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A Tale of Two Sisters #2

A Scandal By Any Other Name

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Jasper De Vere doesn't do sad. Ever since the death of his parents, he’s devoted himself to life’s many pleasures—while making sure to avoid attachments. It’s difficult to avoid your own grandfather though, especially when you’re the heir to his Dukedom. Unable to sit by and watch one of the few people he cares about wither away, Jasper flees to his friend Nicholas’s country estate.

Julia Bishop leads a life of glorious excitement—in her head. The spinal injury she was born with makes her a permanent pariah in society, so despite being the daughter of an earl, she's spent her life in the country with just her family to keep her company. When her brother-in-law’s flirtatious—and devilishly handsome—friend mistakes her for an untroubled debutante, Julia isn’t about to let an opportunity for some real, live adventure slip away.

Delicious distraction and flirtation turn into an all-out affair, and slips dangerously close to something more when family intrudes. Can Jasper and Julia return to their separate lives in isolation, or will they take a risk and choose each other?

300 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 30, 2018

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Kimberly Bell

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Profile Image for Em.
995 reviews19 followers
January 30, 2018
#ownvoices review of A Scandal By Any Other Name by Kimberly Bell
Rating: 5/5

Jasper DeVere isn’t the man he wants to be yet but the world wants him to be a Duke, like his grandfather before him. Julia Bishop is the kind of woman she wants to be but the world won’t let her because of her disability. When they meet by chance on horseback, they are prepared for a romantic fling to help them forget their troubles. But when their fling turns into something more, they must face their deepest troubles before they can take on the world together.

I’ve been anticipating this book for about six months. When I heard there was going to be a historical romance featuring a woman with spina bifida, I was intrigued. I myself have lipomyelomeningocele spina bifida (try saying that three times fast) which is different to what Julia has (spina bifida occulta) but we have most of the same symptoms. I was fairly apprehensive going into this book, wondering how this disability would be represented, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Most people I’ve come across don’t know what spina bifida is. If they do, they wonder why I’m not in a wheelchair. This is the first book I’ve ever read with a character like me in it and to have this book represent my disability respectfully and accurately is incredible to me. Especially when Julia is so bold and capable and in charge of herself. I wish I’d read this book when I was younger for the affirmation that I’m the one in charge of my disability and how I let it affect me. Literally, my only problem with this representation was that the condition isn’t named but that’s not enough to dampen all the wonderful things.

Well, and the way the townspeople treated Julia. I found it hard to believe that with her bulky skirts and Jasper’s aid in walking people could tell she was limping. People generally can’t tell I’m limping unless I’m having a bad day and it becomes more pronounced (virtually turns to a stagger) or I point it out to them. Spina bifida like mine - and from what I can tell, Julia’s - generally isn’t visible and I didn’t buy that she was some kind of spectacle.

But having said that, there were just so many parts of Julia’s experience that are exactly like my own. I hate people touching my scar - not because it hurts but because I’ve spent so long protecting it, shielding it from harm, that it scares me to let it be vulnerable. Her foot has the same deformity mine does and reading about her trying to accept it brought me to tears. The limp and the bathroom schedule and the terrifying notion that a potential suitor wouldn’t accept all these things that can’t be changed. It was like looking into a mirror - only snarkier and with better fashion sense.

And Julia is bold. She swims, she rides horses, she drives her own carriage. And she is so comfortable with her sexuality! Julia’s not only attractive and sexual, she’s a driving force in her escapades with Jasper. I’ve never read a novel where the woman was such an active partner in dalliances. Let alone a disabled woman. Way to destroy the stereotype that disabled people are sexless and don’t engage in fulfilling and exciting sex lives. Julia’s so in charge of herself and it was awesome. She’s the most capable female character I’ve read for a long time - regardless of disability.

And of course, there’s our gorgeous leading man. Jasper is so sweet, funny and charming but he’s not afraid to be vulnerable. And he’s so aware of his emotions - it amazed me how he considered the emotional side of his and Julia’s relationship so much, and how he made sure they were both on the same page. And the way he just took all of Julia’s limitations in stride was incredible. Not once did he question it; he just did what he had to to make her comfortable. There were definitely times I sat back and wished I had a Jasper of my own.

And let’s talk about Amelia. Oh, what I would give to have an ally like her. She is so completely understanding of Julia’s condition and her limitations. And when people ask her about Julia’s disability, she makes sure they understand that it’s Julia they should talk to and not her. Amazing. I loved her. Can she come to life and be my sister too? I’ll definitely be going back and reading the novel about her and Nicholas.

This was such an incredible novel. I read all of it today and I just about feel like starting it again tomorrow. The plot was wonderful - the audience with the Queen! Oh my gosh! - and the characters were excellent. Well, I felt Ruby could’ve been fleshed out a bit more. But everything else was wonderful. I will definitely be looking for more of Kimberly Bell’s books and this is going straight to the top of my disability recommendations list.
Profile Image for Barbara Rogers.
1,468 reviews137 followers
January 17, 2018
Series: A Scandal by Any Other Name
Publication Date: 1/30/18

I am so pleased to have read this book. I was a little hesitant to request it because I had such mixed feelings about the first book in the series, but I’m so glad I decided to go ahead and request it. It is well plotted, the writing is excellent and it is filled with lighthearted humor and one-liners. I kept picturing Lucy and Ethel (from I Love Lucy) with a smattering of Wonder Woman thrown in. The Bishop sisters are true terrors. They defy convention and do their own thing – especially the older one who is featured in this book. The hero fits right in with the wit and charm of the sisters. What a perfect match.

I have to applaud this author for doing something I almost never see (have I ever seen it?). She featured a heroine with a serious, debilitating, life-threatening disability and she made her strong, intelligent, witty and very interesting. What a delightful change of pace.

