Title: The Secrets of a Scoundrel
Author: Gaelen Foley
Series: The Inferno Club #7 (stand-alone)
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: June 24th 2014 by Avon
Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★
“Blind faith claimed that good would be rewarded.”
Nick, Lord Forrester, has a reputation that is legendary—both as a lethal warrior and a wicked lover. But when his rule-breaking ways land him in a Scottish dungeon, he’s left there to rot, until a mysterious lady visits his cell and offers him a way out.
All he must do is risk his neck on the mission she proposes—and obey her every command. One look at the luscious beauty has Nick ready to promise her anything, but he must resist his desire, or she could send him straight back to prison.
Virginia, Lady Burke, is well aware that the powerful ex-spy will try to take command of their quest, but it’s her job to keep him under control. Yet how can she keep this untamable scoundrel under her thumb when all she really wants is to unleash the smoldering passion between them?
4 of 5 stars to The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley
Reading The Secrets of a Scoundrel is exactly like an adventure—exhilarating, sometimes fun, other times, frustrating—but ultimately worth the while. You may love and hate the characters but that’s just exactly part of the book’s charm. The characters are real and their experiences relatable.
I keep going back and forth between a 3 or 4 star rating for this one and eventually settled for the latter. The heroine, Virginia, drove me mad at certain parts (mostly for her foolish decisions) and she was the only cause of my frustrations. She is a liar, a manipulator and a tyrant, as the hero Nick eloquently puts it. However, I also have to give her credit for being a fearless one, strong-willed in her determination to finish through what she started. Besides, her heart is set in the right place even if she went about her goals in the wrong way.
Nick is exactly the kind of man who can handle Virginia’s wild ways—she follows no rules, cares naught for the society’s censorship of her amorous dealings—because Nick is just as wild, if not more. He’s been hardened by life, fully embittered by the kind of work he’s been doing for the Order. Similar to how I felt with Virginia’s impulsiveness, I also did not like some of Nick’s decisions but I think in this way, they’re more human. If there’s anyone who can match Virginia’s stubbornness and wild streak, it’s Nick. But Nick also has amazing qualities in him. He’s honorable (contrary to what he thinks), reliable and loyal to the ones he loves.
Put this two together and you get an explosive combination, never a boring moment. One time they could be fighting, deliberately hurting each other with taunts, and then they could be sharing an angry kiss the next. Couple this burning chemistry with non-stop action and adventure then you get yourself a totally exciting book. As with every vibrant and passionate character, you would encounter a fair share of frustrations because they are the kind who is governed by emotions, goes about their goals in a headstrong and resilient manner. They make mistakes along the way but they also learn from it. Essentially, I think this lesson is what the author wanted to impress upon her readers. Only my second from Gaelen Foley but I’m already liking how she is so specific in the way she wants to impart morals and principles through her characters. In a sea of historical romance authors who tend to blend together in the sameness of their style and approach, Foley has effectively set herself apart.
***cover art: 3/5 stars. Not really liking the color palette chosen.***