Shelly's Reviews > Scandalous

Scandalous by Karen Robards
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Sep 07, 14

bookshelves: audiobook-version, romance-historical
Read on April 21, 2011

** spoiler alert ** For my first book ever by Karen Robards, I think I started off with a good one! It's defintely different from any other regency romance in style and the premise, but once it got to the part where Gabriella makes her personal bargain with the devil, to pretend Marcus, her absent brother, is not really dead, and decides to take things as far as she can, I was hooked, and instantly adored Gabriella! It's exactly what I would have done! This story is a great example of making best lemonade out of lemons, and devil be damned. Everyone thinks of Gabriella in a slight way, she's a woman, she's disadvantaged because of her lack of fortune, disabled because of her leg, pitied because of the awful way her father treated her, but she doesn't really view herself as less than. She's got guts and spunk, but not too much that makes her obnoxious.

The premise of the story, Marcus is murdered, and his friend, later to be revealed as Nick, takes over as Marcus to try and 'smoke' the killer out, only to realize that Marcus' sisters come to London at the same time, pretending the same rouse so that Gabriella can help get her sister Katherine married off hopefully before anyone finds out the real Marcus is dead, and they are homeless. Meanwhile, Nick-pretending-to-be-Marcus and Gabriella are falling in love, only everyone thinks they are brother and sister!! Scandalous to be sure! I really like Nick throughout, although it was hard for me to love him, until the very end. It's a difficult character-type to pull off, and I think it was done fairly well. To have a hero assume the identity of a dead man and parade around London, while trying to show a romance between the hero and heroine, without giving away too many details as to why he's parading around as the dead man until the end to make it a cliffhanger and mini mystery, I don't think much could be improved upon in this case. It's to be commended for taking such a tangle-ridden hero and making him seem a sane person without confusing the readers or making him look like a fool.

Things I didn't like:

- Jim, the stable groom, or whatever he was. The only other person who knew about the secret besides Gabriella, Nick and his valet. Yes, he seemed a fatherly sort to her, but he still was her servant, not her equal. He was too opininated, and kept beating a dead horse, we got it, he didn't like Nick. And the fact that Gabby had to ask him several times to do things, when if he truly was her servant, should not have happened. If they were closer, that relationship wasn't really show to hold up the way he talked to her.

- The sisters. I can't really say I'm excited to read about Claire or Beth at all, particularly Beth. Yes, Claire is this outstanding beauty but she's as timid as they come, and for a girl of 19, to be at odds so often with Beth, seems very immature. And Beth seems especially inconsiderate to me. There's a scene where Gabby walks in and sees Beth laying casually across Marcus/Nick's bed, and tells her, even if he is her brother, her posture and decorum should be more refined, and Beth basically ignores her, blows her off. Later on in that same scene, she practically calls Gabby lame (as in disabled) and Claire points out how hurtful that is to Gabby, her response is to basically say, well, it's true. I will read/listen to the books, but I may not love the sisters. Hopefully they will get better.

Things I loved:

- Gabriella! She's a girl after my own heart!

- The gruff Aunt Augusta, I hope she's in the rest of the series! It would be neat to see her find a companion too!

- The unusual premise (at least unusual to me) I love different plot lines, which is hard to do in Regency.

- That Nick got Gabriella to dance!!! Who doesn't love to be danced and romanced by a sexy man, even if he is supposed to be your brother?

I would definitely read this again (I actually listened to the audio), and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because of the sisters, and it was a little on the light side, would have loved a little more depth, but still highly enjoyable and highly recommended.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Shelly Thanks Mia! I liked it, and I am now reading the next in the series!


Heather I hope you've had a chance to read the next books in the series... the sisters are quite wonderful as well! Overall, great review :)


Shelly Thanks Heather, I did, and I really liked Beth's story the best!


Heather Good to hear. I liked Beth's story best as well! I accidentally read Beth's story first, so perhaps had more background on her when I read the 1st book in the trilogy, but I found all the sister's stories quite enjoyable.


Juana Soto I have read all the there and mu favorite of the Heroes is Hugh from book 2!!!


Shelly Hugh is nice, but my favorite was the last one!


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