third of the way through. There is just one enchanting scene after another.
Sigh. The glove scene in the coffee shop. What do I even say about it?
He had relieved whores beyond counting of frocks, stays, chemises, garters, and stockings. He’d never before in his life unbuttoned a gently bred maiden’s glove. He had committed salacious acts beyond number. He’d never once felt so depraved as he did now, as the last pearl came free and he drew the soft kid down, baring her wrist, and his dark fingers grazed the delicate skin he’d exposed.Chase is exploiting the hell out of the rotating 3rd person point of view and I’m loving every minute of it. For example, with the two steamy kiss scenes that come after the glove, you’ll have Dain’s feverish POV in the moment, then Jessica’s, and then Dain’s again, but later, reflecting back in a heartbreakingly emotional way. One of my favorite examples of this so far is the way he reflects, hours later, on the kiss outside the ball:
He was too busy searching Dain’s Dictionary for a definition of his state—and too confused by what he read there—to realize that Miss Jessica Trent’s grey eyes had taken on the drunkenly bewildered expression of a respectable spinster being seduced in spite of herself.
…a firestorm of images, feelings, and one sweet, anguished moment…when she had kissed his big, loathsome nose…and cut his heart to pieces and put it back together again and made him believe he was not a monster to her. She had made him believe he was beautiful.
Lies, he told himself. They were all lies and tricks to trap him.
Reading this book, I feel like SUCH a girl. I love that Dain is not handsome, and emotionally wounded, and that Jessica wears all these silly hats and baubles that Dain hates, but then he keeps and treasures that one crushed hat from the rain scene. I love how clever she is. This book feels so well put together. The characters’ histories and goals make sense, and the way the peer groups work in - each with their own sorts of reputations to worry about - all dovetail so wonderfully.
I just got to the part where she shoots him (Katiebabs, I thought you were joking!) and I’m thinking both of them are about to have nothing to lose, which is a great place for characters to be, I suppose, unless you are SO worried about both of them like I am.
Some previous commenters seem to be on Dain’s side and some on Jess’. Do I have to pick sides? I want to love them both.