Love with the Perfect Scoundrel
Grade : C-

Love with the Perfect Scoundrel began well and I settled down to what I thought would be an enjoyable read. However the book had just about the saggiest middle I have seen in some time and I got very bored with it.

Grace Sheffey, Countess of Sheffield, is an object of gossip for the ton. The lovely young widow has been engaged and jilted twice since she came out of mourning. Naturally, that gives the gossips something juicy to talk about and finally, Grace has had enough. Planning to go back to her childhood home on the Island of Man, Grace takes a carriage with her elderly friend Mr. Brown. When a blizzard strands them, Mr. Brown goes for help, but before he can return, Grace is rescued by Michael Rainer and just in time since she is about to freeze.

Michael saves Grace’s life by stripping them both naked and then getting in bed to warm her up. Naturally this breaks the ice between them quite quickly. Michael is newly returned to England after spending some time in America as a blacksmith, and he has just inherited a small estate, Bileaulieu Park, and he looks forward to cultivating it. He is also hiding (yep you guessed it) a Big Secret.

Grace and Michael become lovers, but their idyll is ended when Mr. Brown and several of Grace’s friends discover them. Some of Grace’s gentlemen friends want to fight Michael, some of her lady friends want them to marry, and Grace does propose to Michael only to be rudely turned down (he is afraid his Big Secret will harm her). So Grace and her friends go back to London.

The ton has gone on to gossip about other people and Grace is back in the social life she loves, but she misses Michael fiercely, and he feels the same way about her. Finally he can stand it no longer and sets out for London even though his Big Secret might end up costing him his life.

The first part of Love with the Perfect Scoundrel was very nicely done. Grace and Michael were sympathetic and likeable and the sexual tension between them was very hot and sensual. But when Grace left for London, everything went downhill. I became bored with her, I began to want to skim pages, and I wanted Michael to come back. Then when he did, he had changed into as boring a character as Grace. He left all his charm and personality back at Bileaulieu Park, and when his Big Secret was revealed I almost laughed.

I’ve read several of Sophia Nash’s charming traditional regency romances and enjoyed them very much. This book has only a touch of that charm, and it’s all in the beginning. Love with the Perfect Scoundrel might have made a wonderful short story, but as a full length novel it falls very short.

Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti
Grade : C-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : February 21, 2009

Publication Date: 02/2009

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