Julia Bishop has had many great and wonderful adventures in her life – all in her imagination. Julia was born with spina bifida (although it isn’t specifically named in the book) and has miraculously survived to adulthood. That just never happened back then and the treatments were excruciating (that is true) because they injected iodine into the exposed spine. She still suffers from very frequent infections, etc. because of the disability. Julia and her sister are their father’s pride and joy and he spoils them rotten – but the mother is a real piece of work. She’s consumed with social climbing and if you read the first book, you know what she did to her younger daughter – so NOT motherly. Mother Bishop always kept Julia in hiding – away from any interaction with other people. She didn’t want others to think they were ‘tainted’. Julia’s only companion was her very much loved sister Amelia and they were so close they could barely stand being separated. How Julia managed to grow up to be as headstrong and well-adjusted as she is, just amazes. She knows who she is and isn’t afraid to tell or show anybody what it is she wants or thinks. Just imagine her delight when a real-life adventure rides right into her life.

Jasper DeVere has just insulted Queen Victoria by running out on the ceremony to induct him into Parliament and confirm his title of Duke of Albemarle. He didn’t mean to insult her – he just panicked – so he ran away. His grandfather and hero had just died and Jasper didn’t feel in the least competent to fill his shoes. Jasper flees and basically steals a horse outside the building – he has no idea where he is going – he just rides as fast as the horse will go for as long as it will go. He has no idea where he is and when he asks someone he realizes he is near the home of his friend Nicholas, so he heads toward his home expecting to stay with him and his new wife, Amelia, for a while.

As Jasper is riding up the drive toward the house, he spots a woman on a runaway horse and gives chase to save her. Julia is incensed that someone is stopping her horse – she’d given the horse its head and was allowing it to run with the wind and she was loving it! His stopping the horse causes her to be thrown from the horse – and when she sees that wonderfully handsome adventure just waiting for her to claim it – well – who could blame her. She knew who he was as soon as he gave his name – she’d dreamed of him for years, but she’d never met him because her mother didn’t allow her any interaction with anyone outside the immediate family. She also knew he’d know who she was if she gave him her name. Julia immediately became Juniper – Amelia’s cousin. After all, what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him and maybe somebody would pay a little attention to her as a person rather than seeing her only as her disability.

Amelia and Nicholas are off on a trip and that leaves Julia (Juniper) and Jasper all alone on the estate. Their time together is magical and they come to really care for each other – but what will Jasper do when he discovers she is really Julia and not Juniper? The answer – love her for who she is!

I won’t give a blow-by-blow of the story because I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, but I will tell you it is full of fun and whimsical entertainment – and heartbreaking angst – and love and an HEA. After getting almost to the end of the book I was thoroughly miffed and was thinking I’d give the book 2-stars at best because I didn’t consider that a happy ending. Then – more magic happened. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and hope you will too!

There are some exceptional secondary characters in the book. Nicholas and Amelia, of course. You met them in the first book and they have a sizeable role in this one as well. I particularly liked Julia's father because he loves and supports his girls unconditionally and spoils them rotten. I also liked Julia's maid, Nora. She definitely had her work cut out for her! I had mixed feelings about Jasper's sister, Ruby. I think I'd like to see a third book in the series that gives Ruby her HEA as well.

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"I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,831 reviews5,505 followers
December 17, 2017
*3.5 stars*

I enjoyed this gutsy, unique romance from new-to-me author, Kimberly Bell. Though I think the book struggled with some pacing and plotting issues, it was an interesting, worthwhile reads for everyone who loves bold heroines and atypical MCs.

When I read that this was a romance with a female main character with spina bifida, I couldn't pass it up. I can count on maybe one hand the number of romances I've read with a female MCs with any type of disability or affliction, and I was positively gleeful that we might see some representation of spina bifida in romance.

First of all, from a medical perspective, everything seemed on the up and up. I have only a passing familiarity with spina bifida, but it seems like the author did her research and tried to be as true as possible to the issues of someone with spina bifida occulta would have. Sure, Kimberly Bell probably had to stretch things as surviving any type of medical affliction back in the setting of the book would have been unusual, but it felt very honest and not sugar-coating things.

I loved the trickery in the beginning of the story, and I was gearing up for the book to really wow me with some twists and turns. However, after the male MC, Jasper, a rakish newly appointed Duke, finds out that Julia is indeed permanently afflicted, I started to have issues.

First of all, I thought that Jasper took Julia's condition and her fooling him way too well. It was like he wasn't at all concerned that she had, as Julia called it, an "exposed spine condition," which I found to be unrealistic. In that day and age, it would have been a highly unusual thing, and so I thought Jasper would have been more curious, more cautious. I also thought he would have been a bit more peeved to be kept in the dark for as long as he was.

I also found that the pacing dropped off at that point. It felt a little meandering, like the author was just buying time until she could wrap up the loose ends, and the plot didn't have the same tension as before. I found myself putting the book down more often at that point, even starting another story in the interim.

However, despite my issue with the plotting, I kept coming back to the story because of the spunky, outspoken female MC. Julia is bold and brave, not letting people's opinion of her and her affliction stand in her way. She is smart and sensual, and I loved that she just really defied and rose above people's expectations of her. I was happy that Jasper appreciated all that she was, and it was refreshing to have such an independent female MC, though I don't know how historically accurate the details of the story actually were.

All in all, this was a worthwhile, interesting story, with characters not usually found in romance, though category-romance is getting more and more inclusive every day. I think Kimberly Bell is on the right track.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Mitticus.
965 reviews209 followers
January 18, 2018
+Digital ARC gently provided by Netgalley; the thougths are freely mine+

2.5 you better put on your big pants stars

After the death of his grandfather, the duke, Jasper do the usual: escape everything. Meanwhile, Julia Bishop is allowing herself to enjoy life in the country , shunned for her physical condition , and dreaming with a affair.

Not impressed with the Duke, the explanation about not able to fill his grandfather shoes as a way to justified his running away it is not good at all. Feel like poor-rich-boy to me. I'm really feeling simpathy here for Ruby, the sister that have to be the responsible one, but can't fill the title role. She is someone valuable.

It's like we were dealing with teens instead of talking about adults . Overimpulsive, whinny, egotist, wealthy teens. Yeah, that.

