For those who like Regency romances of the ilk that abound on bookshelves, 'The Dangerous Lord' is satisfying. The story of a mysterious viscount with a murky past clashing swords (figuratively, fortunately) with a hard-up young spinster is nothing new. Neither are any of the situations, settings, behaviours or conclusions of the book. Still it's an enjoyable and easy read with two endearing characters, a host of side-characters who are also good (evidently there have been previous novels in this group, although I hadn't read them and that didn't seem to matter) and a few minor mysteries to bring to light.
For those who like serious Regencies with great historicity (such as those by Georgette Heyer, Laura Kinsale and, to some extent, Mary Balogh) this book isn't for you. Like most Regencies published today our characters speak American English, behave far too freely and unguardedly (in this book people are on first-name terms very quickly with people they've just met) and talk about their feelings in a most un-British way. You're really reading a modern love story set in a different time and era which gives it a little more piquancy - and gives the whole concept of honour and ruin more force - but doesn't really feel fully at home in that era.
As in most of these books there's a Big Misunderstanding. It's actually a rather annoying Big Misunderstanding as Felicity, our heroine, seems to disbelieve something Ian the viscount has told her multiple times whereas she believes other things about him when their truth becomes apparent. It's sort-of necessary for the plot but wasn't entirely convincing to me. Then when the really big dark secret comes out - one that I think was actually fairly significant - she's so in love she just brushes it off. Surprising, but there you go.
There's a side theme of a secret society writer commenting on events which was very reminiscent of Julia Quinn's 'Lady Whistledown' in her Bridgerton series. As I mentioned before, there's nothing new in this novel, but for those who don't ask for strong historical accuracy and really deep characters this is a perfectly acceptable read. It's not a keeper for me but I enjoyed it.