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ARC Review: Proper Scoundrels by Allie Therin

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Publishing Date: December 28, 2021


Don’t miss this standalone spin-off in Allie Therin’s acclaimed Magic in Manhattan universe!

Their scandalous pasts have left them wounded and unworthy—and hopelessly perfect together.

London, 1925

Sebastian de Leon is adjusting to life after three years spent enthralled by blood magic. The atrocities he committed under its control still weigh heavily on his conscience, but when he’s asked to investigate a series of mysterious murders, it feels like an opportunity to make amends. Until he realizes the killer’s next likely target is a man who witnessed Sebastian at his worst—the Viscount Fine.

Lord Fine—known as Wesley to his friends, if he had any—is haunted by ghosts of his own after serving as a British army captain during the Great War. Jaded and untrusting, he’s tempted to turn Sebastian in, but there’s something undeniably captivating about the reformed paranormal, and after Sebastian risks his own life to save Wesley’s, they find common ground.

Seeking sanctuary together at Wesley’s country estate in Yorkshire, the unlikely pair begins to unravel a mystery steeped in legend and folklore, the close quarters emboldening them to see past the other’s trauma to the person worth loving beneath. But with growing targets on their backs, they’ll have to move quickly if they want to catch a killer—and discover whether two wounded souls can help each other heal.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was a little apprehensive about this at first because I *loved * the trilogy this spins off from, but I needn’t have worried. Now that I’ve finished it, I love this one too. Possibly even more, as Wesley was a delightfully cynical curmudgeon gone soft for Sebastian alone and I adore that trope.

This was satisfactory as a standalone, though it would also have been lovely if it had been expanded a bit. I hope we get more from this world in the future. And more Wesley because he’s possibly more fun than even Rory.

I enjoyed the mystery aspect, but the best part was Wesley the cynical curmudgeon with a deeply buried heart of gold, and Sebastian the “dangerous marshmallow” as they slowly became closer and let one another see what they let no one else see. (They were terribly entertaining together from practically the moment they met. I highlighted SO many passages.)

Also, paranormal art!

This is a book (along with the series it spins off of) that I will most definitely be reading again because it thoroughly stole my heart. Historical paranormal MM is apparently my thing XD.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Press for providing an e-arc for review.

Favorite Quotes

…she claimed the ridiculous creature’s affections eased her rheumatoid pains. What a load of sentimental rot. Everyone was miserable; it was no excuse to dote on a yappy speck of fluff.

“Are you all right, Lord Fine?”
Wesley had some bruises, some scrapes, and blisters on his arms. But he was alive, and free, and most importantly, not on fucking fire anymore, so what came out was, “Yes.”

“Are you serious right now?” said Lord Fine incredulously. “You’re handcuffed to my bed at gunpoint and you’re more upset that the English hunt foxes?”

God, everyone was always so unflatteringly surprised that he was capable of sympathy. He’d be insulted, if he wasn’t, well, himself.

A paranormal earl, yes, that was exactly what Wesley wanted to learn existed.

There were not enough cups of tea in the world to deal with this morning.

Was–was Wesley being flirted with?
Wesley might have just been flirted with.

“Some people don’t like my accent, or my Spanish.”

“Some people don’t like opera. The world is full of classless philistines.”

Sebastian blinked.

“Xenophobia is a waste of time,” Lord Fine went on, like he hadn’t just paid Sebastian something of a compliment. “Everyone is a foreigner somewhere. Foreigners are just people and all people are universally terrible, so what’s the point of disliking foreigners in particular?”

“I said, I think you’re the witch, because when I’m with you, I remember how to be free.”

Sebastian blinked. “Is everything okay?”

No, it isn’t. You’ve just uttered the most romantic words anyone has ever said to me, in a Yorkshire pub over chips.

Oh, Christ. Wesley was not equipped to experience feelings, this was completely unacceptable.

And he did, despite Wesley’s pessimism–maybe with magic, obviously that was going to be Wesley’s explanation for everything now…

But I will admit there is one tiny place in this godforsaken world that isn’t cold and miserable, and that’s the corner you light up.”

“If you stay with me, there might be a lot of magic.”

“I’ll be thoroughly enchanted either way,” said Wesley, and went back in for another kiss.

2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Proper Scoundrels by Allie Therin”

  1. Reblogged this on Whimsical Dragonette and commented:

    “Oh, Christ. Wesley was not equipped to experience feelings, this was completely unacceptable.”

    I fell absolutely in love with ‘danger marshmallow’ Sebastian and Wesley, Lord Fine, the cynical curmudgeon with a deeply buried heart of gold gone soft for Sebastian alone.

    Highly highly recommend Proper Scoundrels by Allie Therin, out now!


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