Scandal isn't just for rogues, as the daring women in USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Cornick's scintillating new series prove.... As maid to some of the most wanton ladies of the ton, Margery Mallon lives within the boundaries of any sensible servant. Entanglements with gentlemen are taboo. Wild adventures are for the Gothic novels she secretly reads. Then an intriguing stranger named Mr. Ward offers her a taste of passion, and suddenly the wicked possibilities are too tempting to resist....
Henry Atticus Richard Ward is no ordinary gentleman. He's Lord Wardeaux and he is determined to unite Margery with her newfound inheritance by any means-including seduction and deception. But when the ton condemns the scandalous servant-turned-countess and an unknown danger prepares to strike, will Margery accept Henry's protection in exchange for her trust?
Not exactly what I expected...but not in a bad way.
Forbidden has an interesting idea. A maid turned heiress? That's a new one, one that I could definitely go for. It doesn't mention it in the summary, but I feel like I should say that Margery learns about her inheritance pretty soon in. The book is less about Henry trying to tell Margery and more about Margery learning how to navigate her way through life as a Countess.
And that brings us to that lovely character. I admired Margery. Her entire life was turned upside down, but she was strong and got through it, including all the nasty gossip. One thing I don't understand is why she was initially reluctant to leave her life as a maid. If I was in her place I would have jumped at the new life in a heartbeat. I can understand, to an extent. I know she would be leaving her entire life behind, but it struck me as kind of unrealistic that someone one balk at the opportunity to be the wealthiest heiress in all of England. My one other problem with her is her reaction to Henry when she finds out. Before she finds out, she is sweet and nice to him. But after, she suddenly finds every opportunity to hate him. It didn't make sense to me that the kind woman from the beginning turned into the resentful shrew later. I get that she would be a little angry, but I didn't understand why she flew into a massive temper and didn't let it go until very near the end. This is not to say I didn't like her character, despite what it sounds like. I liked her, but I had a few problems with her. And I wanted to shake some sense into her a few times.
So, now about Henry. He's a complicated character. He was the heir to the earldom until Margery was found to be the rightful heiress. You'd think that would make him bitter towards her. Nope. He backed away with dignity. That was enough to make me like him immediately. He tries to always be cold and distant to avoid heartbreak, but that never made me dislike him. I mean, he had good reason to be cautious. His relationship with Margery was...explosive, to say the least. Every moment, whether their hopping on each other, talking, or arguing, is filled with tension and sparks. There was passion from the minute they met. I really have to applaud the author for doing such a good job in creating that feeling. Whenever those two were together, sparks were flying. It made things interesting :)
The story is well done. It starts off immediately and takes off at a steady pace. There is one hell of a plot twist towards the end, one that I never saw coming. The plot as a whole was interesting throughout, no dull moments.
Forbidden is a wonderful book. Passion, secrets, surprises. Fun, right?
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!