I can understand the female protagonist been addicted to adrenaline b/c of her illness. cough if Green had wrote this the end will be very different cough. It's interesting to put a physical impediment in a female protagonist, and her being like a free-spirit is amusing ... until certain point. Why can't they wait? I can't bite that, sorry.

The writting is entertaining until the middle and then drag on. There are some funny banter and is ok.
My main problem is the male protagonist. And how they react to adversity.

I like Nora :)
“I’m sorry, Nora. Is my sister decent?”
“No, but there’s no force on heaven or earth that’s going to change that.”
“I can hear you,” Julia called.
“Can you? So when I told you it was a bad idea to go gallivanting off with his lordship—”
“Go away, Nora.”

I didn't read the first book, but have no problem following the plot.
Profile Image for Dill Werner.
85 reviews6 followers
November 1, 2017
This is the first book I've read in this series, provided to me by the publisher. I was thoroughly impressed by the heroine and the representation of her disability/illness (Although I know a bit about the condition, I'm not an expert on spina bifida and can't speak specifically about the representation). As a disabled person, it's lovely to see someone who doesn't fit into the swoony doe-eyed damsel. "Juniper" wants to have a romance like her peers, one that doesn't involve her reputation of being the sickly high-born daughter. It's her turn to be wooed by a rake, reputation be damned. I felt a connection with her because there are whispers and rumors that come with being disabled. People, doctors included, want to make a disabled person's body their business even when it's not. I adored the strong attitude of the main character and how her hero lives with PTSD, something I can attest to. This is such a different historical romance, but one I wish I saw more of.
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,371 reviews649 followers
February 2, 2022

***4 Stars***

I loved this! My two favorite scene stealers from book 1 did not disappoint!!

I love Julia. I love Jasper. I love Julia and Jasper together.

Full review to come.

Favorite Quotes:

"I choose to live in the moment, and I'd like to spend this moment with you, for as long as it lasts, if you're interested."

He took her hand in his. "Even if it doesn't last?"

"Even though it can't," she corrected.


"He cares for you, and he's attracted to you. He wants to sleep with you. If that's what you want too, then find out what's stopping him and fix it."

Julia punched at the pillows behind her head, plumping them. "I came in here to bawl my eyes out and slander Jasper, not to be given sound advice."


"I still think you deserve romance. As much as you can stand."

"Do you know what I think I deserve?"


"Passion. As much as I can stand. Maybe more than I can stand."


No matter what travesties he perpetrated, society embraced him with open arms. Because he'd been born a DeVere, destined to be a duke. He had never done anything to deserve his welcome, and she hadn't done anything to deserve her exile.


They'd kissed as an exploration, and out of desperation. This time it was recognition. He belonged to her and she to him.
Profile Image for Caitlyn Lynch.
Author 45 books1,825 followers
February 4, 2018
I’m going to run out of superlatives to describe how good this book is. It is, quite simply, the best historical romance I’ve read in ages - and I’ve read quite a few good ones, as you’ll see from my review history.

Lady Julia Bishop is the eldest daughter of a wealthy earl, and as such, she should have too many eligible suitors to count. However, Julia was born with an exposed spinal condition (revealed in the author’s notes to be spina bifida occluda) and is known to society as a ‘crippled freak’. Instead of hiding herself away from the world, though, Julia is determined to live whatever life she might have to the absolute fullest, schedules and medical treatments notwithstanding. Meeting Jasper, Duke of Albermarle, when he accidentally causes her to fall from her horse, she makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to conceal her identity and pretend her severe limp is caused by a twisted ankle rather than her condition, wanting just for once to be treated as a ‘normal’.

Jasper is already head over heels in love with her by the time he figures out she hasn’t told him everything, and to his credit, the only way he allows the knowledge to colour his actions is in the greater consideration he affords her physical limitations when planning activities for them to do together. He was wonderful, but it was Julia who is the star of this story, Julia the fearless, who refuses to accept other people’s restrictions on her free choices, who refuses to be defined by her illness. Her sense of humour and indomitable will were inspirational, and her interactions with her sister Amelia had me laughing my head off more than once. I have sisters myself, and the way they teased each other was so true to life, I absolutely loved it.

If you’re looking for greater disabled representation in romance, seriously, you cannot do better than this fabulous love story set in the early days of Queen Victoria’s reign. I wish I could give it about fifteen stars, but sadly, five will have to do.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Carey’s Reviews.
481 reviews17 followers
December 12, 2017
5 Stars!! I LOVED this book!! I walk with a limp and have a lot of scars & I felt like I understood where the main character, Julia, was coming from with her fears & insecurities! I feel the same way! I connected with Julia and I really enjoyed her story! I haven’t read Amelia & Nicholas’s story yet but I think I might have to now! This book can be read as a standalone. I can’t say enough how much I loved this story! I definitely recommend this book! Amelia & Julia had me smiling while reading this book. The way they joke around reminds me a lot of how my Mom & I joke around! I loved the ending too! Such a good ending!!
*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own!*
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books291 followers
Shelved as 'no-thank-you'
June 10, 2019
I was loving this until about 55% of the way in, when:

Disabled Female MC: When we're having sex, I'm not comfortable with you touching me there or there.
Abled Male MC: Well then I guess you don't trust me and we won't be having sex until you do.
Disabled Female MC: I guess he's right, I have a trust deficit.

I was *so* uncomfortable with this. People are allowed to set boundaries!
Profile Image for Ashton Reads.
605 reviews132 followers
January 12, 2022
I appreciated the disability representation in this (the heroine has spina bifida) and how the heroine didn’t allow it to hold her back from what she wanted even as she showed realistic worried and fears of the hero loving her despite her scars and special needs. I do wish I felt a bit more connected to the story, especially in the first half. I loved the hero and heroine on their own, I just struggled a bit to believe their connection until the second half of the book. Overall, still an enjoyable read and a well-read audiobook!
Profile Image for Sam.
336 reviews24 followers
January 14, 2018
Im not sure how I feel about this book. The future duke makes a run for it at the very start of the book. It was a childish action. The rest of the book followed the same kind of plot. Nothing was serious. It was like reading a novel about two young teens trying to find a way to force happiness.
Profile Image for Amy ~ Love At 1st Read.
501 reviews27 followers
January 3, 2018
I fell in love with Jasper and Julia in the first Tale of Two Sisters. I adored Julia and her sister Amelia’s relationship. They were both so impish and naughty. The kind of girls I’d want to be friends with. Jasper was such fun in the first book. Such a schemer and a flirt! I knew immediately that he and Julia would be the perfect match. And I knew their story would be so much fun to read. I just never imagined it would be so romantic and moving.

