A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel (The Doomsday Books, 2)

Written by KJ Charles
Review by Katie Stine

Book Two of The Doomsday series takes place thirteen years after the first, in 1823. We are still in Romney Marsh, but now the Earldom of Oxney has a surprise inheritor. Rufus d’Aumesty does not want the earldom, not really. But his uncle is a prat, and the rest of the family seems just as bad. Given they all live in the same tomblike pile of stone, on a remote marsh isle, the ill-feelings never go away.

Enter Luke Doomsday. He was a child when he left Romney Marsh, a slash across his face as a parting gift from his soon-after murdered father. Luke is brought to Stone Manor as another possible way to thwart Rufus, as perhaps Luke’s mother was secretly married to the eldest son before Rufus’s mother was. Either way, Luke is there for his own purpose—until he sees how terribly Rufus is getting on. Poor Rufus loses his temper, he’s goaded easily, and he has difficulty reading. Trained as a secretary, the least Luke can do is help out while he conducts his own affairs. After all, Luke understands clannishness, given that he is a Doomsday.

This is a delightful grumpy versus sunshine male/male romance. The build-up is slow and steady, each man’s competence clear, and scars even clearer. Despite being opposites, they work so very well together that it’s such a shame that Luke has been lying the entire time. Full of lovely bits of snark, queer love, and that same swashbuckling found in the first novel, this second installment is every bit as good as the first. Settle in for an exciting ride with lots of Norman portraiture for company.