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Never Trust a Scoundrel (Sons of Scandal) Mass Market Paperback – March 25, 2008

22 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Sons of Scandal Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she'd always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers' Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog, Uma, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane.


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Product Details

  • Series: Sons of Scandal (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; First Edition edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061235059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061235054
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Gayle Callen writes historical romances for Avon Books.

Gayle's novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers' Best Award, and finaled in the National Readers Choice Awards. Her books have been translated into over ten different languages. She also writes the Valentine Valley contemporary series as Emma Cane.

Gayle resides in central New York, with her husband and three children. Besides writing, she loves to read, sing, and delve too deeply into historical research. Visit her website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox on May 1, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grace Banbury's life hasn't exactly been normal for a young lady. She's 24 and unmarried, she was rejected by a man she loved, and now it seems that her mother, an inveterate gambler, has lost their two houses through gambling. Grace's mother has disappeared and when Grace discovers the house has been lost to Mr Daniel Throckmorten she is horrified to discover he has also won the right to marry her.

Fortunately for Grace, Throckmorten doesn't want to marry her - or anyone else for that matter. However he does want a new mistress and eventually they find themselves in a wager; if he can tempt her to be his mistress within two weeks, he wins; if she holds out against his seductive charm she will be allowed to have a family heirloom, a rather special violin.

And so the story continues in what seems like an oft-trod direction. Man tries to seduce woman, woman is very tempted but tries to resist. Grace decides to try to redeem Daniel whose family have been rather scandalous in the past, Grace's gambling-addicted brother appears from time to time, there's another minor plot about someone who wants to marry Grace, but most of the attention is on Daniel and Grace.

The story feels rather lightweight most of the time with Grace able to behave in a most unlikely manner in a world when women were closely chaperoned. We see the story through both Grace's and Daniel's eyes and there are few surprises along the way. It's a reasonable enough read but didn't stand out in any way and towards the end the story was dragging a little too much for this reader.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book, © Helen Hancox 2008
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rather Be Reading on April 5, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with Harriet Klausner that it was a wonderful concept and everyone's character was true to the plot except Grace's. I kept thinking, "Can't she see what everyone else sees or will think of her?" After everything she's been through- losing her father at such a young age, having to save the family estate from her gambling addicted mother's devastation, raise her brother only to have him follow their mother into a gambling addiction too, having a sleazy ex-suitor taking her innocence and then discarding her, and then to find out her mother lost her, their homes, and a prized violin that was supposed to go to her eventually in a card game- she should have been much more angry, upset, mature, and leery of everyone around her.

Instead she still tries to help her brother and save the estate by making a very indecent wager with Daniel, the man who won her and didn't really want her or her homes in the first place. All he wanted was the violin. And in the end tries to save Daniel too. Huh? The author keeps having her say that she's worried about herself and her reputation but then has her behaving just the opposite.

Grace's character keeps making stupid decisions and acting totally immature and naive and just plain stupid to the world around her. It's like the author tries to have Grace seem worldly but instead she comes off as this stupid country miss that doesn't have a clue of what she's doing, but keeps doing it. And where was her anger and wariness? Could she just shed everything that had happened in the past as if it didn't traumatically affect her? I kept thinking if her reputation gets ruined- she has it coming! It's Daniel's worldliness and maturity, her brother growing maturity, and her friend's care and all their love- and just pure dumb luck- that saves her in the end. I truly think if the author had put the appropriate strong, mature female character into this book it would've been very, very good. Too bad it wasn't Grace.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 28, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1845 in a game of cards, Lady Banbury assured of her hand raises the stake by anteing up her daughter. However, to her chagrin, Daniel Throckmorten takes the pot, which includes the virtue of Miss Grace Banbury.

Grace is stunned as not only is this out of character for her prim and proper mom; she lost to a noted rake whose family is always embroiled in scandal. However, Daniel may be amused by the affair, but he will never force a female into his bed. Instead his plan is to seduce Grace so that she voluntarily graces his bed. Grace assumes she can ignore his seduction and regain her freedom, but Daniel's kisses are hard to resist as she has fallen in love with the scoundrel who keeps raising the ante.

The "introduction" between the lead couple is a wonderful unique concept (unless you're Grace) that brings a distinct freshness to the nineteenth century tale of the romance between a rake and an innocent. Daniel and Grace prove to be much more than the stereotypes as they gamble on love while the eccentric support cast especially her gambler of a mother and his out of control family enhance this entertainingly brisk early Victorian romance.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RETSmile on August 8, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If your looking for a book with a lot of hot sex scenes, then this isn't the one for you. But if you love a good romance in which the hero and heroine fall in love, give this one a try, and when they finally get to the sex, it is pretty hot, just not a whole lot of it. I enjoyed it and cared about the characters. They were all appealing and this was an enjoyable read. 4.5 Stars
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Romance Books on April 14, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The beautiful Miss Grace Banbury has not only been the beauty, but the brains in her highly dysfunctional family of gamblers and has always found a way to get her brother and mother out of their waging messes. But this time, her mother has done the ultimate insult and has not only gambled away the family's homes, property, and a priceless violin, which is one of Grace's most important possessions, but her along with it! The handsome Daniel Throckmorten has always turned everything he touches into gold and has a knack for recognizing a good gamble and business deal that will pay off well, but he discovers the shock at winning the beautiful Grace, especially when he is in the market for a new mistress. Upon seeing her beauty and intelligence, he is taken with her and his feelings begin to somewhat soften. How can he keep up his image of being a scoundrel and rake that has kept his image of success within society in business and bed going if he turns soft on Miss Banbury and allows her to win the wager?

Suddenly Grace finds herself in a position that she never thought she would be in: a wager with a scoundrel no less! If Daniel cannot seduce her into his bed within two weeks she will lose all, but most of all she wants the priceless violin so that she can sell it and save her brother. And this is indeed a sacrifice, because Grace loves music and that violin, but she loves her brother Edward more and wants to save him before he becomes as bad as her mother, has no property and will never find a wife. As Daniel begins his seduction of Grace he begins to see her beauty is more than skin deep. And as Grace feels her passion weakening and giving into Daniel, she realizes that it is the violin and music that is between them more than the wager, and that this scoundrel is really a gentleman.
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