Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I am reviewing To Seduce a Scoundrel by Darcy Burke, book three in the Secrets and Scandals series, a historical romance.

Title: To Seduce a Scoundrel
Series: Secrets and Scandals, Book Three
Author: Darcy Burke
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 328 pages
Publication Date: November 2018, originally published May 9, 2012
Publisher: Intrepid Reads

A lady on the brink of disaster

Quintessential debutante Lady Philippa Latham is determined to avoid scandal at all costs so that she may marry well. When her mother’s outrageous behavior threatens their family’s reputation, Philippa unwittingly follows her to a party no unmarried Society girl would risk attending. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Philippa is “rescued” from disaster by England’s most notorious scoundrel, which sets them both on a path to public and personal ruin.

A scoundrel in need of seduction

Lord Ambrose Sevrin is infamous for ruining his brother’s fiancée and refusing to marry her. Content to remain among the fringe of the upper ten thousand, he is an intriguing enigma to London’s elite. Philippa thinks she’s met the true Ambrose—a gentleman who would fight to defend her and help her secure a husband before it’s too late. But he can’t be that husband, even for her. He won’t tolerate redemption—or love—for his crimes are far worse than anyone can imagine.

****

I won this novel in a contest, and I always review books that I’ve won as my “thank you” to the author for offering up a free read.  I chose this book from the author’s massive backlist because I loved the title of a young lady seducing a…dun dun dun…scoundrel!  What a way to reverse the tables.

The book is aptly named because Lady Phillipa has a lot of moxie, or she’s just very stubborn, because she is left with no choice but seduction.

I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s start with the writing.  Impeccable.  The author is a wonderful writer and I enjoyed reading the words she wrote.

Next, the characters.  I really enjoyed both.  As I said, Phillipa has much spirit.  She’s not afraid of anything.  And that’s what gets the plot rolling.  Her mother’s been indulging in scandalous behaviour that could ruin Phillipa’s chance at winning a husband, and time is running out for Phillipa before she becomes what is considered during the Regency era as “on the shelf.”

When Phillipa follows her mother to a very wild party that no maiden should even know exists, she is saved from scandal by Lord Sevrin.  Sevrin saving Phillipa says a lot about him, even though he is pretty much blacklisted by the ton after seducing and then refusing to marry his brother’s fiancée.  Sevrin, wracked with guilt, has also taken a vow to never again have sex or ride his horse.

And there’s the conflict.  Because of something that happens while Sevrin is trying to sneak Phillipa from the scandalous party, the two are thrown together.

There is great chemistry between the duo, and they balance each other.  Sevrin is dark and brooding while Phillipa is optimistic and a ray of sunshine.  Because he’s so dark and brooding, I do wish the author would’ve given him a bit more of a push halfway through the story, or even ¾ through the story.  Yes, it’s very understandable why he is the way he is, but his only goal was to remain celibate.

Phillipa is the star of this novel.  Her lack of fear and self-belief, and her goals, give her the strength she needs to fight for what she wants, even after being thwarted many times. The duo spend a lot of time together in this novel, which I really enjoyed, considering this is Regency, and it’s very hard for an unmarried couple to be together.

Still, with that one quibble about Lord Sevrin, this novel’s an enjoyable read and one I recommend.  Yes, every trope and plotline has been done in the past, but the author’s fresh writing and great storytelling brings new life to something that could have been repetitive.  Do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy.

Have you read To Seduce a Scoundrel?  If you did, do you agree with my review?  If you haven’t read the novel, would you be willing to now?

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