Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean
Rated 4 Out of 5 White Roses.
Content Rated with the Pale Pink Rose.
Simon Pearson, known to the world as the Duke of Disdain wants to avoid anything that even hints a possible scandal. And Juliana Fiori is more than a hint, she is scandal personified. Although it isn’t quite Juliana’s fault that her mother ran away from a proper marriage and abandoned her two older brothers to have a sham of a marriage with another man in another country and had an illegitimate daughter that doesn’t stop Simon from trying to keep her as far away from his as possible. That’s the only way, Simon can think of to keep his name and title clean, even if his family might already be headed for scandal.
Juliana is tired of always being a subject of gossip. Who cares whether the leading ladies of the ton don’t approve of her because of her birth? Who cares if the Duke of Disdain turns his self-righteous nose up in the air when she’s nearby? She will never show them how much it hurts her to be so rejected because of circumstances she never could control. And she will teach his high and mighty Duke that there’s more to life than etiquette. No one can really live without some passion and if there’s one thing the untouchable and unflappable Duke needs, it’s some genuine living.
Now after being introduced to the heroine in Nine Rules To Break When Reforming A Rake, I knew I wanted to read her happy ending. So I definitely had high hopes for Juliana’s story and Ms. MacLean did indeed deliver. While the synopsis is not exactly original, what with the hero who can’t help but fall in love with a woman beneath his station and birth, the story was definitely its own. For a good portion of the read the hero did come across as so arrogant and pompous while thinking he can and will avoid any and all scandal while the heroine showed more than her fair share of naivete. It all did come together to make for a good read.
This, Ms. MacLean, is what I’m talking about. I like to see the depth in the characters I am introduced to, and Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke’s Heart definitely fulfilled that. I didn’t just read about Juliana’s sorrow in rejection, I saw and felt it. And while I didn’t agree with Simon at (many) times, I sympathized with his inner battle over his rigid upbringing and his heart. I mean, he was a first class jerk to say the least, but what do you do when you’re raised to believe that’s how you’re supposed to be?Not that I am defending his actions, mind you. I am merely saying that yes, the plot may have been done before, but the characters make up for it.
There is more to this story than meets the eye. I know I find that I enjoyed reading about Simon and Juliana.
Hugs & Kisses,
The Lustrous Courtesan
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart published by Avon Romance, April 2011.