Jasper DeVere, Viscount Bellamy was known to be outrageous, exuberant, wild, and fearless. He didn’t feel like much of that now. After the death of his grandfather, Jasper was to be the new Duke of Albemarle. And that scared him to death. Still grieving for his grandfather, Jasper knew he could never fill the man’s shoes. It would be an insult to his grandfather’s legacy. He had no expertise to offer. He wasn’t qualified. He wasn’t ready. He needed more time. And so he found himself running away. Like he always did. He’d hide out at his friend Nicholas’ house since Nicholas and Amelia were gone traveling. It would be the perfect place for him to come to terms with his life.
Julia Bishop was enjoying the freedom of her sister’s house. Away from society’s whispers and exile. Due to an exposed spine condition at birth, Julia’s family had been more or less a pariah in society. So Julia enjoyed her time in the country where she could do as she pleased and race across the countryside on her horse. Which is exactly what she was doing when she literally tumbled into Jasper’s life. After helping her to her feet, Jasper assumed her limp was due to their mishap, and Julia saw no reason to tell him otherwise. In fact, he didn’t know who she was. But she knew him. He had been the leading role in her fantasy love affairs ever since she’d peeked at him whenever he came to visit her sister. Why should he know she was That Bishop Girl? Jasper was said to be one of the most sought after lovers on the continent and he was here alone with her in the countryside. She could have a taste of the romance she’d always wanted. So, giving him an atrocious fake name, her charade began. It could come crashing down at any moment, but for now she was Miss Juniper Fairchild and she was ready to flirt with the outrageous Viscount Bellamy to her heart’s content. And for Jasper, the thought of flirting with Miss Fairchild added a sense of purpose to his escape that thrilled him.

What follows is nothing short of divine. Of course the ruse falls apart once Amelia and Nicholas return from their travels, but by then Jasper and Julia are captivated with one another. Jasper found Julia bewitching. There was a challenge to her that set his blood on fire. She was wicked and innocent at the same time. The perfect blend of saint and sinner. With her, he didn’t think of the things that were haunting him. He felt a rightness that had been missing for a long time. Julia found that there was more to Jasper than a famous name and perfect face. He made her feel beautiful. No one other than her sister had ever seen beyond her façade. Jasper did. And he didn’t run away. Her time with him felt magical. What had started as a flirtatious fling was so much more now. But Julia knew “the world would never let them keep each other, no matter how good it felt to be with him. He was a duke and she was the disabled daughter of a disgraced country lord”. But Jasper wouldn’t give up. Julia’s objections were based on what society would allow, and Jasper didn’t care what society thought. It was time for him to quit hiding and face his family and his title.
If possible, I fell even more in love with Jasper and Julia in this book. I loved Julia’s strength. She was aware of the stares and whispers from society but she held her head high. She didn’t cower. She was a ‘seize the moment’ kind of girl. So hopeful. Jasper had “devoted his life to fleeting pleasures that distracted him from memories he didn’t want to recall”, but with Julia he finally felt peace. She gave him a reason to face the world.
There were so many romantic, yet funny moments. I loved when Jasper faced his fear of water just to be near Julia. And her defense of him at ‘the dinner party from hell’ was delightful. The banter between Julia, Amelia, Jasper, and Nicholas was marvelous. The family and friend dynamics added so much to the story. The most romantic of all though had to be the Fairy Barrow. I thought my kindle might go up in flames!
I’m hoping there’s more to come in this series. I would love to see Amelia and Julia’s mother redeem herself. And I am dying to know more of Jasper’s sister Ruby’s story. Ruby is so dutiful. Never doing anything dangerous or crazy. I’m anxious to see her discover the chaos that love can bring.
This funny, believable, romantic, and heartwarming story will bring a smile to your lips and a delight to your heart. This series is worth every page turning moment and even the book hangover that will definitely follow. I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book. This and other reviews can be read at facebook.com/loveat1stread.
Profile Image for Erin Kelly.
163 reviews23 followers
January 17, 2018
I loved Julia and Jasper!! The plot was not quite as compelling as the previous book in this series, but I think the character development made up for it. These two were so perfectly written for one another.
Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,730 reviews534 followers
March 9, 2018

Julia Bishop knows that dreaming of exciting adventures and grand romances is as close as she will ever come to actually having them. Due to a spinal injury Julia’s life is on a strict schedule where deviation could mean something as small as a headache or as dangerous as life ending infection. But, when Jasper DeVere, an infamous rake and her brother-in-law’s friend unexpectedly arrives it seems the both adventure and romance have been delivered directly to her door.

I’ve been really excited to read this, I enjoyed the first book in this series The Importance of Being Scandalous and one of the things I loved most about it was Julia and Jasper. Although they never met, each of their characters were so vibrant and fun that they stole the show. So, having them couple up seems like a natural next step and was the reason for my aforementioned excitement.

They stole the show in The Importance of Being Scandalous, did they manage the same in A Scandal by any Other Name? I thought so. I loved Julia’s sense of adventure and that although she had some serious physical limitations it didn’t stop her from trying to live her life to the fullest and take opportunities when she found them. One of these opportunities being Jasper, with whom she had some instant chemistry. Jasper falls into the rake-with-a-heart-of-gold category and I was just as in love as Julia with his charm, humour and slight vulnerability.

The romance between them proceeds in a fairly predictable manner. But, although I knew what was happening and what was going to happen, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the ride. Not only because I liked the romance, but because I enjoyed the humour and relationships between not just the main hero and heroine, but between Julia and Amelia, her sister, and others she was close with. It all lent the book a warm cosy feeling, like you’re stepping into a circle of close friends.

