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177 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic! The utlimate reformed rake!
It's a rare book that can sustain an average 5 star rating over 56 reviews (at least as of this writing)! This is one of those books that I'd heard about for years and seen in lots of favourites and Desert Island Keepers lists. It had been on my TBR shelf for several months and now I'm wondering what took me so long to read it - I loved it!
This really is the...
Published on November 11, 2003 by baltimore0502

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87 of 99 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my Favorite
OK -- I'll take the unpopular stance (and the negative votes) and say that "Lord of Scoundrels" was not a keeper for me. I'm not sure what it was about this book, but it didn't click with me. The writing was very good and the characters were well-drawn; however, the story left me cold.

I think that the heroine, Jessica Trent, was a little *too* perfect for...
Published on December 2, 2004 by ellejir


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177 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic! The utlimate reformed rake!, November 11, 2003
By 
It's a rare book that can sustain an average 5 star rating over 56 reviews (at least as of this writing)! This is one of those books that I'd heard about for years and seen in lots of favourites and Desert Island Keepers lists. It had been on my TBR shelf for several months and now I'm wondering what took me so long to read it - I loved it!
This really is the ultimate rake reformed story. Though I did not enjoy reading about Sebastian's unhappy childhood and torturous years at Eton, it had to be endured for the reader to understand the man he became. Seemingly without conscience, a man who uses people, considers women either bothersome (ladies) or sex objects (prostitutes), drinker, gambler and uncaring bad influence on younger, impressionable and less wealthy hangers-on. And one such hanger-on is Jessica Trent's idiot of a younger brother Bertie who is quickly going through the family's money in an effort to fit in and keep up with the infamous Marquess of Dain. Jessica and her grandmother have traveled to Paris determined to reclaim Bertie from Dain's destructive influence. But when Jessica actually meets Dain, she is frustrated and annoyed to discover that she is extremely attracted to the devil. What a bother! But she is still determined to extricate Bertie and forces a confrontation that he cannot ignore!
Upon meeting the delectable Miss Trent, Dain is no less attracted to Jessica and no more pleased about it. He's avoided society ladies for most of his adult life (ever since one tried to lure him into marriage for his money) and the only women he spends time with are prostitutes. But Jessica has quickly gotten under his skin and when they have several very public encounters that can only be described as scandalously inappropriate he is determined not to be brought to the altar. But he underestimates Jessica's need for justice and eventually gives in. If it's marriage to Lord Beelzebub she wants, so be it!
Of course neither expects much from this marriage, but both are pleasantly surprised. Jessica seems unflappable handling everything Dain throws her way with calm efficiency and confidence. Dain can't help but be impressed. And Dain slowly reveals himself to be quite human after all. So how can Jessica help but fall for him? But does this mean smooth sailing for this couple? Not likely!
I really enjoyed reading this book. I did not care for Dain at the start, but by the end I really liked him a lot. Especially in his dealings with his illegitimate son. Conversely I really like Jessica throughout. She's tough as nails, determined, witty and nothing gets her down. Actually, as others have pointed out, she may border on too perfect! A highly recommended read!
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119 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE ONE..., June 23, 2003
By 
Josephine (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
I have read hundreds of romance novels. I have my share of favorite authors and have seldom ventured on the untried ones. I have never done any review of any single book because I have yet to find one I can call as THE ONE, which is worth the time and the effort to give praise to an author for a romance book that's superbly done. It takes a real good book to write a review. The Lord of Scoundrels in THE ONE.
