About the Book:
To protect a daring young lady and her brother, he must defeat his villainous past or lose the only thing worth fighting for.
Hardened by a childhood in the rookery and honed by years as a bare-knuckle boxer, Mason Hale revels in his reputation as a ruthless moneylender to London’s Underworld. But everything changes when he commits to caring for his young daughter and the mysterious boy who protected her when Mason couldn’t.
When Lady Katherine Blackwell discovers someone is intent upon abducting her brother for an unknown purpose, she has no one to turn to except a man known for brutal efficiency in the boxing ring and on the streets. She just needs Hale to keep her brother out of danger while she uncovers who is behind the attacks.
As the East End scoundrel takes up residence in their Mayfair manor, Katherine starts to suspect their bodyguard is made of more than brute strength and a brash attitude. And though Mason has no illusions regarding his sordid and violent history, the more Lady Katherine declares she doesn’t need a hero, the more he wants to be exactly that.
If you like shameless heroes, intrepid heroines, and undeniable chemistry, you’ll love Amy Sandas’s bold new historical romance novel, Noble Scoundrel.
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Katherine Blackwell is the daughter of the late Duke of Northmoor, who died a year ago in a fire which destroyed their family country home. She and her younger brother, Freddie, now the new duke at only twelve years of age, have come to stay at their London home. Katherine has almost been like a mother to Freddie, as she is eight years older, and their own mother died years ago. When Freddie disappears, Katherine’s search for him leads her to Mason Hale.
Mason Hale is a child of the rookery, a former undefeated prizefighter, a moneylender, and a genuine scoundrel. When he discovers that he has a young daughter he was unaware of, he decides to make some changes in his life. When his child, Claire, is kidnapped, thanks to the shoddy lack of care from her mother, Mason goes a little crazy. He manages to track her down, a victim of a gang of criminals who intended to sell the children they stole as slaves. In that group of children is Freddie, who has taken it upon himself to be a protector of traumatized Claire. Freddie does not reveal his identity to Mason, but does go to Mason’s home, as Claire is unwilling to let him out of her sight.
At first Katherine believes Mason to be the villain who kidnapped her brother. She soon realizes that he, in fact, has been keeping Freddie housed and safe, and was the one who rescued him. When Freddie confesses to Katherine that he was actually kidnapped twice, she knows she has to protect him somehow. She decides to offer Mason the job of protecting Freddie, until they can discover who is after him, and why. That very day, Mason and Claire move into the Blackwell’s Mayfair home.
Katherine is a strong willed woman, and Mason is a hardened man, unimpressed by nobility and titles. They are bound to clash, and they immediately do. Katherine insists on being in control, and Mason finds himself admiring her for doing so. He never shows her any deference, calling her “Luv,” “Dove,” or “Duchess,” while making outrageous sexual innuendos. Though Katherine is an innocent, she is aware of Mason’s game, and stands up to him rather than shrink away in embarrassment. It’s not long before Katherine finds herself ogling Mason, and thinking her own risqué thoughts. Soon enough, touches start to happen, then searing kisses and embraces, then full blown steamy passion.
Mason knows it’s crazy to have an affair with an aristocrat, and that it’s bound to end when Freddie’s mysterious kidnapper is found, but he can’t stay away from Katherine. She affects him as no one ever has. The way she embraces her sexuality and her boldness keep Mason captivated, though he is sure to keep reminding her of what a bad man he is, and what awful things are in his past. Katherine sees beyond Mason’s perpetual smirk and smart mouth to the kind and protective man underneath.
NOBLE SCOUNDREL takes a realistic look at love between the classes. There is no fairytale ending here where Mason discovers he’s of noble birth or a secret heir, and I love reading this type of story. (Though, make no mistake, I love the fairytales, as well.) If their love turns out to be genuine and they are to have any kind of future, they will face censure and obstacles galore. I have faith that these two very strong willed people are up for the challenge. Another facet of the book which I particularly loved was the two younger children and their relationship with each other and with their respective relatives. Freddie is so very mature for his age, and his care of Claire is heartwarming. Claire’s love for Freddie is evident, and she manages to charm Katherine and wind herself into Mason’s heart. Mason doesn’t hesitate to show Claire love and to spend time with her. I love that he was inspired to change his life and vocation for the sake of his child. The mystery of the kidnapper was a bit unusual, and added some suspense to this gritty and steamy romance. I also can’t help but think that in eighteen years, when Freddie is thirty, and Claire twenty, there will be a new romance in the making – maybe even in sixteen years! ~Rose