Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE'S HEART by Sarah MacLean


Love by the Numbers #3
Historical Romance/ Regency
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins
384 pages

Available April 26, 2011

Juliana Fiori is no stranger to scandal, in fact you could say she was born in scandal. Upon her arrival to her half-brother's home in England, Juliana quickly learned that she provided fodder effortlessly for the Ton with her propensity for trouble. 
 
Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton, a/k/a the Duke of Disdain because of his spotless reputation and his contemptuous view of those who did not follow societies rules, was appalled by the shameful behavior of Miss Fiori. When he stumbles upon her hiding in his carriage, it's the last straw. 
 
Can Simon instruct the bold Juliana in the ways of being a proper lady, or will Juliana turn the tables, teaching Simon that sometimes you should let passion rule?
*****
Sarah MacLean's superb writing and characterizations has quickly thrust her onto the top of my auto-buy list. In ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE'S HEART, her plot and characters were beautifully interwoven into an enchantingly romantic tale, complete with the struggles of clashing personalities, as two people who can't conceive ever being together in a relationship, learn that they can't imagine a life apart. She was able to give Juliana and Simon very tangible emotions which pulled me further into their story. This is a book I didn't want to put down once I began.

Simon was so infuriatingly arrogant, I really wanted to see him knocked down a notch. While he was such an pig-headed ass, Ms. MacLean still made him likeable, which I considered to be quit the accomplishment. I could feel him fighting his emotions as he tried to be so cold. Of course being a romance I knew that he was starting to fall in love with Juliana, but I loved seeing his transformation. Ms. MacLean made it apparent why he had such highly prudish morals, which helped me to understand why Simon acted the way he did.

Juliana had a special knack for falling into bad situations. She could be doing everything right and still end up wrong. Sure there were a few times were she was deliberately mischievous, but so many of her actual scandals were not her fault. While Juliana fell into many scrapes, Ms. MacLean kept a believability to them, I have had the kind of bad luck Juliana had, where no matter how hard you try to do the right thing, you still manage to get it all screwed up, I could empathize with her. She was such a lovable character, and I liked that she was intelligent and had strong sense of independence. 
 
I was so captivated by ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE'S HEART that Simon's asinine behavior even had me in tears, I was so infuriated with him for causing Juliana such pain. If there was ever a hero that needed to grovel, it was Simon. One of the best scenes was when Juliana saw Simon with his niece, it opened up his personality even more. I also liked the glimpses of Juliana's half-brothers and their wives.
Rating 5/5