Monday, 7 April 2014

Book Review: Scoundrel Ever After by Darcy Burke



Scoundrel Ever After (Secrets & Scandals #6)
Author: Darcy Burke
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Release Date: 8 February 2014

Once upon a time there was a very bad boy…

Ethan Jagger will do anything to leave his criminal past behind and take his place as a gentleman in Polite Society. Success is within his grasp until his boss discovers his double cross and frames him for murder. As if running from the law and the outlaws weren’t bad enough, he must protect an innocent young lady from the very criminals who want him dead. Worst of all, though, is the dangerous attraction that sparks between them. If he can escape the hangman’s noose and start anew, will she consent to love a scoundrel ever after?

Who met a very nice girl…

London only thinks of Audrey Cheswick as a wallflower—if they even think of her at all. She’s tried to find satisfaction—if not happiness—as a spinster-in-waiting, though her intrepid spirit yearns for a grand adventure. But when she runs away with England’s most wanted criminal, she learns adventure comes with a price—not just her reputation or her virtue, but her heart.

Review

The blurb got me very excited, a wallflower and a criminal looking for redemption? Um, yes please!

Audrey is a wallflower, but wants so much more from her life than what her parents have planned for her. She longs for adventure and an escape. She certainly dives head first into adventure when Ethan Jagger/Locke shows up injured at her window. I liked Audrey, she has guts and I admired her determination to enjoy her life and escape the box her parents were trying to put her in. But I found her actions rather puzzling in the first third of the book. I'm not sure how much she knew Ethan previously, but her grandfather was just assaulted by some ruffians and she up and leaves with a man she barely knows who is clearly running from someone. Then when she realises that Ethan is running from Bow Street, she continues on her 'adventure' with him. It just came across as kind of reckless and foolish, to be honest. Fair enough, I understood her motivations, but I read it with a raised eyebrow. Once Ethan and Audrey's relationship develops, the eyebrow lowered and it made sense that she stuck by him and defended him.

Ethan has a criminal past that he's trying to put behind him. He wants nothing more than to let go of the past and mend his relationship with his brother, unfortunately that past does not want to let go of him. When he's falsely accused of murdering a Marquess, he's forced to literally run for his life. Ethan likes Audrey, but he never intended to bring her with him. As they spend more time together though,he realises that she's an unusual young lady and there's a lot more to her than meets the eye. Ethan has done a lot in his past that he regrets and he wants to become a better man, the man his father intended for him to be. 

I enjoyed Ethan and Audrey's relationship. I thought her optimism and innocence balanced his cynicism and made him a bit less jaded. Ethan is a good man at heart, and Audrey sees that man.

I could get a little lost with all the characters, at times. It's part of a series and can be read as a stand alone, but there are a lot of characters who are clearly in the previous books in the series and it could be difficult to remember who was who. Alhough, it doesn't affect the reading of this book particularly. 

Overall, I liked it but I didn't love it. The characters held a lot of promise but fell a bit flat for me. I was left feeling luke warm about this, although I'm interested to read some of the other character's stories in previous books of the series.

*I received a review copy form the publisher, via NetGalley, for my honest opinion. Thank you!

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