Sarah MacLean is probably my favorite historical romance author. I fell in love with her Rules of Scoundrels series and have been enjoying her spinoff, the Scandal & Scoundrel series. A Scot in the Dark is the second in the spinoff series, featuring an England-hating Scottish Duke and his new, scandalized ward. Their story is an emotional, angst-filled romance with a hero who believes he doesn’t deserve to be with the woman he loves. If you loved The Rogue Not Taken, then you will definitely love A Scot in the Dark!
Lily Hargrove has been alone all her life and dreams of finding love and a place to belong. She thinks she’s found that with a rising artist, but he ends up using her and betraying her in the end. Her reputation on the bridge of ruin, she’s reminded of just why she wants to leave London and never look back, but she needs the help of the Duke responsible for her to do so. Except when said Duke finds out about his scandalized ward, he makes plans to marry her off and be done with her.
“You forget yourself,” he said. “As my ward, your things are my things.”
Her gaze flew to his. “You beast.”
His lips pressed into a long straight line. “And you, the most beautiful woman in London,” he said, as though being beautiful was the most ugly thing she could be. “We make a fine match, Lovely Lily.”
The Scottish Duke of Warnick, Alec Stuart hates everything about London and its aristocracy, the same aristocracy that looked down on his when he was younger and caters to him now that he’s a Duke. He’s especially annoyed to find out he has a ward and has to go into the dreaded city to fix her reputation. But Lily turns out to be so much different than he expected and he finds himself unable to resist being around her and growing feelings for her. But he knows that she’s in a different league in him, not just in looks, but that she also deserves someone who will love and cherish her like she deserves, because that man can’t be him.
More. He’d thought he’d known what wanting felt like. What longing meant. And then he’d met Lillian Hargrove, and he’d realized the truth—that everything for which he’d ever hungered was nothing compared to her. There was nothing he would not pay. Nothing he would not do for another taste of her.
And that he was unworthy of her.
I really enjoyed the banter between Lily and Alec! I have to say it might be my favorite part of this book. To say these two don’t get along would be an understatement, which makes for some entertaining conversations between them. Plus, the underlying chemistry they have made the banter all the more fun. What did annoy me, though, was the back-and-forth between Alec’s feelings for Lily. He kept saying he didn’t deserve her but would take her for his own anyway, would go hot and cold so often it was a little frustrating. This ended up making the romance a little slower than I would’ve liked, but I could definitely feel the angst and emotional upheaval the characters were feeling themselves.
“I am yours, my love, body and soul. When I am old, I do not wish to think of you. I wish to be with you. I wish to love you.”
Despite the annoyances, Lily and Alec’s story was touching, romantic, and their love was definitely hard-earned. It had similar vibes to The Rogue Not Taken, so if you enjoyed that story, you will most likely enjoy this one too! Right now, I’m dying for the next Scandal & Scoundrel book – I love a good second chance romance, and The Day of the Duchess seems like there will be plenty of groveling too. I’m really hoping Sarah MacLean doesn’t disappoint (not that she ever does)!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: Scandal & Scoundrel series
#1 ~ The Rogue Not Taken: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Scot in the Dark: Ebook • Paperback • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Day of the Duchess: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (June 27, 2017)
The Scandal & Scoundrel series is a spinoff of The Rules of Scoundrels series. You don’t have to read The Rules of Scoundrels prior to Scandal & Scoundrel, but I highly recommend the series! Here is the reading order if you’d like to start it:
Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series
#1 ~ A Rogue by Any Other Name: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads