This would have been a five star read for me save a few very serious issues I had that I could not get past.
Make no mistake, this book is a page-turner, and I'm very glad I read it. The interaction between the hero and heroine is witty and intense, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The heroine was a tad bit too arrogant and haughty for my taste. I got the impression that she looked down on others too much, and that personality trait is very unappealing to me in anybody. The hero was arrogant and haughty, too, but that was part of his tortured-ness, so it was easier to understand.
The other major issue I had: The heroine's SHOOTING of the hero with a pistol, and his ready acceptance of it being totally appropriate, and even humorous. Did not like that - at all.
And finally, Virtually every woman in this book who was NOT the heroine (or her grandmother) was referred to as a tart, trollop, slut, or whore. And it wasn't even done in a way that refers necessarily to a specific woman, it gave the impression that the characters thought of anybody who was not a 'lady' of the ton was a slut or a tart or a trollop. That bothered me. I fully understand that the hero had mommy issues, and therefore treated women very poorly, but that never seemed to change. Sure, he eventually treats the heroine differently, but I never really got the impression that the hero himself REALLY, truly, changed for the better. It was almost as if he found one exception to the otherwise general rule that women are all sluts.
Anyway, definitely a good read, and totally worth my time. The story elements are remarkably similar to "Flowers From the Storm" by Laura Kinsale, but in that book I felt the drama and the intensity of the hero's transformation was much stronger and more believable.
Still, I couldn't put "Lord of Scoundrels" down, and stayed up until 2:00 am on Christmas Eve to finish it.