Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: Scoundrel by Zoe Archer

Title: Scoundrel
Author: Zoë Archer
Series: Blades of the Rose 2
Genre: Historical Paranormal Adventure Romance
Release Date: 1 October 2010

Bennett Day has never denied being a scoundrel. He loves women. Every single one he's ever been with. He has no expectations of them, and they none of him - except that he's sure to leave. He's spent a good portion of his life traveling the world to protect ancient sources of magic for the Blades. His quick mind solves puzzles, breaks codes and unravels riddles with ease. But in Greece he meets the woman that may take more time than he usually commits to learn...

London Harcourt has been brought to Greece in order to decipher an ancient language for her father. After years of being subjugated to her father's will London Harcourt welcomes the chance to travel and earn respect for her knowledge of languages. Brought to the Greek isles and told only that she's to decipher an ancient language for the good of England, she has no idea that her father is part of the Heirs that would dominate the rest of the world under their rule.

A chance meeting brings them together and London soon learns the truth, of the Heirs, including her father, the Blades and their mission, and of the man she's wildly attracted to. Bennett, who not only respects her quick mind, but encourages and stimulates her, and is connected to her in unimaginable ways. Now she must choose between family and her own sense of right and wrong. Between a stifled life full of lies and a future filled with truth and a chance of love.

Racing across the waters of the Aegean, Bennett and London strive to save the Source as each realizes that not only are their lives in danger...but their very hearts...

Having previously read Warrior, the first Blades of the Rose book, I was greatly looking forward to Bennett's book. His absolute joy for life was infectious and I couldn't wait for an entire book devoted to him. Bennett is a man who loves freely, and openly, but never deeply. Brave, without a doubt, he strides into situations almost without fear. He constantly made me smile because he was usually smiling. He just embraces life and I couldn't help but love that.

London has always yearned for a life of more, but that wasn't something she was likely to get back in England. A casual stroll takes her through a market in Greece where she firsts meets Bennett. The chemistry between them is instantaneous and flares bright. It was really fun to see her bloom out in the world as she fought side by side with Bennett. She has such an open heart, and a strong sense of fairness and rightness that it's easy to respect her. And it was equally easy to see why Bennett fell in love with her.

The growth of their relationship is by far my most favorite part of the novel. While the search for the Source pulls the story along, it's London and Bennett that are the heart and soul of Scoundrel

Bennett and London unravel languages and riddles throughout their action-packed journey through the waters of Greece. The story is well paced and flows nicely from the flurry of activity to more thoughtful contemplation. While I really liked Warrior, I thought this was a much better plotted book. It pulled me through and made me want to keep reading. I really loved the backdrop of Greece and her mythology. It's so fun to travel to these different places with the Blades, from what we normally see in historical novels.

Next up is Rebel, which thankfully I bought this past week so I can dive right in. Though each book very strongly stands on it's own, I think that you definitely get more of a sense of the world if you read them in order and Warrior is assuredly worth picking up.

All in all, Scoundrel is a heart-filled, fast-paced, thrilling addition to the wildly imaginative world of the Blades of the Rose.

Grade: A-

Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Borders eBook | Sony | Book Depository | Zebra

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