Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #1
Published by Avon on December 29, 2015
Genres: Regency Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy, Avon Addicts
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LADY SOPHIE'S SOCIETY SPLASH
The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…
When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.
ROYAL ROGUE'S REIGN OF RAVISHMENT!
The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!
Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.
WAR? OR MORE?
He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive…
Sarah MacLean mentioned that she wanted a TMZ for the Regency era…well she definitely succeeded. They did so love their gossip, and the Talbots, the new family amongst the ton, cause nothing but scandal and gossip…and they revel in it!
Lady Sophie Talbot is the one sister who doesn’t enjoy the attention her family has garnered, though. She truly hates it. Mostly she misses her old, quiet life from before her father gained his title. They were a working class family until her father suddenly came home titled. The main rumor going around was that he won his title in a card game with Prinny. Oh boy.
Sophie’s sisters loved the attention, negative or positive, didn’t matter. But Sophie hated everything. One of her sisters, it’s implied, snagged her duke of a husband through her father ensuring they were caught compromised. This dick of a husband, beg pardon, duke, I totally meant duke, is now banging everything in sight, with the exception of his very pregnant wife. Sophie walks in on him with some other woman, and she lets him have it, ultimately pushing him into a small fish pond. Oops.
But this scandal is such, that even her father’s new title and money can’t fix. So Sophie decides to leave the party. And in the process, she nearly has a boot dropped on her head courtesy of King, the Marquess of Eversley. (He’s sneaking out of the window of a soon-to-be-married woman, hence the dropping of the boots). And these two really don’t like each other. But some fun banter happens, Sophie asks for a ride home, King says no, leaving Sophie standing there with said boot.
Sophie is so annoyed, and angry, and frustrated at everything, she finds King’s footman, and pays him for his livery, then sneaks onto the back of his coach. Her thinking is she’ll make it to Mayfair, then walk to her own home. He’ll never know, and she has a secret thrill of knowing he gave her a ride, even though he hadn’t wanted to.
The coach isn’t going to his home, it’s going across the country. Yeah oops.
By the time the coach stops for the night, Sophie realizes she can’t let herself be found out, so she continues posing as the footman. The main problem isn’t that she’s a woman, but that she doesn’t know what to do. The coachman has to keep telling her what to do and much to his irritation, she’s inept. But then King and his mates join them. And King recognizes Sophie.
Believing she wants to be found out, so she can snag a duke of her own, he basically tells her that she’s stuck playing footman and he doesn’t care what happens to her. Jerk.
By the time his conscience gets the better of him, he stomps down to the barn where she’s staying, and the sight that greets his eyes is nothing he expected. She’s playing cards, drinking beer, and joking with the men, one of whom was his mate!
From this point on, the two of them have a constant give and take relationship full of bicker and banter. King has his moments where he is almost cruel, but Sophie is wonderful, and I never feel she’s out of her depth, or can’t hold her own.
As with all Sarah MacLean books, this one has some incredible romantic moments, and some intense dark moments. With a heroine who possesses a spine of steel, and a hero who possesses the tongue of a viper, its really great to watch her soften him without even trying.
The only two things that bothered me, I’m going to leave vague and I’m sorry, but I don’t want to spoil it. Feel free to talk in the comments, of course, and I’ll vent down there ;P This book gave me feels, people. All the feels.
The way King’s father handled the dead ex-girlfriend situation bugged me. And sometimes I feel like authors forget that an ex-love doesn’t have to be the villain of the piece, and I get why this one was. It made Sophie’s perceived betrayal that much worse, but still…
And speaking of fathers, don’t get me started on Sophie’s. Holy crap, I wish we’d seen a page or two devoted to her ripping him a new one. I mean seriously.
Final verdict is that I couldn’t put this book down, and Sophie was a wonderful heroine, seriously wonderful. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, and I really want to see what happens with Sophie’s sister Sera and her
dick duke of a husband.
***ARC courtesy of Avon Books