Sandy M’s review of After Dark with a Scoundrel (Lords of Vice, Book 3) by Alexandra Hawkins
Historical Romance published by St. Martin’s 1 Feb 11
I love a good scoundrel story, especially when the scoundrel is more than what he seems, has a conscience meter despite what the ton thinks or believes about him. We get to see that other side of him and still enjoy his scoundrel-ness before he gives up all for love. It’s always fun to watch him realize little by little he no longer wants his previous way of life any longer, that that life isn’t worth losing the best thing to ever happen to him. Alexandra Hawkins has given us Dare in this latest edition of her Lords of Vice series. He’s faced with a number of losses in this book, and I enjoyed watching his realizations come to fruition when he least expects it.
Because Regan is the younger sister of Frost, another of the Lords of Vice, she’s grown up unsheltered when it comes to all the goings-on at Nox, the lords’ club. She’s seen it all. The men do protect her when her needed, teach her a host of unorthodox elements of life, along with the ordinary; she’s the sister they never had. It’s during a swimming lesson when all her newly attained womanly assets become apparent to Dare for the first time. He promptly ends the lessons and tries to put distance between them. He’s successful to a point, but years later when Regan is injured during a failed fireworks display, his protective instincts kick in, followed by those of a carnal nature. The next thing they all know, Regan is being sent to a girls’ school, no matter how much she objects and rebels.
Needless to say, it’s the ensuing years that is the most detrimental to Dare and Regan. She’s tired of being kept away from home after years of learning to be a lady, so she takes matters into her own hands and returns to London without Frost’s approval. She has seduction on her mind, and Dare doesn’t stand a chance. He’s lost the moment he sets his eyes on her, even before he knows it’s Regan. Their attraction has survived her absence, and though Dare tries to continue to do the right thing where she’s concerned, there’s no keeping them apart, no keeping them from falling even further for the other.
In between their dance of seduction, we also learn a great deal about Dare and why he’s the man he is. I’m surprised the man has turned out as well as he has considering his family. His loyalty, however, is one of the things I love about him. His honor, as well as that of all the lords, is another. He stands tall and lets Frost have a shot at him when necessary. And when it comes to Regan, Frost is constantly taking a shot at Dare! But I like that it’s because they are friends that their honor means that much more to them.
I did enjoy Dare’s jealousy when either Regan flirted with another man – even another of Dare’s friends – or someone flirted with her. The poor gent tries to stay away, but near Regan is one place his honor takes a backseat, though he still does what’s necessary despite his refusal and vow not to. Dare is a very sensual and sexual man and Regan brings that out in him. Of course, that’s her aim when she decides to go back to London, and at first she’s not sure whether she’s made a mistake when Dare takes her up on her offers. I still vividly remember their love scene in the library. But it’s a scene later when Frost acknowledges their love to himself, Dare’s protection of Regan, and wonders if they realize the depth of their love. Wonderfully done.
This is an intriguing series and Ms. Hawkins knows just how to pull the best from her characters to make you care for them, love them, get irritated with them, and all those other delicious emotions we romance readers need in our books. There is much more to come in this series and I’m looking forward to every last bit of it.
ONE STOLEN KISS
Young, tender, and highly impressionable, Lady Regan can’t help but be intrigued by her brother’s wayward friends—the wickedly charming Lords of Vice. One man in particular, the dashing Lord Hugh Mordare, known simply as “Dare” among the ton, utterly captivates her—in spite of his reputation as a notorious womanizer. But when she steals an innocent kiss from Dare, Regan is swiftly packed off to boarding school, safely away from danger…and desire.
ONE SWEET SEDUCTION
Five years later, Regan returns—a proper lady and ravishing beauty. Miss Swann’s Academy for Young Ladies has taught her how to behave in polite society. But all the training in the world cannot extinguish her love for Dare. Now, she hopes to beat the master of seduction at his own game—by daring Dare to love her in return. This time, both of their hearts are on the line…and winner takes all.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: