Thursday, April 28, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Eleven Scandals To Start to Win a Duke's Heart By Sarah Maclean

Avon Historial
April 26 2011 Sarah MacLean
384 pages

She lives for passion.

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society's rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London's most practiced gossips . . . and precisely the kind of woman The Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening—risking everything he holds dear—he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety. She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

I was very impressed with Sarah Maclean's debut, 'Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake'. Haven't read the second title in the trilogy, though I am sure I will very soon. Sarah made quite a splash with her debut, in visiting various romance blogs, it was praised to the skies. I bought it and enjoyed it. Sarah has an gift at story telling, great characters and sizzling love scenes.

It continues here with Eleven Scandals. However, where some may find Julianna charming, at times she had my eyes rolling. However, it was a minor point, as she fairly sparkled with vivacity and a solid personality. Which made her the perfect heroine for the cool, detached and often arrogant Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton.

Juliana Fiori knows of scandal, it has followed her all her life, add her penchant for getting into trouble and you can see where she would infuriate Simon to no end. In Nine, he was certainly attracted to her, but by this book he had distanced himself from Juliana. A woman born into scandal was not the woman for him. She is too bold, brash. He soon finds himself in her company, constantly. And his inner struggles to fight the attraction he has for Juliana was well done.

Both characters are not perfect, I liked that. Nor were they predictable. Such depth to both of them, that you are with them all the way through the tumultuous relationship that turns very passionate. Simon is not as cold and proper as you may think. I love it when the cool, detached man is actually a sizzling cauldron of desire underneath. Only Juliana brings this out in him.

He in turn, brings out the best in Juliana, her growth in this story was beguiling. My only real complaint was Juliana's trouble making was starting to wear a little thin, as was Simon's stubborn resolve to stay proper, staid and removed. But it all worked out in the end. It is a credit to Sarah MacLean's gift with characters and writing that I easily overlooked any slight annoyance with the characters and let myself get caught up in their story. She slowly peels back the many layers to both Juliana and Simon which made for a very enjoyable read. I am more determined now to read the second book in this trilogy.

3.75 out of 4 stars

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