How to Seduce a Scoundrel

How to Seduce a Scoundrel - Vicky Dreiling I think it's time for me to finally throw up my hands at historical romance, and poor Vicki Drelling's is going to be the book that's flung aside with great force. We're suppose to find these men attractive?  Really?  If so, I'm going back to Georgette Heyer.How to Seduce a Scoundrel contains one of my favourite tropes of the genre, that of childhood friends falling in love with each other.  The trouble is, it also contains so many of the tropes that keep me from truly enjoying the genre.As is much too common, despite the long history between the hero and heroine, the attraction is weighted very heavily on the physical.  Drelling uses the trope of reunited-after-years-apart to allow the heroine, Julianne, to have "blossomed" into someone the hero deems worthy to be taken to his bed.  After that, there are a few references to childhood memories, but the relationship is primarily describing in his fantasies about bedding her (and his supposed guilt over indulging them).In the hero, Hawk, we also have a terrible hypocrite.  While I'm perfectly willing to accept the reformed-rake trope, and the historically accurate inequality in requirements of chastity between the sexes, I just can't stand that Hawk condemns Julianne's other suitors for the exact activities that he indulges in, or plans to indulge in.Another of my favourite tropes is that of the elderly female relative who takes either hero or heroine under her wing.  Being from an earlier, less-inhibited generation, her irreverent attitudes and utterances are quite shocking to those around her.  In the opening chapters, I had great hopes for Hester, who is recruited as Julianne's chaperone, but alas they did not come to fruition.  The key to the "elderly female relation" is in her racy dialogue and, sadly, Drelling did not make Hester's sparkle.The redeeming aspect of this book, is the twist at the end.  I admit to rolling my eyes over Hawk's whingeing about his guilt over an episode in his past, but when Drelling actually revealed it, I was rather impressed that she included such an unusual trope in her book.  That said, and without giving away the ending, I feel like the relationships were a bit too prettily wrapped up at the end.  One can have a "happily-ever-after", even when there's a little friction between those characters who are forced into each other's lives.  In my opinion, it makes the happiness all the sweeter.This review also appears at