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Studies in Scandal #1

Ready Set Rogue

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When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another...

Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?

310 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 3, 2017

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About the author

Manda Collins

33 books1,289 followers
Manda Collins grew up on a combination of Nancy Drew books and Jane Austen novels, and her own brand of Regency romantic suspense is the result. A former academic librarian, she holds advanced degrees in English Lit and Librarianship. Her books have been favorably reviewed in Entertainment Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, Bookpage, and USA Today.  Her novel Duke with Benefits, was named one of Kirkus Books Best Romance Novels of 2017. When she's not writing she can be found advocating for disability rights on Twitter, watching true crime documentaries, and knitting very inexpertly. A native of Alabama, she lives on the Gulf Coast with a very stubborn cat and more books than are strictly necessary. 

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Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
February 10, 2017

Intrigue, lust, Rogues and Bluestockings

Can you imagine knowing that you’re dying and suspecting that it’s not from natural causes? How would you handle an investigation when you suspect someone means to cause you ill? Who would you call upon to find the answers? Did the butler do it? Maybe it was the maid? Could it be the widowed vicar who lives down the lane? Well, in Ready Set Rogue Lady Celeste calls upon one of the smartest to find the answers. Welcome to the scene of the crime…Miss Bluestocking.

Aphrodite (Ivy) Wareham is a scholar who studies and translates ancient Greek texts. Being of the fairer sex has made it almost impossible for her studies to be taken seriously. When Ivy is informed that she and three other women scholars have been made beneficiaries to an estate to study full time she is ecstatic. Her father, Lord Alton is a former classics professor at Oxford which has Ivy exposed to scholars on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Ivy doesn’t get to study full time because she helps her mother care for her many younger brothers and sisters. This is an opportunity that Ivy can’t pass up. At first, her parents are hesitant to let her go, but with determination, she gets her way and escapes the "madhouse".

Torquil Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr is furious. How dare these four women come into his beloved aunts home and claim it for their own? Quill will do whatever it takes to thwart those plans, starting with meeting them face to face. On the journey to Beauchamp House, his carriage breaks down and when he arrives at an Inn he is forced to step up to help a woman being accosted by a man. The woman he saves has his attention from the very start. She’s attractive, witty and dangerous with a box of books…that nearly broke his toe. Ahhh…he just saved one of the women he is on a mission to thwart.

Ivy and Quill don’t start off their relationship in the best way. They butt heads and are less than keen to be in each others company. Imagine their surprise when on arrival Ivy is given a letter from Lady Celeste asking them to join forces to find her murderer. Putting their feelings aside, they team up and try to work out who the murderer could be. As their investigation heats up…so does their feelings for each other.

I really enjoyed Ready Set Rogue. I liked Ivy and Quill individually but as the story moved along I liked them together even more. Ivy does not just follow along with Quill’s instructions and makes sure that her opinions are always heard. Her determination and intelligence were admirable and quite unique. Quill is a man who does not rush into a situation without considerable planning. He had no time to plan for Ivy and it’s not long before he realises he can’t stop his growing feelings for her. If only they could keep their hands off each other.

I loved the additional characters we meet in Ready Set Rogue. Daphne, Sophia and Gemma are the three other bluestockings living in the house. Sophia and Gemma are sisters and absolute sweethearts. Daphne…well, she’s a wee bit honest…to a fault. All four women are specialists in their fields and struggle to get acknowledgement because of their sex. This opportunity gives them the chance to be around like-minded women.

We also meet Lady Serena, her six-year-old son Jeremy and the Duke of Maitland, Serena’s brother and Quill’s cousin. Serena has been appointed chaperone to the ladies. She had lived with Lady Celeste after her husband died. I loved getting to know Maitland, Serena and Jeremy and the close bond they share with Quill.

The mystery and intrigue had my attention from start to finish. I only had my suspect picked out later in the book and was amazed once all the pieces had been laid out.

The love story had a rocky beginning but once the connection had formed between Ivy and Quill it was intense, steamy and grew to be loving. Both Ivy and Quill have adjusting to do to make their relationship work. When Ivy's life is put in danger, it's obvious that their initial feelings of lust had moved on to something stronger.

With all the pieces in place, Ready Set Rogue was a suspenseful historical romance that captured my attention and kept it. I cannot wait for more in the Studies in Scandal series.

To buy Ready Set Rogue from Amazon - http://amzn.to/2iDdm6Q


I’m an Aussie chick who loves to read and review romance, drink coffee, be a Style Setter and stalk David Gandy. To see more of my reviews, fashion, food and pervathons -

Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,476 reviews1,893 followers
June 13, 2017
READY SET ROGUE is probably a case of 'it's not you, it's me' but this just didn't tickle my fancy. I didn't have the highest of hopes to be honest as I was really only reading this because I have an ARC of book two; but I did still expect to enjoy a series centered around bluestockings and the rogues they encounter -- and may yet. Book one specifically sets this up by focusing on the marquess who wants to prove the women didn't actually inherit his aunt's property and a thrilling mystery around the truth of her death. It has shades of Dare's Castles Ever After series and who doesn't love romances with nerdy girls, especially in the historical genre?

Except this hero wasn't a true rogue, just a stubborn dick (in the beginning), I pegged the killer from the moment they were introduced (though my reason, at least, was wrong) and the romance.. I'm still shaking my head.

The only good news is that the couple in book two was the one that interested me most -- well, I mean, so far we've only met one other man to be matched up with one of these bluestockings, so I can't say for sure they'll be the only one to interest me, and the other girls were mostly background dressing in this one.. too many characters introduced at once, me thinks -- though the heroine's relentless refrain about "speaking one's mind and not knowing what is or what isn't polite" got kinda old (she might have some form of Aspergers? it's a great addition but I just don't want it to get tired if it's constantly the same kind of "oh Daphne don't say that" "but why", etc).

