Monday, May 2, 2011

Historical Review: 11 Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean

11 Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Format: Kindle Edition
Genre: Historical
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins, Inc. (April 26, 2011)

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.
Buy it here: WORD | B&N | Nook | Amazon | Kindle | Book Depository

Note: The book from WORD in Brooklyn can be signed and personalized by Sarah.

Go and BUY IT NOW!!!

Book Trailer and Review (contains spoilers...proceed at your own risk):





Dear Simon,
I was wrong about you. I completely apologize for thinking of you as a stuck up, no-nonsense, cold hearted, aloof, uncaring, sister hiding, Marquess of Ralston hating, scandal avoiding, stick in the arse asshat. A certain Miss Juliana Fiori has helped change my mind about you. You have absolutely lived up to my hero checklist. I can't even begin to describe in words how much I am in love with the thought of Juliana and you together. Thank you for seeing the error of your ways and for allowing yourself to be brought to your knees not by passion, but by love. Thank you for reconciling with your sister Georgiana and accepting your niece Caroline. I for one, after reading this fabulous book by your creator, Ms. Sarah MacLean, don't know whether to laugh, cry or have a dance party. You are now my favorite golden haired hero. Which is a rarity in my case since I prefer tall, dark and dangerous. But I digress. Love has trumped the holy trinity of tradition, reputation and title. Please accept my apology.
Sincerely,
Kati R.


11 Things About this Book (that I liked, disliked, loved, didn't love, don't know how I feel about...)

1. Simon Pearson, 11th Duke of Leighton- I had a love/hate relationship with him throughout the book. When he pulled the "but, I'm the Duke of Leighton" card, I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall (then I thought better of it). There were times that I wanted to slap him silly for leading Juliana on and then saying that he was wayyy better than her. And I may or may not have called him some colorful names when he kept pointing out to Juliana that she "was a walking scandal." Really?! She already knows that. Why rub it in?

2. Juliana Fiori, half sister of the Marquess of Ralston and Lord St. John - From the beginning of the book I was rooting for her. I took an instant like to Juliana. Why? Because she bloodied the nose and kneed in the crotch a man who thought he could take advantage of her in a darkened garden. She is headstrong, outspoken and full of passion. My heart bled for her every time the Duke would show his feelings for her, but then pull back and hide behind "...but I am a Duke, you are a commoner/scandal waiting to happen." Her use of English idioms had me giggling, and her transition into Italian gave me new phrases to try out.

3. Louisa Hathbourne St. John Fiori- The mother of all scandals or at least the St. John twins and Juliana's. The moment she came back into their lives, I hated her. Actually, I've hated her since 9 Rules. She left her twin boys to be taken care of by their father and ran away to Italy where she married a merchant. She got bored with that life and left Juliana to be raised by her father. She is flighty, cold, distant and very self centered. I wanted to punch her in the face for telling Juliana that they were alike in every way.

4. The holy trinity of: Tradition, Reputation and Title- I say all three can go hang! Simon and Juliana agree with me.

5. Lady Penelope Marbury- She is the perfect wife for a duke. Her breeding is impeccable. Her father is a double Marquess and her fortune's not too shabby. Her family has not been touched by scandal. I felt really sorry for her. She wants to feel love but knows that it is her duty to her family that she marry well.

6. Lady Georgiana Pearson- I hope she gets a novella in the future and finds love. You may remember her from 10 Ways. She runs away, ends up at Minerva House and when Simon finds her, he leaves her in the care of Nick and Isabel at Minerva House. He wants nothing to do with her since she could cause a scandal if the ton knew of her condition. This girl is AMAZING! What she does for Simon and Juliana takes balls. That is one awesome betrothal gift.

7. Lady Sparrow- She is a beeyotch! She always points out to those around her that Juliana is not one of them and constantly insults her. This woman needs to be put down. I HATED HER! And I may or may not have called her the B & C words a few times.

8. "But he was the Duke of Leighton!"-Yes, you are. And a complete jerk. You sister hiding, scandal avoiding, *mumble mumble* passionless twit!

9. Lesson: Reputation always triumphs- Ahahahahaha! You arrogant bastard! I hope she bring you down to your knees and makes you see that love triumphs over all.

10. Simon speaks Italian- Simon learned Italian for Dante. I love this. He is able to communicate with Juliana in her native tongue especially when she becomes irritated and lapses from English to Italian.

11. And now I give you Juliana's 11 Scandals:

  • Juliana and Grabeham in the gardens at Ralston House
  • Juliana found in Leighton's carriage hiding from Grabeham
  • Juliana tumbling into the Serpentine
  • Juliana leading Simon on a not-so-merry chase through Hyde Park
  • Juliana lurking outside of Simon's club
  • Juliana's mother's arrival during a dinner party at Ralston House
  • Juliana toppling Lady Needham's harvest bounty
  • Simon kissing Juliana in Ralston's stable
  • Simon ravishing Juliana at Simon and Penelope's betrothal ball
  • Bonfire Night
  • Juliana insulting the Duchess of Leighton at the dressmakers

Simon's BIG SCANDAL: Northumberland House

Favorite quote:
And then he had discovered who she was---the Italian half sister of one of London's most notorious rakes, the barely legitimate daughter of a fallen marchioness and her merchant husband, raised far from London and its manners and traditions and rules. The opposite of everything he represented. The antithesis of everything he cared to have in his world.
Overall: Once again, Ms. MacLean has given us a wonderful, witty and hotter than hot story with a feisty heroine and a tortured, flip-flopping hero. Simon finally has a woman who will show him that avoiding scandal at all costs is not worth losing those near and dear to you. Juliana meets Simon thrust for thrust (um, take this for what you will) and holds her own not only with him, but with the stuck up, "I'm better than you", whisper-whisper behind my fan, women of the ton. The St. John and Fiori siblings all get their Happily Ever Afters. What a great book to end the "Love by Numbers" series. I can't wait to see what Ms. MacLean has next in store for us readers!

*This book has been pre-ordered since finishing 9 Rules and 10 Ways. It was delivered right after midnight on it's release day, April 26*

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