Published by Zebra Shout on May 29th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
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.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Never Deceive a Viscount is the second book in the Infamous Lords series by Renee Ann Miller. It can be read as a standalone book.
Emma and her sister Lily share a home with their brother who is away at school. Emma is responsible for her younger siblings and she makes ends meet by being an artist. Her sister Lily while spying on her neighbour witnesses what she believes to be a murder. A lover of mystery novels she takes it upon herself to sneak into the man’s house to investigate. Fortunately, Emma realises what she is doing and follows quickly after her to bring her home.
Simon Marlton, Viscount Adler is their neighbour. What Lily suspected to be a murder was his mistress in the throes of passion. He has tired of her and as soon as they are done he sends her on a trip to Paris to buy some new gowns. She doesn’t realise he wants to end things so happily goes on her way. Seeing large trunks being put into a carriage, large enough to hold a body makes Lily even more adamant that a murder has taken place.
Unfortunately, Simon catches Emma moving around in the dark in his house and quickly tackles her to the ground thinking she is a lad robbing him. She fights him off and when he realises that she is a woman he is shocked. He is even more shocked when she grabs him and starts to kiss him! Sidetracked by the passionate kiss in such strange circumstances he doesn’t hear Lily sneak up behind him which she uses to her advantage by smashing a vase over his head knocking him unconscious.
When he wakes he is disorientated, and his anger turns extreme when he realises his family signet ring has been stolen from his finger. He is determined to find the woman and her accomplice to retrieve his ring and see them punished.
A big clue that his valet discovers is that the woman must be an artist because of the smell of turpentine left on Simon’s clothes from where Emma grabbed him. He sets about searching for any female artists in the area and when he finally meets Emma he can’t believe that she could be the one who so brazenly broke into his house, tussled with him and then kissed him so passionately. She is the only artist he has seen that is the correct height though, so he decides he must sit for her in order to spend the time he needs hoping to find out the truth.
During their sittings Simon doesn’t let on who he is, Emma believes he is just a wealthy gentleman. She also suspects he knows she is the thief that stole into his home and took his ring. It was Lily who took the ring. In her naivety, she thought it was proof that he was evil! Emma doesn’t know how she will be able to return the ring to him without being caught out, but she will cross that bridge when she comes to it. First of all, she has to complete his portrait without him sussing out who she is. A difficult enough task, but even more so when she finds herself reliving that kiss she shared with him, and wanting to kiss him again.
Simon is suffering from feelings of confusion too because even suspecting Emma is a thief he can’t get over his reaction to their kiss. How can he want to kiss her again when she could be the one who stole from him and only kissed him so that her accomplice could knock him out.
Both of them are so confused about each other but the more time they spend together the more they seem to be falling for each other. How can they have a future with the secrets that lay between them? How can they have a future if those secrets are told?
This was a really great story and I loved the characters. Emma had the weight of the world on her shoulders but struggled on without feeling a martyr. Lily was adorably daft with her crazy notions of Simon being a murderer. I laughed out loud at her antics. Simon, well what can I say about him? He is desperate for a family but won’t admit it to himself, thinking he can be satisfied with just keeping a mistress. It takes Emma to make him realise that he needs much more than just a woman to warm his bed! We get to see him act the hero which is just wonderful. Other characters that I loved were Emma’s cook who takes a fancy to Simon’s ‘man’ and woos him with her lemon tarts! Then there is Nick, a boy from the streets that Simon gives work. So many wonderful characters and such a beautiful story revolving around them all. I happily recommend this book.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.