Title: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart
Author: Sarah Maclean
Publisher: Avon (2011)
Rating: 2 stars
Julianna is a beautiful, passionate Italian in a cold, reserved English world. She feels stifled. When she runs into the Duke of Leighton (at a book store no less!) their immediate attraction promises something more than the cold shoulders Juliana has thus far experienced. But woe! when he is the worst of the worst when it comes to upholding reputation and maintaining face. Otherwise known as the Duke of Disdain, Leighton is a pillar of propriety. When he discovers that Julianna comes from a family with a scandalous history and that she doesn’t have a title, he is loathe to spend anymore time with her. However, she won’t take no for an answer. She challenges him to give her two weeks to bring him to his knees in passion (not in the way you’re thinking! But that does happen). Will she succeed? Will this little game of wills become more of a game of hearts and ultimately love? Yup.
This book had some great scenes—like the horse racing scene. I also loved how feisty Julianna is. She’s quick witted and really gives it to the Duke when he is being a jackass. Maclean creates some wonderful characters also. However, her writing is a little on the frilly side. By that I mean it is a bit cliche and overdone. I wish she would tone it down on the italics and on the vocab (a lot of time it seemed like she was just looking up words in the thesaurus and they didn’t really fit). That said, Maclean has a vivid imagination and is very good at maintaining a convoluted, interesting plot.
Title: A Tale of Two Lovers
Author: Maya Rodale
Publisher: HarperCollins (2011)
Rating: 3 stars
Julianna (another one!) Somerset is a respectable widow who writes a gossip column to support herself. When she publicly accuses Lord Roxbury for having a questionable sexual orientation in her column, she opens the doors to a full-blown fight with the notorious rake.
Once their reputations are both in tatters, they decide to get married because together they are less scandalous? As Lord and Lady Scandal they uncover the identity of the Man About Town, Julianna’s rival gossip columnist. Oh, and they fall helplessly in love.
I thought Julianna was OK. I didn’t lovelove her. It was pretty teribble of her to refuse to print an apology to Roxbury after essentially writing a lie about him (that, at the time, could have gotten him killed). But I really liked this hero. He was fantastic! He did everything to please her even before he knew he loved her. *swoon* And the writing was above average in A Tale of Two Lovers!
Title: Scandalous Desires
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Rating: 1 star
Silence Hollingbrook, a gentlewoman who works at a home for children, has met the pirate Micky O’Connor before. He ruined her marriage with a scandal that she could not recover from even after she was widowed. Micky never forgot her no matter how many skirts he chased. He left his only child, illegitimate of course, in her care. When he takes the babe back, Silence is faced with a choice a) leave the baby she loves with an unfeeling pirate or b )move in with the pirate that destroyed her reputation.
Jaysus, tha lass is a firey ‘un! She won’ take no fer an answer! And tha way she takes car o’ tha baby, well, she’s a born mother. But, Jaysus, Micky never thought Silence would melt ‘is col col ‘eart.
Are you sick of this pirate speak yet? Well, you only got 3 lines. I got 300 pages. The only reason I persevered in reading Scandalous Desires is because I promised Sarah Wendell from SmartBitches that I would review it. Otherwise, I would have sailed through about 3 pages and aborted ship.
I couldn’t even write a decent review of this book because it just has ALL THE THINGS I hate in romances: babies and dialect. That said, there was quite a bit of action in this book. The hero is a river pirate after all, so there are a bunch of raids and battles, blood and burning. Plus there was lots of sexy time, all sort of clumped together in the middle of the book. But all the action in the world couldn’t keep me from cringing every time Micky says Jaysus, which is about every other page even while they’re doin’ it. Mood killer!