I bought this book, my first of Loretta Chase, on the strength of the reviews in the amazon.com site and I am very happy I did. It is lush, witty, entertaining and very sensual- the elements romance readers look for in a book worth to be in a keeper's shelf. No complicated plot but with very good, characterizations, witty dialogues and unforgettable scenes that make the book worth keeping.
Dialogue sparkles and sparks fly between the two main characters: Lord Dain, the dark, tortured reprobate, who had very little opinion of himself but who was hopelessly besotted with the "needle-tongued, conceited, provoking ape leader of a lady" and Jessica, the beautiful, strong-minded, sensuous spinster who in her words declared "I've been in lust with you from the moment I met you". The sizzling verbal fights are very captivating. The "animal lust" and the deep desire for conquest and possession just leap off the pages to keep the reader enthralled. Lord Dain's use of the endearments in Italian during their very intimate moments makes the story even more romantic and titillating. But wait, please let me include the notorious punchline, "I should like to see you try".
When I finished the book, I read it again and again and then again most especially some of the very poignant, even hilarious and totally comical scenes, i.e. the preconceived notions of Lord Belzeebub about the "carnage he thought his overwroght imagination had pictured" in bedding his virgin wife. You will find yourself smiling and later laughing out so loud. And of course their romantic and passionate encounters are original and unforgetable they are so totally hot, hot, hot!!!
Scenes like the unbutonning of the gloves, the lamppost incident, Lady Wallingdon's party, the Hyde Park with Jessica on Lord Dain's lap, the brawl with Ainswood, they are so vivid and well played out that you will in turn even fantasize some more scenes of your own of Lord Dain and Jessica!
There are two scorchingly sensual and highly erotic highlights in the book that romance reader will remember:
1. The showdown between Lord Dain and Jessica barely three days wed
2. The boxing bout they attended that culminated in Jessica's declaration of her love for Sebastian again and again while against the pillar in a burial ground attached to a tiny crumbling church.
But of course, who will ever forget the way Jessica sought satisfaction for the very scandalously compromising and public position he put her in: "her bodice undone and sagging to the waist, his tongue down her throat, his filthy hand up her skirt?"
I totally agree with Lord Dain's rumination while leisurely taking his bath after successfully "tumbling" his wife,"Since the Almighty had not done him a single act of kindness in at least twenty-five years, Dain thought it was about bloody time...."
Yes, the Lord of Scoundrels, the dark and tortured Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain deserves the beautiful, virginal and passionate Jessica Trent.
To Ms. Loretta Chase, your Lord of Scoundrels is absolutely WONDERFUL! It is an absolute MUST for romance readers.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest, sexiest, and most emotional book I've read..., March 20, 2000
By A Customer
I love romance books, but originality is scarce. In a genre where too many books seem to blend together until I can hardly tell them apart, LORD OF SCOUNDRELS is a true original. I haven't read anything like it. Dain and Jessica are a very unique, loveable, frustrating, sexy couple. But there is so much more to it than that and I fear I don't have the words. Only this: DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK! Reading it was a true pleasure. Jessica calls Dain Lord Beelzebub. I loved that she wasn't clueless or skittish around Dain. Dain has been used to most people, especially women, looking at him as though he is a freak. He's big, brutish, and a bully. He's also a "whoremonger" who has sworn never to get involved with a lady. But Jessica gets under his skin upon their first meeting. She accepts the fact that for the first time in her life, she has fallen in MAJOR lust with a man. This is where the fun begins. The prose is fluid, lyrical, and smooth. It NEVER falters. The dialogue is the most original and witty dialogue I've read in a very long time. Don't miss it!
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87 of 99 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my Favorite, December 2, 2004
By 
ellejir "ellejir" (Virginia, United States) - See all my reviews
OK -- I'll take the unpopular stance (and the negative votes) and say that "Lord of Scoundrels" was not a keeper for me. I'm not sure what it was about this book, but it didn't click with me. The writing was very good and the characters were well-drawn; however, the story left me cold.

