Title: The Soldier’s Scoundrel
Author: Cat Sebastian
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Length: 213 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Historical Romance
At a Glance: I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romances, romances where there is a status difference between characters, or for those who enjoy a light mystery. The book is a great blend of all those things, and even if you’re new to the genre, this would be a good place to start.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: A scoundrel who lives in the shadows
Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London’s slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.
A soldier untarnished by vice
After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman’s life-one that doesn’t include sparring with a ne’er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack’s pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they’re together.
Two men only meant for each other
Review: I love historical romances, and I always have. M/M historicals, especially set in the regency period, have always been my weakness, and I just love reading about the men who fall in love in such a tumultuous time period. Maybe it’s because it just seems even more romantic to me, and I’ve always been a complete romantic at heart. Throw in men who are complete opposites in life, both in demeanor and station, and I will gladly forget every other thing I was supposed to do in favor of reading the book.
Enter debut author Cat Sebastian. To be honest I’m surprised that this is her first published novel. It really did not feel like a debut author to me. The story is well done and completely sucked me in. I am thrilled to have discovered her at the beginning of what will no doubt be a long career, because now I can enjoy every work she puts out! Only problem being I now have to wait for the next book, and yes, there will be another book!
The Soldier’s Scoundrel is set in regency era London and focuses on Oliver Rivington and Jack Turner. The two men could not be more opposite. Oliver is the son of an Earl, former military, and very high class and proper. Jack, on the other hand, is lower class and circumvents the law at the request of the people who hire him. It seems that the two men should not be together, should never fall in love, but love is blind and all that. Of course, there is the initial tension between the two men, but that slowly melts away as they get to know each other.
There is a bit of a mystery in this novel, which was fun to read even if it wasn’t overly complicated; however, the heart of the story lies in the relationship between Oliver and Jack as it unfolds. The problem with their relationship is not that they are two men, but the status difference between them as it makes associating with each other in public even more difficult and downright dangerous. This might seem like a common trope in many historical romances, but Cat Sebastian really did a great job at highlighting those differences as well as bringing up the justice system without making it heavy-handed. Instead, the risk was high, yes, but you had hope for them, even if my heart broke several times for Jack.
In regards to secondary characters, I did not like Oliver’s father. But I think that’s to be expected. Are we ever really supposed to like the parents in historical romances? The other characters, however, such as Oliver’s sister Charlotte are delightful. I enjoyed Georgie, Jack’s brother, as well, so knowing there is a second book that will feature him is wonderful news! I will definitely be pre-ordering that book.
As far as the romance, I thought it was perfect. While some people might prefer more steam in the relationships, this book had just enough without going overboard (as I’ve seen some books do). In fact, I would go so far as to give this book to any friend who liked historical romances but had never read a novel featuring two men as the love interests rather than a heterosexual couple.
Yes, I enjoyed the book that much! I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I was pleased. It turned out much differently than one would expect, and I had not read that before in other m/m historical romances, which only strengthened the book and made it that much more enjoyable.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romances, romances where there is a status difference between characters, or for those who enjoy a light mystery. The book is a great blend of all those things, and even if you’re new to the genre, this would be a good place to start. I look forward to Cat Sebastian’s next book and any others that follow.
You can buy The Soldier’s Scoundrel here:
About the Author
Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.