Last Chance Scoundrels (Book 1)
February 22nd, 2022
When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in a massive scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most inveterate scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill. Or does he?
Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage, especially with her impending engagement to a stuffy earl. When Kieran—her older brother’s best friend and an irresistibly attractive rogue—begs for her help, Celeste makes a deal: she’ll introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London.
In between proper teas and garden parties, Kieran escorts Celeste—disguised as “Salome”—to rowdy gaming hells, wild fêtes, and sensual art salons. As they spend more time together, their initial attraction builds to a desperate desire that neither can ignore. But when someone discovers their midnight exploits, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are endangered, and Kieran must save the woman he loves… respectable or not.
I will admit, that this one was a bit of a slow starter for me and I put it down after the first few introductory chapters. But, then I gave it another shot and was so happy that I did.
Although Keiran's character starts out as an immature brat and the "Rake being forced to wed or be cut off" thing has been to done to death, once he and Celeste begin interacting the story finally comes to life.
Their chemistry oozes from the page and as they work to help each other with their goals (His to be seen as respectable and her, wanting a taste of freedom before settling into an unwanted marriage) they also learn that beneath the surface neither is as the world perceives them to be.
As their friendship grows and secret desires are revealed and accepted, love is inevitable, but with so many obstacles in the way a future together seems impossible.
Ms. Leigh does an astounding job of crafting a believable relationship progression and provides a well thought out and clever solution to their dilemma, that for once, I didn't see coming.
I was very pleasantly surprised, after my initial reservations, to really enjoy this book and now look forward eagerly to see what happens in the rest of the series.