ARC Review: Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath

Title: Scoundrel of My Heart

Author: Lorraine Heath

Series: Once Upon a Dukedom (Book 1)

Page Length: 368

Publication Date: April 13, 2021

Publisher: Avon

Synopsis: She is desperate to wed a duke…

Lady Kathryn Lambert must marry a titled gentleman to claim her inheritance and has finally gained the attention of a duke. Yet she is unable to forget the scandalous second son who aided in her achievement—or his betrayal.

He wants what he can never possess…

Lord Griffith Stanwick is tormented by the bitter truth that as a “spare,” he will never be able to give Kathryn what she yearns to possess. But when his father is found guilty of treason, Griff detours into the dark and dangerous corners of London, haunted by memories of the woman lost to him forever.

Love not to be denied…

As the duke’s courtship intensifies, Kathryn discovers Griff has become a man to be reckoned with. When old passions flare and new desires ignite, she must decide if sacrificing her legacy is worth a lifetime shared with the scoundrel of her heart.

LINKS:     Goodreads     |      Amazon    |      Book Depository

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.

My Review:

Kathryn is determined to marry a duke since it is a stipulation to receiving her inheritance. Because of a clause in her inheritance that requires she marry a titled man, Kathryn tries to ignore her feelings and focus on marrying a duke. However, as much as she tries to resist, she is as drawn to Griff as he is to her. Griff and Kathryn’s lives are very different, and being together means losing the place Kathryn most treasures, which weighs heavily on her. Griff does not have a title and feels he will never be good enough for Kathryn, so he determines to help match her with a duke. However, as the matchmaking ensues, neither can deny their feelings for each other.

When Griff’s father is tried for treason, Griff disappears for a time, and Kathryn continues her courtship with the Duke. When Kathryn and Griff reconnect months later, he is different from the man she knew, but the feelings still remain. Can these two people with very different lives ever find a way to be together?

I loved this story, especially the romance, and I absolutely adored Griff!!! Griff is the second son and considered irrelevant. Men in his position are often referred to as a “spare.” It must be awful to feel so unwanted and unneeded, and this title severely affects Griff’s sense of self and worth, especially towards the beginning of the story.

Halfway through the book, the story takes a dramatic and unexpected turn, which changes Griff’s life irrevocably. Family tragedy and betrayal take Griff’s life in a totally different direction than expected. However, as a result of this terrible time, Griff learns to fight for himself and for what he wants. He learns to stand on his own two feet and protect the things that are most important to him. He’s tough and more self-assured. And though his life has changed dramatically, his feelings for Kathryn remain the same. Time and distance have not affected the desire and longing Griff feels when he sees her.

From the start, Kathryn is one of the few who sees the good and the promise in Griff, and though she doesn’t realize it, she has very strong feelings for him. Griff is a bit scandalous, and Kathryn is a proper lady. He is unconventional, and she is conservative. They love to antagonize and needle each other, and they have heated and passionate conversations. I love their clever, flirtatious, and sometimes argumentative banter, as well as their fun, flirty, and passionate encounters.

Another part of the story that I liked was Griff’s attitude toward women. When Griff describes the type of woman he wants by his side, he shows a progressive attitude toward gender equality, and he perfectly describes Kathryn. There is one scene in particular where Griff details the attributes he likes in a woman, and it is positively swoon-worthy! He wants an equal in every way, which is abnormal in their world and exactly what Kathryn deserves.

And the way that Griff specifically talks about Kathryn, as well as the way he thinks about her, melts my heart. His feelings are beautiful and romantic and deep, and his selfless willingness to let her go is the epitome of sacrifice. Knowing that if she marries a duke she will inherit a beloved cottage, Griff casts his own feelings and desires aside and works behind the scenes to make her dreams come true. Check out this swoon-tastic part when Griff describes Kathryn:

Her mere presence will cause a man to yearn to know the intimacy of her thoughts, her secret desires, her touch. Like the finest of wines, she is bold, full-bodied, and tantalizing. Never disappointing. Yet never the same, always offering another aspect to be discovered. A lifetime in her company will never be long enough.

This is a fantastic historical romance! I loved Griff and Kathryn and their epic love story! The minor characters are also intriguing, and I’m curious to learn more about Griff’s siblings. The mystery surrounding Griff’s family is fascinating and dangerous, and I can’t wait to find out more. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Avon, and Lorraine Heath for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • THE ROMANCE!!!! Griff and Kathryn are fantastic together, and I adored their love story.
  • Griff’s feelings toward gender equality.
  • The great character development, especially Griff and Kathryn.
  • Did I mention the romance? lol
  • Props to the Duke, who did something really fantastic in the story. I’m curious about him and hopeful that he’ll be the main character in a future book in the series.

Favorite Lines:

She favored strawberries. He’d feed her an entire bushel for one of her smiles.

Her mere presence will cause a man to yearn to know the intimacy of her thoughts, her secret desires, her touch. Like the finest of wines, she is bold, full-bodied, and tantalizing. Never disappointing. Yet never the same, always offering another aspect to be discovered. A lifetime in her company will never be long enough.

Sometimes sacrifices must be made in order to gain what we want.


This is a fabulous story for readers who enjoy historical romance with epic love stories and a swoon-tastic romantic hero!!!

10 thoughts on “ARC Review: Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath

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