Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “House of Cads (Ladies of Scandal, #2)” as Want to Read:
House of Cads (Ladies of Scandal, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

House of Cads

(Ladies of Scandal #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Vivez la vie pleinement…Live life to the fullest.

That’s always been Marie-Anne de Vauteuil’s motto. As a Frenchwoman of highly questionable upbringing, she was shunned by genteel society when her fiancé died years ago, leaving her a penniless, fallen woman. Almost married, almost a widow…She retreated to an isolated village where no one knows or cares about her sordid pa
Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published April 26th 2018
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about House of Cads, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about House of Cads

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  163 ratings  ·  50 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of House of Cads (Ladies of Scandal, #2)
K.J. Charles
What an absolutely delightful read. Marie-Anne is a French immigrant living in a village. she's super sex positive, loves her food, a little bit lonely but not whiny about it. She lives fully and enthusiastically, and with her own personalised, clearsighted morality. She's also eight years older than the hero, *and* when she has a chance to get payback for a cruelty done to her years ago she takes it, with both hands, several times. She is not the bigger person and offers no Christian forgivenes ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to A FALLEN LADY in Kingston's Ladies of Scandal series and has as its heroine Frenchwoman Marie-Anne de Vauteuil, dear friend of Lady Helen of the first book. Here we find formerly scandalously "fallen woman" Helen happily married to her love, Lord Summerdale, and Marie-Anne living a quiet life of imagined contentment in the small village of Bartle. (BTW, although a sequel, this entry works very well as a standalone for those who did not read the first book.)

Marie-Anne easily
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've given this a B at AAR.

House of Cads is the sequel to Elizabeth Kingston’s A Fallen Lady, a regency-era romance set in a small English village which introduced us to the lively and unapologetically hedonistic Frenchwoman, Marie-Anne de Vauteuil. Marie-Anne is beautiful, straightforward and unashamed of her colourful past; she’s had lovers, she makes no bones about the fact that she enjoys sex, and when the story opens, she’s a little downcast about the ending of her love affair with the vill
I've given this an A+ for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGals... the story grade got bumped up thanks to the fabulous narration.

Elizabeth Kingston returns to the Regency world of A Fallen Lady to bring us House of Cads, a sequel to the earlier book which features as its heroine the lively, unconventional and somewhat scandalous Frenchwoman Marie-Anne de Vauteil, the dear friend of Helen, Lady Summerdale. The audiobook also marks the very welcome return of the fabulous Nicholas Boulton to
Elena C.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
In my experience it's especially difficult to find a romance author whose every book dependably checks all the right boxes for you: for example, I usually find Elizabeth Hoyt's work pretty fun and harmless, but then she'd come up with something so atrocious that made me consider a hypnosis session to forget having ever read that infuriating load of bullshit. But after three books by Elizabeth Kingston I'm fairly sure she's that author for me: the one that at the very least guarantees I won't nee ...more
This was excellent! It was utterly unique and Marie-Anne was a very strong heroine, but she absolutely fit in with the time period in her actions and behavior.

This is a well written non-wallpaper historical and I had an excellent time with this, now I have to go find a pillow to sit on after I fell out of my chair laughing.
Maria Rose
Audiobook review update - what a delight to hear the smooth and talented Nicholas Boulton narrate this story! He is amazing at doing all the voices here, including Mason's American accent, Marie-Anne's French accent and the assorted English men and women. The story takes on added richness with the audio, and made me laugh out loud several times. I highly recommend getting the audio version if you have the chance.

House of Cads by Elizabeth Kingston is the second romance in her Ladies of Scandal
3.5/5. This is my first book by Kingston and I must say, I really enjoyed her writing - clever little observations, attention to detail, lively banter. I just couldn't really warm up to the main characters, and because I couldn't care much for them, I couldn't care much for what happens to them either, so I found my attention deviating.

Madame Marie-Anne de Vauteuil is a Frenchwoman of dubious background living quietly in an English village. Her title, 'madame' is a slight stretch, since she was
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Favorite Quote: "Oh Mr. Mason," she murmured, a sweet but faint note of compassion in her voice. "Of course it is very unfair to you, that so many women have let you believe this puppy dog look will always work." She clucked her tongue consolingly. "You poor man."

Oh, he liked her. 

Adorable book alert!! New-to-me author Elizabeth Kingston has written such a cute book, that made me smile and swoon. Marie-Anne de Vauteuil, a french woman, fell in love with an englishman. They got engaged, then she
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: published-2018
A very solid B from Kingston. I prefer her darker and more emotional romances in the Welsh Blade series though and so fans of lighter romances might appreciate this book even more than I. But even here she has an elegance to her writing that I greatly enjoy. House of Cads is a lighter and mostly comedic romance, and it situates itself at a house party for much of the story, which is a great setting. The main players shuffle partners throughout and it was fun to guess which characters would end u ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Ladies of Scandal series and since I've read and loved the first one, I naturally had to read the second. If for some reason you never read "The Fallen Lady", which is the first book, have no fear, this can definitely be read as a standalone.

I have to be honest and say that while I really loved the first, I only liked the second and although it was well written and plotted, the predictability of the plot as well as humor, made this story lighthearted and all the seriou
Mary Kate
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a refreshing read!

I feel like there's a formula to a lot of romances. Guy meets girl, they fall in love, boring plot line. I'm being so mean right now, I love romances! Don't get me wrong. But it's so hard to find one that actually captures my interest. It feels like half the books I read I start skimming because I get bored.

So imagine my utter delight!!! When I was treated to this well crafted story.

It's so hard to explain why it captured me. It might have been the heroine ownin
It's taken me three weeks to write this review because I can't quite work out why it fell slightly short for me. House of Cads was a pleasant read but I felt nothing more than 'that was pleasant enough' and that made me feel a little bit sad because this book was one I'd really been looking forward to getting my hands on. There were numerous things which I liked but they didn't quite mix together right for me, there was something missing.

Marie-Anne de Vauteuil is probably the best part of this b
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Really enjoyed the premise and Marie-Anne, who is a very atypical heroine. She's brash and outspoken and she enjoys sex and food, and still has a moral compass. The whole setup with her late fiance's family and the marriage capers with his Bennet-esque sisters was delightful.

But then Marie-Anne meets Mr. Mason, our lovable rake, who's pretending to be a rich American when in fact he's a poor caricaturist deceiving everyone to get access to high society gossip, and the two of them hook up, and t
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book (audio version)! Nicholas Boulton is outstanding. How he created Mason, an American originally from Kentucky, was superb. He definitely gave him a bit of a Southern voice but not over-the-top country twang. But, of course, most of all I loved this story of Marie-Anne and her bit younger, charming, borderline con man, Mason. I admit I was a bit hesitant to read (listen) to this Kingston book because I generally prefer books with a more serious tone (like her excellent Welsh Blad ...more
Niki (mustreadalltheromance)
Since the death of her beloved fiance years ago, before they could actually marry, Frenchwoman Marie-Anne de Vauteuil has been left in a strange limbo. She's not quite a respectable widow but instead a scandalous fallen woman. She has retreated to a small village where no one knows of her colorful past and drowned her sorrows in cake and bread, until a random letter from the almost in-laws who have shunned her up until this point sees her invited back into London society for a season.

Mason is pr
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Marie-Anne de Vauteuil was relatively content to live in her cottage in the little village of Bartle-on-the-Glen. She is miffed that, for the first time, she was not the one to end her latest liaison. To a shoemaker! The affront! But a missive from Lady Shipley, the dreadful mother of Marie-Anne’s late beloved Richard brings her back to London. Lady Shipley’s daughters need Marie-Anne’s help. Odd, that. Still, it will be able to restore some of her tarnished reputation, and it could prove to be ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! I am officially a new fan of Ms. Kingston. The other books I have by her are being moved up the pile, and she will be on my auto buy list.

This is the second book in The Ladies of Scandal series, but it definitely stands on its own. The story was wonderful, but it was the characters who drove the book. Marie-Anne, a French woman who was our heroine, was an absolute delight! She was as effervescent as champagne, with a zest for life and passion. Our hero Mason, though an apparent shad
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding! I am officially a new fan of Ms. Kingston. The other books I have by her are being moved up the pile, and she will be on my auto buy list.

This is the second book in The Ladies of Scandal series, but it definitely stands on its own. The story was wonderful, but it was the characters who drove the book. Marie-Anne, a French woman who was our heroine, was an absolute delight! She was as effervescent as champagne, with a zest for life and passion. Our hero Mason, though an apparent shad
Amber Pook
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all I just have to say WOW! This is the story of Marie-Anne and Mason, both of whom have been brought up in incredibly rough environments. Marie-Anne is a society outcast as years ago her fiance died before he could make her his wife, leaving her ruined and penniless. Now she has been called back to London after living for years in a quite village, where she meets Mason. He is an rich American Businessman (not) who has an incredible talent for drawing. It is lust at first sight for them ...more
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good
Continues characters from book 1, with focus on the h who is a great judge of character and smart. She's able to influence others, laughs at herself often and is a good person and she loves men. The H is young and there is some mystery to him, but she falls for him and he for her. They are both prepared to enjoy the moment but learn that they must changes their lives if they are to be together. This showed her true character, she is strong and has a set of principles that she sticks to. The H ha ...more
Dot Salvagin
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I confess to liking Kingston’s Fallen Lady a bit more than this offering but this is still a not-to-be-missed book. The author’s lyrical prose, perfectly nuanced characterization and wit bring to life the Regency era as well as a rapscallion hero and a French free thinker. There are a few slow bits but the sexual tension is just ramped up in those times. Savor this one.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.
More reviews on my blog:
Dec 09, 2018 marked it as to-read-yes-own-audio  ·  review of another edition

