I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
This is the second book in the Scoundrels series...in which I enjoyed the first one a lot. So I was looking forward to see how the next installment compared. Won't say it surpassed the first one, but it is a good second.
Lady Philippa Marbury is . . . odd
The brilliant, bespectacled daughter of a double marquess cares more for books than balls, for science than the season, and for laboratories than love. She's looking forward to marrying her simple fiancé and living out her days quietly with her dogs and her scientific experiments. But before that, Pippa has two weeks to experience all the rest—fourteen days to research the exciting parts of life. It's not much time, and to do it right she needs a guide familiar with London's darker corners.
She needs . . . a Scoundrel
She needs Cross, the clever, controlled partner in London's most exclusive gaming hell, with a carefully crafted reputation for wickedness. But reputations often hide the darkest secrets, and when the unconventional Pippa boldly propositions him, seeking science without emotion, she threatens all he works to protect. He is tempted to give Pippa precisely what she wants . . . but the scoundrel is more than he seems, and it will take every ounce of his willpower to resist giving the lady more than she ever imagined.
If there is one thing that gets me is some good witty dialogue. These two characters, from the first scene together, had me giggling in delight with their combative wordplay. Cross is used to people not keeping up with him, and just barreling his way through every situation on his sheer will and wit. But with Pippa, he meets a woman who just leaves him speechless...literally. She can talk him into loops and curves and take him down dark alleyways of conversation....where he comes out feeling like he has been mugged. From the minute she meets him and basically propositions him he is flummoxed. Pippa just says what she thinks and asks any questions she sees fit to understand things and see no problem, yeah it is not proper ladies are expected to ask...but who made those rules anyway?
She does not want to go into her marriage not knowing how things works, and she heard through the grapevine that Cross was an expert on the subject matter, so it was only logical that she come to him, what with him being close with her brother -in-law, for help in getting some first hand information. Her innocent honesty, and Cross constant befuddlement at what comes out of her month....makes the entire book.
"...You however, are a man of science with legendary experience. I'm sure there are plenty of things you are able to clarify. Fro example, I'm very curious about the male member."
He choked. Then coughed.
When he regained his ability to speak, he said, "I'm sure you are"
"I've seen drawings of course-in anatomical text-but perhaps you could help with some of the specifics? For example-"
"No." He cute her off before she elaborated, and with her straightforward, scientific questions.
"I'm happy to pay you," she announced, "For your services."
A harsh, strangled sound cut through the room. It came from him. "Pay me."
She nodded. "Would, say, twenty-five pounds do?"
Her brows knitted together. "Of course, a person of your - prowess - is worth more. I apologize for the offense. Fifty? I'm afraid I can't go much higher. It's quite a bit of money."
Poor Cross never stood a chance.
This one was full of good laughs, and once it got down to it...some hot sexy times. What more can I ask? It also did a good job in fleshing out the side characters, which I also liked...when every character lives and breathes like a real person rather than a cardboard cut out it helps the book overall.
My only complaint would be the usual: characters who invent ridiculous reasons not to be together and drag on the unnecessary drama. It happens in most all romances, I'm just glad it was kept brief in this one.