The title should be How The Lady Seduces the Scoundrel because Lady Zoe truly TAKES her Scoundrel any & every way she can!
Tristan Bonnaud is the illegitimate son of his Viscount dad & French mom & he was raised on the estate will his sister & his half brothers, George the heir & Dom. George has always hated his Father's illegitimate kids & Dom. When their dying father wrote a deathbed amendment to his will to provide for his illegitimate family, George burned it after their father breathed his last breath. Tristan stole the horse his father willed him & sold it to his Romany friend Milosh, but was accused of horse theft & he, his mom & sister fleed to France. In France, Tristan worked for the secret police & after their mom's death, he & his sister moved back to London & joined Dom's Manton Investigations business.
Lady Zoe Keane learns that her parents bought her from a beaten Romany woman named Drinia from her Aunt Flo, but her father, loving called The Major, won't answer any of her questions about it. The Major's title (Earl of Olivier), estates & money will lucky be passed down to her, but if she isn't his birth daughter then everything will go to her American Cousin Jeremy Keane. If she isn't his daughter, she must marry her cousin to protect all that she & her father have built. Zoe will hire The Duke's Men (aka Manton Investigations) & they will have to take her case because they owe her for helping them with a case in Scotland & she means to collect.
Zoe doesn't want the rude & wide shouldered Tristan anywhere near her case, but only he knows the Romany language & customs. Tristan wants the case, so he can find his friend Milosh & hopefully get some dirt on his evil older brother. Tristan ends his personal interview with the hellion by kissing her panties off. Tristan & Zoe are like oil & water & their chemistry is as explosive as like lighter fluid & an open flame. They have to work together to unravel Zoe's birth, dance a few sexy waltzes together, dodge Zoe's prim & proper Aunt Flo, keep Cousin Jeremy close, just in case she has to marry him, stop loving Tristan's knee melting kisses, avoid Tristan's psychotic brother George, visit Romany winter camps for Milosh, discover unknown relatives, face many new & old nemeses & Zoe must stop falling in love with Tristan because he NEVER wants a wife! This romance read has many twists, turns, big speed bumps, sharp cliffs & unexpected challenges along the way, but sometimes all the answers are back at the beginning. Can Tristan realize that Zoe is his perfect match? How can Zoe unlock his heart? Will Zoe lose her titled or gain the love of her life? PRETTY PLEASE, can I put peanut butter covered George in a dark room filled with rats?
When I started reading romances, Sabrina Jeffries was my go-to author at my local library & I cut my baby romance teeth on her amazing books. She writes with such humor & all her characters pop off the pages (Kindle) & landed in my heart. This read has her humor galore & snappy & witty dialogue. She blends her characters from the Duke's Men books into this story & I just love the quirk Duchess, Lisette. Zoe was an unusual 1829 woman, raised as a future heir & given an education at her father's side, but her inner naughty girl woke up & went after her scoundrel. Tristan worked hard for everything he had & accomplished, but didn't think he was worth much in other's eyes, but Zoe & The Major truly saw him for himself, warts & all. I read a lot for my own personal sanity & I am rarely unable to figure out plots, but Ms. Jeffries got me good with this INTRIGUE AWESOMENESS! She not only told Zoe & Tristan's story, but set up poor overworked Dom with his old flame for the next The Duke's Men series, which I can't wait to get my greedy hands on. Ms. Jeffries didn't miss the utterly decadent passionate scenes in this tale. Me, my kindle, my Ms. Mister Fan & A/C got 1 HADES of a work out, so I got to munch on chocolate & not worry about extra hips & that is always a plus! Ms. Jefferies earns my top score of 5 fingers up & 10 toes & PRETTY PLEASE write Dom's story faster for me!
NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.