A great romance, I am not sure if this is the last book, I assume it is as the series is named A Tale of Two Sisters and both of them are nice and settled. But, whatever Kimberly Bell brings out next I know I am going to be picking it up.
Profile Image for Paula.
390 reviews238 followers
January 22, 2018
I read this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review

Devastated by his grandfather’s death, Jasper DeVere leaves town instead of attending the ceremony in which the new queen Victoria proclaims him duke of Albermarle. He’d rather not be a duke and have his beloved old man alive. He wants to mourn alone and rides like a madman with no specific destination. But of course fate plays tricks and by the time he’s exhausted and decides to stop he finds himself in the vicinity of his best friend’s estate. Unfortunately Nicholas and his wife are from home but that won’t be a real problem, surely Nick’s servants or relatives will give him shelter.

Julia is staying at her sister’s home waiting for her arrival. One fine day she decides to go for a ride with her maid. Being on a horse gives her a feeling of freedom, at least for a moment no one will call her “a cripple” but when she’s returning to the house she has an accident with another horse rider and she falls from her mare. That rider is, of course, Jasper.

Julia already had a crush on Jasper but he never noticed her. For him, she was only Amelia’s sister, they were never properly introduced. So he doesn’t recognize her and she, thinking that if she introduces herself he will know about her condition, pretends to be somebody else.


• I would like to focus on something that is very personal to me and which took me years to come to terms with. It’s in the novel so perhaps you might find it related. But it is the reason why I found this novel, well, specifically its heroine, relatable. Julia has a condition on her back that is not only painful for her but also makes her limp. It is on the premise of the book so I’m not giving details away, this is not spoilers. I myself have a body with some conditions, one of which is on my back (first reason why I find it relatable), but also my legs and other parts. As a result I earned a lot of scars over the years, just like Julia, and I also have in common with our heroine the lack of patience with new doctors to whom you have to explain everything that’s happened to you over those years. And there’s the fear of people knowing (reason number 2). So I can understand why she invented a new identity if only for a while. For a moment she wants to be free, as free as you can be from yourself. You want to lead a “normal” life although what is normal anyway. What I mean is that sometimes forgetting what you’re dealing with is a blessing. It takes time, confidence and a lot of struggle to accept your scars (the visible and the invisible) and be ready to show them without worrying or caring about what people might say. This is in the book, it is represented in the book and it’s done properly, from my point of view, that is.
• Nora’s dryness when speaking to Julia. She’s her nurse and maid combined so she should be complacent but when Julia is cross or isn’t in the mood for her needed therapy Nora won’t have it. She’s honest and blunt sometimes, but she’s like that out of love for her mistress. I loved Nora.
• Amelia and Nicholas teasing Jasper and Julia. That couple are so brilliant together.
• I loved the fact that Jasper is more than ready to fight the whole world if needed be for Julia. His support and concern for her needs is heart warming.
• Add to the previous point the willingness and determination of the couple for face anything that might come their way; illness, duchy responsibilities, loss, family issues or the opposition they might get from the... let’s say, highest peers of the realm. I can’t be more specific. Spoilers!


• Prejudices even if in a condescending tone; surprisingly on her part. She is aware of his notoriety and his roguish manners and plays them to her advantage. That is, until she gets to really know the man, but she never apologises for it.
• I found the first few chapters a bit odd; they are way too... playful. She has a crush on him since she was very young in the manner of a fangirl and her hero. They behave a bit like children in my opinion.
• I felt disengaged from their love affair at times and that lasted during the first half of the book, more or less.
• There was a general lack of dialogue devices ie: he said, she asked, he explained, she reacted to his words... nothing like that. The dialogues were confusing because I struggled to know who said what. It was simply hard to tell.

After struggling with the first few chapters I found it easier to read this book but for the confusing dialogues. I’d suggest this book be revised and corrected. The story is sweet and has so much potential that a bit of revising and editing would undoubtedly perfect it.
Profile Image for Jultri.
1,056 reviews7 followers
December 16, 2017
Sorry to ruin the string of good ratings, but the behaviours of the protagonists were just too inane for me to enjoy. The blurb is inaccurate. Jasper De Vere did not avoid his grandfather, the Duke of Albemarle. He avoided accepting the title of Duke of Albemarle after his grandfather's passing. He did so by bolting minutes before the formal ceremony presenting him to Parliament! Not the most dignified impression on this reader at the start of the book. He was 26 years old, a man who should have been prepared and trained for this role for years by his beloved grandfather. Running away from his responsibilities was not the way to honour his grandfather's memory. His excuse was lame - because he could not be the great duke his grandfather was, so he chose not to be a duke at all. His actions would have shamed the esteemed family name his grandfather worked hard to elevate further.

Then we've got Lady Julia, the daughter of an earl, who behaved in shockingly wanton manner. She was supposedly born with spina bifida (see below addendum) which has resulted in a limp, scarrring of her back and slight back deformity and a propensity for bladder infections. Despite all her disabilities, she did not allow her medical condition to hold her back and retained her adventurous spirit. All good and well and commendable, except that does not justify throwing dignity and decency to the winds by throwing herself openly at Jasper, because he might be the only opportunity for her to experience passion. Even when she was caught by his sister, almost naked on his bed, she still had no shame and decided, if his sister thought her his harlot, then she was going to dress like one also. Well, how's that for misplaced attitude! And she was caught in inappropriate compromising situations with Jasper by his sister not just once, so how can Julia blame the sister for thinking so of her, given the conservative behaviour and strict decorum expected of well-raised young ladies in those days. And noone from her family attempted to rein in her overtly outrageous behavior or protect her virtue.

