Friday, June 22, 2007

Lord of Scoundrels

Review for Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase:

Whoo-hoo! Lord of Scoundrels is quite a book; no wonder so many people name it as their favorite romance novel. In it, Jessica Trent travels to Paris to rescue her brother from the sinful underworld of Lord Dain, Marquess of Athcourt. As soon as they meet, however, their mutual attraction explodes, and they fall into a sort of courtship that neither wants. Soon they find themselves married, forced to learn how to get along, and facing Dain's numerous personal demons.

Jess is 27, and should rightly be considered a spinster, but no one thinks of her that way. She's too clever, fierce, sexy, and cool. She understands Dain, is unashamed of her own feelings, and is unafraid to share them.

No, the fear is left to Dain. Though he hides his insecurities well, they make him cruel and distant. He has no use for women, who are mostly repulsed by his ugly face and his well-earned nickname, Beelzebub. But behind his cold exterior lies a serious case of self-loathing, and a conviction that no one could ever love or even be attracted to him. Much of the novel deals with these problems, because the marriage can go nowhere until he and Jess handle them.

The first half of the novel is sheer genius. From the moment Jess and Dain meet, their attraction is palpable. The combination of 2 intensely forceful characters is thrilling. Moreover, Chase's writing is fantastic. Her words run smoothly, and she is well-read, with a great sense of humor. I also liked that she described and explored the characters' thoughts, placing a greater emphasis on the mind than on action or storyline.

There are some downers to the book. After the 2 marry, the story becomes less exciting, less interesting. Jess is open and generous towards Dain, and Dain gets over a lot of his dilemmas. All of this is important, it just wasn't as fun as the first half of the book.

But that first part is so perfect that I can hardly allow the second half to detract from it. Dain and Jess are two of the best heroes I’ve read in any romance, and Chase is an excellent writer. I give Lord of Scoundrels an A-.

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