I have just been going on and on about how gorgeous the cover is to A Scoundrel by Moonlight but let me tell you, the story is even better! I just love this series to pieces and I hope that if you haven't read this series yet that you'll decide to do so soon.
Be sure to check back on Friday (May 1) when I'll have a quick Q & A with Anna as part of the release week celebration!
Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Release Date: April 28, 2015
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.
After the scandal that resulted from his uncle’s horrible crimes were made public and his sister’s hasty elopement with a penniless younger son, James Fairbrother, the Marquess of Leath is struggling to improve his family’s name. As a promising politician, he can’t afford another disaster, which is why he has allowed himself to be exiled to his country estate until gossip dies down. He’s always held himself to high standards and rules, one of them being that he doesn’t harass, flirt with or otherwise fantasize about his employees. Then he meets his mother’s new companion and suddenly the rules he easily lived by seem more and more ridiculous.
A promise to her ruined half sister, Dorothy has Nell Trim posing as a companion to the Marquess’ mother. Her plan is to find irrefutable evidence that James is the man who ruined Dorothy and countless others. Her plan for justice turns into something more dangerous as Nell begins to see the man instead of the title. James’ kind, thoughtful and intelligent personality confuses Nell even as she starts to fall for him. Determined not to break her promise, Nell finds herself in the middle of a scandal in the making.
I feel like it’s been a lifetime since the events of What a Duke Dares took place and James Fairbrother, the Marquess of Leath stormed onto the pages like a bull and began ordering people around. Back then James appeared larger than life but no more than a thorn in Camden Rothermere’s side meant to push the story to its conclusion. The thought always remained with me though: Is there more to this big, hulking figure of a man?
Then short answer was yes. In private, as he got to know Nell, he was warm, affectionate, funny and kind. Not at all the stern, overbearing, brute of a man that he presented in What a Duke Dares. Unlike previous heroes in the series, James didn’t suffer from severe self loathing but from a child-like need to make mother proud even at the cost of his own happiness. I felt so bad for poor James. He spent so much of his life putting everyone else’s wants above his own! I pictured this big, hulking man who could crush an opponent with his bare hands with the vulnerable heart of a little boy. I enjoyed watching him go from someone who had his own hopes and dreams firmly locked up, to a man who had learned that there is no joy in spending your life trying to make everyone else happy.
I always love internal conflicts, especially if they cause some real problems between a couple and that’s what happened in A Scoundrel by Moonlight. Nell was torn between her loyalty to her sister and a newer loyalty to James. It was a difficult struggle that I felt made Nell seem less like the picture of perfection James sometimes saw her as and more of a flesh and blood woman. It wasn’t easy for Nell and because of that, she made terrible mistakes. I couldn’t help but like her more for her flaws. Perfection can be a total bore after all.
Aside from James and Nell, two characters I was more than happy to get to know, there was also a bit of a reunion scene with all the previous characters from the series. I was excited to see Jonas, Sidonie, Richard, Genevieve, Simon, Lydia and of course Cam and Penelope. All these characters each have a special place in my heart (and e-reader). I was surprised at the appearance of Marianne Seaton towards the end. Could she have a story of her own coming soon? She seemed like a nice enough secondary character in Cam and Pen’s story.
There was only one part of A Scoundrel by Moonlight I didn’t care for the fact that the villain was very clearly revealed too early along with the explanation for why Nell’s half sister named the Marquess of Leath as her defiler. That sucked the mystery and some of the anticipation out of the story for me. I would have liked it better if that particular revelation would have been left at the end.
Aside from that though, I thoroughly enjoyed A Scoundrel by Moonlight. James fit into the Sons of Sin “club” quite well once he realized he really didn’t have a solid reason for disliking Cam. I loved the camaraderie that quickly developed between the men, with Jonas and Richard treating James like he’d always been their friend. The bonds that formed between not only the men but their wives and Nell gave the ending such a warm feeling of family and friendship.
Anna Campbell has once again crafted a wonderful story of lust, love and wry humor to delight and entertain readers both new and old. A Scoundrel by Moonlight takes its place among an already solid and amazing series and brings with it fresh characters and the possibility of more from this growing motley crew.
Final Verdict: Don't miss this one! The story is just a great as the cover!