Ada of Keyworth is unusual for a medieval woman. Educated by her family, she’s adventurous, headstrong, and strikingly beautiful—but she’s also addicted to opium and on the run from debtors. Gavriel de Marqueda has plenty of his own problems, but when he finds Ada being auctioned as a slave, he liberates her, and in the process makes her problems his own. As the pair journey across Spain, they find that they have more in common than they expected, and they also find that their chemistry is undeniable.
Throughout the novel, Lofty avoids the easy clichés of the genre in favor of the original. The 13th-century Spanish setting is unique for historical romance, and Lofty makes good use of the history of the era. Struggles between royal houses, tension between Spaniards and Moors, and monastic history figure prominently. But like any good historical romance, the love story eclipses all else, and it’s a scorcher. Both characters are damaged, but their love for each other helps them heal their wounds. Scoundrel’s Kiss is thoroughly enjoyable, and I look forward to reading Lofty’s future historicals.