After watching her beloved sister Sophia pine over the ton’s Golden Boy for years, Miss Julia St. Claire has foresworn love and put herself firmly on the shelf. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father have other ideas, and jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the newly-named Earl of Clivesden…the man of Sophia’s dreams.
Since resigning his Cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has set Julia in his sights, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover more than friendship driving his desire to defend her. He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when she refuses him and her father announces her betrothal, he fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society…
…and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.
So sweet and adorable! A Most Scandalous Proposal was a fantastic book, absolutely excellent.
I LOVE romances where the couple have been best friends for years and begin to realize that they are in love with each other. In any setting, YA or adult, I love that concept. It just seems so sweet to me. So, this book was already guaranteed to have a few points in its favor. And it went above and beyond that to become an excellent romance.
This book has two couples featured in it, though the main one is Julia and Benedict, so let me start with them.
Julia is disillusioned about love. She hasn't seen any good examples of it and has therefore decided to do without it. Her reluctance to admit any romantic love could have been frustrating, but I think it was handled well. And she didn't stick to it out of sheer stubbornness. Once faced with the exact kind of marriage that she wanted, she realizes that it isn't what she wants. And so comes about the "scandalous proposal." But besides that, Julia was a nice character. She was strong, refusing to bow to other's wishes, and loyal, always there for her sister.
Benedict was an absolute sweetheart. He's been in love with Julia since they were young, though he hadn't done anything about it. Until he realizes that Julia was looking for a husband. Then he puts forth all his effort into winning his best friend turned true love. His persistence was charming and he never gave up in the face of Julia's reluctance. But, he was still protective of her. When she comes to him with her "proposal," his first thought is of the consequences for her. It was just so sweet. Their romance was adorable, tempered with just the right amount of sparks. I adored them together.
The other couple is Julia's sister, Sophia, and the Earl of Highgate, Rufus. Their relationship was different but no less sweet. I don't want to give away the details of their romance. I'll leave that to be a surprise :) But it is wonderfully done.
The plot started off a little slow, until about a quarter in. Then, it picked up and really got me hooked. There are a couple of minor surprises on the way the keep the book from being totally predictable. But, we do have the beloved happy ever after romance ending. It was sweet and perfect.
A Most Scandalous Proposal is a wonderful romance. Any lovers of the genre should read it.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!
I'm starting a new feature where I tell you about one free Kindle book I found everyday.
Today's is Love's Portrait by Monica Burns
One woman’s rebellious act; One man’s quest for seduction; A portrait that ignites a scandalous passion ~ ~ ~
When Julia Westgard commissions a nude portrait of herself, the painting is much more than a rebellious act. It’s an attempt to regain her self-worth after years of a loveless, repressive marriage to her late husband. But the private portrait puts her directly in the path of Morgan St. Claire, one of the Marlborough Set’s most notorious seducers. A man who doesn’t take no for an answer.
From the first moment Morgan sees Julia’s portrait, he’s determined to have her. But the woman he meets is a far cry from the image on canvas. What starts out as a simple exercise in seduction quickly evolves into a quest to reveal the true Julia. With each sensual encounter, he employs every erotic weapon at his disposal in hopes of making Julia see she really is the woman in Love's Portrait.