A Scandalous Portrait by Callie Hutton

A Scandalous Portrait (Rose Room Rogues, #)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Rose Room Rogues #1
Publication Date: 12/15/20
Number of Pages: 195

I loved this delightful introduction to the Rose Room Rogues series. The characters are delightful and you’ll feel as if you’ve become good friends before the book is finished. As always with this author, the writing is excellent, the plot is tight and well-executed, and the epilogue is the perfect ending for the book.

The Rose Room is the most exclusive gambling hell in London – maybe even all of England – and it is owned by three brothers. Sebastian Rose (Hunt), the Earl of Huntington, isn’t exactly a silent partner, but he isn’t involved in the day-to-day running of the hell since that would reflect upon his title. Driscoll Rose is a mathematical genius who keeps the books and does the hiring for the club. Dante Rose is a by-blow who was fully acknowledged by his father and was raised alongside Hunt and Driscoll. Dante was always laid-back, cool, calm, and collected. He handled those delicate situations that were about to turn sour. Oh – and lest I forget – all three were also agents for the Crown.

Hunt has decided it is time for him to take a wife and set up his nursery, so he’s attending ton events in order to ‘inspect’ the current crop of debutantes on the marriage mart. His requirements are simple – right – she must be refined, biddable, and scandal-free. Her not being a chore to bed would also be desirable. He cannot bring scandal to his title or his lineage. However, all of the debutantes with whom he’s danced or spoken bore him to tears – he has not seen one with whom he thought he could spend the rest of his life.

Lady Diana Pemberton is the daughter of the Marquess of Rockingham. To Hunt, she’s also known as Lady Trouble because from their childhood forward, he’s always been rescuing her from one scrape or another. She has only just returned to London after being banished to Italy for a year because of a scandal in which she was involved. The scandal wasn’t her fault – but, being a female, she is the one who took the brunt of the censure. She’s an independent woman who has her own fortune and her own home separate from her father who lives days away in northern England. Lady Diana is everything that Hunt doesn’t want in a wife.

While attending a ball, Hunt is dismayed to see Lady Diana heading directly for him. Uh Oh! Lady Trouble needs rescuing again – he just knows it. Yes, that is it exactly – and when she tells him her tale, he can’t help but agree to assist her. Then, helping her leads to a case the Crown assigns him and they are thrown together more and more. She even saves him – but that causes consequences he’s happy with, but she isn’t sure she is.

I loved seeing Hunt come to realize that what he thought he wanted and what he really needed were two different things. Then, I loved watching him convince Diana that is what she wanted as well. Their growth together was a lovely thing to see and they really did suit each other perfectly.

I definitely recommend this lovely read and hope you will love it as much as I did.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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