Responsibility isn’t something Grey is very familiar with. On the boards and in the bedroom, he lives exactly how he wants to, shunning all the trappings of respectability and society. Grey knows he should avoid the bewitching Sophia, but he’s never been able to say no to what he wants. And having Sophia in his arms and his bed is quickly becoming the thing he wants the most.
As Sophia and Grey’s search for Liddy continues across the English countryside, can this scoundrel convince a proper lady that he’s actually perfect for her or will their adventure leave them both heartbroken?
A Study in Scoundrels by Christy Carlyle is a fun historical romance featuring a couple that crosses the countryside trying to find a missing girl. Jasper Grey is the Earl of Stanhope’s heir, although he refuses to acknowledge his status as he prefers his life on the stage. But when he learns that his sister is missing and is possibly in trouble, he must try to find her. Sophia Ruthven, meanwhile, gets caught in a potentially scandalous situation and is rescued from ruination by Jasper.
As a result of her near scandal, Sophia learns about Jasper’s sister, Liddy’s disappearance and gets drawn into Jasper’s quest to find the girl. Sophia may have a slight crush on Jasper, having seen him on the stage - and since he is a friend of her brother’s. But Sophia is almost a spinster and one who has decided that she wants to marry. She has been corresponding with a gentleman via the post, one who may be a serious marital candidate. However, Sophia can’t help but get involved in helping Jasper, especially when she runs into some friends who may have news of Liddy.
As the story progresses, Sophia and Jasper spend more time together looking for Liddy. They even travel to various locations where Liddy may have been, and as they spend time together, they get to know each other better. One problem is that Jasper treasures his dissolute and rakish lifestyle. He has wanted nothing to do with his family, responsibilities or inheritance ever since his older brother death. Jasper feels responsible for the death and has tremendous guilt. He has stayed away from his family and let his cousin take on the mantle of the heir. So Jasper cannot see himself marrying an appropriate woman and dealing with his obligations. Jasper has a difficult road to travel, looking for his sister, getting to know Sophia, falling in love with Sophia and figuring his crap out. But it is a wonderful journey to follow.
On the other side, Sophia is a fun heroine who is trying to take charge of her life. She wants to marry and have a family despite past disappointments. Jasper calls to her, and she enjoys every moment that she can spend with him, enjoying their adventure before she has to decide upon her future. She also knows that she has to let Jasper figure out his own life. I love the part of the book where Sophia accompanies Jasper to his family home. It is easy to see how deeply Jasper cares for Sophia even though he hasn’t yet admitted it to himself or decided he is worthy of love either.
A Study in Scoundrels is a historical romance with lots of heart. I was engrossed in the romance from the start as well as the subplot involving the missing Liddy. Jasper needed the adventure provided to finally allow himself to grow up, accept himself and open himself up to possibility of love. This one may have been my first Christy Carlyle book, but it will not be my last.
Christy Carlyle: http://christycarlyle.com/
Book Disclosure: An ebook was provided by the publisher via edelweiss.