The theme of The Romance Reviews‘ Romance Madness Hop is books we love.

Since I write historicals, I thought I’d feature an historical novel that was recommended to me separately by three of my writer friends. By the time I reached the end of the Prologue, I understood what they were all raving about. The book is Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.

Lord of ScoundrelsThis RITA award winner was published by Avon Historical in 1995 and though the cover may seem dated, I predict the words within will become a romance classic.

Jessica Trent is a feisty, unconventional heroine in the Georgette Heyer mold, and the snappy dialogue would have done that grand dame of Regency Romance proud. The book grabbed my attention on page one, and didn’t let go until long after I’d turned the last page. But perhaps the best part of this novel is the hero, the dark, devilish Marquess of Dain. Swoon.

Sebastian Ballister, Marquess of Dain, is every mother’s nightmare. He has devoted to his life to every vice imaginable, and he’s quite happy with that. Just as well his taste in women doesn’t run to ladies of quality, or more reputations than his own would be ruined. Enter Jessica Trent, a no-nonsense, intelligent spinster set on removing her impressionable brother from Dain’s influence. Sparks fly from the first time they meet and soon all of Paris is laying bets on whether she’s the woman to bring the notorious bachelor to his knees.

The game is on and both intend to win. Neither intend for their rivalry to end in marriage. But one compromising kiss is all it takes and before Jessica can catch her breath, she’s whisked back to London, married to the Lord of Scoundrels, and ensconced in the wilds of Dartmoor where the chemistry and the drama are only ratcheted higher.

Lord of Scoundrels is a fast-paced read that is un-put-downable. To see for yourself, read this extract on Loretta Chase’s website.

The Romance Hop runs from 25 to 29 January, and there are prizes galore. To follow the Hop, or to sign up for great prizes, click on the button below.

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