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Proper Scoundrels

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Proper Scoundrels (2021) Allie Therin (Roaring Twenties Magic)

Proper ScoundrelsSet in England in 1925.

Me: I really liked this first series that this book is a spin-off of. Obviously I should not read it.

(Repeat time and again for author after author)

Sebastian de Leon spent the past three years enthralled, and forced to do terrible things against his will. He is now in London trying to live quietly and make up in some way for the things he was forced to do, in whatever manner he can.

Maybe he couldn’t ever fully atone for the things he’d done to Arthur Kenzie and Rory Brodigan, but he could at least make sure that Arthur’s aristocratic friend wasn’t in any danger after Arthur and Rory had stayed in the Kensington house in the spring.

Then he receives a letter from Jade Robbins.

June 18, 1925, Meurtre non résolu à Paris.
July 29, 1925, Mord ohne Erklärung.
September 2, 1925, Body found, police stumped.

Wesley, Lord Fine, fought in the war and has his own memories he’d prefer not to have.

“You’re his spitting image, you know.”

Wesley’s brother had been too, all three of them over six feet tall with the same brown hair and gray eyes. Now only Wesley was left, and he couldn’t set foot in society without people who’d sat out the war in the comfort of their homes wanting him to know how sorry they were for his losses.

So he’s brusque and cranky and generally an arse to everyone.

Wesley was going to end up with a headache. “Ned,” he snapped at his footman. “Bring me a cigarette.”

“I’m afraid I can’t, sir,” said Ned. “You’re trying to quit.”

“Don’t nag me,” said Wesley. “Do as I say.”

“Sir, you specifically told me that if you requested smokes, I was not to acquiesce— those were your words. You said you’d read the latest medical reports, that your American friend, Mr. Kenzie, was sodding right— apologies, sir, but again, your words— and that you intended to quit for your health. You said you would dock my pay if I ever brought you your cigarettes again.”

Although Wesley is an arse, there are plenty of hints he is not actually a completely bastard.

Wesley made sure his staff were better paid, and had better quarters, than most, and in return, not a one of them said anything when he had men stay overnight in the guest room that was very close to his own.

Especially when his staff feel safe to fight back as only they can.

“The tea is cold.”

“Is it, my lord?” Ned said, not looking at him.

“Yes it is,” Wesley said, with an edge. “The tea is cold and the toast is burnt and the fire unbanked and I don’t have my newspaper.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, my lord. Perhaps we’re all a bit distracted on account of little Elsie being so upset.”

When Wesley is intriduced to Sebastian, he recognizes him as on of the men who had kidnapped his friend’s lover while they were all in America.

“You’re handcuffed to my bed at gunpoint and you’re more upset that the English hunt foxes?”

“No,” Sebastian lied.

Sebastian–if it’s not completely obvious, is a total cinnamon roll.

Although the author doesn’t get everything quite right (such as how dates were written in Europe) she gets all the bonus points for this.

“You were in the army?” Wesley had learned on the front that the Americans had given Puerto Ricans citizenship and then promptly drafted them.

Despite my hesitance to read this story, I thoroughly enjoyed it and want more.

Publisher: Carina Press

Rating: 8/10

 

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