I will admit that while I didn't really enjoy the story much at all there were a few really good lines in this one. One to do with acknowledging a terrible cliche and the other.. well, here, I'll share :

".. at one and twenty I was little more than a walking cock-stand with eyes, so it was impossible not to rise to the occasion."

I'm still laughing all these hours later.

Anyway, this was my first read by Collins and I'm hoping book two is a little less Nancy Drew and that the next two characters end up being as fun as their match-up seems primed to be.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,354 reviews110 followers
February 6, 2017
***ARC Provided by the Publisher and NetGalley***

I adored Ivy and Quill. He was the greatest combination of annoyed that she was in what he thought should be his house and fascinated by her. I loved that Ivy was her own woman, but it was done in such a way as to make this realistic, which can be a challenge.

Historical romance is challenging as the societal norms of the time require certain things: propriety, heroines who are widows or virgins, heroes that may be rakes but have to marry the heroine if they are caught together...all of this can result in a book that follows a lot of rules and doesn't seem original. This was not the case with this book. Yes, some of the elements were there, but not all of them and the ones that were appeared in a way that felt fresh and different.

I like the historical novels that manage to make the time period a part of the story without relying on the fact that it is historical to be the entire story. This book succeeded with this nicely, with the idea that a group of women who are not respected in their fields because they are women were brought together to have the chance to gain something of value because of who they are and what they each bring to their areas of study. I liked this a lot and look forward to the next one!

***This and other reviews also featured on “I’m A Sweet and Sassy Book Whore” http://www.imasweetandsassybookwhore.com***
Profile Image for Juliana Philippa.
1,028 reviews925 followers
February 7, 2017
3.5 stars. This is my second book by Manda Collins and she keeps on almost getting there with me, but not quite hitting it out of the ballpark. Was very frustrating with the other book of hers I read, Good Earl Gone Bad , which started off with a very interesting and unusual heroine who is the first female member of an esteemed driving club, but missed the mark in several ways (can read my review here). I was excited by the premise of this book and what it meant in terms of the series—4 guaranteed books with bookish, smart, bluestocking heroines! *cue the excited clapping* Unfortunately, the book again did not really live up to its promise.

Summary. Miss Aphrodite Wareham (23), known as Ivy to most everyone, is one of four young women who has inherited a house from a society recluse who has recently passed away. None of them had ever met their benefactress, but Lady Celeste was known for her dedication and devotion to scholarly works and endeavors, and since the house she lived in was hers outright and not entailed, she had designated that it—along with all of its belongings, most importantly the magnificent library and collections—be left to four "bluestockings," in order to help them pursue their fields of study in a time when that was very challenging for women. Ivy is the language expert, Daphne is the mathematician, Sophia is the artist, and Gemma is the archaeologist.

The book starts with Lady Celeste having just recently passed away and the four women arriving at her home, to be greeted by Lady Serena, one of her nieces. Most of the family had no idea that Celeste was going to be doing this and are convinced that these four women somehow hoodwinked their aunt into leaving them her property. Torquil (aka Quill) Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is most especially angered and departs London immediately to meet these women and kick them out. Once he meets them, however, and his cousin, Serena, assures him that this was truly what their aunt wanted, Quill starts to believe that maybe he had been wrong in his assumption that something suspicious was going on ...

Of course, turns out he wasn't wrong that something fishy was going on, just what that fishiness was. Because upon the first day of his and Ivy's arrival at the house, she receives a note written by Lady Celeste prior to her death where she confides to Ivy that she thinks she is being poisoned. She tells Ivy that she can trust Quill, so together they band together to try and figure out who harmed the lovely elderly woman and bring the person to justice. Throw in some compromising situations, murder attempts, funny side characters, and old family mysteries, and you've got yourself Ready Set Rogue!

Thoughts. As previously mentioned, this book didn't quite hit the mark for me, and there were several contributing factors to this:

Inconsistencies in the Text. Collins messed up several times throughout the book, and though this was an ARC, publishers will say that for that reason exact quotes might not end up being the same (i.e. some changes may still be made), but I've never encountered this many mistakes in an ARC. We are told at some points that Ivy has 5 sisters, and at others that she is the eldest of 7 daughters—which is it? The book starts with Day 1, Ivy and Quill start off with some sparks, they share a kiss, he avoids her for a week, the book continues on, they get hot and heavy again ... and Quill then marvels that he has only known this woman for 24 hours yet is already getting severely involved/entwined with her ... umm, what?

Pretty Boring Leads. Shelving my book is always the first part of my review-writing process, and I was baffled by the fact that I didn't really have any hero tags to apply to this guy. Quill is a decent fellow, there are some cute and funny lines, he never behaves like an asshole and is quite charming and cute at times ... but that's kind of it. There's really not that much to say. In regards to Ivy, she had huge potential to be interesting—extremely talented linguist, eldest of 6 or 7 girls (as mentioned above, there's some confusion there), her father was the son of a Duke but was essentially disowned for marrying her mother and has had a tough go of it at times, etc. But again, she wasn't all that engaging; she was almost a characterization of an awesome heroine, rather than an awesome heroine in her own right, if that makes sense.

Unclear Why These Two Are Into Each Other. Given all these things, it's also unclear why he's The One for her and she's The One for him; the chemistry and love scenes are decent, but that's due more to Collins' ability to write good sexual tension than any real sparks between Ivy and Quill. Why are they so into each other? Why does he start to feel so protective and focused on her so immediately? I don't know the answer to either of these questions ... kind of an issue for a romance book.

