Last Chance Scoundrels, Book 1 

From the publisher:

In USA TODAY bestselling author Eva Leigh’s new novel a notorious rake and an innocent debutante strike a scandalous bargain…

When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in a massive scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most inveterate scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill. Or does he?

Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage, especially with her impending engagement to a stuffy earl. When Kieran—her older brother’s best friend and an irresistibly attractive rogue—begs for her help, Celeste makes a deal: she’ll introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London.

In between proper teas and garden parties, Kieran escorts Celeste—disguised as “Salome”—to rowdy gaming hells, wild fêtes, and sensual art salons. As they spend more time together, their initial attraction builds to a desperate desire that neither can ignore. But when someone discovers their midnight exploits, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are endangered, and Kieran must save the woman he loves… respectable or not.

Leigh writes compelling, page turning, sexy historicals and does it again here. I didn’t quite understand the beginning premise of Kieran and Finn helping their sister’s fiance escape the alter, but with their sister sent abroad to recover from being jilted, her ex and the brothers are in big trouble with their families. They’ve been playing fast and loose for years, and their parents threaten to cut them off if they are all not married to respectable women within a year. First up, Kieran.

Kieran has been avoiding respectable society for so long he doesn’t know how to find his way back. Unless their third’s completely-respectable-beyond-reproach sister, Celeste, will help him. She agrees but with terms; she wants to experience some of London’s seedier side as her brother has done for years. Desperate, he agrees and she agrees to introduce him to polite society once again.

Kieran’s obsession with Celeste’s neck only increases as they start spending time together. Her father was a longshoreman who made his fortune and is determined to see his daughter married into a fine family. She is engaged-to-be-engaged to a Lord, and her father is deliriously happy. Celeste, on the other hand, is miserable. But women have no rights to speak of in 1818, so marry him she will. But she falls in love with Kiernan and things become dicey. Especially when they have sex.

There doesn’t seem to be a way out of this mess and Celeste resigns herself to being unhappy for the rest of her life, but Kieran refuses to allow it – if only there was a way out. It is tense until the happy ending is reached, and it looks like Finn or Dom will be getting hitched next.

This was a fast, fun read with a lot of heat. Don’t miss it!

3/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE GOOD GIRLS GUIDE TO RAKES by Eva Leigh. Avon (February 22, 2022). ISBN: 978-0063086272. 384p.







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