AUTHOR(S): Jennifer McQuiston
SERIES: Seduction Diaries #3
GENRE: Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE: September 27, 2016
LENGTH: 400 pages
DATE READ: September 2016
READING CHALLENGES:2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge
CHARACTER ARCHETYPES: Wallflower Heroine, Tortured Hero
TROPES: Older Heroine/Younger Hero, Opposites Attract
RATING: 4 STARS
Every girl dreams of a hero . . .
No one loves books more than Miss Mary Channing. Perhaps that’s why she’s reached the ripe old age of six-and-twenty without ever being kissed. Her future may be as bland as milk toast, but Mary is content to simply dream about the heroes and adventures she reads about in her books. That way she won’t end up with a villain instead.
But sometimes only a scoundrel will do.
When she unexpectedly finds herself in the arms of Geoffrey Westmore, London’s most notorious scoundrel, it feels a bit like a plot from one of her favorite novels. Suddenly, Mary understands why even the smartest heroines can fall prey to a handsome face. And Westmore is more handsome than most. But far worse than the damage to her reputation, the moment’s indiscretion uncovers an assassination plot that reaches to the highest levels of society and threatens the course of the entire country.
When a tight-laced miss and a scoundrel of epic proportions put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. But unless they put their hearts together as well, a happy ending is anything but assured.
The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel is the third book in the Seduction Diaries trilogy and focuses on Geoffrey Westmore, the younger brother of Clare (The Diary of an Accidental Wallflower) and Lucy (The Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior). I found this book to be my favorite of the three, mostly due to the two main characters. It also doesn't hurt that the romance was one between opposites which I found very entertaining.
Geoffrey joined the military shortly after leaving school and came back to London as a hero. But, his experiences did not leave him mentally unscathed and he began to devote his time to drinking and cavorting around town. His life is changed once again when he stumbles across the bookish Mary at a fundraiser and the two of them get involved in a search for a traitor who is trying to kill the queen. Of course, things are further complicated when they begin to have feelings for one another despite their obvious differences.
Geoffrey has been a character that I have been intrigued by throughout the series and I was happy that he got so much development. At first, it felt like he hadn't changed at all from the prank-loving and immature young man that stole every scene he was involved with in the earlier books. But, it is quickly established that there is much more to his rakish ways and that his actions are more of a coping mechanism than a true desire to cause havoc. His relationship with Mary allowed him to dig deeper into his past and find the charming, protective nature that had been hiding for years.
I thought Mary was a sweet and intriguing heroine. She is a major bookworm who believed she was content with living a quiet life in the country alone. Her sister's confinement forces her to temporarily move to London and, when she stumbles across Geoffrey, she finds herself caught in an adventure she never thought possible. I liked how she was shown becoming more confident in herself and that she wasn't afraid to do what she thought was right, no matter the consequences. She also had a bit of an overactive imagination which got her into trouble, but I found it to be charming personality trait.
Geoffrey and Mary's relationship started with a scandalous liaison that was complicated further by their determination to prevent the assassination of Queen Victoria. They have very different ways to go about discovering the truth, but eventually figure out that they work better together than apart. This forced proximity aspect allows them to get to know each other as well as help them see that maybe their relationship could be something more permanent. I did get bored with the mystery plot, but appreciated what it did for the romance.
The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel is just a sweet romance between a wallflower and a rake that I found to be very engaging. The characters are well-written and go through enough development for me to feel like they earned their happy ending. Jennifer McQuiston has an easygoing writing style that I thoroughly enjoy especially paired with her intelligent heroines and loving heroes.