Review – Tender Blackguard by Amy Sandas

Tender Blackguard

About the Book:

A Servant with Secrets.
A childhood in the rookery taught Lark Evans two things; how to survive a perilous world and people deserving of loyalty are precious few. When her friend goes missing, Lark will risk it all to find her. But the shadows of Mayfair are dangerous and her handsome new employer might just be the villain she’s seeking.

A Lord Born of Darkness.
Alastair Blackwell never wanted to be the next Marquess of Warfield, but upon his father’s death, he discovers a secret that changes everything. To purge the demons of his past, he must destroy the arcane society his father founded long ago. His greatest challenge could prove to be his impertinent new housekeeper.

A Sinister Evil Thriving in Mayfair.
Though Alastair vows to keep Lark far away from the evil she seeks, he can’t help but wonder if she could be the key to ending it all.

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AMAZON US BUY LINK: Tender Blackguard

My Review:

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I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Reviewed by Rose 3Lark Evans was left as a foundling, but ran away from the orphanage as soon as she was able.  She became a child of the rookery, and joined a gang of thieves.  When Lark encountered an even younger child, Harriet, she disregarded all the advice from her cronies to leave her to fend for herself, and became Harriet’s self appointed guardian and protector.  As the girls grew up, Lark even endured a strict school for charity girls because it’s what Harriet wanted to do.  She did learn some valuable skills there, such as how to be a proper servant in a noble household.  When Harriet disappears, leaving only a cryptic note for Lark not to look for her, of course, that’s exactly what Lark does.  She applies for the job of housekeeper at a house with a notorious previous owner, one located close to where she can search for Harriet at every opportunity.

Alastair Blackwell, new Marquess of Warfield, is on a quest.  His late father, a man he only met twice in his lifetime, was a debauched libertine, one who was part of a secret brotherhood of men from the highest reaches of society.  These men felt themselves above the law and able to indulge in any perversion or crime that they chose.  In fact, Alastair’s own mother was one of their victims, and she never really recovered from the damage his father inflicted upon her.  Alastair is determined to find the remaining men of the brotherhood and bring them to justice.  He vows to be nothing like his father was, but he is somewhat tainted by his sire’s reputation.  Servant girls don’t want to work at his home, and he therefore ends up hiring Lark, though he feels she’s much too young for the job.

Both Lark and Alastair are skilled at being secretive as they each investigate their own cause, but that also means they are able to detect that the other is also up to something.  They play a bit of cat and mouse before they come to discover that their causes have much in common.  Lark seems almost fearless as she searches for Harriet.  Her upbringing has made her strong and resourceful.  Alastair’s childhood had no love from either parent, so it’s amazing that he turned into the strong and truly noble man he is.  He is determined to do what’s right, and to protect any more innocent victims from falling prey to the brotherhood.  Alastair’s honor also prevents him from acting on his intense attraction to Lark, since she is his servant, and, therefore under his protection.

Lark has never before felt the desire that she feels for Alastair, even though he backs away every time an intimate moment seems likely.  Lark is a woman who goes after what she wants, and she isn’t hesitant to let Alastair know that she aches for him.  Realizing that his reservations about her are tied back to his father, Lark manages to bring them together without making Alastair feel as though he’s following in his father’s footsteps.  Their chemistry is amazing, and their honesty with each other about their feelings is wonderful.  The love and warmth between them simply oozed off the pages, and is genuinely swoonworthy.  TENDER BLACKGUARD is perfect for readers who want a solid, heartfelt romance with a heaping dash of steam.    ~Rose

5-blue-rosesHeat Level hot no flame

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