I think that the heroine, Jessica Trent, was a little *too* perfect for me--fabulously beautiful, amazingly intelligent, incredibly sensitive, anachronistically independent, *and* sexually savvy (while still being a virgin at 27 years of age!) I love strong heroines, but she is *too much* of a "Mary Sue" for me. I like my heroines to have a few chinks in their armor. The hero, Lord Dain, was interesting and unusual (I liked the uncompromising portrayal of his "rakishness"), but he frankly did not appeal to me. Too much self-pity and I *hated* the way he treated his illegitimate son.

This is a *very* popular book and it is not a bad read, but I think that it is *over-rated* < ducking to avoid the rotten fruit being thrown by rabid fans of the book >. Sorry, maybe I just read it on a bad day.
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80 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MOST HILARIOUS NOVEL I'VE EVER READ IN A LOOONG TIME !, December 5, 1999
Can't remember the last time I broke into constant giggles reading a romance novel. I had such a FANTASTIC time that I re-read it again & again & again... Hard to believe I've never read anything by Chase before this. Dain is certainly the most self-loathing hero I've ever come across in quite a while. It's so pitiful he can't believe it even when it hit him right between his crossed eyes that Jessica is in love & lust with him. Jessica is by far the brightest, toughest, lustiest heroine ever penned. Ms Chase is a genius author to be able to write such a witty love-story & enthralling characters. The part where Jess shot him calmly as if she's merely handing him a candy is truly a classic. Not a dull moment I had devouring every page. The awfully painful childhood Dain had - born with a giant nose & scrawny body - made him a cynical man who questioned the existence of the Lord above. He learned to protect himself by laughing at his foes & everything else. He even referred to his by-blow as 'it' 'cuz the boy is the exact image of himself when he was 8 years old. Intriguing hero & heroine, funny & heated sparring, toes-warming love-scenes & a lovely ending. No words can do justice to the exhilaration U'll feel reading this brilliant book. Thank U Ms Chase for presenting this sparkling jewel to us all !
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but I just don't get it...., August 17, 2011
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This review is from: Lord of Scoundrels (Kindle Edition)
I'm definitely on the minority on this one. I bought this book because of the many, many positive reviews and all the high praises. I just don't get it. The story was not bad, just not very original. H has a bad childhood so he develops mistrust for anything female, h comes along, H treats h badly numerous times because of this mistrust, h wins H heart, HEA. Simplified version, but it is a recipe that has been followed so many times and I could have actually enjoyed the story but for some reason I was unable to fall in love with these characters.

It didn't bother me that the H slept with prostitutes or that he mistrusted the h at first but he just never really seemed to have a moment for me where he does something to win the h (or the reader) over. Throughout the book he humiliates the h, constantly calls her names, disregards his son and frankly is just an overall @ss but never really has that moment where he just feel remorse at how badly he has treated the h. His inner dialogue shows some guilt whenever he does something but not enough to voice it or to even make it up to the h. Just the fact that the H deserted the h on their wedding night to go get drunk and that the h practically had to beg him to consummate the marriage and not leave her just ruined the book for me. I think that had there been a moment where he had actually made amends to the h I could have maybe liked the book but a quickie sorry in between the sheets after all he did just did not cut it for me. Looking at the reviews though a lot of people must really be into that. Maybe the other readers bought the constant excuses the h made for his behavior throughout the entire book. It just got annoying, he would be mean to the h and she would say something like: you are upset because you wanted to do something nice for me and it did not work out so that is why you are being mean to me. It was almost as if Dr. Phil had co-written this book.

The author tried really hard to pass the h off as this strong, intuitive female but she did not come across that way IMO. Her character was just so far out of the norm that it she was simply too unbelievable. She shoots men that have wronged her, beats up thieves and immediately embraces the H illegitimate son who she was not told of without blinking an eye all the while she is putting up with all the H abuse with a smile because she is SO strong (insert sarcasm here).

Obviously, A LOT of people disagree with me and if a H that is not very chivalrous does not bother you then you might enjoy the book. I guess I want a H to provide a little romance in my romance novels.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The first half of this book is a keeper on my shelf., December 27, 2010
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After winning the top reader's favorite position of the AAR poll more than once, I decided to give this romance a whirl. It's been a #1 fave for many women and I wanted to see for myself what the hype was about!

The introduction with Sebastian as a little boy was charming and heart-wrenching and set the tone for the ultimate reformed-rake, wounded-inner-boy story line. I was completely enraptured. Once Sebastian is an adult, he truly seems to be the biggest bad boy in town. And when he meets Jessica, the sister of one of his nit wit followers, sparks do indeed fly.

I was extremely impressed with the witty banter that flew back and forth between the two. The interactions between Sebastian and Jessica were exciting, funny and sensual. I could feel the sexual tension building between the two. Jessica is smart and experienced (with raising little boys) and she's not intimidated by Sebastian.

I could feel the soul shattering love building in Sebastian, creating amazing inner turmoil. The little boy seeking love... the man who has never allowed anyone to get close to finally break through his outer shell... Sighs!

Yes, I will admit, the first kiss in the rain against the light pole... WOW!!!! WOW!! Not only was it written so incredibly, but the transformation that Sebastian goes through is really truly romantic.

So, the adult Sebastian's little boy simply cannot handle the idea that Jessica really loves him and so, yes, he leaves her in a compromising situation and treats her like the monster he is. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Jessica takes matters into her own hands and.... shoots Sebastian in the arm, and paralyzes him. Yeah.