Miscellaneous. There were a bunch of other small things. For example, over the top and exaggerated actions/reactions by some of the characters. Bad writing quirks: using point twice in a sentence, misusing "Your Grace," wrong use of grammar ("most impressive collections ... in Europe, let alone England," Europe/England should switch in order).

It Wasn't All Bad. There were some strengths to the book, hence the 3.5 stars, so I don't just want to slam it.
* I like the premise and the showcasing of 5 strong heroines (I'm including Serena in the count, whom I hope gets her own story—she had a really bad run of it with her first husband, who was a total douchebag). Oddly enough, the heroines are all quite distinct in their characterization and who they are ... except for Ivy. Lol. I'm sorry, she was just too blah! I didn't get a sense of her and don't really know who she is and why. Daphne is a very unusual heroine, so reading her story will be super interesting—she has absolutely no boundaries and sense of what is socially acceptable to say, and given other hints, I think she's supposed to have Asperger Syndrome (her romance already starts and progresses in this book, so I'm guessing her story will be next).
* The mystery subplot was actually quite well done and a cool twist; these usually only serve to detract from the story for me, so I'm always pleasantly surprised when it ends up adding to the story instead.
* The book had some very funny scenes and as mentioned previously, Collins does a good job at writing decent chemistry and love scenes.

Fun Quote.
"Do not look surprised, my dear," he said with a grin. "I might be a useless aristocrat, but I'm not a complete simpleton. I can certainly carry on a concentration about which word is the best English translation for what I wish to do to your mouth just now."
Bottom Line. Took me a bit to get into it, because I really didn't understand why Ivy and Quill were paired up and so found it hard to believe the authenticity of their relationship and eventual love. I did get into it though after forcing myself to keep on reading and was interested to see where the story would go and who the killer was. Despite two non-hits, I probably will check out the next books in the series, because these types of heroines are normally my favs and I usually can't resist reading their stories. Worth borrowing and serves as a good setup for the series, but definitely not a purchase or reread for me.

* This review is of an ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

(Written January 3, 2017)
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books600 followers
February 6, 2017
Review posted on Got Fiction?

This was a fun idea for a book! Lady Celeste died, bequeathing her estate to 4 bluestockings whom she has never met. The logic being that she had spent her life as an introvert and scholar herself, and she wanted her collection appreciated. However, her nephew Quil the Marquess of Kerr is furious. He knows that the only reason his aunt Celeste would do something so outlandish is if the ladies had swindled her.

But once he meets them all, he realizes that they’ve never met his aunt before, let alone each other. He holds fast to his belief though, just knowing something fishy is going on. Well, he’s right, sort of. Something is going on, but it isn’t anything like he thinks.

Miss Ivy Wareham is a linguist, and the prospect of diving into Lady Celeste’s library is extraordinary. She meets Quil on the way up to Beauchamp Estate and while the two are instantly attracted to each other, she is sidetracked by his calling her a fortune hunter and con artist. Her frustration with Quil only deepens when she finds a letter from Lady Celeste to her detailing the plot that she believes she was poisoned and wants Ivy to enlist Quil’s help. Ivy doesn’t want to share with him, but realizes she’ll need his help.

Quil and Ivy start by questioning the servants, and in following one of the leads, they find themselves taking shelter from a rainstorm in a cottage. This is where I started to see continuity problems.

***Heads up, spoiler, but only a minor one***

I had an advanced copy, and you always know that it’ll be hit with another round of edits before publication. That being said, this book has a huge issue.

About 40% in, they kiss, and (spoiler) more. Then Quil thinks to himself that he can’t believe he did that when he’d known her less than 24 hours. But it had been a week or two. So, hopefully that was picked up by the editors since I read an ARC. I wouldn’t normally point out something like that, but it’s like a page or two of him saying how just yesterday he’d misjudged her, and he’d only known her for a day, so it’s super obvious. Really, he’d been avoiding her for about a week at that point, plus the first 2 days I believe, and a day or two after she calls him out for avoiding her. And later on when he mentions it to his cousin, Lady Serena, her response is that it hasn’t even been Ivy’s first full day! So it really pulled me out of the scenes. This was referred to throughout the book a few more times. The thing is, if this had been Ivy’s first day, I don’t think it works as well as having that week or so pass.*

The idea of the ladies having one year to study their respective fields and having one of them “win” the estate was never fully explained. I hope that it is expanded in the next book.

Moving on from editing though, the idea and the characters were great, I enjoyed the book, and while I was kind of saddened by who the killer ended up being, I get it. I can’t wait to read the next book, though, and I hope this series continues on the way it started-with strangers who become friends, and a happily ever after for each.

*I am giving this book a 4 star rating on the assumption that it was edited to fix the timeline an continuity issues.

***ARC courtesy of St. Martin’s Press

Profile Image for Caz.
2,760 reviews1,034 followers
April 11, 2017
I've given this an A- for narration and a C+ for content at AudioGals. 3.5 stars overall.

Ready Set Rogue
is the first book in Manda Collins’ new Studies in Scandal series, which features four young ladies – all known as bluestockings – who unexpectedly inherit a country estate. Lady Celeste Beauchamp, a lady of some erudition, wished to enable the women to pursue their studies unencumbered by the responsibilities they all bear towards their families and bequeathed them her home – complete with its marvellous library and collections of artefacts – for the period of one year, at the end of which one of them will inherit outright.

