Review of “When the Scoundrel Sins” (Keeping the Carlisles #2) by Anna Harrington

Harrington, Anna. When the Scoundrel Sins. New York: Forever, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1-4555-9788-4. Print List Price: $7.99.

4 stars

Note: I received this ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

While the first book in the series was a disappointment, I still very much anticipated the following installments in the series, due to Quinton and Robert being incredibly hilarious in the first book.

And they did not let me down. The first half especially made me laugh a lot due to the interactions between Quinton and Robert, and even their interactions with Annabelle and Lady Ainsley. The way Harrington works in common tropes of historical romance and gives them new meaning also got a few laughs out of me, like the unfortunate “bodice ripping” scene that appears in the prologue, and how at one point Annabelle, who is constantly referred to as a bluestocking for her love of books, actually dons blue stockings for Quinton. Even the name of the Ainsley, estate, Glenarvon, is an allusion in keeping with the rakish heroes that populate Harrington’s world.

And while the book does take a turn for the somewhat cliche and melodramatic in the second half, with the Quinton being the typical “rake-who-refuses-to-fall-in-love” and Annabelle being incredibly stubborn, this book was still a charming read.

As I previously noted, Annabelle is a book lover, and some of her sentiments about them felt relatable, as someone who also loves to read. But she’s also unconventional in that she can don men’s clothing to help around the estate, and proves that she isn’t willing to just hand over her agency to a man who wants to control her. Quinton proves to be a perfect match for her, as he is very much interested in carving his own path, without help from his family, and it’s obvious that despite the initial deal they both consider regarding a marriage of convenience, that they are much happier when they are both on equal footing and able to be together.

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