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That Scandalous Summer

(Rules for the Reckless #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  2,121 ratings  ·  262 reviews
One Daring Widow
In the social whirl of Victorian England, Elizabeth Chudderley is at the top of every guest list, the life of every party, and the belle of every ball. But her friends and admirers would be stunned to know the truth: that the merriest widow in London is also the loneliest. Behind the gaiety and smiles lies a secret longing -- for something, or someone, to w
Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Pocket Books
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,121 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: regency fans in desperate need of a fix who haven't the patience to wait for something better
high 2s

the author abandons her plot contrivances when they become inconvenient and writes the story she wants to write, not the story she had been writing the first 150 pages.

a noble younger brother trying to avoid the notice of his brother, the heir, goes into hiding of sorts in the english countryside where he gets a job as the town doctor. he meets and is enchanted by the lady of the manor, a decadent widow who looks down on him yet can't deny her attraction. then, suddenly, the younger brot
Lady Wesley
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
Quite enjoyable, but slow in places. Duran is such a good writer, however, that I did not get too terribly impatient. Not my favorite narrator, but acceptable. I wonder why the complete series is not available in audio format? Indeed, Audible offers very few Duran titles.
Julie James
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely lovely book. I smiled more than I'd expected, and thought there was really good chemistry between the hero and heroine. After finishing, I immediately went to the author's website to see if I could find out who the couple in the next book will be. Highly recommended!
I will make no secret about my love for Meredith Duran books. Even when they make me angry and emotional, when they drag me through the mire that relationships often are, they are worth the Angst.
Having said that, I have been avoiding this one. Why? Because when I read the first couple of chapters in the sample I had downloaded, I loathed the heroine. Found drunk and barely conscious in someone's rosebushes by the hero? Really? I jumped into my judgemental skin and thought: who does that? Have t
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
(3.5 stars) This isn't a favorite Duran novel for me. I prefer her darker, angstier ones such as AT YOUR PLEASURE and THE DUKE OF SHADOWS, but, no matter, this woman can really write. And it's so refreshing not to have one of those tedious, annoying, innocent virgins as the heroine of an HR.

Our hero, Lord Michael de Grey, is a physician in charge of London's largest, most successful charity hospital. The hospital is mainly funded by Michael's older brother Alastair, the Duke of Marwick. Unfortun
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
I started this one ages ago, but found I didn't really like the h very much. So I took quite a long break, and have just gone back to finish it. Elizabeth Chudderly, a widow, is very beautiful on the surface, but inside she's pretty mixed-up and lonely. She has crazy affairs with unsuitable men who take advantage of her (like the horrible 'Nello'). She drinks waaayyyy too much and makes a bit of a fool of herself. I struggled to like her. Clearly there were reasons for her bad choices, but she s ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
2 broke lovers find ways to beat the odds. Not as angsty as Duke of shadows, not as edgy as Written on your skin, not as dark as @ your pleasure, but the exquisite romance, the luvly, traumatized hero cranked outta splitsville, some poignant moments & knickers-melting lines were worth every penny. I wish Phin & Mina had guest-starred instead of James & Lydia, but beggars can't be cherry-pickers. The hero's reclusive bro, Duke of McDepressed, has potentials to be the next hero, w/ her ...more
KP Pryce
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but while I liked the hero, I found it virtually impossible to take to the heroine. Her preoccupation with herself, her appearance, her age, the transience of her looks, her reputation; and the practiced - and dare I say it - manipulative skills that would have done credit to a courtesan, all combined to make me care less and less for her as the story wound on.

There was far too much introspection. Far too much. Most of it irrelevant in the long run, and doing little t
Jacob Proffitt
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: steamy, romance
I was more into this book while reading it than I am having finished it. While reading, the events of the plot seemed oh-so-relevant and interesting, but now that it's done I'm kind of surprised that they held together so long.

