Review: SCOUNDREL by Zoe Archer

The Blades of the Rose are sworn to protect the sources of magic in the world. But the work is dangerous—and they can’t always protect their own…

London Harcourt’s father is bent on subjugating the world’s magic to British rule. But since London is a mere female, he hasn’t bothered to tell her so. He’s said only that he’s leading a voyage to the Greek isles. No matter, after a smothering marriage and three years of straitlaced widowhood, London jumps at the opportunity—unfortunately, right into the arms of Bennett Day.

Bennett is a ladies’ man, when he’s not dodging lethal attacks to protect the powers of the ancients from men like London’s father. Sometimes, he’s a ladies’ man even when he is dodging them. But the minute he sees London he knows she will require his full attention. The woman is lovely, brilliant, and the only known speaker of a dialect of ancient Greek that holds the key to calling down the wrath of the gods. Bennett will be risking his life again—but around London, what really worries him is the danger to his heart…

Author: Zoe Archer
Series: The Blades of the Rose, book 2
Genre: Action/Adventure Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kensington/Zebra
Year of release: 2010, October 1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Received a digital copy of the book from author for review

First line:
The bloody problem with magic was that he wasn’t allowed to use it.

Memorable Scenes:
-Finding the mirror scene and sailing the narrow strait scene > thrilling and adventurous
-Temple scene > Can I say H.O.T? Yes I can!
– Bennett’s declaration of love > sweet and touching

Bennett Day aka Ben Drayton is the Blades’ cryptographer. He’s able to crack/decode any code presented to him. The term scoundrel is very fitting when it comes to this womanizing, silver-tongued charming rogue. But he’s also honorable and focused.

London Harcourt (full name: Victoria Regina Britannia London Edgeworth Harcourt – I love her full name!) is the widow of Lawrence Harcourt, sister of Jonas Edgeworth and daughter of Joseph Edgeworth. These men are all enemies of the Blades and London is ignorant of her father’s, brother’s and late husband’s work as Heirs but she gets dragged into it because of her knowledge of ancient languages. She’s educated, sharp-witted and courageous. I really liked London.

Zoe Archer writes some awesome and very compatible couples and Bennett and London fit that bill perfectly. The romance in SCOUNDREL revolves around the enemies-to-lovers trope/ falling for enemy’s daughter trope. This is one of the tropes I’ve loved ever since I started reading romance at a young age. I adored the Harlequin romances with these tropes as it gives room for so much angst and intense emotions. Needless to say the trope in SCOUNDREL was another thing I loved about it.

I really love how Zoe Archer describes scenery. After Mongolia in WARRIOR, she now takes the reader to Greece in SCOUNDREL and does a marvelous job of making the country come alive through her writing. And her talent for storytelling is very impressive too. I was completely engrossed in the journey she took me on in SCOUNDREL. I found this book a little less Indiana Jones-y than THE WARRIOR despite stuff like kidnapping, deciphering ancient writings, sailing across the Aegean in search of clues and the Source. However, it was no less entertaining in the least!

Myth, magic, action, adventure, romance and scorching love scenes, SCOUNDREL is a compilation of all of the above that kept me reading while cursing the villains and rooting for the main couple and their romance.

Having read two books in the series I can’t but say that The Blades of the Rose series is unique, refreshing, witty and excellently written. There’s plenty romance in them to satisfy my inner romance junkie and yet I have a feeling that even without the romance I’d recommend this series to readers who enjoy a thrilling, fast-paced and action-packed adventure.

Favorite Quotes:
She met his gaze, and sank into their cool aquatic depths as he stared back. This felt stronger than attraction. Something that resounded through the innermost recesses of herself, in deep, liquid notes, like a melody or song one might sing to bring the world into being.

London Harcourt burned with desire for the world, for visceral experience. As he did. But he had the good fortune to be born male, and so the world opened to him like a feast, while London Harcourt could only look on and starve. What a pleasure it would be to feed her.

Their last kiss was rushed, a bare glimpse of what could be. He would take his time. But he couldn’t seem to make himself take a leisurely pace. Only the slightest urging, and her mouth met his in a kiss. Such a mouth she had, sweet and soft and meant for languid, thorough kisses. Slow, slow, he ordered himself.

“”She glanced over at Athena, busy rubbing sleep from her eyes.
“If I was more conventional,” Athena said, “I would say you must marry me now.”
When London blinked in confusion, the witch explained, “While you slept, you attempted liberties with my person. You called me ‘Bennett,’ and commanded that I make love to you.”
“Oh, dear God!” London gasped, mortified. “I’m so sorry!”
Then Athena laughed. “A joke.”


3 thoughts on “Review: SCOUNDREL by Zoe Archer

  1. Hi Pearl! Your review has inspired me to go back and try this book again. I absolutely adored Warrior, but I ended up DNFing this one…for some reason, it did not engage me the same way the first one did. I'll give it another try! I agree about Zoe's writing….she does an amazing job blending adventure, fantasy and romance.

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