Needless to say, Lady Celeste’s closest relative, her nephew, Torquil, the Marquess of Kerr, is not at all pleased at the prospect of the property going out of the family, and he is determined to find a way to counter his aunt’s instructions. To this end, he travels to Beauchamp House in order to confront the women and get rid of them if he can, and is frustrated when bad weather interrupts his journey and means he is stranded for longer than he would like at a coaching inn en route. While there, he comes to the aid of an attractive young woman who is being accosted by a ruffian in one of the public rooms. He assumes, given her drab clothing and the fact she is travelling with several trunks full of books, that she must be a governess, so discovering she is actually one of the scheming women he has set out to thwart does nothing to improve his mood.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals .Review to follow at AudioGals.

NB: It's always difficult to assign an overall rating for an audiobook in which the story is mediocre and the narration very good. I would equate an A- and a C+ as a B grade overall, but that's misleading if you're looking at the grade in terms of the story, as it's not a B grade story, IMO. So I'm leaving the rating at 3 stars, although the narration would bump it up somewhat.
Profile Image for Mary - Buried Under Romance .
369 reviews162 followers
March 5, 2017
The mystery aspect of this book was enjoyable, along with the interactions between the rakish hero and bluestocking heroine. However, the romance aspect fell a bit short as passion seemed to engulf everything, and suddenly one night = "I love you" and "We will be together now."

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the mystery so this was a decent read. The setup could have been executed much better, but I'm alright with it.
Profile Image for Rose Blue.
644 reviews26 followers
January 8, 2017
As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: http://wp.me/p3QRh4-ta

Aphrodite Wareham (Ivy) has unexpectedly received a bequest from a woman she's never met. Along with three other female scholars, or bluestockings, she has been invited to spend a year at Beauchamp House, the estate of the late Lady Celeste. After that year, it will be determined which of the four ladies will actually come to own the home. Anxious to view Lady Celeste's library, Ivy sets off to travel to Beauchamp House by mail coach. While at a stop, she is accosted by a bully, and then rescued by an aristocratic gentleman.

Torquil (Quill) Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, has no intention of letting his aunt's estate leave the family and into the possession of four scheming females. Or, so he thinks. He feels his beloved aunt was taken advantage of, and plans to evict the ladies from Beauchamp House immediately. While taking a break from his travels, he encounters a lovely lady being manhandled by a rough character, and steps in to help. He's angry to learn that this lady is one of the scheming females on her way to his aunt's home. He offers her a ride there, solely so he can keep his eyes on her.
They arrive to find the other ladies already in residence, along with Quill's cousin, Serena, who is acting as chaperone. It's soon apparent that all of the ladies were taken by surprise by the bequest, as none of them had even met Lady Celeste. It seems that she carefully researched and selected the ladies, each with a different academic talent. Being a bluestocking and unmarried herself, Lady Celeste realized how difficult scholarly pursuits are for women, and wanted these ladies to have the benefit or her home and her various collections. Soon, Quill realizes that he was wrong in his judgment, and understands his aunt's actions.

However, it's also very apparent that Lady Celeste did not die a natural death, but was, in fact, murdered. Ivy takes a letter that Lady Celeste wrote before her death to Quill, and they decide that together they will solve the crime. Once Quill accepted that the ladies weren't common thieves, the more charming aspects of his personality came through. Initially, when he felt threatened, he was rude and abrasive, but now he shows graciousness and flirtatiousness. His physical attraction of Ivy was there from the start, and now with his guard down somewhat, she begins to find him attractive as well.

As they investigate, Quill and Ivy find themselves alone, and their physical attraction takes off like a rocket. I found this part a little hard to accept, as their affair seemed to me to happen far, far too quickly. Also, it seemed out of character for both of them to act so recklessly. Quill's strict code of honor dictates that he propose, but Ivy is not so sure this is what she wants. While they are fumbling their way through their fledgling romance, accidents start happening, and it looks like Ivy is now the target.

READY SET ROGUE is very fast paced and flows along well. Quill and Ivy are both likeable characters - she's brave and determined, and he definitely has some heroic tendencies. I could not figure out who the mysterious attacker was, and I always enjoy when that happens. I like to be surprised, and have the resolution not be so obvious. The passion and love did happen very quickly, but by the resolution, I was convinced of their genuine feelings for each other. I look forward to the upcoming bluestocking's stories and recommend this book which I very much enjoyed.
Profile Image for Tracy Emro.
1,835 reviews48 followers
December 8, 2016
*I am voluntarily reviewing an eARC given to me by NetGalley and the publisher.**

I have read all of Manda Collins books and I believe this might be the best book she has written to date! I loved it!!

Torquil aka Quill, the Marquess of Kerr is enroute to his late Aunt Celeste's estate when he meets Ivy. Ivy is one of the 4 women his Aunt left her estate to and he is determined to contest the will. He believes that his aunt was duped into leaving her estate to these women and plans on proving his claims.

Ivy is at first charmed by the gentleman who comes to her defense at the inn, that is until he discovers who she is and begins to berate her and make unfounded accusations! Ivy was shocked to learn of the bequest and is eager to get to the estate and peruse the library and Celeste's collection of manuscripts. Ivy is a gifted linguist and captured Celeste's attention with her brilliant translations of ancient texts.

When Ivy and Quill arrive at the estate, they are immediately greeted by the 3 other women chosen by Celeste to inherit the estate and Quill's cousin Lady Serena who has been asked to chaperon the women. They also find out the terms of Celeste's bequest. The women learn that they haven't outright been given the estate, this is a contest of sorts. The women have to reside at the estate for one year and submit a project in their given field at the end of the year to be able to be considered in inheriting.

After speaking with his cousin Serena, Quill realizes that his aunt really did indent on leaving the estate to one of these women and is a little hurt that his aunt never told him of her plans.

As they settle in, Ivy is given a letter from Celeste, in the letter Celeste informs Ivy that she believes she was murdered and asks Ivy to find her killer. Celeste also suggests that Ivy include Quill in her investigation. As much as Ivy is unhappy with Quill for his assumptions, her sense of fair play compels her to tell him about the letter.

