May 11, 2015
"Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, whoa!
My Pony Boy"
Well, it seems the first book I've ever read by Anna Campbell happens to be the fourth book
in a series. The Sons of Sin series, by the way. I don't believe it is necessary to have read the others to follow A Scoundrel by Moonlight - unless, of course, you are interested in the back story of the people who bounce into the story to give their wise and learned advice. This one revolves around a misunderstanding.
A big misunderstanding. You see, our heroine, Nell Trim, is out to ruin James, Marquee of Leath. He's the hero, in case you didn't guess. It seems that Nell's younger sister was defiled, impregnated and then left to face the music alone. At first she told her family that a stranger had forced himself on her. But, after losing her baby in childbirth she makes a deathbed confession. The dirty culprit was not some passing stranger, but a scoundrel who seduced her and that man is - ta ta ta dah - the Marquess of Leath. And that is why Nell Trim is out for revenge against the Marquess of Leath. Does she have any evidence other than her silly sister’s word? Of course not. Does she do any investigation? Of course not. She hatesssss the Marquess - just hatesssss him. She worms her way into the Marquess' household pretending to be a companion to his mother. She is hoping to find some kind of incriminating evidence that will destroy him.
Then there is James, Marquess of Leath. He's got some big problems. It seems that his now deceased uncle had been working his way through the women of England; seducing, pillaging and keeping a handy dandy diary. I suspect that there was more about the uncle in previous books. By the way, his uncle used the alias of Marquess of Leath when doing his seductions. So, poor ol' James has been dealing with the women and babies that keep cropping up - in a good way. He's taking care of them. For some reason, he's been sent down to the countryside because of some scandal, which must have been in some other book. (Maybe this wasn't a standalone book.) One of the first things he encounters is Nell in the library snooping. He is of course immediately in lust with this snooper woman who he cannot trust. And, so it begins.
I enjoyed this story in the beginning, but about halfway through I started to become irritated by James and Nell, mostly Nell. First of all, as I said before, Nell hatessss James. We the reader know about the mistaken identity, but Nell doesn't. She believes he's responsible for her sister's death. But let me tell you, she caves in to his desires really fast. I struggled with this turn of events. I thought she should have waited until she no longer suspected James of being an ev-i--l man. So, I didn't particularly care for Nell's willingness to cadoodle-foodle with a man she despised.
Maybe I've read too many romances. I am getting dreadfully tired of: the woman/man not being good enough; the turning down of the marriage proposal - over and over and over again; the almost TSTL heroine galloping all over the countryside chasing a villain and the jumping to conclusions without investigating or even - dare I say it - asking!! Yes, I know there is/was a class system in (insert country.) But, I am really tired of Dukes-Marquess-Counts-Baron-Sirs singing that old song about the woman who isn't good enough for marriage because she's not an aristocrat. At least in this story, Nell didn't turn out to be a secret blue blood, which also irritates me.
And then there is the "ride" me moment. Yes, I giggled. Then I groaned (not the good kind). Then I rolled my eyes. Then I skipped ahead. Puleese, we are not ponies.
There is a lot more in this story: another misunderstanding, a villain, a regrouping of characters from other books, a temper tantrum, an unnecessary hurtful moment because of the stupid misunderstanding, and finally after some groveling that wasn't needed (in my opinion) an acceptance of a marriage proposal.
Sorry to say, I couldn't like this story. I actually came to dislike the heroine quite a lot. Her intentions in the beginning were understandable, but the honor she exhibited in the beginning was lost when she hopped into bed with a man she supposedly despised.
Time/Place: Regency England