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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers #3) by Sarah MacLean

She lives for passion.
Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society's rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London's most practiced gossips . . . and precisely the kind of woman The Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.
He swears by reputation.
Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening—risking everything he holds dear—he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety. She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

Rhonda's Thoughts:

This was my first time reading Sarah MacLean. I’ll admit that when I started this book, and saw where the story was going, I felt an eye-roll coming on. Well, it didn’t take long for that feeling to change. Juliana captured my heart quickly, the daughter of a fallen English marchioness, and an Italian merchant, she is considered by the ton to be a mere commoner. Her mother took off when she was a child, and after the recent passing of father, she was shipped off to London to live with her half brother the Marquess of Ralston. With no station among English society, and afraid she will end up a scandal like her mother, Juliana pretty much snubs her nose at the English and their rules.

After arriving in London, Juliana meets the Duke of Leighton; Simon. There was instant attraction between the two of them, but when Simon finds out that she is a commoner, he wants no more to do with her.

Simon had been groomed his entire life to be a duke, and carry all the responsibilities of his title, including marrying the perfect English bride regardless of love. In fact, according to Simon, love and passion are not important at all, love is pretty insignificant in his mind, reputation is all that matters. His mother who is cold and callous and is only concerned with the reputation of the family name, has raised Simon to be the same way.

After separately vowing to stay away from each other, circumstances have them crossing paths again. And a verbal sparring match turns into a challenge brought on by Juliana. She challenges him to give her two weeks to see if he is capable feeling “passion”. Juliana wants to bring the cold, unfeeling Simon to his knees. The beautiful, vivacious, carefree Juliana, starts to break through his facade, turning Simon into a constant contradiction. Juliana herself starts to feel more than she wanted to as her game starts to backfire, and to add to Simon’s mountain of reasons he should stay away from Julia, Simon has secrets, secrets that would ruin his family’s name . Not to mention the scandalous burden Juliana carries, thanks to dear old mom, and Simon is already betrothed to someone else.

Even though I spent a great deal of time wanting to throttle Simon, I just couldn’t hate him, and I loved Juliana!! I also enjoyed all the sexy tension between Juliana and Simon, and I loved watching these two learning from each other, resisting and falling in love. However this story also broke my heart several times, because sometimes love isn’t enough….

I also really liked MacLean’s writing style, when I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. I’m really looking forward to going back to read the first two books in this series.  

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