Author: Darcy Burke
Original Title: To Seduce A Scoundrel
Release Year: 2012
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, regency
Series: 3° of Secrets and Scandals series
(Presto il commento in Italiano)
A really lovely novel! Beautiful story and well developed.
Just one note: Ambrose (the male protagonist) is stubborn as a mule, sometimes too much!
I adored Philippa, she's enormously determined, I don't know if I would have been able to bear all Ambrose's second thoughts about their relationship...but I must say, his behaviour is partly comprehensible considered his tragic past, his regrets and his guilts.
The Viscount Ambrose Servin is a declared scoundrel, he is famous among the ton for having ruined his brother's fiancée and then refusing to marry her, but that isn't the only gossip about his mysterious life. He's a former exceptional fighter and his wicked imagine has been increased by his frequent appearances at the licentious parties hosted by Lord Lockwood.
It's during one of these “peculiar soirees” that he sees the beautiful Lady Philippa Latham and it's immediately obvious that she hasn't the faintest idea of which kind of party it is, she's no doubt like a fish out of water.
Servin, impulsively decides that he has to help her and protect her identity.
Philippa knows that she must avoid scandals, that's what has been taught to her...but when she sees her mother acting outrageously, threatening their family reputation, Philippa without thinking follows her and her partner (who's not her father). Phillippa hasn't the faintest idea that the party her mother is attending is everything but decorous and she realises too late that her imprudence and her recklessness could declare her ruin.
The only prompt intervention of an handsome masked man, who seems to know her, saves Philippa's good name.
Ambrose rescue of the beautiful Philippa is harder then they both thought and they have to face many inconveniences, included the risk to be find together in compromising situations.
Servin is instantly attracted by Philippa, she is stunning, sweet, kind and extremely courage and the days after their peculiar night together it seems difficult to stay away from her.
Unfortunately there are other threats: Ambrose is a former prizefighter who owns a club where other fighters train and now, to save again Philippa name (endagered by someone who saw them together at Lockwood's party), he must fight again and win.
There is a lot of passion in this romance, there are attraction and strong feelings in abundance; it's always palpable the tension between Ambrose and Philippa, he is celibate since the tragic event that five years earlier sadly changed all his life and Philippa is the first one who rouses all his buried feelings.
He's always afflicted by his inner conflict, he wants to be with her, he is sweet, gentile and protective but at the same time he thinks he doesn't deserve her and so he tries to distance himself from the woman who make him feel the strongest feelings he can't accept because of his past sins. Luckily she is enough stubborn and patience to wait for him...
I'll definitely read the other Secrets and Scandal novels, there are some quite interesting characters, like the mysterious, wicked and apparently reprobate Lord Lockwood, about whom I really would love to read more. I particularly liked also Philippa's best firends, Audrey and Lydia, we'll find both of them in Scoudrel ever after and Never love a scoudrel.
Secrets & Scandals series: 1. Her wicked way (Miranda, Montgomery)
2. His wicked heart (Jasper, Olivia)
3. To seduce a scoundrel (Philippa, Ambrose)
4. To love a thief - novella (Daniel, Jocelyn)
5. Never love a scoudrel (Jason, Lydia)
6. Scoundrel ever after (Ethan, Audrey)
Darcy Burke's bibliography
** I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Season publishing in exchange for an honest review, thank you for the opportunity.