I guess this is where the story unraveled for me. I found the plot device to be over the top and just too silly to take seriously. At this point, Sebastian seems to just melt at her feet. He never even expresses one iota of concern that this woman has SHOT him in the arm and paralyzed him. Honestly, I was struggling with the idea that this woman had crippled this gloriously formed man. And I was shocked that no one, even himself, seemed at all bothered by this.

If some person SHOT you in the arm and paralyzed you, would you just shrug it off?

If HE had shot HER in the arm and paralyzed her- it would be seen for what it is. AWFUL. Just plan yuck - I'm sorry.

After that, the wit and banter and charm and tension from the beginning of the novel just dissolved. What made the novel so fantastic vanished. The amazing, funny, witty conversations just became normal and droll. The plot tapered out. In fact, there really was no plot. Something about an icon that seemed to mysteriously change sentimental and financial value depending on how it fit the writer's convenience in the story line at the time. In fact, all the plot devices on the novel towards the end were just mysteriously there. (Oh, the arm's been working all along! It must be all in my head!)

I will admit this novel had one of the most promising and well-written beginnings I have ever read in a romance novel. And I can definitely see where it captured the heart of so many women. But in order to be number one on my list, that awesomeness has to extend throughout the WHOLE novel. This one took me up the mountain... and just left me hanging.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of Scoundrels, January 14, 2000
By 
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While I like all of Loretta Chase's books (The Lion's Daughter, Captives of the Night, and The Last Hellion), which feature many of the characters that are mentioned or appeared in Lord of Scoundrels, Lord of Scoundrels remains my favorite of hers and my favorite romance. Its wit and humor are sustained from beginning to end. Dain and Jessica remain my favorite beauty and the beast characters (followed closely though by Amanda Quick's Gideon and Harriet in Ravished). Chase has managed to create a tough but tender, mature and wise leading lady and a tortured, obstinate, and unruly leading man who hides his wounded 8 year old's psyche behind the facade of an unrepentant bounder. Watching the two of them work through his angst is both tremendously entertaining and surprisingly touching without becoming sentimental or maudlin. Jessica knows how to handle her beast without letting him tear her apart. I've read the book through three time already and look forward to reading it again and again over the years.
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56 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Certainly Not A Bad Book But Still Hugely Overrated, December 20, 2009
By 
Davina (Brooklyn Heights, New York) - See all my reviews
Coupled with the 5 star ratings, this novel has been called a classic, the best romance book EVER. It's recommended on the Amazon Romance forum every single time I visit there, so wildly acclaimed among the readership it is. It can, therefore, come as no surprise that I had great expectations for this book.

Well, I wouldn't go as far as to say I disliked the book, but I didn't like it either. This is my second Chase novel -- my first being Mr. Impossible -- and it's obvious to me that Chase is a wordsmith of the highest calibre. She can write, and with a witticism I, as a fledgling writer, can only aspire to. However, I definitely see a pattern in Chase's style that is starting to disturb my enjoyment of her work and as a result this made Lord of Scoundrels only a 2 star read for me.

A few of the issues I had with LoS:

1) I hate when violence perpetrated by females are lauded as a right course of action as well as being cute.

In LoS, the heroine perpetrated a very serious act of violence against the hero. I'm not talking about a little punch or slap, she severely injured him, paralyzing him and causing him to become sick with an illness that took him 4 days to recover from. Think if the hero had done this to the heroine? I can not imagine that this book would be as popular as it is.

Moreover, it's not only the heroine's violence toward the hero that I found appalling. She seems to be a very violent person overall. For eg, when a certain incident took place at her home, some amount of violence may have been necessary to get the situation under control, but even after that was accomplished she continued to use brutal, excessive force causing great bodily harm to the person involved. What's worse this was a situation in which the heroine knew her subject was not at liberty to retaliate so she completely took advantage.

Violence is violence no matter by whose hand it occurs. Often times in both fiction and the real world female-on-male violence is construed to be amusing and cute and acceptable. Perhaps I've lost my sense of humour, but I just don't get the joke.

2) Another issue that rubbed me the wrong way about this book is the author's apparent penchant for patronising her readers. The females in both Chase stories I've read so far are always smarter than everyone around them: male, female, whatever. The males are portrayed as complete nitwits who need the heroine (or any other woman would pretty much do) around to tell them how to function.