Then we go back to Jasper's stupidity for leaving her without an explanation to back to London in order to finally accept his Ducal title and responsibilities. He didn't want her to be hurt by the knowledge that the Queen refused to endorse their marriage, so instead he crushed Julia's heart by allowing her to think he abandoned her for good! He never did make good on his pledge to be the best Duke he can be, because after being dragged by his sister reluctantly around London while moping forlornly in order to acquaint himself with his peers for a few weeks, he ran off again with Julia. I so hate useless, spineless heroes who contribute little to the welfare of others! And what happened to observing the prerequisite mourning period for his grandfather, not just socially expected but appropriate as a mark of love and respect for the deceased?

Additionally, I don't get how Julia's limp resulted in, not only her complete and utter social ostracism like a leper, but to the point where ordinary village people were pointing at her where ever she went and children were left fearful of her! Surely there were other people walking slightly awkwardly around for various reasons, like acute injuries, war and accidents.

I did like the dialogues between the characters. There were some witticisms and Julia's maid/nurse, was a gem. The author writes well, but the antics of the main characters just were too infantile for me to enjoy.

This was an ARC provided by NetGalley.

Addendum. This does not impact on the story itself, but the author wrote in her endnotes that Julia had spina bifida occulta. Spina bifida occulta is called that because the patient is usually asymptomatic (i.e. Normal gait, no bladder problem)and the only outward sign of very mild incompletely/abnormally formed spinal cord apparatus is a small hair tuft or dimple in the lower back. Julia most likely had a mild form of spina bifida itself (mild meningomyelocoele) treated with the iodine injections in the past, that the author referred to.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
1,835 reviews10 followers
January 18, 2018
I received an e-ARC from NetGalley & Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*

First of all, I'd like to thank Jen from Book Avid for the recommendation. They had posted many times about the importance of the book and about the heroinE, Julia.

The story takes place in the Victorian era, in the early days of the Queen's reign. Julia Bishop is the daughter of a wealthy family, she is beautiful, educated and has a loving family. But she is shunned by the 'good' society because of her 'issue'. You see, Julia was born with spina bifida, a birth defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord (as dear old Google says).

To live like this at THAT time period had to be horrible and despite the liberty, the author takes, which she also mentions in the end of the book, it must have been horrible to have children and not being able to save them.

Then Julia meets with Jasper DeVere, soon to become a duke, and sparks fly between them. Despite the book being the second in the duology, it felt like a good stand-alone and I really enjoyed it. Also, Jasper deals with grief and the need to have someone who can understand him, so the couple dynamic worked very, very well. Also keeping in mind the social forms of the era, the author weaves a heated romance, which evolves in quite the love story.

I want to have more books like that. There is a presence in the YA world but in this genre, it would also become a strong breakthrough. Truly recommended!
Profile Image for Amanda Richardson.
907 reviews10 followers
December 24, 2017
A Scandal by Any Other Name is a lovely story about a reforming rake and woman who has remained hidden. Julia has a limp and a spinal injury/deformity that she has lived with all of her life. She has been forced to stay out of society and hidden by her mother. Julia thought to never marry, being a third-wheel in her sister's household and facing this possibility she is shocked when she meets a man who wants her.
Jasper is running away from his inheritance. After his grandfather died, Jasper isn't ready to step into his shoes and decides to hide for a bit. When he meets Julia, he is instantly smitten by the beauty, never realizing she is his best friend's sister-in-law.
The romance between Julia and Jasper is very sweet. Julia decides to take control of her life and take a lover - believing she will never have another chance. Jasper is looking for something more permanent with Julia. He is falling for her and believes he is ready to change, drop the rakish persona and become a constant man for the woman he loves.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
There are obstacles - of course - but Julia and Jasper are two people who really deserve their happy ending. There are some semi-steamy love scenes which served to add spice and realism to the story. Recommended for romance readers who enjoy a sweet story with added spice.
Profile Image for BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme.
6,619 reviews1,258 followers
June 22, 2020
After reading the first book, I had to find out what happens to Amalia's twin, Julia. Julia is a determined female who won't let a disability keep her down. She may not be able to have a respectable life as a married woman, but she is determine to experience a grand passion. The question is, where will she find a man who will overlook her scars and disfigured foot? Who will ignore her limp? Ignore that she follows a strict regimen to prevent her from collapsing down with a fever and illness?

Reading about Julia's required health accommodations makes me grateful for having a healthy and able body. I can't imagine the pain she has to go through, especially during the time period she is in, where there are no automatic doors, indoor plumbing or wheelchairs. Her spirit is admirable. Her desire to have a bit of taste of life is understandable.

Her chance meeting with Jasper starts off a whirlwind passionate affair. What I like about Julia is that she isn't a victim nor is she trying to be perfect. She is at times rude and disgruntled. This makes her human. It also gives her an understanding into Jasper and his flaws. Both of these characters are designed to be relatable and human. Neither are perfect - regardless of the money they have, they don't always get what they want. They still have to fight for what they really want and this makes the story more complex and enjoyable. The back and forth seduction between the two is a long tease. When they finally do the deed, it's sweetly vanilla.

This historical romance is recommended to readers who root for the underdog.

*provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Norah Gibbons.
834 reviews9 followers
December 16, 2017
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. A Scandal By Any Other Name is the second book in Kimberly Bell’s A Tale of Two Sisters series. They are quite steamy romances set in the early Victorian era. The first book is The Importance Of Being Scandalous. Kimberly Bell is a new to me author so I had not read the first one ... but I immediately purchased it upon finishing this book because I was not ready to say goodbye to the characters. Currently the first book is on sale for $0.99. In addition to a quite lovely romance there is a wonderful relationship between the two sisters and lots of engaging dialog between the characters. Jasper DeVerre has runaway from being invested as the Duke of Albemarle, he is still mourning his grandfather, overwhelmed by the idea that he is now the Duke, he retreats to the country home of his closest friend. He meets our intrepid heroine when he mistakenly assumes that she is in trouble and attempts to rescue her but ends up knocking her off of her horse. Julia Bishop has spina bifida and has led a very sheltered life as a consequence. When she realizes that Jasper thinks her limp is caused by the fall she pretends to be someone else because she fears that he wouldn’t flirt with her as herself and she is determined to grab every moment of adventure that she can and boldly propositions Jasper. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the rest of the books Kimberly Bell has written. Publishing Date January 30, 2018.
Profile Image for Dot Salvagin.
516 reviews6 followers
January 10, 2018
This is the second book in the “Two Sisters” series and I loved it. After being introduced to Jasper and Julia in the first book I couldn’t wait for them to get together in this book and I wasn’t disappointed. Julia has suffered a debilitating condition all her life but instead of giving in she fights back and grabs hold of life with gusto. Jasper has some serious self-confidence issues in spite of his wicked sense of humor. Together they are a couple for the age, but will they overcome their secrets and shyness to grab what is waiting for them?

