The Forgiven Scoundrel by Laura A. Barnes

The Forgiven Scoundrel by Laura A. Barnes
(Fifth book in the Tricking the Scoundrels series)
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Secrets have a way of coming to light…

She never allowed her heart to love another. He had never forgotten her. Will their secrets keep them apart? Or would their love overcome them?

Belle portrayed herself as two different women in London. To the lower class she was Rosie, a young widow who lost her husband too soon. A generous lady who befriended all, always helping those in need. To the peers of the realm, she was the notorious Madame Bellerose. Her establishment in Covent Garden was the most sought after to gain membership. Every gentleman attempted to bed the sultry Belle, but she favored no man with entry to her boudoir. She gave her soul away to one man years ago and there would be no other for her. Belle found contentment in the life she created to survive with her flourishing business and her new friendships. Until the man who stole her heart and abandoned her years ago returned. Phillip dominated her senses, making her crave what they once had. Can Belle forgive Phillip for abandoning her and risk her heart to loving him again?
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Lord Phillip Delamont had only one purpose for his return to London. And that was to find the woman he loved. To his surprise, his young son befriended the lady he desired. However, at every turn her friends would thwart his attempts to seek her attentions. His frustrations would only leave him wanting her more. A chance invitation for a game of cards leads Phillip into discovering Belle’s true identity. Once he realized the woman Belle had become his need to make her his again became his primary goal. Can Phillip convince Belle that they are meant to be together forever?

Secrets. As Phillip pursues Belle, they keep their secrets hidden from one another. Secrets that could help to heal their hearts. Will they let their past continue to haunt them? Or will they confess their true love?

When my son graduated high school, it was very bittersweet. That’s exactly how I feel right now. I absolutely loved this series. I read every book and I’m so sad that the series is over now. The Forgiven Scoundrel was the perfect ending to the Tricking the Scoundrels series.

The heroine, Belle, was a complex character that was pivotal in all the other books. I was really looking forward to reading her story because I always found her intriguing because of the mysterious aura surrounding her. I didn’t think I’d love Belle any more than I did but I was wrong. Her romance with the hero, Lord Phillip Delamont, was sublime.

Many secrets make for a really awesome plot. Relatable characters that I’ve befriended in previous books only enhance my positive feelings while reading this story. Combine a spicy romance between Belle and Phillip and I have a book glow.

In addition to the excellent writing style, unpredictable plot twists and consistent quality pace flow, I found The Forgiven Scoundrel to be an entertaining read that I didn’t want to put down.

I definitely recommend this book to be on a reader’s “must read” list for those who love stories with redemption, forgiveness and true love. All the books in this series can be read as standalones, but I suggest reading the entire series. With Christmas coming, the complete set of Tricking the Scoundrels series would make a wonderful gift.

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