Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart

Sarah MacLean
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
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Release Date
May 2011
Book 3 of Love by the Numbers
Historical Romance

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.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Mar 27, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
168 people found the following review helpful
I would have to say that the title caught my attention. Not only is it long, but it is certainly memorable and different. That said, it was the captivating heroine that held my attention and caused me to continue turning the pages.

Sarah MacLean has created an unforgettable heroine in Juliana Fiori. Her mother was a marchioness who deserted her husband and two sons, fled to Italy, married a merchant, and left them when Juliana was ten. At the death of her beloved father, she was sent to England to be reunited with her half brothers Gabriel and Nicholas (heroes of the first two books in this series) who welcomed her with open arms and sought to make her a good match. Unfortunately, Juliana wasn't that accepted by rigid English Society, who looked upon with favor only on someone with the holy trinity of wealth, reputation and title. Of which Juliana had none.

Almost an outcast, tolerated for her connection to the Marquess of Ralston (her half-brother Gabriel), she nevertheless found herself falling for Simon, Duke of Leighton, who symbolized Society at its worst and most rigid. Moreover, Simon had his own reputation to consider and to shore up, due to a scandal in his family that is sure to ruin them should the secret be out...

Juliana is the life and spirit of this book, not so much for the scandals she unwittingly caused but because of her passion for life. She was different in her way of thinking in that saw that some things are more important than the silly rules the English have, and she was also funny, especially the way she mangled English idioms, for she was Italian. She chafed against rigid English Society and though she declared that she didn't care how the ton sees her, she did care how Simon sees her. Yet, for all that, she was unbowed and unbroken.

Simon, for his part, is rather hard to like initially. He is called the Duke of Disdain, for his arrogance and his contemptuous air for those who are beneath him. He was as different from Juliana as could be, because he didn't believe in passion but in a cold English marriage where a wife is valued for her obedience and selected for her (and her family's) unimpeachable reputation. But he couldn't help but be attracted to Juliana, as she broke down the walls of his reserve and made him feel.

Simon did grow on me over the course of the book. I like seeing his struggles between passion and propriety, desire and reputation. His ambiguity made him human and relatable, and the fact that he seesawed between two choices and didn't easily just give in to what he wants made the situation all the more believable. And it was because of Juliana that the choices weren't as simple as they had been. Throughout the book, Juliana was changing him as surely as he was changing her, and it was great seeing how they each made the other into better persons.

ELEVEN SCANDALS is a very well-done character-driven historical romance, and is a delight to read. It will surely charm and engage historical romance fans everywhere.
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