The Turner Series: The Soldier’s Scoundrel – Cat Sebastian
A scoundrel who lives in the shadows
Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London’s slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.
A soldier untarnished by vice
After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman’s life-one that doesn’t include sparring with a ne’er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack’s pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they’re together.
Two men only meant for each other
I first met Jack Turner as Georgie’s brother from The Lawrence Browne Affair and his sardonic comments to Georgie were really funny. Rewind to The Soldier’s Scoundrel where Jack first met Oliver who was in a state because he thought Jack was an unsavory character swindling his sister, Lady Charlotte.Their chemistry and banter, the way their relationship developed were a pleasure to watch as it unfolds. Tried as he might, the unsmiling, snarky Jack couldn’t help but be charmed by Oliver, gentleman, ex-soldier and expert curricle driver. The two endeavored to solve the mystery of Jack’s client’s missing letters with Oliver tagging along mainly because he was bored and wants to keep seeing Jack. Jack, for most parts, was in some sort of denial about his feelings and it was fun to see Oliver slowly win his heart. Oliver was made out to be kind of naive and inexperienced so it was very satisfying when he gets the upper hand.
This Regency romance has all the right ingredients: well-developed and interesting characters, intrigues, mystery and class conflict. The enemies-to-lovers trope was done convincingly. The writing has that typical breezy CS trademark of humor, fluff and food. I confess, I put off reading this because of the terrible, terrible cover. I’ve always wondered why they usually feel compelled to put bare-chested men on the cover of most MM books when beautiful clothes on beautiful people would do the trick much more effectively, at least to me that is.
Cases in point: these random male models as Oliver and Jack
Still, I regret not reading this sooner because this Cat Sebastian debut is every word as brilliant as the reviews say.
5 Stars – absolutely perfect