About A SCOUNDREL BY MOONLIGHT
Anything can happen in the moonlight . . .
Justice. That’s all Nell Trim wants-for her sister and for the countless other young women the Marquess of Leath has ruined with his wildly seductive ways. Now she has a bold plan to take him down . . . as long as she can resist the scoundrel’s temptations herself.
From the moment Nell meets James Fairbrother, the air positively sizzles. Yet for all his size and power, there’s something amazingly tender in his touch. Could he really be such a depraved rogue? The only way to find out is to beat the devil at his own game . . . one tempting kiss at a time.
About Anna Campbell: Always a voracious reader, Anna Campbell decided when she was a child that she wanted to be a writer. Once she discovered the wonderful world of romance novels, she knew exactly what she wanted to write. Anna has won numerous awards for her historical romances, including the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice, the Booksellers’ Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence, the Aspen Gold (twice), and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s most popular historical romance (five times). Her books have twice been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award and three times for Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year.
When she’s not writing passionate, intense stories featuring gorgeous Regency heroes and the women who are their destiny, Anna loves to travel, especially in the United Kingdom, and listen to all kinds of music. She lives near the sea on the east coast of Australia, where she’s losing her battle with an overgrown subtropical garden.
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As Dorothy lies dying, her final thoughts are to have revenge on the man who seduced, ruined, and abandoned her. With her last breaths, she implores her sister Eleanor (Nell) to find the villain’s diary, which details all his lurid seductions, and show the world the scoundrel he really is. The man she names is the Marquess of Leath.
Nell takes up the quest, and takes a position as a lowly maid in the Marquess’ household. Although she is not noble, or even gentry, Nell is well educated, and speaks as a lady. She soon catches the attention of the Marquess’ mother, who makes Nell her companion. Since the Marquess (James) is away in London, furthering his political career, this gives Nell the perfect opportunity to search his home for the diary that will bring him to ruin. What Nell doesn’t know is that James’ uncle has been using his name to play his debauched game, leaving a string of ruined ladies believing James to be the culprit. In addition to his scandalous uncle, James’ sister recently eloped, causing more gossip about his family. His political superiors feel it’s best that he head for his country home until talk quiets down. Thus, James comes home to find a strange young woman searching his library at night.
In reality, James is a very serious and honorable man. He has political ambitions to become prime minister, and fulfill the dream his father never did. His mother strongly wants this for him, as well. He’s suspicious of the new maid and her role in his household. He wants his mother to end her employment, though in reality he’s very attracted to her. James’ mother is quite fond of Nell, and is determined to keep her. When James’ secretary suffers an accident and can’t work, Nell fills in. James is soon so enthralled with Nell, that he asks her to become his mistress, despite his own scruples. Nell turns him down, though she has come to see James in a whole new light. Can this hard working, dedicated man really be the depraved seducer? I loved watching both James and Nell change their opinions of the other, and begin to see each other for who they really are. (I love how James addresses her as “Miss Trim” in public, and “Eleanor” in private.)
James and Nell become closer, and soon become lovers. Before their fledgling affair barely starts, Nell sees some letters that she believes prove James’ guilt after all. This was the most difficult part of the story for me, as I was disappointed in how Nell reacted, and then how James handled their confrontation. It almost seems that any hope of a future together has been crushed.
While a great part of this story deals with the issue of the wrongs James’ uncle has done, the main focus is the developing love of two people from different worlds. James is a high ranking noble who has great political aspirations, while Nell is merely a soldier’s daughter. Marriage to her would only harm his career and bring more scandal to his family. There aren’t easy answers. Anna Campbell doesn’t gloss over how difficult life will be if this couple chooses love, and I adore that she did that. This is a compelling addition to the Sons of Sin series, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and highly recommend.
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