A ruthless moneylender…
Cedric Sharpe, illegitimate son of a duke, is among the most feared men in London. Through sheer force of will, Cedric rose from poverty to build a lucrative empire based on a single principle: that one must always pay their debts. And so, when presented with the opportunity to settle his score with the father who scorned him, he is determined to seize it at any cost. That the pristine Lady Rose Wilkins should come with the bargain only serves to sweeten the deal…
A gentle debutante…
Rose, with her gentle nature and effortless grace, is the perfect debutante with a single caveat: she has no dowry. When her wastrel brother places their family in dire financial straits—and his very life in the hands of one of London’s most ruthless men—she finds herself paying a price far beyond anything she’d ever imagined to save them: her hand in marriage to a man that frightens and excites her in equal measure.
A marriage of convenience…
But to their mutual surprise, what begins as a marriage of convenience soon develops into a consuming passion. As Cedric and Rose slowly learn that there is more to callous usurers and sheltered debutantes than meets the eye, they realize that they may end up losing far more than either of them bargained for…
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating between Cedric & Rose’s perspectives.
What a great read! This is my first book by Mara Shaw and I really enjoyed it. The forced/coerced marriage aspect as well as the grumpy/tortured hero vibe worked well for me.
Rose’s brother’s debts leave Rose in a difficult position. She has nothing but a title to her name which doesn’t mean much for living in high society. While wealthy, Cedric’s birth leaves him just outside of the social circles he desperately wants to be part of. These two strike up a bargain to marry thinking it will be beneficial to both – what they don’t expect is real feelings and the sparks that fly.
In the best possible ways, this was a good mix of lots of world building, immediately attracted yet slow burn on the relationship itself, and finding true happiness. Cedric has a lot of healing to do and I like the way Rose supports him yet also doesn’t hesitate to call him out. The secondary characters are well developed and a lot of fun as well. I don’t know if Shaw has plans to give them their own books – The Scoundrel’s Score stands well on it’s own but could definitely launch a series that I’d love to read.
About the author:
Mara is a writer and an avid reader of historical romance. Her love for the genre began with her desire to vicariously live out the grand, sweeping love affairs her everyday life (so sadly) lacked. After spending years dreaming of dashing dukes, reformed rakes, and the occasional unscrupulous scoundrel, she finally put pen to paper and brought some of her own to life on the page.
Outside of writing, she enjoys a quiet life rife with reading binges, period dramas, and copious amounts of tea.
You can connect with Mara Shaw here:
My Favorite Quotes
It was as if everything about Cedric Sharpe was designed with the express purpose of lending him a sort of dark allure. – The Scoundrel’s Score by @MaraShawBooks #HistoricalRomance #KindleUnlimitedTweet
Every romantic novel housed in the Bloomsfield Park library—including those of the more torrid variety—could not have prepared Rose for Cedric Sharpe’s kiss. – The Scoundrel’s Score by @MaraShawBooks #HistoricalRomance #KindleUnlimitedTweet
To his immense surprise, Cedric found that there was a part of him that actually enjoyed teasing her. – The Scoundrel’s Score by @MaraShawBooks #HistoricalRomance #KindleUnlimitedTweet
There was something magnificently filthy about hearing bawdy talk from the lips of an angel. – The Scoundrel’s Score by @MaraShawBooks #HistoricalRomance #KindleUnlimitedTweet