The Last Wicked Scoundrel: A Scoundrels of St. James Novella

The Last Wicked Scoundrel: A Scoundrels of St. James Novella

by Lorraine Heath

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath brings us the eagerly awaited final story in the Scoundrels of St. James series.

William Graves is the last of Feagan's scoundrels. A onetime grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others—because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady like Winnie. Though undeserving of her touch, he cannot resist. His passion cannot be tamed … even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she's discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now, confronted by the past she thought she'd left behind, Winnie must face her fears … or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062317162
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/28/2014
Series: Scoundrels of St. James , #5
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 314,057
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

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The Last Wicked Scoundrel: A Scoundrels of St. James Novella 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
jojoNE More than 1 year ago
As the final book in the Scoundrels of St. James series, the lives of all of Feagan's charges comes full circle as they resort to any means necessary to keep a friend safe in this gripping and sensual story. Not only do we get to revisit old friends but the quiet and supportive doctor William Graves finally gets his HEA after admiring the emotionally scarred Winnie from afar ever since nursing her back to health from a severe beating. A secret, and their class differences, has kept him from claiming her the way he wants but when she starts experiencing mysterious sounds, smells, and misplaced objects he rushes to her rescue once again which allows him to get extremely close to her. William has always been the most serious of all of Feagan's gang. His childhood was unconventional as it revolved around dead bodies which easily segued into his career of physician. He was close to his father but his mother was abusive which led to a life-altering event that led to his father's abandonment and a lifetime of guilt. Guilt is just one of the many reasons keeping him from Winnie, along with his belief that he's not good enough for her. But when the past comes back to haunt her he becomes her protector and gives her the strength to defend herself. In his quietly supportive way he helps her become an independant woman capable of choosing the man she wants. Winnie's marriage was a nightmare of abuse, belittling words, and a lack of affection. She felt that nothing she did was ever right which still has her questioning her decisions today. With the death of her husband she felt a sense of relief, but when frightening events start occurring she fears she's losing her mind or being haunted. She immediately turns to William for answers as he values her ideas and stirs strong sexual longings in her that she's never felt before. Propriety has her fighting her attraction though until her need for comfort and safety have her acting on the sexual tension that's always been brewing between them. William knows the truth of what's happening to Winnie. The elaborate plan concocted by him and his friends to keep Winnie safe appears to be unraveling and the time is fast approaching when all the lies will have to end. Until that time the romance between him and Winnie explodes and lets her finally know what it feels like to be loved. Along with a sexy and heartwarming romance comes an enthralling and suspenseful mystery. This mystery keeps you on the edge of your seat with tension that builds to where Winnie's fear is palpable. The final moments when she has to face her past head-on are heart-pounding and have the story wrapping up in a fast-paced and immensely satisfying way. This story as a whole is the perfect ending to a delightful series where a ragtag group of children band together throughout their lives to make something of themselves and find their HEAs in some unexpected, but perfect, pairings. I'm sad to see this series end but glad to know that we'll be revisiting this world as the children of Feagan's gang have their stories waiting to be told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this was short (about 95 pages) it was quite good. And, tied up the story with two people, Winnie and William (Bill) that we saw often in other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KP07 More than 1 year ago
I loved the last story. Good read.
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
This final story ties up the series about five child thieves, raised in the London rookeries, four men and a woman, who lift themselves up from poverty and crime to respect and distinction.  Lorraine Heath’s stories are romantic and a little melancholy. When I think of the Victorian era, I think dark colors and repression whereas the Regency feels light and madcap by comparison. I first read her breathtaking Waking Up with the Duke—with the swoon-worthy Duke of Ainsley—a few years ago and loved it. Since then, I’m slowly reading her backlist. Heath’s mother was British and she herself is from Texas, so she also writes historical romance set in her home state, some even combining the two backgrounds. I had almost forgotten about Catherine’s quiet and fearful friend, Winifred (Winnie), the Duchess of Avendale, from In Bed with the Devil. In that story, Winnie was a timid, abused wife, bullied by a monster of a husband who belittled and beat her and made her feel worthless.  And I had also forgotten William Graves, personal physician to the hypochondriac Queen Victoria; he had been a peripheral figure in the last four books. Here we discover he’s a loving, considerate, and kindhearted man who rescued Winnie three years before when her husband almost beat her to death.  