Ruth's Reviews > Secret Life of a Scandalous Debutante

Secret Life of a Scandalous Debutante by Bronwyn Scott
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: historical-romance, net_galley, regency-victorian

This historical romance, provided by netgalley, was a pleasant read, with some aspects which I really appreciated, but, on the whole, failed to satisfy.

I have a feeling that it may have been part of a series, and this may have affected how I perceived it, although I couldn't find any reference to a predecessor book.

Things I liked about this one:

- The setting - I loved the use of Cornwall as a setting. I have spent vacations in St. Just-in-Roseland, and it is a beautiful place. I wished that the author had made more of it, to be honest, and spent a bit more time describing it, rather than assuming that the average reader would know what it was like (Cornwall is very different than most of the UK).

- The period and history - I really liked how the author chose a very specific incident in history (Greek Independence) and centered the story around the events of one part of that incident. It was a novelty to have a story set when Europe was essentially a patchwork of revolution, and to feel that England and London was a more cosmopolitan place than most HRs imply, and that Europe consisted of more than just England and dastardly France.

What I didn't like so much:

- The romance - they fell in love far, far too quickly. The romance just came too easily for both of them, and in such a way that it felt, sadly, rather boring. She's gorgeous and exotic, he's an Adonis... yawn, yawn.. I mean, the hero has known her since she was little more than a 10 year-old, and he doesn't find that slightly concerning, or creepy? Hmmm.

- The heroine - She is supposed to be a protector, well-trained and not afraid to show fighting skill when needed. In fact, she spends a considerable amount of time telling herself and the hero that she doesn't need help, and can look after herself. She's supposed to be this super-smart, spy-like cautious guardian of her country's fortune, but one touch from the hero through her glove and she's putty. I just really struggled to go with that, since she really wasn't the strong person that the hero spent a large part of his internal dialogue telling us and himself that she was.

- The hero - He is supposed to be this ultra-honorable, straight-up good gentleman, but he comes across as rather selfish, to be honest. He twists his honorable intentions to justify playing hunt-the-sausage with the heroine as soon as possible.

- The cover - now I know I don't like really commenting on the cover over-much, but really, this was a pretty poor effort.

So, an OK read, 2 stars, but the plot, the setting and the characters didn't quite make it for me.

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