Review copy provided by publisher
Penguin, June 2013
Synopsis- Physically reckless, irrepressibly roguish, and poised on the brink of ruin, Jonathon Westruther, Earl of Davenport, returns from the dead only to throw himself into dissipation. Until he meets his worst nightmare: a straitlaced former schoolteacher he can’t get out of his head. He resolves to seduce the delightful Miss Hilary deVere by fair means or foul. But when his past returns to endanger Hilary, he must protect her at all costs . . .
Dismissed from her post at a ladies’ academy because of prejudice against her uncouth family, Hilary will do anything to avoid going back to live with her loutish brothers. She longs for a London season to show the world a deVere can behave with utmost decorum and to find a respectable husband. Everything about Lord Davenport appals her but desperation makes strange bedfellows. To get to London, Hilary strikes a bargain with the devilish Davenport, confident that she’s immune to his charm. But as she discovers surprising depths beneath his rakish surface, this infamous scoundrel becomes more tempting than even the most proper lady can withstand . .
Review- Most people wouldn’t know that the irresponsible, promiscuous rake Jonathon Westruther, Earl of Davenport was once a thriving scientist who made a discovery that led him to fake his own death, only to return several years later a new and not so improved man. So, at first glance, the conservative Hilary deVere stumbles across him in her country town she’s not very impressed by Davenport’s charms even if she can’t deny the instant attraction. All her life, Hilary has strived to break away from the wild reputation of the deVere family including her brutish brothers. So when, Davenport offers an opportunity for Hilary to have her first, real London season and be in the running to attain a suitable husband, she drops all propriety and agrees to travel with him unaccompanied into the city and leave her old life behind. Davenport sees this as his chance to seduce Hilary and show her what she’s been missing out on, but in his pursuit of seduction he discovers that Hilary isn’t much like most of the lady’s from the ton. When Hilary’s virtue is questioned upon arriving in London, Davenport offers a fake engagement to keep the rumours at bay. Only, the fake engagement soon becomes something they aren’t sure they want to break off after all but both Davenport and Hilary have their own internal battles they must overcome first.
My first Christina Brooke’s novel and it certainly won’t be my last. I enjoyed her writing style and storytelling right from the very beginning and I was immediately plunged into the historical period and acquainted with these two endearing characters. Davenport is a typical rake but he does have a softer, caring side that is brought out by his interactions with Hilary. Hilary on the other hand is feisty and strong-willed and has a pretty tough family that she’s had to deal with over the years. So even though her virtue may be in tact she’s certainly not innocent to the ways of the world. Despite her initial suspicious of Davenport’s motives she soon learns to trust him and rely on him for support and so her ‘straight-laced’ side begins to soften and she becomes open to having a future with Davenport- even if he’s not sensible husband-material.
London’s Last True Scoundrel is an entertaining story with likeable characters and Brooke’s writing style brings a fresh take on the regency romance genre- plus she’s an Aussie so I’ll definitely have to read more titles in this series!
“I loved this book!”
London’s Last True Scoundrel can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers
This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge: