Ethan is the oldest brother to Nicholas and he is a widowed father of two young boys. Alice is their governess. (there is so much going on in this story that I did not even know where to start).
It would seem that this story is the standard “man falls for governess” trope. While parts of the story seem to drag on (blame Victorian polite society for all the prevaricating), all of that seemingly fluff helps the reader understands why there is so much hesitation on both sides to enter into a relationship. Every scene helped me to understand the Ethan and Alice so that they were more than characters on a page. They became more 3-dimensional.
The villains caused so much drama that I wondered if the main characters would be able to overcome it all. I disliked Ethan’s wife more and more as the story developed. She did a number on his emotional state that almost ruined him for future relationships. Throughout the story, I could ascertain bits and pieces of the main villain despicable character, but the depths of his evilness were spelled out near the end. He got better than I think he deserved considering the havoc he cause on the lives of so many people.
Out of all the Lonely Lords series romances, so far Ethan: Lord of Scandals (The Lonely Lords) was my most favorite, possibly because Ethan and Alice were so damaged. I am a sucker for the underdog getting a happy-ever-after ending.