And that holds true for the characters as well. Duran set them up so they'd be sympathetically compatible but with circumstances that put them out of each others' reach. So you get the first half of the novel where they learn about each other and come to respect and admire
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Boring, I can't even tell you what the fuddled, confused plot was after finishing the book. I couldn't connect to the hero or heroine, both personalities were dull as dirt. The secondary characters are annoying, and she introduced too many characters that seemed like they needed to have their own backstory told. Did not enjoy the book.
Sofia Lazaridou
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
The not so scandalous summer would be a better title for this book. The most scandalous thing didn't even happened to Elisabeth. It was rather dull and its quality was medium if not less. I did not enjoy reading it. Elisabeth and Michael had a tame romance and not even a heartache you can feel it too.I would not suggest to anyone to read it even if they liked Historical Romance books.
Mandi Schreiner
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
The more I read Meredith Duran books, the more I become fascinated and enthralled with her voice. This books starts with a really well done (and important) prologue. Lord Michael de Grey’s brother is a duke, a duke who has turned into a sickly recluse after his wife was discovered not only sleeping with many other men, but also giving away political secrets. The duke is not only devastated his wife is dead, but her betrayal is drowning him, terrified the scandal will someday hit the papers. Year ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a book that has all the things a typically satisfying histo-rom should have: a handsome yet talented titled second son, the desperate yet clever and kind-hearted beautiful widow, villains and a house-party. The story reminds me much of works from Quinn, Kleypas, Gracie and co. The MCs fall in love with each other's hidden strengths, is very attracted to one another physically but circumstances have made it impractical for them to be together. So the story revolves around the dilemma of w ...more
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't like this as well as several of Ms Duran's books
I'd previously read.

Widowed Elizabeth drank to excess, due in part, to men
being unable to see beyond her beauty & worrying about
her debts and her tenants. Michael, a surgeon, stumbled
upon the heroine, asleep, drunk in the rosebushes outside
Michael's rented home. The hero & his duke bro. argued,
the duke cut off funds willed to the H. And threatened to
cut off funds to the London charity hosp where Michael
had great success. H
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: C+

Liza is a widow whose money is running out. She’s the benefactor to many people and must marry soon, for money not love, so the people around her won’t suffer for it. She’s someone who’s always surrounded by people, having parties and being in the center of it all, but for all that, she’s still so lonely. Her first marriage wasn’t a love match and she’s resigned to knowing that her next marriage won’t be one either. But she’s willing to do
Mar 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted so much to love this book. Meredith Duran is one of those writers who imbues her work with an almost effortless depth and insight, and she writes skillfully about familial dynamics and relationships beyond just the characters' romantic entanglements. Unfortunately, her characters tend to cross that dangerously thin line from 'relatably flawed' to 'just not very likable or root-worthy' for me. It really is primarily an issue of personal preference---the older I get, the more I find mysel ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not as memorable or as gripping as A Lady's Lesson in Scandal, but still, a sweet romance. To my delight, it takes place mostly in Cornwall, between a country doctor (well, a duke's brother masquerading as a mere country doctor) and an infamous widow. He has to marry someone respectable--she's not. She has to marry someone rich--he's not. Whatever shall they do when they fall for each other?

The book does suffer a bit from a disconnect between the first and second halves. Before Michael reveals h
3.5 stars....I thought this book was good, above average even, but not great. I really liked the hero Michael but had a harder time warming up to heroine Liza. Perhaps I expected more after reading The Duke of Shadows, my first Meredith Duran book. Duke of Shadows was so intense and the storyline so much more haunting and dark. However, I am sufficiently interested in reading the next book in the series to see how Alastair's story turns out. And I am definitely a fan of Duran's writing skills...
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 Stars rounded up to 4
Grade= somewhere between a B and B+... I have yet to make up my mind
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would've probably liked the story more had I not found the veiled insults regarding "people of lower class" distasteful.
Aishwarya Saxena
May 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
A single indiscreet dalliance notwithstanding, Michael de Grey, the younger brother of the powerful Duke of Marwick, is a hard-working physician who runs a charitable hospital with one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. Living off his brother, Alastair, who has been his protector and confidant since they were children, Michael is stunned when Alastair threatens to cut him and his hospital off unless Michael marries a woman approved by him and carries on the Marwick line. In response, ...more
Barb in Maryland
We first meet Elizabeth/Lizzie/Liza Chudderly in Bound by Your Touch, where she does not show to advantage. She is often drunk, weeping hysterically or both. Not quite a figure of fun, the other characters mention that the late Mr Chudderly 'had a lot to answer for'.

