Thursday, October 6, 2011

Historical ARC Review: Every Scandalous Secret by Gayle Callen

GENRE: Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Avon (September 27,2011)
ISBN: 9780061783456

Notorious rake Leo Wade is not one for house parties--he'd much rather pass the time in London's gaming halls...and ladies' boudoirs. But when his gambling instinct leads him to believe the enchanting and utterly impossible Miss Susanna Leland is the anonymous model of a shockingly immodest painting...he braves country tedium for a chance to prove the lady's secret.

With one foot already firmly planted on the shelf, Susanna cares not a fig for propriety. But even she never imagined she'd become caught up in a ridiculous game of cat and mouse, and certainly not with the most wicked man of her acquaintance! Susanna has absolutely no intention of letting Leo confirm his suspicions, no matter how persuasive he can be.

Until sweet temptation becomes too much to bear, and they both learn that the price of trust may just be worth every scandalous secret.
WHERE TO FIND GAYLE: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter | Avon Site
WHERE TO BUY: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook | Book Depository
BOOK EXTRAS:Read an Excerpt
I loved it.
OTHER BOOKS IN SERIES (Click on covers to learn more):

This is the first Gayle Callen book I've read and I liked it. Quite a bit. Apparently, Leo and Susanna's story timeline parallels with that of Julian and Rebecca (In Pursuit of a Scandalous Lady) and Elizabeth and Peter (A Most Scandalous Engagement).

Backstory: Sisters Susanna and Rebecca Leland and their cousin, Elizabeth Cabot, sneak into a well known London gentlemen's club in order to steal a painting of a nude lady. They get caught by three gentlemen friends; Julian Delane, Peter Derby and Leo Wade. In a drunken wager, the gentlemen will find out which lady is the model. The ladies will try to keep the gentlemen from finding out. Whichever group wins, gets the painting as the prize. Let the games of seduction begin!

Leo Wade is determined to seduce the truth from Susanna Leland as to who that nude model is. Easier said, than done. Susanna is determined to keep Leo from finding out the truth so she leaves town to attend a house party. Of course, this is bound to lead to something disastrously delicious and sexy.

Leo is easy going, a total people person and very charming. Susanna is a bluestocking through and through. She reads, she paints, she works along side her father, and she's a wallflower. But hey, opposites attract right? In this book, yes they do.

The attraction between the two characters is apparent to quite a few people at the house party. Susanna spends her time teaching the ladies how to paint while Leo does a lot of heaving staring in her direction. She knows she must keep the secret safe but Leo is slowly chipping away at her defenses. After almost getting compromised by Leo, she throws those defenses back up. They are forced to marry at Gretna Green due to the fact someone saw them getting cozy behind the couch.

Both the journey back to London and the journey of getting to know each other is riddled with insecurities, passion and discovery. Leo and Susanna had me laughing and snorting out loud at their antics. My heart ached for Leo as he was trying to woo Susanna, and I felt for Susanna as she tried to keep Leo at a distance, all the while slowly falling for him.

FAVORITE QUOTE: "He would need to slowly seduce her all over again, her mind and heart, as well as her body. And this time, there was more at stake than a wager. The rest of their life together pivoted on a point, and it could go either way." (***quote subject to change in finished copy***)

OVERALL: Oh that Leo Wade. I'm going to add him to my ever growing hero harem. He's just so easy to love. The beginning was a little slow for me but once Leo compromised Susanna, it picked up. Three things I enjoyed about this book: 1)the banter between the characters had be laughing, 2)Leo and Susanna trying to get to know each other after getting married, and 3)the anticipation for when "the moment was right". Ms. Callen definitely caught my attention with a few gasp worthy moments. I will definitely read another book by Ms. Callen.

***PDF provided by HarperCollins for Gayle Callen's book tour with Goddess Fish.***

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