I had also sensed this disparity while reading Mr. Impossible, but it wasn't as pronounced. Perhaps because that book was set in Egypt and Chase focused all her energies on portraying that country's people and their culture as inferior and backward. So she probably ran out of space to tell us how dumb all the principal men were.

I love a strong and resourceful heroine just as much as the next reader, but as number of other reviewers pointed out, don't go overboard with it. Jessica was a bit too perfect for my taste. I liked her because of her hands-on, spunky attitude. She didn't mother or spoon-feed Dain out of his mistrust for women and I really appreciated that about her character, but she also annoyed me because I found her to be self-righteous and arrogant on occasions when it was not necessary. She was a good character, but too much so.

There's no need to go overboard with the intelligence of a female character just because you're catering to a predominantly female audience. There's no need to make every male character dumb as sticks in an effort to portray women as inherently smarter than men. Some women are smarter than some men and vice versa. Certainly its not inappropriate to have some dumb (male) characters in a story (hey we're surely not short of them in real life), but all the time? And why are females given a pass when they behave badly? For eg, it seemed obvious to me that Chase wanted us to feel sympathy for Charity Graves, but we weren't allowed to cut Dain the same slack? Sure, back in those days women had it rough, but Charity did some pretty horrible things. I don't care how badly women had it back then. That shouldn't excuse wicked, malicious behaviour that cause others to suffer, especially an innocent child.

3) Given what he'd gone through as a child, being teased about his overall appearance and his unsuccessful relations with women whose company he didn't have to pay for, I thought Dain's behaviour as an adult was quite plausible and he was a very sympathetic character until Jessica came into the picture. To me, his character did a complete 180 -- from a strong, self-possessed man who certainly fought with his inner demons but still commanded respect to someone I could barely recognise. He became this snivelling, deferential male who often made excuses for the heroine's bad behaviour even when she was wrong (for eg when she harmed him). He, at times, came across as a man who didn't have his own mind, at least not when Jessica was around. He wasn't an alpha male at all. We were told that he was, it was referenced to, but we never saw it in action. Jessica pretty much led him around like a puppet on a string. I'm not saying he had to be this domineering jerk (not all alphas are domineering jerks!), but for a guy who has such a remarkable reputation of being a total bada--, he was very malleable. Indeed, where was THE Lord of Scoundrels? Not a very convincing portrayal of a supposed alpha male, if you ask me.

Pretty much the only scenes I really loved in this story were those with Dain and his son. The kissing scene with Dain & Jessica was also very well done. Overall, I thought both Dain's and Jessica's characters were fairly well developed, and Chase has an unquestionable talent for writing, but the story itself lacked a certain magic to make it as wonderful for me as it was for others. The potential was certainly there, but Chase dropped the ball somewhere along the line.

Lord of Scoundrels is no Flowers from the Storm, another reformed-rake historical by Laura Kinsale. In this book you see a true battle of wills between two very strong personalities. The hero in FFTS had his share of faults and knew it, but he was in no hurry to change. It took TIME for the heroine to show him the error of his ways. He didn't make it as easy for her as Dain did for Jessica even though he loved her. While others may disagree, I think that's a more realistic, human portrayal of two people falling in love. And that's why its one of my favourite books of all time. Loving Chase's writing style so much, I had hoped Lord of Scoundrels would earn a place on my keeper shelf right next to FFTS, but unfortunately it was not to be.

I think its a highly overrated book and in fact, I prefer Mr. Impossible to this one. I'll continue to seek out Chase's work because I enjoy her style, but if her novels continue down same path she will lose me my patronage. I can overlook and suspend my belief on many things in fiction, but when it comes to certain issues its hard to keep my personal ideals out of it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too hyped up, April 7, 2010
By 
Dana Abed (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I had to check a few times if I was in fact reading the same Lord of Scoundrels referenced by other reviewers here. Whilst I respect that everyone has their own taste I found it surprising how many people thought this book was the best romance they had ever read.
I personally could not finish it. The book started out great, the characters had alot of potential and the conversation was very witty - I even laughed out loud a few times. However from the moment they tie the knot it starts going downhill - fast. The hero who is supposed to be a Lord of Sin type, big ruthless and with a heart of stone quickly degenerates into this needy, insecure, characterless character. The heroine who is meant to be strong, comes off more like a know-it all, patronizing smart-ass. And to top it all off the story line was so boring and uneventful that I didn't care what happened to the characters and I stopped reading.
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Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
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