My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Unlike The Rogue’s Wager (Sinful Brides #1), Caldwell’s writing shines in The Scoundrel’s Honor. It’s a riveting story with likeable characters that evolve throughout the tale.
Ryker Black, brother to Helena (Sinful Brides #1), is a feared gaming hell owner who sees emotion as weakness and has no interest in marriage. Penelope Tidemore—sister to Patrina, Poppy, Prudence, and Jonathan (Scandalous Seasons books 4 & 5; Lords of Honor #2)—is a young lady trying to rise above her family’s scandalous name, but won’t be cowed by cruelty. An unfortunately meeting leads to these two marrying, opening Penelope to a world far grittier than anything she could have imagined and leading Ryker to deal with the consequences of letting in another’s affections.
This book had great atmosphere, interesting dialogue, and looked at regency London lifestyles from both sides of the coin. While it would have been nice to see Penelope more involved with the goings-on at the gaming hell, enough danger and intrigue spilled over to keep the story hopping along. Ryker’s “brothers”, especially Calum, are a strong supporting cast who, at times, are more revealing of the baggage Ryker keeps locked inside than he is. Penelope became more independent and confident, all while retaining optimism for her future.
There are a couple of negatives for me. The major subplot was left unresolved; it seems like things were set back in order, but we never see how or why exactly this happened. It’s possible that’s being left for whatever the next book in this series is. Also, there is no epilogue. I really enjoy these in romances, even if it’s only looking a few weeks forward so we get a sense of finality. Instead, the ending—while satisfactory—left me wanting.
Overall, Caldwell is back in the game with The Scoundrel’s Honor ($4.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited; releases Feb 14) and I look forward to discovering which brother at the Hell & Sin we get to enjoy next.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.