Desert Isle Keeper
London's Perfect Scoundrel
A DIKlassic Review
originally published on May 29, 2003
This is such a wonderful and engaging book! I always forget how much I enjoy Suzanne Enoch until I read another of her books. London’s Perfect Scoundrel features two incredible lead characters who change for the better over the course of the story – it was a joy to go along for their journey.
Evelyn is a definite society miss. She enjoys the frivolous pursuits of society and having a good time with her friends. Her brother Victor has returned from India and is hell-bent on pursuing a political career. He demands that Evelyn follow his dictates even though she begins to realize that she’s no longer having much fun.
She passes The Heart of Hope Orphanage one day and takes a long look at the children staring out at her. She makes a later trip with a bag of candy and some good intentions half-formed in her mind. Evelyn is told that if she wants to volunteer and make further visits, she must be approved by the board of directors. Unfortunately, the director is the Marquis of St. Aubyn, better know as “Saint,” and he has no intention of letting Evelyn assuage her missish guilt with the orphans in his care.
Saint, in spite of his directorship of an orphanage, is no do-gooder. He’s probably one of the most exquisite rakes I’ve ever met. He truly doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings except his own. When Evelyn steps into his path, he feels desire for her and his only thought is how to get her into bed and then move on to the next conquest. He certainly has no thought for the orphanage that his mother saddled him with upon her death. He believes Evie to be very much like his mother, caring about the orphans only when it’s convenient.
Yes, these two characters were definitely on the shallow, self-serving end of the spectrum. Evie and her friends, Georgiana (heroine of The Rake) and Lucinda, have each developed a “Lessons in Love” list for certain men of the ton. They created the lists to teach these men how to properly impress a lady. Evie decides that Saint is in serious need of a lesson and chooses to “educate” him, unaware of his own plan to ruin her. But Evie comes to genuinely care for the orphans and also realizes she’s attracted to Saint. Her family cares nothing about her opinions and only seem attentive when it furthers their own ambitions while, oddly enough, Saint listens to Evie and what matters to her.
Evie definitely turns the tables on Saint. As she continues to believe the best of him, he realizes that he wants her to believe in him and he changes his attitude. She is literally the only person who believes he might be a good person behind all the uncaring acts he has committed. Evie and Saint grow into characters that I liked and enjoyed. Saint’s journey was more painful for him, and as a result much more worthwhile to me as a reader.
The machinations surrounding Evie and her brother’s quest to obtain a Parliament seat served to illustrate what a creep Victor was, and unlike Evie, I wouldn’t want him in Parliament. And the book’s ending required a bit too much suspension of disbelief, but it fit with the story’s main focus.
London’s Perfect Scoundrel is a very entertaining romance about two selfish people who are redeemed by their love for one another. In spite of its contrived ending, I highly recommend it. If you are a fan of this author, I know you won’t be disappointed by this latest installment. If you’ve never tried her before, this is definitely a great place to start. I know I’ll be eagerly awaiting Lucinda’s book!