About the Book:
Title: The Counterfeit Scoundrel
Author: Lorraine Heath
Series: The Chessmen: Masters of Seduction #1
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Feb. 23, 2023
Synopsis: Born into an aristocratic family, yearning for a life beyond Society’s strictures, Marguerite “Daisy” Townsend is an enterprising sleuth. Hired to obtain proof of a wife’s infidelity, she secures a position in the household of the woman’s lover, never expecting to be lured into the seductive blackguard’s arms herself.
Devilishly handsome, David Blackwood, known widely as Bishop, quickly realizes the enticing maid is interested in far more than dusting. She aims to uncover his sins. Although tempted by the dangerous beauty, he can’t risk her learning the truth: his affairs are chaste. As a boy who witnessed his mother’s abusive relationship, Bishop now helps desperate wives escape unhappy marriages.
Yet when he is accused of murdering the husband of a “paramour,” he is forced to seek Daisy’s assistance in proving his innocence. As their perilous search draws them into a web of deceits, they can no longer deny their simmering desire. Once secrets are revealed, will Daisy’s counterfeit scoundrel give up the scandalous games he plays and surrender his heart into her keeping?
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The Counterfeit Scoundrel is the first in The Chessman: Masters of Seduction series by Lorraine Heath. I love Heath’s historical romances. They’re always so entertaining and engrossing, and the love stories are always super swoon-worthy! This one is no exception. It’s immersive and suspenseful, with great characters, a unique plot, and a wonderful romance.
For several years, Bishop has been shunned for having affairs with married women. Marguerite “Daisy” Townsend is hired to pose as a maid in his home so she can spy on him and uncover yet another affair. Daisy smart and independent, and she is really good at her job. So, as she spies on Bishop, Daisy realizes there is much more to him than meets the eye. She begins to see the man behind the façade, and he is nothing like the scoundrel everyone thinks he is. When Bishop needs help clearing his name, Daisy knows she must prove the innocence of the man who has grown dear to her.
I can see why Daisy falls for Bishop. He’s so dreamy! He is a champion for women, and he risks his own reputation to protect and help others. It’s hard not to love the man. He’s very different from the scoundrel he pretends to be. He and Daisy both have interesting and tragic backstories, and they are equally layered and compelling characters.
Daisy and Bishop have fantastic chemistry, and there is a spark between them from their very first meeting. Even though they cling to their secrets and masks, their feelings for each other keep growing, and Bishop finds Daisy hard to resist, even though she works for him and he never crosses that line. I love their banter and how they tease each other. It’s like they come alive when they’re together in a way they never have before. There is so much angst and longing between these two, which adds to the sexual tension! I think they have a great story filled with lies, secrets, yearning, chocolate, and steam.
The story also has a bit of suspense, as Daisy tries to maintain her cover in Bishop’s house, and Bishop is later suspected of murder and seems to have a target on his back. Daisy and Bishop prove how great they are together as they work to figure out who has framed Bishop. I was surprised at some of the unexpected twists and loved how the story concluded.
This is a great start to Heath’s new series, and I’m excited to read more about the Chessman. I would definitely recommend the book to readers who like historical romances with secret identities, strong, independent heroines, and swoon-worthy heroes. Special thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The intrigue.
This is a great read for people who enjoy:
- historical romance
- undercover investigator
- secret identity
- interesting historical info
- swoon-worthy romance
- great banter