Synopsis from Goodreads:
Hot-tempered and unpredictable, Delilah Desmond was indeed the devil’s daughter.
“Devil” Desmond, to be exact, society’s most infamous rogue who had just completed his scandalous memoirs. A great many dreaded the tell-all publication, including his daughter, for it meant certain social ruin. No gentleman of the ton would offer for a lady with such a checkered lineage!
Determined to suppress the manuscript, Delilah enlisted the aid of bookish Jack Langdon, whose rumpled brown hair and poetic grey eyes hid a passionate heart beating most wildly for one spirited young lady in particular. Meanwhile, as other determined thieves vowed to steal the tell-all book themselves, Delilah saw her simple larceny growing more complex by the hour….
There are some expectations that come with reading a Loretta Chase novel. Good characters, good writing, and an occasional witty line but also an iffy plot. It’s too bad that this book focuses on the plot build around Devil Desmond’s memoirs at the expense of the characters. And this is coming from a plot girl.
The first half of the book is dedicated to Jack Langdon, the dull bookworm, who is somewhat an exceptional hero. He’s not the the type to whisk his intended to Gretna Green or lure her between the bushes and away from the chaperones, though he’s not above stealing the occasional kiss and offering heartfelt apologies later—right before he steals another kiss. But he devious and worms his way into Delilah’s heart and thoughts.
The problem is I’m not quite sure what Jack sees in Delilah. His infatuation is too superficial and focused on her beauty rather than her magnificent linguistic skills. There’s a monologue where he explains himself towards the end but it’s hardly as memorable as all the things he does for Delilah that show exactly why she’d fall for him.
Speaking of Delilah. She’s another wonderful Loretta Chase heroine. She’s headstrong, opinionated, and highly spirited woman. Yes, I just typed up a clichéd list, but the difference is in the writing. Delilah gets her chance in the second half of the book and her irrational behaviour starts to make sense. Not much, but some.
Another strong voice in the book is the Devil Desmond himself. He’s supposed to be a notorious rake from years back but by the time the reader is introduced to him, he’s merely a devoted, although an unconventional parent. He’s the paragon of what many romance authors hope to write—and fail miserably—as a scoundrel redeemed by love. And he’s merely a secondary character.
As I said, the book is build around searching, finding, and stealing the Devil Desmond’s memoirs. It offers a wonderful excuse for Jack and Delilah to keep meeting each other but it also limits the depths of their discussions. Instead of taking a moment or two to show the young couple to do more than quip at each other, Chase brushes the in depth philosophical discussions aside as mere distractions from THE dilemma of an inconvenient expose book.
That makes this a strong three star meh-read but I’m rounding up the rating because of the ending.
Now, I wonder what Anachronist would think about this.