Book #2 with a new couple of lovebirds ... and I’m listening to the 9:07 hrs audiobook narrated by Nicholas Boulton. ~ The very best narrator in Boulton and a historical written by a, in my opinion, very good new romance author in Kingston. So far loved and enjoyed every book with the combo with these two. - Cross my fingers. 🤞

See also my 3.8 stars review about book #1: A Fallen Lady in this series.
Fangirl Musings
*I listen to audiobooks while doing other tasks, so note taking is impossible, ergo Down & Dirty Quickie Reviews are impossible. Instead, here are some words.*


The Plot & The Peeps:

Unapologetically sexual French heroine + betatastic red-headed, fluff-muffin American hero + house party = new lover shenanigans! Throw in the hero's job/financial deception and you get a whole kit and caboodle of low-stakes drama.

The Romance & The Pound Town:

Damn the OTP's emotiona
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Preferred the first book in this series, for some reason. Maybe because in theory, I might want to be a devil-may-care, loves-to-be-outrageous, fuck-bullshit-rigid-society-rules French lady and intellectually support it, I find a more put upon rule-restricted character one I identify with more? IDK.

Anyhow, this one is about Marianne de Vauteuil, one of the minor characters in book 1, and how she winds up falling for an American dude who might not be what he seems to be. And I know we are suppos
Candy Briggs
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Marie-Anne de Vaulient lived in France and she had many friends that had stayed with her over time. But they all moved on, went to England and got married. She was a fallen woman but she loved the way a man made her feel good. Her motto was live life to the fullest and she tried. She received a letter from the Shipley's. Richard was the only man she loved and just a few days from the wedding and he died. His parents hated her, they wanted her to come to England but she really had trouble underst ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
+ sexually experienced protagonists without a lot of silly angst and explanations about how that came about with "willing widows" and such nonsense
+ hot scenes, see above, largest reason for 4 stars
+ lovely descriptions of bread
+ protagonists are not English
+ casual racism from Bad People challenged by our heroes (anachronistic but I enjoy it anyway)
+ Acknowledgement of the American Frontier existing

- Constant references to how they make each other laugh but where are these alle
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
House of Cads is an enjoyable farce. I did not love it, but it made me laugh. The characters are well written and I thought the Shipley sisters were hilarious. The American hero didn't work for me though and that was too bad because I love an artistic man. He's too unbelievable as the "good hearted" con man and the end result seemed very unlikely. I liked his personality just not his "occupation" or his back story. Lately I seem to be picking up historicals with lying heroes and I hope it doesn' ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fiction
I read this after I saw Kingston's presentation on fighting white supremacy in historical romance. I thought she had a lot of wisdom on the subject, and she has put it to good use in this book. It was different from other historical romances in that the hero is not a duke or in the landed gentry, or even English, nor is the (French) heroine. I thought the two main characters were charming, and Kingston's writing is very fluid and absorbing. I will definitely read more of her work. ...more
Helen Kord
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh this book was absolutely delightful! Low-angst, high-adorability, SCOUNDELS AND CADS, the cutest no-nonsense heroine ever, a painter hero who just wants to PAINT... Man this book was good. So good, so precious, so cute.
Also ridiculously sexy. Even I, someone who yawns through sex scenes, was furiously blushing through some of them. Man, what a good book.
Also I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Nicholas Boulton and god he's good. And charming. Love him
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys #1)
  • Gentleman Jim
  • A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2)
  • Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues #1)
  • Band Sinister
  • Salt Magic, Skin Magic
  • The Earl I Ruined (The Secrets of Charlotte Street, #2)
  • Red Winter: The Complete Trilogy (Red Winter Trilogy, #1-3)
  • The Night Realm (Spell Weaver, #1)
  • Proper English
  • The Shadow Weave (Spell Weaver, #2)
  • The Blood Curse (Spell Weaver, #3)
  • Beguiling the Beauty (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #1)
  • Legend Trilogy Boxed Set (Legend, #1-3)
  • Knight Awakening (Scorpius Syndrome #6)
  • Wicked Games (Games, #1)
  • The Promise of a Kiss (Regency Novella, #1)
  • Forged in Fire (The Vessel Trilogy, #1)
See similar books…
***Sign up for the Elizabeth Kingston Newsletter for updates on new publications.***

Elizabeth Kingston lives in Chicago, where she can be found gleefully subverting tropes and inventing new ways to make fictional people kiss. When there's time for it (hint: there's always time for it) she shouts loudly about the intersection of historical romance and white supremacist narratives. Lipstick, ski

Other books in the series

Ladies of Scandal (2 books)
  • A Fallen Lady (Ladies of Scandal, #1)

Related Articles

Marriages of convenience, high-society scandal sheets, and fully clothed flirtation...yes, we must be talking about historical...
178 likes · 53 comments