by Loretta Chase
Series: Scoundrels #3
Narrator: Kate Reading
Length: 11 hrs 39 mins
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Audiobook Jukebox
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4,5 cups
"They call him many names, but "angelic "isn t one of them." -Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the Bane and Blight of the Ballisters, and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He s determined to continue doing what he does best sin and sin again and all s going swimmingly until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.
"She s too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world."-Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she s going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes. If saving him and with him her family and future means taking on the devil himself, she won t back down. The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible that the person who needs saving most is Jessica herself.
Readers have hailed Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase a favorite. It is the third book in the Scoundrels series and can be read as a standalone. I made a request to review the new audio release after some gentle persuasion by audio junkie pal, Loupe @ Hot Listens. I loved these characters and their wickedly delicious banter. I laughed, swooned and cannot wait to listen to it repeatedly. It has earned a place in my top ten reads.
We first meet Sebastian Ballister as a child and watch him develop into the devil the Marquees of Dain. We immediately feel sorry for this awkward unloved little boy and watch him grow into quite the scoundrel. Despite his behavior and looks, Chase made me fall in love with this tortured soul from the very first pages, and allowed that love to grow and bloom.
Jessica Trent was born in the wrong era. She is strong, confident, knowledgeable, a sound businessperson and forced to deal with her daft brother. I adored Jessica from her tenacious determination to her canny ability to see behind Dain’s cold exterior. When her brother begins cleaning out the family coffers, she learns he has befriended Dain and too many nights of gambling and woman will soon leave them in the poor house.
Dain and Jessica- When these two meet you can feel the air sizzle. They are the perfect storm of heat, passion, and anger (frustration). Words spring to mind when I think of them, “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Haters to Lovers.” The world sees Dain as ugly, with a huge nose and massive hands, but to Jessica he is gorgeous. Her attraction befuddles him. Their conversations and bickering wrapped in wit and Italian were among some of the best I have ever read. Chase created some of the funniest scenes between them; I laughed, cried and stopped to listen to scenes again. Just imagining this tiny wisp of a girl giving this giant a set down was delicious.
“Jessica, you are a pain in the arse, do you know that? If I were not so immensely fond of you, I should throw you out the window.” She wrapped her arms about his waist and laid her head against his chest. “Not merely ‘fond,’ but ‘immensely fond.’ Oh Dain, I do believe I shall swoon.” “Not now,” he said crossly. “I haven’t time to pick you up.”
“And so I beat him and beat him until he kissed me. And then I kept on beating him until he did it properly.”
“You refuse to listen. Because, like every other man, you can keep only one idea in your head at a time-usually the wrong one.”
“I love these pet names,” she said, gazing soulfully up into his eyes, “Nitwit. Sap skull. Termagant. How they make my heart flutter!”
“Dain kept his gaze on his plate and concentrated on swallowing the morsel he’d just very nearly choked on. She was possessive… about him.
The beautiful, mad creature – or blind and deaf creature, or whatever she was – coolly announced it as one might say, “Pass the salt cellar,” without the smallest awareness that the earth had just tilted on its axis.”
Lord of Scoundrels was a delightful tale that kept me enthralled and will forever be a favorite. The romance was slow building with moments of heat, passion and banter. Dain’s use of Italian love phrases curled my toes and seeing this tortured character grow was my undoing. The twists and turns made me laugh and gasp. Chase provided wonderful secondary characters and my favorite had to be Jessica’s Grandmother Genevieve. Wait until you meet her she is ornery and feisty.
Kate Reading is the narrator, and she did a wonderful job of reading this tale. She captured the characters from their wit to shock and made their banter come to life.
Fans of wicked banter, fleshed out characters, and the haters to lovers’ troupe will find this tale delightful. Listen to it, I promise it will make you smile 🙂