Since then, Winnie has decided to build William a hospital in his honor, to thank him for caring for her. She has secretly come to love him and he her, although he feels that their relationship (he is a commoner) can never be. For her part, Winnie wants to embrace her freedom to love whom she wishes instead of honoring society’s expectations. Her horrible marriage  quickly disillusioned her; she’s determined to embrace her life now. But William and his friends hold a secret to protect Winnie and her young son, Whit, the new Duke of Avendale. It is also this secret that keeps William from fully loving Winnie. But she trusts him and it is that trust which also tests their relationship. Before William, Winnie’s life had been darkness and oppression, and I like how Heath describes her rooms in her London townhouse. “The fabric covering the chairs and sofa were pale yellow and green, as though she’d been striving to bring sunshine into her life.” (p32) Heath also gives bits of information from the first four books, but not too much; it is just enough and someone reading this for the first time will not be confused. In fact, the story works well as a standalone. There is mention of William rowing every day for exercise and stress relief which caught my attention because I recently read Juliana Gray’s How to Master Your Marquis. In that story, the hero, James, also rows for the very same reasons. Memorable moment: “She’d never been held for the pleasure of being held. There was comfort in it, an easing of loneliness without words.” (p76) A fitting end to an entertaining and romantic series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read the other books in this series and I had no issue following the story line. It was short with enough back story to make the characters likable.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE LAST WICKED SCOUNDREL by Lorraine Heath is an exciting Regency Historical Romance set in 1854 London. A Novella. #5 in the “Scoundrels of St. James” series, but can be read as a stand alone. Visit the author’s website for a list of the previous titles. A quick, sizzling hot novella! Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, an abused widow and William Graves,the last of Feagan’s scoundrels,now a doctor, on a deliciously sexy journey of passion, truth, justice and romance. From abused wife, to widow to desired by a delicious sexy doctor who would do and did do what had to be done to save Winnie from a lifetime of misery if not death. For Winnie’s husband was a brute, who beat her often and severely. But some secrets don’t stay buried, but come to life. Filled with fear, danger, passion, romance and the power of true love and passion. Ms. Heath has a delightful way of mixing danger, a bit of mystery, some suspense, and lots of passion together in a seamlessly powerful story. A wonderful read from beginning to end with engaging characters and an intriguing storyline. Well done! Received for an honest review from the publisher and Above the Treeline. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: HOT REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite authors, and i have really enjoyed the earlier books in this series, but i would have to say that i was disappointed in this book. I dont think its up to her usual standards. The characters were pretty bland, and there was just no chemistry. Storyline was ok, went by pretty quick. Disappointing.
SummerSnowFalls More than 1 year ago
Sir William Graves, once abandoned as a boy by his gravedigger father and raised in Faegan’s gang, is physician to her Majesty Queen Victoria. He is in love with Lady Winnie, Duchess of Avendale, and will do anything in his power to protect her. Including staging the death of her nasty, abusive husband — now three years gone — after he beat Winnie very close to death. In those years, they have developed a deep friendship and each holds a secret love for the other. On the night of Winnie’s wildly successful fundraiser ball for the new hospital, she confesses to William that she has begun smelling her dead husband’s scent and is misplacing things only to find them again in odd places. She’s afraid she is going crazy. But William knows she is not crazy and begins to suspect that the evil Duke of Avendale has found his way back to England’s shores and is tormenting his wife in a sick game of revenge. Winnie is a strong, impressive woman. She suffered years of brutal domestic violence from her husband and in the years since his death has recovered and blossomed into a confident woman. She still has moments of vulnerability which make you want to weep for all that she has been through, but her inner strength keeps both her and her son moving forward towards a lighter, happier life without the spectre of her husband looming over them. William is honorable and loyal to Winnie. There are many reasons why he cannot marry her, yet he remains faithful in his silent devotion and protects her as best he can from the evil machinations of her husband. Even to the point of risking the hangman’s noose! All so Winnie may sleep peacefully once more. Together, William and Winnie provide the love, support, and loyalty they both need. This novella is the sweet conclusion to a romance that has been building throughout the series (though you don’t need to read the other books to enjoy this one). Despite its novella length, this is a well-rounded and well-written story. The plot is compelling and comes to a satisfying end without feeling rushed (a tad anti-climactic, but not rushed). The main characters are fleshed out with background stories, current presence, and hopes for the future. Even the cast of secondary characters play an important role in the plot’s progress. The central suspense/mystery kept me on the edge of my seat and Ms. Heath even manages to tackle a weighty topic like domestic violence and its effect on victims without coming across as preachy or used as a flippant plot device. Brava!! Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] Com
Zeeelicious More than 1 year ago
Finally, we read about Dr. Graves and the true reason he became fascinated with being a physician.  This novella is a short and sweet story about Dr. William Graves and Winnifred, the Duchess of Avendale who we meet in In Bed with the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James #1).  She is Catherine Mabry’s friend who was abused by her husband, the Duke of Avendale.  This story starts a couple of years after Avendale was found “dead” (the reason for this can be read in In Bed with the Devil). In this story, Winnie has finally found confidence and courage and of course, she is fighting her attraction to Dr. William Graves, who took care of her when she was at death’s door.  Winnie doesn’t know that the Duke is not actually dead but was sent to the colonies (Australia, I believe) and she thinks that the Duke is haunting her.  Naturally, the gang steps up and helps guard Winnie without actually telling her that the Duke is not dead.  A showdown between William and the Duke of Avendale happens at the end which results in William Graves being shot and Winnie killing the Duke. I loved the story.  It was short but packed with a lot of thrills and romance.  I loved reading about Winnie finding her courage, confidence, and strength.  William is not my fave character but in this book, he was interesting.  I thought both him and Winnie were an awesome pair.
Foreveryoung55 More than 1 year ago
Loved the entire series!! Lorraine Heath is one of my favorite authors!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story felt forced and not completely thought through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jd .uyot