Together they embark on an investigation and form a friendship. When they are caught in a storm and seek refuge in an abandoned cottage, their friendship takes a turn and Quill proposes to Ivy.

Ivy is hesitate to accept, but Quill is set on his course. When Ivy's life is threatened, Quill knows that it is more than honor driving him to marry her.

This book was fantastic, it has an intriguing mystery (which doesn't overshadow the romance), a great cast of secondary characters, steam love scenes, some laugh out loud moments and finally a sweet HEA.

I highly recommend this book and can't wait for the next installment!!
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,490 reviews110 followers
January 4, 2017
This is the first in a new series and is a delightful Regency era mystery with a side dish of romance. Lady Celeste Beauchamp leaves her estate and its contents to four young ladies she has never actually met. The young ladies are all regarded as bluestockings, specialising in different areas of study but unlikely to be able to move forward in their studies as easily without her bequest to them.

One of the young ladies is Miss Aphrodite/Ivy Wareham and, after carefully ascertaining that this isn’t a joke and is true, she travels to the estate, as required under the terms of the bequest. En route she meets the Marquess of Kerr, Quill Beauchamp, the nephew of the late Lady Celeste and someone who is determined to overturn the bequest of the estate, wishing to keep it in his family. However, when he meets Ivy he is something of a boor, until she reveals the contents of his aunt’s letter to her in which Celeste expresses her belief that she is being murdered…

As the two attempt to ascertain the truth concerning his aunt’s demise they find themselves discovering a growing attraction to each other whilst they, too, are in mortal danger from the murderer!

This is a great murder mystery, with humour, romance and an intriguing plot. The clues to identify the perpetrator are scattered throughout the novel, but it is only as the reader approaches the finale that things start to point the finger of guilt towards them. The contrast between the bluestockings, their upbringings, attitudes and interests add greatly to the intrigue and there are some laugh out loud incidents at many points in the investigation. It is a great first novel in this series and will certainly try to read future releases - I really want to know more about what happens to the other bluestockings and hope there will also be a happy ending for their chaperone, Quill’s cousin, Lady Serena.

Many thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for gifting me an ARC of this novel with no obligation. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Lisa Richards.
297 reviews97 followers
February 6, 2017
First of all let me me say that this could have been a fabulous 5* book but little care seemed to have been invested in the editing. The timeline over what was the first week of happenings was often referred to as 24 hours ago or yesterday. Seriously, it was all over the place. Not just once but repeatedly in the early chapters of the book. Ivy's number of sisters varied frequently and a brother was thrown in once. Quill's cousin Serena was referred to as his sister on at least one occasion. And the title of the book really did not fit Quill's character either. There was one mention of a dalliance with a married older woman when he was 21 but hardly enough to be referred to as a rogue during that time period. I think they were going for cutesy and they failed horribly. Though after about chapter 15 it flowed much more smoothly. One other dislike was I didn't feel like the cover model was even close to the bespectacled red headed curvy Ivy. This has always been a peeve of mine but now that I read so many books on my Kindle it isn't until I do a review and actually see the cover that it hits me how poor a visualization the publishers do.

Now for what I loved, and there was a lot, the timeline discrepancy just really annoyed me as this is from a big publishing house not the self publishing where these types of errors are forgiven if not forgotten.

This was as much if not more a murder mystery than a romance. And I love a good mystery! Though I figured out who did it before we knew why, I loved it. I'm not a fan of insta-love much though I did like that once Quill realized Ivy was threatened that he also realized the depths of his feelings for her. As the bluestockings were the main characters in the book, there wasn't a lot of the missish behavior, in fact the ladies were quite outspoken and laugh out loud funny. I can't wait to read Daphne's story next as she was probably the most unfiltered of the bunch. Hope we get another good murder mystery as this series has so much potential.
Profile Image for Vellum Voyages.
95 reviews7 followers
February 7, 2017
4 helms

Please follow me on my blog :) Review originally posted on Vellum Voyages (www.vellumvoyages.com)

Kickass bluestockings? Smarter than smart? Not afraid to speak their minds? Bring on the women from Manda Collin's latest series "Studies in Scandal"! "Ready, Set, Rogue" is a great introduction to this brand new series and is focused on the story of Ivy- the linguist and the Marquess of Kerr-Torquil (Quill) Beauchamp.

Quill is not a happy little Marquess when he discovers what his late Aunt Celeste has requested in her will- she has bequeathed her home to a bunch of bluestockings, who will be participating in a scholarly competition, with the winner inheriting Beauchamp House. How preposterous! Not if Quill has anything to with this madness! So off he goes and storms his way over to Beauchamp house ready to prove that these women are nothing other than money hungry tricksters, who have obviously schemed and tricked his aunt into leaving her home to them. On his way over, due to his broken carriage wheel, he encounters Ivy by chance at a pub and learns that she is indeed one of the bluestockings also making her way to Beauchamp house. Upon arrival at the house, they are both met by the rest of the ladies: Daphne- the mathematician, Sophia- the artist and Gemma- the archeologist and of course we can't forget their lovely chaperone Lady Serena (Quill's cousin) and her son. And so begins their first night together as a group until Ivy discovers a letter addressed to her from Lady Celeste, confessing that she suspects she is being poisoned and hence murdered! Despite not seeing eye to eye with each other, Ivy enlists Quill's help in aiding her to catch Lady Celeste's murderer. With their heads together to solve this mystery, the deeper they delve and spend time with each other, Quill realizes that Ivy really is genuine, and he can't help his depth of feelings for Ivy and her brilliant mind!

