Friday, January 30, 2015

Never Surrender to a Scoundrel by Lily Dalton

The Basics:

Never Surrender to a Scoundrel by Lily Dalton

Book Three in the One Scandalous Season series
Historical Romance
Published January 27, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Why I picked up this book:

Something about the cover told me I needed

A Reckless Desire...

Lady Clarissa Bevington is in trouble. A reckless indiscretion has left her with two choices: ruin her family with the scandal of the Season, or marry Mr. Kincraig, the notorious scoundrel mistaken as her lover. Desperate and disgraced, Clarissa vows to love and cherish a veritable stranger, a man whose eyes smolder with danger—and undeniable desire...

An Unexpected Arrangement

As an agent for the Crown, Lord Donovan Blackmer has spent the last two years guarding Clarissa's grandfather from an unknown assassin while disguised as the rakehell Kincraig. His mission may now be over, but his duty has just begun. Salvaging his beautiful, impetuous wife's virtue will cost him his fortune and his position as an officer—but it might save him from the ghosts that haunt his own past. When their marriage "in name only" leads to exquisite seduction, Donovan must risk the only thing he has left to lose . . . his heart
My thoughts:

Never Surrender to a Scoundrel opens with a very difficult situation - Clarissa is in a delicate, rather desperate position and Blackmer is caught up in it. Because Clarissa truly lacks options and Blackmer is so honorable, they find themselves suddenly married, their lives veering wildly off the paths that they had imagined for themselves. 

Now, I hadn't read the two previous books in the series, but I wish I had only so that I could see how Blackmer behaved and was received by the family before his true identity is revealed. Fortunately, Never Surrender focuses on Clarissa and Blackmer apart from her family so it was easy enough to jump in with this book.

What I loved most about Never Surrender is that it's truly a book about two people who are trying to make the best of a bad situation. Neither Clarissa nor Blackmer are really interested in punishing the other for their unexpected, unwanted marriage, nor are they interested in wallowing in self-pity. This was such a healthy attitude to have that I was pleasantly caught up in it all. 

Clarissa's naivete about love and life is so consistently and amusingly evident. Her earnest desire to do the best by Blackmer that she can was charming and I was definitely in her corner. Not that I saw this as Clarissa vs. Blackmer. He behaves too honorably to see him as opposed to Clarissa. 

There's some business about Blackmer's past as a secret agent that provides some third act conflict that. I don't want to be more specific than that for spoiler reasons. I did enjoy it, and there were equal measures of things I didn't see coming and things that I did. Overall, it brought everything to a delightful conclusion.

Bottom line:

Never Surrender to a Scoundrel was a bit of historical romance fun. I thought Clarissa and Blackmer are both delightful characters. The book really emphasizes the frustration, the desire and all the little (and big) surprises that the couple discover as they try to redefine their relationship. I'd absolutely recommend this book, and I'll be back for more from this author!

4.5 stars
For fans of historical romance, spies, surprise weddings

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of Never Surrender to a Scoundrel:

Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews

Fresh Fiction for Today's Reader

Books of Love

Literati Literature Lovers

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