The Scoundrels Lover by Jess Michaels
Overview by Amazon:
Annabelle Flynn is the sister of London’s two biggest libertines, and her reaction has been to become the picture of purity. But the sensual nature of her family has not been lost on her and she is troubled by urges she dare not follow. She ignores the demands of her body and instead throws herself into two different activities. One is pursuing a proper marriage in Society and the other is trying to save her broken brother by following him into the shocking Donville Masquerade, part of a hell run by the mysterious Marcus Rivers.
By day, Annabelle pursues ladylike endeavors and seeks a staid husband to combat the wild reputations of her brothers. By night, she inserts herself into Marcus’s business… and eventually she finds herself seduced into his bed.
But can a not-quite-proper lady and an entirely unsuitable cad find anything in common outside of the bedroom? And will Annabelle be willing to trade passion for cold, calculated ‘perfection’?
Wow this book is spicy!! There is a plethora of love scenes that are decadent and alluring. Jess Michaels has created a book that balances a great plot, wonderful and complicated characters and fiery passion. It’s a lot harder to create than one would imagine and when executed well, it’s a delight for the reader.
We meet Annabelle Flynn in the first book in the series. She is part of the infamous Flynn family. Her father and brothers are notorious scoundrels and rakes. She is an exceptionally smart woman who longs for the one thing her family can’t give her – respectability. Her brother inherited the title of Duke the previous year and the ton has fawned all over him as he is a man and now a lofty lord, but that doesn’t mean the same thing for the two younger Flynn siblings.
Annabelle is in the midst of her first season. She wants to marry a Lord so that she is above suspicion and leaves behind the Flynn reputation. The author makes you really understand why she would bother with impressing the ton. She straddles two worlds. The first is the life she has always known – the fun and carefree life of a Flynn. The second is now the world of the Upper Ten Thousand. Since her brother has inherited the title and the lands, he is out in society regularly and Annabelle wants to be accepted for who she is and what she creates, rather than being forced upon the ton because they fear angering a duke.
Her brother Crispin has fared the worst in the year that changed the Flynn’s lives. Crispin is riding off the rails. He drinks to excess, gambles money like it’s growing on trees and disappears for days at a time. He ends up at a vice club run by family friend Marcus Rivers. Tall, dark and deadly handsome, he’s not just the club owner. He cares for the Flynn family, although he cares for Annabelle in a way that her family may not appreciate.
Crispin frequents Marcus’ club and when he sends for the family’s help, it’s Annabelle who arrives at his club. She is shocked by the actions of the randy men and women. Yet, she is so intrigued and aroused by what she sees. Marcus has wanted Annabelle for years. He has even watched her from a distance, so the fact that she is in his club and enraptured by what she sees makes Marcus hopeful.
The two have their tussles and Marcus allows her to return so she can spy on her brother and keep an eye on him. While she will be watching Crispin (and the bawdy acts around her), Marcus is observing her. After a passionate kiss, things between the two change.
Annabelle is desperately trying to fit into the ton. She wants to adore her season, but it feels like a chore. Everyone is so uptight and stiff. Yet, when she is at Marcus’ club, things are so opposite and free. How can the same people live such opposite lives?
With the question of sin on her mind, she visits Marcus to ask him a very important question. Things change and then the heat level hits the roof. She wants to know how Marcus can be around all this debauchery every night and not be affected by it. She is titillated and aroused by what she sees and as a young woman doesn’t know how to process all the lust she is feeling. Thankfully it’s Marcus to the rescue. They make a pact that she can sate her lust with Marcus, but he won’t take her virginity that she is saving for a husband.
Its heaven and hell for Marcus. He has her in his arms and bed, yet he doesn’t really have her. They explore each other with their bodies, hands and mouths. This book is so highly sensual. They were so hot together I wanted to yell at Annabelle to not waste a moment with the stuffy Earl that is courting her. It was such a thrilling story and I adored the relationship between the two. Marcus was head over heels in love with Annabelle –her body, her mind, her business acumen. He was a fierce lover and was so well matched by Annabelle’s passionate responses.
It’s such a titillating concept – a young miss and a well-seasoned rake slaking their lust in elicit trysts together. The strength of Jess Michaels is that this book is not just one sex scene after another strung together with a thimble of plot. It was a well-conceived plot that revolves around the sexual awakening of a fiery temptress and the man that has longed for her for years.
I love the setting of the gambling den. It’s an environment that I have really enjoyed in Lisa Kleypas’ Gamblers Series and her book Devil in Winter. There is something so exciting about the thrill of discovery and the hedonistic landscape all around the prim, young miss. Of course we have casinos now, but there is nothing today like the clubs that were frequented in this time. Maybe that is a good thing, but it’s a really fun environment to have a love story set in.
Jess Michaels is a great author. I really like her work and I’m so glad I got to read the next book in the Flynn Series. This book is highly entertaining and very sexy. Marcus is a wonderful character that has depth and complexity, which is explored naturally. Annabelle is such a fun woman who learns some very valuable lessons – in the bedroom and about life.