Author: Anne Stuart
Series: The House of Rohan,
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Review copy from publisher
“A long string of tragic loves haunts Viscount Benedick Francis Alistair Rohan. Cool and cynical, he's weary of life's fickle games and wants a prim and proper wife he can ignore while indulging his sensual appetites.
Lady Melisande Carstairs is nothing less than a tornado storming into Benedick's measured life. Possessed of boundless energy and the soul of a reformer, Melisande always conquers, whether it's saving the souls of soiled doves or seducing the man she's inconveniently fallen for. When she informs Benedick that his brother's newly revived Heavenly Host has graduated from simple carnal debauchery to sadistic violence, he's compelled to investigate, undercover. Under those covers, however, is Melisande herself, playing a dangerous game in the name of justice.
And the Heavenly Host has just seen her hand, and more…”
Shameless is book four in The House of Rohan series by Anne Stuart. It’s Benedik’s book, Benedick is Miranda’s oldest brother (book 3 of the series, Breathless).
After losing two wives in childbirth and suffering their deaths, Benedick Rohan has decide he needs a new wife to bear a heir. This time he wants a prim, proper and sturdy wife. A wife he would not fall in love with, a wife he could easily leave in one of his estates raising his heir while he continues with his debauchery. With this mission in mind he returns to London, but of course while he looks he would indulge himself with the pleasures many willing and expert women provide.
At his return to his London home he learns his younger brother Brandon has been living in his house for the last two months. Brandon is not the same nice and happy young guy he was, He was gravely injured, suffering some disfigurement during his military service in the Afghan wars. Now Brandon is a bitter and sad man with no will to live, abusing alcohol, drugs, and more.
Benedick hates to see his brother in that state but there is not much he can do for him at that moment. First and foremost he needs to sate his body, it has been months since he was with a woman and he cannot wait any longer. He sends a note to one of his favorite whores requesting her services. Violet soon arrives to his home but their encounter is soon interrupted when Lady Melisande Carstairs storms in his studio.
Melisande is a wealthy widow with the mission of rescuing and helping prostitutes. She teaches them there are other options for them. She runs a safe house at her own home and Violet is one of her girls. When Melisande arrives to Benedick house and finds him and Violet in a compromising position she gives Violet an ultimatum or she comes with her immediately or she cannot go back to her house. Violet acquiesced to Melisande leaving a perplexed and infuriated Benedick. Beedick thinks Melisande is Violet’s new madam and does an indecent proposal to her. She ignores him and blazes out of his house.
Benedick realizes the mistake he has made when his majordomo explains him who was the lady.
Both Benedick and Melisande find each other fascinating but irascible and decide to put distance between them. But when one of Melisande’s girls returns to her house tortured and raped she decides to investigate what’s going on, this is not the first case and other girls in the city are disappearing without leaving a trace. During her investigation Melisande discovers that the infamous Heavenly Host has been revived, now they are crueler than even, abusing women and children and if what Melisande discover is true they are planning on doing a human sacrifice soon.
Melisande is over her head with this and she knows it. The only person that could help her is Benedick, he knows about the Heavenly Host, his ancestors were part of this group.
Benedick is reluctant to help and believe what Melisande is telling, but when she mentions his brother Brandon involvement with this group, he knows he needs to find out if the allegations are real even though that means he will have to spend time with the cantankerous woman.
Melisande is a social conscious strong woman. Society has almost shunned her because of her “girls”, she doesn’t care what they think of her, she is the woman she wants to be. Melisande may have been married for years but she is still innocent in regards to what’s going on between a man and a woman, that doesn’t mean she is not a bit curious. I also loved how much she enjoys sweets, I thought it was very cute.
Benedick is a rake in all the sense of the word. He suffered a lot with the death of her first wife and some with the second one, he doesn’t want to put himself in the same situation a third time, so he prefers to continue with his debauchery. Benedick could be enchanting but sometimes he was an ass, I wanted to know what was his freaking problem… and at the end I learned it and… *swoon* it restored my faith in him.
The chemistry between this two was off the charts, they tried their best to fight it, and they literally fought it, but to no avail, they succumbed to it.
I loved that Miranda and Lucien (Breathless) had a cameo. When I read their book and got to the last page I felt the end was kind of sudden and let me feeling there was something missing, and epilogue would have been perfect. I didn’t get my epilogue then but I got them in this book and I loved to see them, see their interactions and how they have become a very funny and lovely couple.
Melisande’s girls are all very interesting and very entertaining. They brought more that one laugh to the story. From them Emma is the one that stands the most and hope to see her in the next book.
Brandon’s story was left somehow open, I really hope Mrs. Stuart writes a novella about him and gives him the HEA he deserves.
I really enjoyed Shameless, I read it almost in one sitting. Shameless is entertaining, with lots of tension and steamy pages. You could say it is predictable book, but which historical romance isn’t. If you are a fan of this genre you will enjoy it too.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
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