What book lover hasn’t pictured herself as one of the heroines she’s read about? Read a mystery and think herself as canny as an inspector? Compared a man to one she’s seen on page? Miss Mary Channing has done all of that. But she hasn’t done much living in the real world. It’s easier to live vicariously through characters she meets on the page. A visit to her sister in London, though, is about to change everything.
That’s where she first stumbles across the handsome reprobate Geoffrey Westmore. He’s a future viscount whose only interests lie beneath a skirt or at the bottom of a glass. He’s known for epic pranks and even more epic conquests. He and Mary could not be less suited to one another. But the two of them are thrown together when get trapped in a library and overhear an assassination plot. Unfortunately, no one believes Westmore because of his history with practical jokes. And it doesn’t help that their time in the library ruined Mary in the eyes of society.
So they have to solve the mystery themselves. The story follows their adventure as they try to unmask the villains –and just happen to fall in love in the process.
I liked the story well enough. It’s got some tender feelings happening. Mary and Westmore definitely bring out the best in each other. I like that Mary finds an inner strength she didn’t know she had and that West manages to get past some of the self-loathing and doubt that has driven him for so long. (It’s also hard not to love a bookworm heroine.)
But I did have some issues. The degree of Mary’s naiveté strained credibility at times. I understand that her life experience was limited, but book-living isn’t real-living and at a certain point, a grown woman should recognize that. I’m also not a big fan of such a sexually prolific hero. I know they’re all supposed to be gangbusters in bed, but this guy really was a bit more promiscuous than even your average rake. It was a little bit of a turnoff.
As for the mystery, it was fairly good. But I saw the “big reveal” coming –the who, not the why– which made it a bit of a letdown.
Overall, though, the romance is good. There’s solid sexual tension and some enjoyable payoff. And the ending satisfies.
*ARC provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel
by Jennifer McQuiston
Release Date: September 27, 2016