Also in this series: A Rogue's Embrace
Series: Restoration #1
Published by Avon on March 1, 1999
Genres: Historical Romance, Restoration Era
Seduction Was His Plan...
Lord Neville Farrington's day begins badly with an unannounced visit from his stern, unbending father, the Earl of Barrsettshire, who is accompanied by Arabella Martin, a most exquisite young miss. Immediately things start to look up and Neville unleashes his roguish charms hoping to seduce this prized beauty. But the high-minded gentlewoman scorns his advances.
But Was Marriage to Be His Destiny?
Of all the impertinence! Arabella has never met such a self-assured rogue who spends his days--and far too many of his nights--in the pursuit of pleasure. She rejects his bold caresses with disdain, but even Arabella cannot deny Neville's talents at seduction were oh, so enticing. Arabella is determined to teach the handsome rake a thing or two about honor, but even she cannot resist this scoundrel's kiss.
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
A Scoundrel’s Kiss is the first book in the Restoration series and I have been wanting to read more of this author, I hadn’t realized that she has so many books and are all non-regency and as I have been wanting to read more historical romance that is non-regency and I really like her writing, so I wanted to get more of them. Now if you look at the cover, it totally doesn’t give you the “Restoration” era vibe, so I think I actually expected it to be more regency which it really wasn’t. And even though physically I haven’t been feeling very good, I liked this book despite the other issues that I tended to have which I think I just wasn’t in the right mindset to enjoy this like I really wanted to or maybe I just wasn’t into the writing, and I think part of me was confused by the focus on court politics and who the King was since I went into this book thinking it was Regency or Victorian era, so I think it was a combination of factors on why I didn’t enjoy it more like I wanted to. But I did enjoy the story overall and am excited to get to the last book in the series.
A Scoundrel’s Kiss is a story that focuses on our leads:
Neville Farrington-Aristocratic lord, a rake and rogue, bad reputation to being a “bad boy” but has a heart of gold and yearns to be loved secretly and lack of self worth due to his parent’s treatment of him
Arabella Martin- Innocent country girl, grew up in a Puritan lifestyle, naive to the manners of the court, searching for a respectable husband
A Scoundrel’s Kiss begin with Neville Farrington, who secretly has been managing his father’s finances. His father likes to remain ignorant of how much he spends, and so Neville has taken the responsibility of making sure his father never goes without. But he does live a lifestyle that doesn’t portray the responsibility that well and when his father sees him drunk, he makes a decision to change his son and decides to take everything away from him and give all the money and lands to Arabella Martin once he finds a respectable match for her. Neville is furious and secretly hurt that his father would take such actions against him but while drunk makes a bet to seduce Arabella and show she isn’t such a Puritan or innocent as his father thinks. And even though the King is trying to get Arabella in his bed and make her one of his mistresses, Neville wants her for himself but knows he doesn’t deserve to be loved by her….
You are not in sleepy little Grantham anymore. You have come to great and wicked London—my realm. It can be a very dangerous place
A Scoundrel’s Kiss was such a beautiful story and I truly loved so many parts of this one. But it definitely is one of its time and of the setting. It is set in the Restoration period, so you will get plenty of court and political deceit and secrets and so know that going into it. It does have more angst feeling to the relationship but the steam in this book I felt was so well done. I loved how well-written the chemistry between Arabella and Neville is done, I really felt the heat coming off of the pages and there were moments that I was so into the story. I will say that my focus wasn’t entirely on the story which it definitely affected my view of the story so I don’t want to hash into that aspect too much because I think it did affect my enjoyment of the story overall. Now this isn’t the best work that I have ever read from this author, and I was expecting so much more from it but I knew it had many mixed reviews so I knew going in it might be more of a difficult read to grab up. But I am so glad that I did because I truly enjoyed so many aspects of it all.
“I can think of many a worse fate than sharing my bed,” he murmured softly, reaching out to cup her chin in his hand. She was powerless to resist as he eased his mouth over hers in a slow and leisurely kiss. His gentle touch proved as thrilling as his most impassioned embrace, and this unexpected tenderness even more compelling.
The story as it stands is well-plotted and I enjoyed seeing how the story unraveled and all the political machinations that were dealt with the characters here. I do think it might have been better to have just one plot, there were multiple lines going in with this book and it didn’t need to be that complex and I felt like it overwhelmed the romance too much. The romance itself while had its sexy moments, there was also quite a bit of angst all the way through the end and I do like more couple time on the page, so I was hoping for more there. But it was intriguing to see Arabella and Neville muddle their way through everything. I do think Neville was too consumed with self-pity to have him be a hero I really was drawn to. I wish he had more confidence in himself, but I understand what his parents do to him. I just was hoping for more from the hero here. He comes through in the end but just barely.
I love you. I have loved you since that day in the garden. You have always had a special place in my heart, walled up and kept secret, but always, always there.
Overall while I had some issues, I found so many good qualities to this story, it has plenty of sensual chemistry that made the book shine, and it’s set in an era that is so unique and different that adds that cherry on the top vibe. So if you are wanting to explore more of this author, or just this setting and era of England, I highly recommend it.