Each book in this series is a standalone but to enjoy them fully I encourage you to read both books one right after another. You will have your heart warmed and enough romance to last until Ms Bell treats us to another fine romantic novel

Also posted on my blog on 1-11-2018:

I received this book free for review from the publisher.
Profile Image for Devon.
219 reviews8 followers
January 6, 2018
Good book. I enjoyed it Fun and steamy. Lovable characters. Great story.
Profile Image for Under the Covers Book Blog.
2,818 reviews1,364 followers
February 19, 2018

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Julia Bishop knows that dreaming of exciting adventures and grand romances is as close as she will ever come to actually having them. Due to a spinal injury Julia’s life is on a strict schedule where deviation could mean something as small as a headache or as dangerous as life ending infection. But, when Jasper DeVere, an infamous rake and her brother-in-law’s friend unexpectedly arrives it seems the both adventure and romance have been delivered directly to her door.

I’ve been really excited to read this, I enjoyed the first book in this series The Importance of Being Scandalous and one of the things I loved most about it was Julia and Jasper. Although they never met, each of their characters were so vibrant and fun that they stole the show. So, having them couple up seems like a natural next step and was the reason for my aforementioned excitement.

They stole the show in The Importance of Being Scandalous, did they manage the same in A Scandal by any Other Name? I thought so. I loved Julia’s sense of adventure and that although she had some serious physical limitations it didn’t stop her from trying to live her life to the fullest and take opportunities when she found them. One of these opportunities being Jasper, with whom she had some instant chemistry. Jasper falls into the rake-with-a-heart-of-gold category and I was just as in love as Julia with his charm, humour and slight vulnerability.

The romance between them proceeds in a fairly predictable manner. But, although I knew what was happening and what was going to happen, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the ride. Not only because I liked the romance, but because I enjoyed the humour and relationships between not just the main hero and heroine, but between Julia and Amelia, her sister, and others she was close with. It all lent the book a warm cosy feeling, like you’re stepping into a circle of close friends.

A great romance, I am not sure if this is the last book, I assume it is as the series is named A Tale of Two Sisters and both of them are nice and settled. But, whatever Kimberly Bell brings out next I know I am going to be picking it up.

*ARC provided by publisher
Reviewed by Suzanne❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤
Profile Image for Brenda.
2,305 reviews21 followers
January 24, 2018
Publisher's Description:

Julia Bishop has led a very sheltered life. Protected by her family from those who might ridicule her for her secrets, she stays hidden away in the country. But she longs for more, if only for an evening. To kiss a rake in full view of the stable boy. Unchaperoned picnics. Romance. But she knows she’ll never experience any of those things.

That is, until a handsome duke with a mysterious past of his own arrives…

Duke Jasper DeVere left London to grieve his grandfather’s death privately, away from the prying eyes and gossips of the ton. Seeking solitude at a friend’s country manor, he’s surprised he finds himself drawn to the company of the shy beauty determined to present the epitome of proper behavior.

That is, until the mysterious woman makes an indecent proposal…

Julia can’t believe what she’s suggested to the duke. Nor that he agrees a distraction is what they both need. But what will happen when Jasper must return to his duties and leave Julia behind? Will the memories of their time together be enough for a lifetime of solitude for either of them?

Because Julia can never leave her country haven and a duke can never stay…

Each book the Tale of Two Sisters series is STANDALONE:
* The Importance of Being Scandalous
* A Scandal By Any Other Name

My Thoughts:

I have read both books in this series and although they are somewhat connected by characters they are still standalone novels.
This book kept me in stitches with it's sometimes humorous dialog. I had problems putting it down but had to go to work so I had to take a 5 hour respite from this delightful and sometimes sad book. I still finished the read in less than forty eight hours.
It has the feel of a true to life romance rewritten to make it fiction although I know it to be a totally fictional work.
Jasper has recently inherited the Dukedom upon his beloved grandfather's death. He just wants to get away to grieve. His queen has other ideas though. So Jasper takes fate in hand and leaves during the ceremony to bestow the title upon his head.
Arriving at his friend's country manor he fiends himself drawn to the shy beauty, Julia.
Will this attraction lead to love? Will the Queen condone the match? These are questions that will be answered in this can't put it down book.
I gave this book 4.5 of 5.0 stars for storyline and character development and a sensual rating of 4 of 5 flames for heat. Even though some of the scenes are more mysterious in nature some have a graphic nature.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley to read and review. This in no way affected my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
Profile Image for Jo.
94 reviews2 followers
May 15, 2018
So last year there were posts going around about The Importance of Being Scandalous which was a historical romance with a character that has spina bifida. Turns out, the character with spina bifida was the sister and the romance did not include her one bit. I was disappointed especially because I thought she would have made an excellent pairing with Jasper, the best friend of the male love interest.

BUT Julia’s back with her own romance this time! And it was fully adorable (and sexy) and I really loved the character growth that happened and honestly soo much better than the first book. Definitely recommend for a fun, light read that features a character with a disability that is recognized and acknowledged but does not define.

What I liked:

-This book was about Julia! It was what I really wanted from the first book and she is just so much more interesting than her sister Amelia.

-Representation of a physical disability. I really liked that her disability was addressed in terms of physical limitations and societal limitations such as stigma during a time when her whole family had been shunned for her being born at all. I liked that all of the characters learned to acknowledge it and move on because Julia is so much more than a disability. Also, having read the author’s note at the end, it really seems like Kimberly Bell did her research to have an appropriate representation in her book.

