(this review was originally posted on Secret HEA Society)
Shameless is the 4th book in the House of Rohan series. I am a big fan of this series and I just couldn't wait to read this last installment. It was on my Auto-read list, it was such a sure thing in my mind that I would read it that I didn't read the book synopsis. So when I started the book, I didn't really connect the dots. You see, the first 3 books followed the House of Rohan on 3 generations. So I was expecting Shameless to be about the kids of the previous heroes. Ah! Of course I should have read the synopsis! Shameless is set about 5 or 10 years (I can't remember the exact number!) after the end of Breathless and is about Miranda's (Heroine of Breathless, you still following?) oldest brother.
What a good surprise! When I finally realized who it was about and how it was situated , it all clicked together and I'm pretty sure I squealed. *wink* . Benedick, the hero was married during the set of Breathless and for some reason I didn't think he would get his story. I thought him safe in a somewhat good marriage. I also saw him as a stuffy lord. Oh what a delight it was to realize he was actually quite wicked and such a cynic person.So what? Yes I love my heroes wicked, evil and dangerous, and Anne Stuart delivers! Each time! All the heroes of this series are wicked in their own way, they are all very different but each very delicious.
Benedick is a cynic but he has his reasons. He's been married twice and both wives died in childbirth leaving him without an heir. So he decided to find a wife to get that heir and a spare. He just wants a brooding mare, someone he can just forget all about outside the bedroom. As you can imagine, it won't work that way ;).
Melisande is not your typical lady. For once she lives with more than 20 former prostitutes! She's the widow of a wealthy elderly lord. Now with her money she tries to reform prostitutes and help them find a real respectable job. As you can imagine she's not really someone who would be invited to balls and party by Society. I found Melisande very likable, she's a good woman and she really wants to help save these girls. I found her devotion to her 'gaggle' very endearing.She might have been married but Melisande is still a near-virgin when it comes to the pleasures of sex. It was cute to see such an innocent woman leaving with women who enjoyed having sex so much and it made me laugh a few times.
When Melisande hears that the secrete society called the Heavenly Hosts has been revived and that now they started becoming very violent with prostitutes/young women she decides to act. Melisande knows Benedick's brother, Brandon, is a member of this secret society so she decides to warn Benedick about it and asks for his help. I really enjoyed seeing them together, they have such a chemistry! *swoon* They don't plan to get involved with each other but it's like it's out of their hands. The more they fight it, the harder it is. God, I loved Benedick, he's such a jerk! He has a vicious tongue, very cutting. The smex scenes are hot and very well written. Benedick is confident in his skills and I just love that in my heroes *g*.
If you read Breathless, you'll remember Brandon, the youngest Rohan. He was so young and cute and innocent. Really brave too. The man we meet in Shameless is just a shadow of his old self. Brandon has been to war and he's come back wounded both physically and in spirits. He gave up on life and he's become reckless. We get glimpses of him and what happened when he came back from war. Now, I have to tell you I'm REALLY hoping he's getting his book because if not I'll be pissed. Why? Because we get glimpses of his story and a possible romance and I couldn't believe it ended this way. Anyway, I can't say more but I am crossing all my fingers and toes we'll get his book. (I've spent 2 hours on the web searching for any indication there would be one but *sob* I couldn't find any info about it *sob*)
I LOVED that we got to see quite a lot of the HEA of Miranda and Lucien (Heroes from Breathless, yes I also do Cliffnotes as you can see *wink*). I remember raging at the ending of Breathless because it didn't have an epilogue. *squeeeeeeeeee* We get it in Shameless. Seriously I was grinning the whole time we got to see Lucien and Miranda. And we see them from Benedick's POV, which is pretty hilarious since he HATES his brother-in-law so much. I loved seeing their life through his eyes. I can't thank Anne Stuart enough for indulging us like that. *g*
I was ecstatic when I finished Shameless! It has an epilogue!!! *squeee* And a very good one. It's not cheesy I promise, because I'm not sure Anne Stuart can do cheesy. But it left me smiling and feeling very good. <3
Shameless is a wonderful book, it really does justice to this series. You want to root for the characters and it's hard to stop reading once you started. It keeps you enthralled and always wanting more while giving you some closure about the story (and about the previous book). I still feel pretty emotional about this book. It sure left his mark in my mind and in my heart (see? I can be cheesy!)
ps: I'm sorry about it being such a long review. And THIS is the short version ;)
I give Shameless 4 1/2 Stars.
With a Shiny HEA, full of hopes and happiness