willaful's Reviews > Scandal of the Year

Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke
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Apr 18, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: heroines-behaving-badly, good-boy-bad-girl, tortured-heroine
Recommended for: readers who have given up on Gurhke
Read on April 18, 2011 , read count: 1

Since reading Wedding of the Season, I’ve been looking forward to the story of Aidan -- a priggish duke who gets tiddly much too easily has a lot of entertaining potential. But although those factors do play into the plot, this didn’t turn out to be the “bad girl makes the good boy loosen up” theme I was expecting. Instead it was a “good boy makes the scared bad girl open up” story, and a lovely one.

The book opens with Lady Julia Yardley being divorced by her husband, after he caught her in bed with Aiden, the Duke of Trathen. (I was a bit disappointed that the story began with the naughty stuff already in the past, but we do learn the truth about the incident through flashbacks.) Aidan is resentful of Julia, whom he believes -- correctly -- used him to force her husband to divorce her. Now he’s trying to forget “that woman” and continue with the important task of finding a Duchess. There’s just one problem: he can’t seem to stop wanting Julia.

Aidan, in this story, is not the somewhat dull character he appeared before, but a model of just about everything good: honorable, faithful, trustworthy. Perhaps we’re seeing him from Julia’s point of view, because we now learn that she deeply respects his excellent qualities, although she can’t resist teasing him for them. We also see another side of Julia: her apparent wildness is protection against a powerful fear of vulnerability.

This was an unusual romance in having a far more interesting heroine than hero. Not that Aidan isn’t charming, but the main focus of the story is on Julia; she’s a complex and intriguing character, who does some terribly dishonest and manipulative things. She's forgivable because we see her redeeming qualities, and the terrible demons that drove her.

The book has a bit of a bittersweet air, tempered by the playfulness that Guhrke draws so well between her lovers. The happy ending felt rushed to me, and even though I live for HEAs, I almost felt this one was imposed on the story by romance novel convention. But no matter; it's still a very good book.
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Reading Progress

04/18/2011 page 12
3.0% "'Cause I'm not reading enough books already... :-\"

Comments (showing 1-2)

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Rane Great Review Willa! I thought the characters were more drawn out and better complex then in Wedding of the Season, and Julia and Aidan were both wonderful and deep characters.

willaful Thanks Rane. I agree, a much better and more complex book.

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