Sometimes, there comes a story that seems to find no way to redeem itself to end in a happily ever after for the hero and heroine. They face insurmountable odds within each other, between them, and due to outside events. Carrie Lofty's Scoundrel's Kiss is one such book.
The story opens with Ada of Keyworth willing to enslave herself for one more dose of opium. Gavriel de Marqueda, a novitiate of the Order of Santiago and former hated slave of his father, is charged with saving her life and ridding her of her dependence on the drug. While Ada wishes for what she should not have, while Gavriel does not know how to wish for what he cannot have.
Both are so damaged that overcoming their own demons seems to be out of their hands. The keyword here is seems, because not only do they do that, but they also manage to defeat the problems standing between them and beyond them.