I really enjoyed reading this lighter romance as it has a unique plot, a great subplot and awesome secondary characters (Daphne! And oooh Serena as well! I really want to see her get a happy ending). A few things I noticed about this romance was how everyone interacted together as a group for most of the book, away from society, the ton and all the rules! It was very refreshing!. Quill and Ivy do get their alone time too for their relationship to blossom, but for some readers, it may not feel like Quill and Ivy really demonstrate why they grow to love each other as lots happen very quickly for them! For me, because this already had a precedence as a light romance, I didn't really think about it too much. The scenarios that Manda Collins cooked up for them to fall in love was believable enough for me to believe in them as a couple. Quill is also a lovely beta hero who has a go with the flow attitude. I did notice that there were a few things mentioned about his father (sounded like a tortured past!) but this wasn't expanded on or explained in depth -another example of how light the scenarios can be.

If you looking for an easy read with a lot of substance, no heavy drama, lots of feminism and a murder mystery as a bonus, you won't regret it if you pick this up! Manda Collins has a great writing style which is easy to read, flows well and she writes her period speak really well! I was immediately drawn into historical England and lost myself completely in this story! I can't wait for Daphne's story coming up next!

*Thank-you Manda Collins, Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for the ARC.
Profile Image for Jaci.
465 reviews19 followers
January 1, 2017
I cannot tell you how excited I was when I heard Manda had a new series coming up. It was worth the wait. This series is going to be a keeper to read again and again. Four young ladies each with their own specialty, mathematics, art, archaeologically and ancient languages. The first one is about Ivy, considered a Blue Stocking due to her obsession and knowledge of Ancient Languages. She has become one of four beneficiaries to the estate of a Female Scholar who passed away. So she packs up her belongings and heads to Beauchamp House.

Lord Torquil Beauchamp, the Marquess of Kerr is on his way to his late aunt's estate to stop a bunch of thief's from stealing a place where all of his happy memories occurred when he was young. Quill as he is called, is a handsome rich nobleman who has never had trouble charming the ladies, but these ladies are not like most and he finds himself in a situation that rapidly descends into something he has never experienced before.

This story is classic Manda Collins, her writing is witty, smart and is full of surprises. It usually doesn't take me four chapters to the end of the book to figure out who is the villain, but this one did. Ivy is a strong, determined, dare I say stubborn young lady who finds herself falling for Quill and has no problem taking him to bed, even though she is a virgin. She is after all a scholar and the more you know. Quill has fallen for Ivy and knows that he is going to marry her, he just has to convince her. This is a truly wonderful romance that pairs two individuals who have found their soul mates. They just have to stay alive to live happily ever after.

I recommend this book to all Historical Romance Readers.
Received Complimentary copy from Publisher for honest review.
Profile Image for Phoenix77.
347 reviews42 followers
February 6, 2017
Manda Collins brings to life a quartet of very gifted, if slightly quirky young women in her new release Ready, Set, Rogue. They are all gathered at Beauchamp House as heirs to Lady Celeste’s academic collection; however Miss Aphrodite Wareham also inherits a mystery to solve, as well as a frustratingly handsome Marquess intent on keeping her and the other women out of his family home.

Miss Aphrodite “Ivy” Wareham had no connection to the late Lady Celeste, so being named in her will was something of a shock. The conditions of the will state clearly that she, along with the other heiresses, will have to remain in residence at Beauchamp House for one year before the inheritance is final. To have the chance to spend a year browsing through the lady’s renowned collection is worth the peculiarity of inheriting from a complete stranger. Using her meager savings to purchase a ticket on the mail coach, Ivy travels from her home along with a trunk full of books, much to the annoyance of her fellow passengers. At the stop just outside the manor house the coach leaves Ivy and her cargo behind and she’s left with no way to travel on to Beauchamp House before the deadline set by the will.

A turn in the weather has also kept Torquill Beauchamp, the Marquess of Kerr, stranded at the coaching inn near his late aunt’s estate. His frustration at being delayed only adds more fuel to his anger at having to travel to Beauchamp House and stop the manipulating bluestockings who somehow tricked his aunt into leaving them everything.

Please read the full review at All About Romance
Profile Image for Jennifer.
393 reviews4 followers
December 11, 2016
Ugh! This book. It was at least 100 pages way too long, and Kerr wasnt even a rogue! When I see a title like this one, I expect the main guy to be a rogue! Not the exact opposite. And, lets just leave aside the lack of chemistry between Kerr and Ivy, but they did the deed in the rain, in a cottage, that was abandoned no less, on a walk back from the village, after knowing each other for only a day and a half? PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT. I was so disappointed with the murder-mystery aspect of this book too. As soon as it was discovered there was a child, it was like the author wanted to leave the largest, driest breadcrumb for you to find straight back to who that could possibly have grown up to be.

That made sense right? I tried. I love historical romances, I read them almost daily, and this one I am hoping to forget very soon. Sorry, it didn't work for me.
Profile Image for Danya.
486 reviews21 followers
January 10, 2017
I quite enjoyed this one despite the rushed romance. HOWEVER. The treatment and representation of Romany people and culture was problematic as all get out, and I never felt like the main characters realized how horrid they were acting. Uncool.
Profile Image for Laura.
937 reviews6 followers
February 5, 2017
Quill Beauchamp is furious that his aunt, Lady Celeste Beauchamp leaves her estate to four bluestockings. Quill is determined to stop the women from inheriting. Ivy Wareham is thrilled that she has inherited an estate with a magnificent library. Too bad that a rakish Marquess is bound and determined to stop the women. After meeting Ivy, Quill had figured out that he has finally met his match. Will he be able to convince Ivy.

