Always a Scoundrel - Suzanne Enoch I realized something while reading this one. When I read a historical romance my thoughts depend so much on the heroine and her support network. When a heroine has a great supportive family, like the Bridgertons, the Bedwyns or the Hathaways, I can get carried away in the "romance" of the times. Horseback rides! Carriage rides! House parties! It sounds so exotic compared to my freeway commute, reality tv and bill paying. But when the heroine has a crappy family, or little in the way of support, I'm so thankful that I live in an age where I can earn my own living, make my own decision and even own my own property.

So, this was one of the latter situations. Betrothed to a psychopath to cover her brother's gambling debts, I have to admit that I don't think I would have been as brave as Rose and I would have run away as soon as Bram suggested it. But obviously, there's no romance in girl meets boy, girl runs away so Rose sticks it out. Of course, a sheltered woman of the time like Rose has no real idea what she's getting into with Cosgrove but the modern reader has seen enough Law & Order:SVU (or even the news) to understand the direness of her situation.

Knowing Cosgrove, Bram understands it. Bram feels like he's cut from the same cloth as Cosgrove but really, there's a difference being enjoying your pleasures without apology and actually enjoying another person's fear. Bram's an ass when the book starts, there's no doubt. He's rebelling against his father long past the point where he should have grown up. But he's never cruel for cruelty's sake. Rose also begins their acquaintance thinking that Bram and Cosgrove are more alike. But as she comes to know him she realizes that Bram is a much better man before he does.

Once Bram is fully on board with getting Rose out of her situation, the romance takes off and the two are well matched. There were some lighter touches to balance the darkness of Rose's situation. I loved Bram's conversations with his servants and how every commented when his attire started to change. And I loved the way Rose could deflate him from his "prince of darkness" routine with common sense. The series wrapped up nicely and I'm looking forward to more Suzanne Enoch.