This new book is Liza's story and it does not start off well for her--she is found in the hero's garden, among his roses, passed out from drink. Our hero, Michael, is a doctor, now in Cornwall for a number of reasons.
Liza and Michael
Laura the Highland Hussy
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review posted on Got Fiction?

This is the first book in Meredith Duran's Rules for the Reckless series, and it starts this series off with an intensity and luxuriousness that you see throughout all the books. The vivid world and striking characters are instantly forefront, and draw you in.

With this story, as with all of this author's, there's too much going on to summarize, so I'll try to point out why I like her so much. This author's voice has absolutely drawn me in. To be honest, I don't think
Sandy Williams
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Meredith Duran is an auto-buy author for me. She writes gorgeous prose and her stories always have deep layers to them. Plus, I'm so, so envious of her ability to write descriptions!

I enjoyed this book. I loved Michael, and the opening scene between him and his brother was intense. I felt how betrayed Michael felt by his brothers actions.

Surprisingly, I also liked Elizabeth. This is a character that I could have easily loathed. I can picture the type of person she is: beautiful and vain and prob
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a slow starter for me - the first quarter or so, I really had to force myself through. It was just... I guess a very dry setup, and both the hero and heroine seemed pretty superficial and unlikable, with the hero's brother being an almost caricatured dickbag villain (and then a character from the heroine's side became a pretty caricatured dickbag villain at the end... with an extra helping of stupidity, because seriously, how did he imagine that was possibly going to work in his favor?) ...more
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Skimming through the reviews on Goodreads it looks like this isn't one of Meredith Duran's most popular novels, but I enjoyed it. I liked the hero and heroine, who were good people despite their hangups and their problems, liked the house party setting of much of the book, and thought the romance was sexy, angsty, and sweet. I appreciated getting to revisit some characters from Bound by Your Touch and Written on Your Skin, especially Viscount Sanburne and his wife Lydia. The quality and style of ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Read this mostly so I could read #2, which I've heard is great, and which I own. It was okay. It felt kind of confused a lot of the time, not sure what the arcs of the characters was going to be. They were just like, flittering around half the time. I wanted more emotional wallowing, more structure. I mean, it was okay and not a waste of time, but not a fave.

[3.5 stars]
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historicals
I liked the hero and this brother is promising a hopefully interesting second book BUT I didn't like the heroine. She was only interested in her looks, her reputation and her rich future husband. She also saw Michael below her and had a bad drinking habit - and while this had been interesting topic for the story, it was quite dismissed at the end of the book.
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: victorian
This is a wonderful story of two people who drawn to each other but knew from the beginning that there would be no future for them together. The story flows beautifully, the depth of characters, their transformation, the angst- it is all well done. The only drawback for me was that the second part of the story seems to be too long
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 05, 2015 09:51AM  

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MEREDITH DURAN blames Anne Boleyn for sparking her lifelong obsession with British history. She is the author of twelve novels, all published by Pocket Books. Her debut, The Duke of Shadows, has been translated into thirteen languages and was ranked among the top 100 romances of all time by NPR and All About Romance. Her other books include RITA award winner Fool Me Twice and her February 2017 rel ...more

Other books in the series

Rules for the Reckless (6 books)
  • Fool Me Twice (Rules for the Reckless, #2)
  • Lady Be Good (Rules for the Reckless, #3)
  • Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless, #4)
  • A Lady's Code of Misconduct (Rules for the Reckless, #5)
  • The Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless, #6)
“And really, was there anything so demoralizing as meeting a former lover? Never did a woman have more cause to doubt her judgment than when confronted with the pathetic evidence of what she had once somehow found appealing.” 5 likes
“He sneers so regularly that I suspect he shaves his mustache only to spare his nose the whisker burn.” 3 likes
More quotes…