The Scoundrel’s Honor by Christi Caldwell
Publisher & Release: Montlake Romance, February 28, 2017
Time and setting: 1822, London
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Book Length: 354 pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
Thanks to her older siblings, Lady Penelope Tidemore is no stranger to scandal. In order for her to make a good match, her secret longings for intrigue and romance must be quelled. Yet it is through terrible mischance that Penelope is caught in a compromising position—however innocent—with the darkly enigmatic viscount Ryker Black.
Mr. Black is no gentleman. Raised from the streets and proprietor of the most notorious gaming hell in London, Black lives in a world filled with debauchery and danger. Taking a Society wife from the very ton he despises is not part of his plan, even if the innocent Penelope turns his blood hot with desire.
But Penelope isn’t afraid of Mr. Black, and she soon discovers that his reputation as a scoundrel may be designed to hide a surprising vulnerability. As this unlikely husband and wife grow closer, they learn that what started as chance could end up sealing their fates.
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I discovered Christi Caldwell last year and immediately read most of her backlist. Since then, whenever I see one of her books, I take notice. When I received an invitation from the publisher via Net-Galley, I eagerly accepted. Again, Ms. Caldwell has penned another winner!
Lady Penelope is determined to behave as an exemplary young debutante. Her family has already had their share of scandal. When she is caught in a compromising situation, she believes her life is ruined.
Ryker Black could care less what the ton thinks of him. As a bastard son of a duke, he lives his life as he sees fit. When he is caught with Lady Penelope, something is different. He does not want to see her ruined, not because he cares what society thinks, but because he does not want this spirited young lady to experience the pain it would cause. He does the right and honorable thing.
Can they find a way to make their marriage succeed, or will their different backgrounds tear them apart?
The Scoundrel’s Honor is an exciting read from the first page to the last. It has adventure, lots of suspense, great characters, and most of all, a wonderful love story. It’s fast-paced without feeling rushed. Ms. Caldwell gives the reader a lovely glimpse of the Regency period. Her descriptive writing is excellent, yet still, leaves something to the imagination of the reader.
Lady Penelope’s character is endearing, and I fell in love with her determination, her loyalty to her family and her desire to make Ryker’s life better. She is feisty and independent, yet a truly feminine young woman. So many times, heroines with these characteristics are too masculine for my tastes, but that is not the case with Lady P. Her depth of character is quite good, and I could understand what made her tick.
Ryker’s character is more complex than the heroine’s. He had a horrendous childhood, which influences his decisions. What I liked most about him is his high sense of loyalty to those he feels responsible for, from his sister, his brothers of his heart, to his feelings for Penelope. Underneath his rough exterior beats a heart of gold.
The romance between Ryker and Penelope sizzles throughout the story and only grows stronger as it progresses. Ms. Caldwell masterfully builds the sexual tension, which is a key ingredient for a Regency romance and what I love best about this sub-genre.
If you enjoy becoming lost in the Regency era, and want a romance that will pull at your heart-strings, and with plenty of action, then you will love The Scoundrel’s Honor. The title truly suits this story. Happy reading!