Never Deceive a Viscount by Renee Ann Miller
Series: Infamous Lords #2
Publisher: Zebra Shout
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
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They are the infamous lords, notorious noblemen who indulge their irreverence in public, but keep their personal struggles private. For a portrait artist, capturing the true soul of a high-born hellion is a daring proposition...
Clearly, Emma Trafford’s new neighbor is a lady killer—but is the scoundrel with the scar capable of murder? Emma can barely contain her precocious younger sister, Lily—the child swears she spied their neighbor engaged in foul play in his Bloomsbury love nest. But when Lily goes too far searching for “evidence,” Emma must save the imp by distracting Simon—with an all-consuming kiss rife with danger and desire.
Simon Marlton, Viscount Adler doesn’t know which is more infuriating: that an anonymous intruder set his soul on fire and left a deep longing in her wake . . . or that during their encounter his signet ring, a token of his painful past, went missing. With the memory of a faint scent of paint spirits and the knowledge that his neighbor Emma is a portraitist, Simon sets out to capture his thief. He draws Emma into a flirtatious game, commissioning the talented lass to paint him—and enticing them both to reveal their whispered suspicions and deepest secrets.
Emma Trafford’s 12-year-old sister, Lily, is spying on the new across-the-street neighbors when she sees what she thinks is a man murdering a woman. She is determined to prove it to Emma the next day when she sees a huge trunk begin moved out of the house. Lily is sure that there’s a body in it. She takes it upon herself to sneak into the house when it’s late at night, but Emma sees her and tries to stop her. They are caught when the man returns to the house. In order to give Lily time to escape, Emma kisses the man. Lily thinks her sister is being harmed so she conks the man on the head with a vase.
When Viscount Adler awakens from being hit over the head he’s pissed that someone tried to steal from him. When he finds his signet ring missing he’s determined to find out who the culprits are. Several clues make him think that Emma is the woman he kissed but he can’t figure out who her male accomplice was. He moves into the house across the street from her (which was actually his mistresses house but he sent her on a trip to Paris), and changes his name so that he can get close to Emma. She is a portraitist and she starts working on one for him. Can he figure out who was behind the theft and why this seemingly innocent and sweet woman would ever try to steal something from him?
This was an easy read and entertaining. Emma was a young woman who was struggling to make ends meet. She was the guardian of her brother, who was away at school, and Lily, her young sister. She was a wonderful painter but she wasn’t getting enough commissions to take care of her family the way she would like. When she meets Adler she has no idea he’s a viscount, but knows that she thinks him incredibly handsome. Of course she knows that he’s the man who kissed her and she needs to protect Lily from what she thinks will be his wrath. I loved that she was so protective of her siblings. She was wonderful with them and would do anything to keep them safe. The romance between Simon and Emma was slow but very satisfactory. I liked how the author didn’t rush things with them as it was nice to see things slowly percolate.
Simon was a scoundrel and had had many mistresses but of course had been bored with them all lately. This of course made room for Emma in his life. Adler had a horrible reputation for doing outrageous things and was always in the scandal sheets. He knew that he would never get close enough to Emma if she knew who he was. Those scandal sheets were completely blown out of proportion of course. If he went rowing with a friend, the sheets would report that he went down the Thames half-naked – ridiculous. I didn’t care for how he hid his identity but I understood why he did it. He ended up being a good man in the end.
Overall this was a cute story.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5