Sunday, December 15, 2013

Portrait of a Scandal by Annie Burrows

Portrait of a Scandal
Release date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: N/A


Her heart and hope long since shattered, Amethyst Dalby is content with her life as an independent woman. With wealth of her own, and no one to answer to, she is free to live as she pleases.

Until a trip to Paris throws her into contact with the one man who still has a hold over her, the bitter but still devastatingly sensual Nathan Harcourt! Living as an artist, this highborn gentleman has been brought low by scandal and he is determined to show Amethyst that life is much more fun if you walk on the dark side.

My Rating: 2.5 Roses

A lovely historical romance. Portrait of Scandal was an enjoyable read. I had my issues with it, but I still liked it.

Amethyst and Nathan were sweethearts years ago and they had intended to get married. Until Nathan's father decided that he didn't approve of the marriage and crafted a series of lies sent through the perfect vessel (one of Nathans' closest and most trusted friends) to ruin the relationship. Nathan believed them, left Amethyst, and ended up marrying someone else. Amethyst was left alone and bitter and stayed by herself. She took over her aunt's business, where her also scorned aunt fostered her hatred of Nathan (and men in general). Eventually, they meet again in Paris and all the secrets, emotions, and lies come flooding back. And, so the drama began...

Amethyst was an okay heroine. She was independent and strong. But, she was my main issue with the book. I understood where her bitterness came from, but she let it turn her into a downright mean person. She was shrewish and unfair, determined to see bad in every man, even the ones that were good people. She let it take over her life and it really annoyed me. Especially when she let her bitterness blind her and almost lose her last chance at true happiness. Over the course of the book, she softened and realized what she had let herself become. She was able to turn herself around and become a nicer person. But, it was too late to save the book entirely. I was okay with her character, but I didn't love her.

Nathan, on the other hand, I loved from the beginning. He was so sweet and wonderful and I totally adored him. Once he realized that the lies he believed all those years ago were, in fact, lies, he was determined to win Amethyst over. I thought he was perfect.

The romance was okay. Even with Amethyst's reluctance, the emotions from all those years ago were still there and they just grew strong as they got to know each other again, which I thought was sweet. And, the heat factor was off the charts. We're talking about years of unfulfilled lust. It was super hot when it finally happened. I thought they were lovely together.

The plot was okay. I wasn't really into the first half of the book, because that was when Amethyst was at her most stubborn. But, something (Nathan) kept me reading and, during the second half, I began to really enjoy the book. I ended up enjoying the story and I thought the ending was lovely.

Portrait of Scandal  was a lovely historical romance. I had my issues with it, but I still enjoyed it and I ended up liking it. It was a wonderful story of a second chance at true love. Lovers of romance, I don't know that I would outright recommend this book, but it definitely is worth checking out. 

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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