This was a great start to the series. I loved the characters. Quill has to be on my book boyfriend list. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book provided by NetGalley and the publisher. Thank you!
1,357 reviews33 followers
December 30, 2016
Upon learning of the recent death of his Aunt Celeste, Torquil Beauchamp hastens to the small village of Little Seaford. He is livid at the thought that Lady Celeste bequeathed her home to bluestockings, and all sorts of problems befall him on his way, so that he has to stop at an inn. He is not in a good mood, and to top it all, how dare this bespectacled miss not defer to him, the marquess of Kerr, as does everyone else! Still, he was raised a gentleman, and when the young lady struggles with her huge trunk, he helps her. That’s when Torquil – Quill – notices that she is indeed very pretty in a governess sort of way. Miss Aphrodite Wareham, Ivy to her friends, is grateful for Lord Kerr’s help, and when a drunken lout accosts her, Quill again comes to her rescue, and that’s when he learns that Ivy is one of the detested bluestockings who will invade his childhood haven. Ivy has missed her coach, but Quill asks her to ride with him to the estate, as to keep an eye on who he perceives as a liar and a fraud. However, just as she is about to go to bed, Ivy notices an envelope on her pillow, it’s a posthumous note from Lady Celeste asking Ivy to look into her untimely demise, as Celeste suspects she will not have died of natural causes…

READY SET ROGUE is the first book in the new Studies in Scandal by Manda Collins, and a smashing introduction it is! While Quill first comes off as a pompous aristocrat, he has his reasons for not wanting the Beauchamp estate being taken away from the family, but he his no match for the four bluestockings he is stuck with. Ivy is an ancient language scholar, sisters Gemma and Sophia Hastings, respectively an archaeologist and an artist, and Lady Daphne Forsythe a mathematician; Quill’s cousin Lady Serena Fanning is acting as some sort of chaperon, and Quill is no match for any of those formidable ladies. While Quill and Ivy are attracted to each other, Quill is so determined to get rid of the women as soon as he can, that he makes it very difficult for Ivy to enquire into the death of Lady Celeste until she puts him in his place, and Quill begins to realise that his stubbornness is a hindrance in finding his Aunt’s killer. Those scenes are fantastic, as we cheer for Ivy while she defends her position, and the author makes us see how trying it was for a woman to use her abilities in Regency England.

Manda Collins’s prose is stellar, so smooth and lovely, always in tune with the tone of the era, the dialogues are word-perfect and very witty, and the mystery is well constructed. The romance progresses nicely when Quill finally admits that he’s overreacted, even though he is not pleased; Ivy and Quill’s rapport feels very natural, and the sex scenes are beautiful. I must admit that there was a moment where I was a tad worried that a momentary lapse of reason due to lust would have dire consequences on the story, but I should not have underestimated Ms. Collins’ cleverness as she handled the matter spectacularly well, as it led to better things.

All the characters are truly splendidly defined, with very distinct personalities and voices. I completely fell in love with the dashing, charming duke of Maitland, I desperately wanted more of him, and it seems my wish will come true when I saw the title of the next book. What a great series this will be! I am ready for the next instalment right this minute!

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Profile Image for Mal ✨ | Tales Of A Bookbug.
469 reviews41 followers
February 6, 2017
I'm really glad that I got a chance to read Ready Set Rogue and that I discovered Manda Collins' writing in the process.As much as I love historical romances, the ones I have been reading in the past month aren't really fresh or original, though I enjoy them.
This book was like a breath of fresh air and it reminded me of the reasons why I fell in love with this genre.

Aprodhite(Ivy) Wareham has inherited Lady Beauchamp's estate along with four other ladies, who are all "bluestockings" just like the deceased Lady Beauchamp.Ivy is a scholar who works on Greek texts and comes from a household packed with children.Though she doesn't understand why she has inherited an estate, when she has never been in contact with or heard of Lady Beauchamp, she is determined to make use of this opportunity and make a name for herself as a female scholar.The private collection at Beauchamp house is another incentive!

Quill, the Marquess of Kerr, can't believe that his aunt has bequeathed the estate to four complete strangers!He is determined to get to the bottom of this and drive them out as soon as possible.Even if one of them is the maddeningly attractive Ivy, whom he had helped previously at an inn, before they arrived at the estate.But, what will they do when Ivy gets a letter addressed to her, written by Lady Beauchamp before her death, where she suspects that she is slowly being killed by someone.Ivy reluctantly enlists Quill's help and both set out to discover who could've killed his beloved aunt.
The danger ramps up when it seems that someone doesn't want them to discover the truth and is willing to go to any lengths to hide it.

I loved Quill and Ivy!Both were great main characters with their own strengths and weaknesses.Though their relationship starts off rocky with mutual dislike, it soon develops into a wonderful partnership with perfect chemistry!
I couldn't understand why Quill was so adamant on keeping the Beauchamp house within the family, but as more about his past was revealed, I understood his reactions.And he more than made up for his initial rudeness! ;) He wasn't just a pretty rake like in other HR books.He was quite intelligent-a great match for Ivy and was determined to protect her in his own way.I loved that he let her be independent, which she really needed.

Ivy was intelligent,witty and brave.She is passionate about her scholarly pursuits, but isn't a wallflower either.She doesn't want to be completely dependent on someone, but is ready to accept help when she needs it!The attraction between her and Quill was well done and I loved the pace.
The mystery was addictive and it kept me on my toes!I couldn't wait to find out who the culprit was, and Iam glad that my guess was correct in the end ;)
We also meet the three other women-Daphne,Sophia and Gemma, and they all are unique in their own way.Daphne was a riot and I can't wait to read her and Maitland's story! :D
Lady Serena and her son were equally amazing, and the love that Quill had for them was beautiful.I hope she gets her own book too!That woman deserves a happy ending after all that she's been through!

