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on March 19, 2014
I have finished! Yes I have now read the complete Billingham series, this final book was wonderful. Every story had a different couple each individual dealing with their own personal issues, and this story was no different. With less sensual content some might find it displeasing, but I did not. What sensual moments there were, were each powerful and loving in every way. It was wonderful to have the epilogue as a conclusion as well. However before reading this book you might want to pick up a copy of Lessons of a Courtesan, while it was not my favorite read, if you find yourself wanting to know more about the love match between Justin and Victoria, it's worth it to read and gives a small view of Marah and Caleb's first introduction. Overall a fitting conclusion to the Billingham series, not my favorite, but still worth the read.
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on August 8, 2015
I loved the twist and turns of Caleb and Marahs story. There was depth of characters and story that was refreshing. I did find it hard to keep up with some of the extended characters and from the number of references to Victoria and Justin's story I had wished that theirs too had been given a full account on its own.
In the epilogue I am still not sure who a Simon person is. He is given a paragraph excerpt but again with so many short mentions of a variety of people I got a little lost......
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on September 13, 2011
As posted on my blog: [...]

The third book in the Billingham Bastards series by Jenna Petersen didn't really go out with a bang; instead, it tugged at the heart.

Two years ago, Caleb Talbot ran from the news that he was yet another bastard son of the late Duke Billingham. Consequently, he also left Marah Farnsworth, with whom he'd shared an intense, but brief affair. When he gets the news that the man who raised him is dying, Caleb returns, ready to face his demons. He's not quite prepared to face Marah again, but every interaction makes him realize just how much she had meant to him after all.

Marah Farnsworth grew up with her own inner demons, and when Caleb left, she fled back to her grandmother's village to live a simple life. Her dear friend, Victoria, Caleb's sister-in-law, begs her to come back since her husband's father is very sick. Always one to put others before herself, Marah agrees. Except, when she sees Caleb again, the feelings come rushing back. But so do her fears. Afraid he'll abandon her like before, Marah agrees to marry someone steadier, someone she doesn't love in the least.

Now it's Caleb's job to be the man he's always wanted to be. He must choose to fight for Marah as the scoundrel he's always been or demonstrate the selflessness he admires so much in her.

This story was tame in the physical aspects compared to Jenna's other works, but for me, Caleb and Marah's story was the most touching of the series. Their battles with personal struggles were poignant. Both of them had to evolve into stronger people over the course of their story, and I found the resolution very satisfying. I did feel that the stakes could have been higher, the obstacles even tougher to overcome. Even in a romance novel, it's nice to have that little worry in the back of your mind that the two of them might NOT actually end up together. That wasn't the case here.

But, Jenna's fans won't be disappointed. I highly recommend this and the entire series for the Regency romance readers out there.
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on July 26, 2016
Not worthy my $7!!!! I like Jenna Petersen, but I really have no idea what happened with this book she wrote :(
if you like Mexican drama, this will fill you up! So poor and predictable :(
Su Silva
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on July 19, 2016
Good story of love and people facing challenges and being able to overcome them and find happiness.
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on December 2, 2014
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on September 15, 2011
I can't believe anyone would give this book a good rating or review - even the author's friends. The writing is so bad that it's almost unreadable - run on sentences, mixed tenses in the same sentence, and misuse of so many adjectives that I started underlining them. The relationship between the H/h relies on events of some previous book and is only alluded to. We really should know what circumstances could have possessed any woman of this period to give her virginity to such an idiot. We are given no explicit details of this previous relationship at all. The readers are expected to believe that these two should have been intimate, but there is absolutely no heat between them in the book - the book that's supposed to be about them).

Indeed, it's really hard to believe this couple could ever get together - he's such an irritating whiner. He acts like a 2-year-old throughout the book - taunting a rival by misremembering his name, busting in on polite company wearing last night's clothes, and so on. We're expected to think this is okay because he has found out that the man, whom he thought was his father, wasn't. How this came about is only in the previously mentioned book, not this one. We are not given the circumstances of this revelation - certainly not enough to excuse the ridiculous behavior of this "hero."

I have many other problems with the writing. There are the insertion of cliched stock scenes: the heroine goes to the library for a book and meets the hero there, i.e.. The attitude of characters to certain events do not ring true. Why should the revelation at a tea party that the heroine was a peer, not a commoner, be cause for such scandal? Why does a woman approaching a sick bed to speak with a dying man elicit such drama, as if it were compromising her? They even had a chaperone!

I could go on and on - bad romances make me grumpy - but I'll just leave it there. You get the idea.
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on July 31, 2014
Who doesn't love a love story gone wrong that ends up right! I absolutely love every book I read by Jenna Petersen!
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on December 28, 2013
This book had me laughing and
crying it was very overwhelming when the death accrued. At the end all I could do was smile.
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on July 27, 2011
A Scoundrel's Surrender (Billingham Bastards) was an enjoyable read with all the usual elements. Fans of historical romance will probably enjoy the novel. Despite the title, Caleb is not much of a scoundrel. He drinks excessively due to depression and has no sexual interest in anyone but Marah. There is no low villain (at least no live low villain) and the book revolves around family.
The story is well told but I have a small gripe about the romance. Caleb only gets romantic (i.e. wants to have sex) when he is emotionally battered by the events of the story. Sex seems to be a means of dealing with trauma and not a means of expressing love or even lust. Marah stands stoic and available whenever Caleb needs her (for sex or emotional support). I think the only thing that keeps her from martyr status is the introduction of Winstead as her other "suitor."
This is the third book in the series (although many readers may consider it the fourth if you include Lessons From a Courtesan, which provides much of the back story for Caleb and Marah's romance). The action takes place several years after the events of Lessons From a Courtesan. Caleb and Marah's highlights from that book are brought forth in this entry in the series.
I personally enjoy more humor in my romance and Jenna Petersen is all about the angst ridden hero so if you enjoy men with issues, then this is the book for you.
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