Tempting the Scoundrel (House of Devon Book 3)


NOVELLA: Following the death of his brother, fifteen-year-old Christian Bainbridge is shuffled off to the home of his older cousin. There, Christian is determined to succeed on his own. Though his cousin is a scoundrel, one thing makes his few weeks there bearable: he gets to observe a young housemaid as she reads with determination each evening on the veranda. Christian’s greatest wish is to become a skilled timepiece repairer, and eventually to design his own watches. Raine Mowbray is the 14-year-old housemaid, and Christian fancies himself in love with her, without ever speaking to her. Ten years later, they finally meet in the home of the Duke of Devon, and Christian is thrilled to be able to finally get to know her. She is flattered at the attention, but is very aware of her station in life. Christian is far above her and she feels unworthy.

As this is a novella, character development is somewhat less fleshed-out than that found in a full-length novel. Nevertheless, there is enough detail here to get a decent idea of the personalities of these protagonists. The pace remains steady throughout, although there isn’t a lot of tension—nor is there the need for it. The conflicts are clear and portrayed in a believable manner. These characters are flawed, yet there is an overall sense of well-being, as the benevolent Duke of Devon is present in the background, making sure things work out nicely for these protagonists, in spite of the differences in their ‘stations’ in life. This is a fairly quick read, and readers will enjoy the way things tie up nicely at the end.

Carey Sullivan