I'm so happy that now I've discovered Manda Collins' writing I have more books to devour!I will be going through her Ugly Ducklings and WIcked Widows series soon!Can't wait to read the rest of the Studies in Scandal series!
December 28, 2016
Quill is furious when he learns that his beloved aunt, Celeste has bequeathed her home to four blue-stockings. Convinced that the women are nothing but con-artists, Quill rushes to the estate to somehow save the property that he considered his home. However sparks fly when Quil encounters one of the blue-stockings, Ivy. Ivy soon discovers a letter from the late Celeste in which she shares her suspicions that she may have been murdered. Quill and Ivy need to work together to find Lady Celeste’s killer before he/she strikes again.

I’ve never read a historical mystery novel so this was something new to me. I usually find myself skipping to the end of mystery novels because I’m too impatient to wait to see how everything plays out but this wasn’t the case. I was too captivated by the plot to even consider skipping to the end and I was glad I did. The ending was totally unexpected and I was left shocked.

I really liked the characters of Ivy and Quill. Their chemistry is tangible and I loved their scenes together. The characters in this book are incredibly well-written and real but I strongly felt like the character of Daphne stole the show. I can’t wait to read a book about her. I actually can’t remember the other blue-stockings and I just felt like they were background characters while Ivy and Daphne dominated their little group.

This is an incredibly well-written book that I couldn’t put down or read fast enough. I recommend this book to all fans of historical romance and mystery novels. I’ve never read a book by Manda Collins before but now that I have I can’t wait to read more!
Profile Image for Rebecca Lyman.
779 reviews7 followers
January 7, 2017
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book was about Ivy Wareham, the daughter of a professor and an extremely talented linguist/translator who has recently been granted a partial inheritance from someone she's never met. Lady Celeste Beauchamp has left her estate to 4 intelligent young women, all of whom are extremely eager to use Lady Celeste's extensive library and other resources to continue expanding their knowledge and the body of their own work in their separate fields of study. But Celeste's nephew (Quill) is determined to fight this as he is not happy about his aunt giving away his childhood refuge to four strangers. Then Ivy and Quill discover Celeste was murdered and they must join together to solve the mystery of who murdered her and why. And as they spend more and more time together trying to solve this particular mystery, they realize that fate may have brought them together for a reason: true love.
Overall I really liked this book. I loved that the heroines in this series are all extremely intelligent young ladies, and after being introduced to them all in the first book I can already see how different and interesting each of their characters will be. Ivy was fierce and intelligent and I just loved her as a character. And the relationship that developed between her and Quill was passionate but it was more than that too, it was full of real emotion and love. This book did have a lot of characters to keep track of but I think that will only add more depth to the other girl's stories when they each get told. I think this was a good read and a great start to a new series. I would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for SynergyQuest.
1,792 reviews6 followers
February 6, 2017
This is an entertaining historical read. There's a bit of intrigue and suspense and a healthy dose of romance. Ivy and Quill make great leads because they're both likeable and of good character.

While I enjoy a fair amount of descriptive language to really set the scene and establish the time period for me, I can still enjoy a story that is detail light. The story is pretty light on period references. If you love reading historicals because of all the talk about clothing, furniture, and manor details, this will leave you feeling a bit cheated. Otherwise, I think this is a solid read perfect for anafternoon on the couch.

I received an ARC of this book, from the publisher, via NetGallery, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Susan (susayq ~).
2,158 reviews120 followers
December 30, 2016
What a fun mystery! Four young bluestockings inherit a home from the late Lady Beauchamp. When Ivy gets to the house, she receives a letter from the late Lady Beauchamp that tells her that the Lady fears she's being poisoned and her impending death is not natural. Ivy is tasked with unearthing the killer with the help of Quill, Marquess of Kerr. While solving the murder, they fall in love.

Honestly, I enjoyed the mystery more than the romance. Kerr and Ivy got started on the wrong foot and then were thrown together to solve the mystery. I also enjoyed the secondary characters. Lady Daphne especially.
572 reviews9 followers
February 6, 2017
★★★½ I have had the same problem with Manda Collins' books before: I enjoy the writing and the story, but am less keen on the main characters. In this case, Ivy and Quill are okay but not more than that. The mystery itself was well done and kept me entertained. My biggest issue was the lack of editing. At least my version (which was an ARC) had some quite obvious discrepancies in the timeline and some family details wrong (number of siblings, sister when it should read cousin etc). These discrepancies were very distracting.
For more romance reviews, check out my website: https://katherinasbooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Shannon.
269 reviews13 followers
January 30, 2017
Ready Set Rogue was a unique plot for such a crowded genre. I adore historical romance, but after awhile, they tend to become redundant. This was the first tale I read that created a new home for bluestockings, that wasn't necessarily a married one.

To read my full review, check out my blog For the Love of Words.
Profile Image for Christine (KizzieReads).
1,378 reviews93 followers
March 16, 2022
A bit insta love but I really enjoyed this. Especially the mystery of who killed Celeste. It was very interesting to finally see who, why and how it was done.

Daphne is very annoying, unless you realize that she might be partly Autistic. She has no sense of what is socially acceptable behaviour or what is proper conversation. She just spits out what she likes or what she's thinking and then gets upset and confused when told it's not acceptable to do so.
Profile Image for Ipshita.
425 reviews219 followers
March 18, 2018
The story rarely delved deeply into anything. It glossed over the courtship/getting to know each other part, the passionate tryst was a sudden surprise and things went predictably in their relationship after that. Except for the murder-mystery plot, the story barely had anything else to offer.
However, I liked the characters, both the MCs as well as the supporting ones. As such, I think I might continue with the series or give the next book a try at the very least.
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