-The character growth from Julia and Jasper. It was definitely cheesy and a tad unrealistic but their romance was more about getting to know and trust each other in a way they had never let anyone else in before. It was also about facing their truths without backing away and really accepting the consequences for taking risks.

-I also really love Julia’s sexual agency with Jasper despite her hesitancy and concerns about the way her disability has shaped her body. She is such a strong character and a driving force in their sex-capades which I don’t feel is very common in romances.

What I didn’t like:

-Some of Jasper’s choices were straight up frustrating but totally in character.
-We never got to see Julia and Jasper play chess against each other and I really think we missed out.
-I think Ruby was really underserved and would LOVE to see more about her.

*Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,109 reviews437 followers
June 17, 2020
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Julia Bishop was born with a spinal condition that should've killed her in her youth, and because of the danger to her health, has been cosseted in the countryside for her entire life. With everything being run to a schedule to ensure she doesn't contract infection or overly fatigues herself, she's long grown sick of her sheltered existence. She's always wanted more, and while staying her her sister's estate while Amelia and Nicholas are on honeymoon, she comes across a handsome gentlemen, Jasper DeVere, who is fleeing his responsibilities, and is perfect for Julia's hopes. Jasper has just lost his beloved grandfather, and the grief, alongside the added pressure of being the new Duke of Albemarle, and can't see it in himself to live up to all expectations, so he flees the House of Lords, leaving even Queen Victoria in his wake. He needs time to mourn and allow himself some freedom, and meeting Julia was just want he needed. As they both are hiding parts of themselves, they still find themselves falling, and falling fast, but Julia's reputation and ridicule in local society, and Jasper's familial connection to the queen mean it's unlikely they'll be allowed to be together, but they'd do anything to make it possible.

This book was one I just couldn't put down, and I loved the main characters. We have Julia, Jasper, Amelia, Nicholas, and Ruby, who all were wonderful, and I loved the camaraderie between them all. Jasper and Ruby's sibling love and arguments were hilarious to see, especially as Ruby wanted Jasper to grow up and stand up to his responsibilities, but ultimately cared about him and wanted the best for her brother. Julia's illness, which is never explicitly named, but the author says is Spina Bifida, has always impacted her life, and the locals have always ridiculed her for her limp and her extended sickness periods, but with Jasper, she feels different, and not just the girl with the illness. He doesn't know about it at first, but as soon as he finds out, he's by her side at every step, through bouts of illness and when facing difficult society. Their love for each other was wholesome and perfect, and I couldn't stop myself from grinning while reading, especially later on in the story. Definitely a book to lift your spirits and full of romance and family.
Profile Image for Lindsey Gray.
Author 20 books133 followers
January 16, 2018
This novel could’ve been entitled How to Tick Off a Monarch, because Queen Victoria has more than one reason to be displeased with her cousin, Jasper DeVere. Since his father passed away when he was only six, Jasper has lived the majority of his life as the heir to his grandfather’s title of the Duke of Albemarle. Now with his grandfather’s passing, it’s time for Jasper to take over the dukedom. Seconds before he is supposed to be presented to Queen Victoria and take over the title, he bolts leaving not only the Queen, but his very angry twin sister, Ruby, in the lurch.

Jasper runs off and ends up at his best friend’s estate where he discovers the enticing Julia Bishop. Julia’s sister, Amelia, married Jasper’s best friend, Nicolas, yet the two have never met. A little bit of deception on Julia’s part has her getting to know Jasper better with outrageous flirting and misguided determination. Julia was born with a mild form of Spina Bifida which has caused her spinal and foot deformities. She wants nothing more than to have a passionate romance with a man she’s admired from the shadows for months.

I loved Jasper and Julia separately in the first novel of this series, The Importance of Being Scandalous. Bell took these two leaps and bounds further and gave us two characters to laugh and cry with. They couldn’t be more different to fit so perfectly together. Bell had me shedding tears in more than a few chapters. I also snorted my way through one chapter that highlighted a dinner party from hell that ended on the perfect note. Another five star read!

While the stories of the Bishop sisters and their struggles to find romance have come to an end, I pray Bell will write a story for Ruby DeVere, Jasper’s sister. She was a strong secondary character in both novels and I would dearly love to read a story of her happily ever after!

I received this book for free. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Janet.
3,496 reviews30 followers
January 25, 2018
4.5 Stars
Julia Bishop has led a very sheltered life & because of her disability, she stays hidden away in the country. She longs for more, but she knows she’ll never experience any of those things.
That is, until one day out riding she takes a tumble from her horse & is rescued by Jasper DeVere who’s left London to grieve his grandfather’s death privately, away from the prying eyes and gossips of the ton. Seeking solitude at Nick & Amelia’s country manor, who happen to be Julia sister & brother in law
This was very different from the normal romance as it dealt with a disabled heroine. Jason however only ever saw Julia as a beautiful, fun loving, brave, strong woman which endeared him to me. Jason deals with upset & difficulties by hiding himself away & running from them but in order to win Julia he has to grow up & face his responsibilities. This book could be read by itself however to fully understand the scandalous Bishop girls I’d recommend reading Amelia’s story first. A very well written, lovely novel of facing adversity

My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
Profile Image for Lori D.
3,464 reviews86 followers
January 29, 2018
This is a story of two people who both have a hard time dealing with their current lives. Jasper De Vere has lost his parents and is about to lose his beloved grandfather and is not ready to take over the Dukedom. So he flees his responsibilities and goes to his friend Nicolas's estate in the country. There he meets Julia Bishop, Nicolas's sister in law who has kept to herself hidden away from society. She was born with a spinal injury and has always stayed close to her family. Although really isolated her whole life, Julia had a great spirit, was smart and outspoken. There is some secrets and intentional mistaken identity that liven up the story and keep it entertaining. But the way Julia and Jasper kept the conversations lively, it will bring a smile to your face.
I applaud the author for featuring the heroine, Julia having a spinal injury in this book. It makes it so much more real and as people through the centuries have had illnesses or problems it is good to see it dealt with here.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more by this author!
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