Friday, April 13, 2012

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean

Juliana Fiori and The Duke of Leighton, Simon Pearson's book

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
(Love by Numbers book 3)
By Sarah MacLean

Book Blurb:
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.

The Love by Numbers series by Sarah MacLean is fabulous. Eleven Scandals is the final book regarding the St. John siblings. I have to admit to loving Nine Rules and Ten Ways a bit more than Eleven Scandals but I highly recommend them all as historical must reads. 

Eleven Scandals is full of scandal and Juliana is just the perfect character to pull off all these highly inappropriate actions. I think a lot of us modern women will relate to Juliana on one level or another. She kept me highly entertained throughout Eleven Scandals

The Duke of Leighton is a man in need of an exciting woman like Juliana. He is stiff and proper but he is not a prude. He just knows what is expected of him and he lives up to his respectable role as a Duke. He takes his role within the ton very seriously and has earned a nickname as the Duke of Disdain. It was quite enjoyable reading about how Juliana manages to slowly chip away all that built up hardness. Juliana is the only person who can see past all that ice. If you enjoy a story where opposites attract, then you are going to LOVE Eleven Scandals

I really liked the passion game that Juliana had dared Simon to partake in. I also enjoyed their little word play game as well. They are both extremely good manipulators. 

During Eleven Scandals the Duke does become engaged to another woman and I found myself a little uncomfortable for the betrothed woman. Simon did have good intentions to live up to his duty but I still wasn't pleased he went through with his engagement. It felt wrong. He was using the poor Lady and all the while he had strong feelings towards Juliana. I did feel and understand his confusion and his pain. It was clear he really did feel like he was wedged into a corner with no way out. It was if he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.  I was pleased that Sarah MacLean did include as part of a chapter a brief conversation between the Lady and Juliana to demonstrate that the Lady was just as prepared to go through with her marriage duty as Simon was. And she really did just see it as a duty. There was no love match there. It was creative and talented writing to show her not as a villain or victim. I rather admired her. 

There are some beautiful kissing scenes. They were highly charged and quite memorable. The Duke was sure showing some great restraint. When Simon and Juliana finally give in to their mutual passion, I have to admit it was a very moving and loving scene. I will also claim that as far as historicals romances go, I felt it was one  of the best virginal first times I have read in a long time. I just love Sarah MacLean's writing. 

Teasers: carriage hideout,  the grape, return of the long lost mother, "one night"


Julie said...

Gah, another woman! I think I am going to read this one day. I enjoyed the first book and I enjoyed Juliana too, but I'm not in a rush to read it. Can't really say why. lol Nice review Michelle!

Unknown said...

Hi Julie. I really loved the second book too. I think Nine Rules was my favourite but still very good story and writing all around.