That Scandalous Summer by Meredith DuranThat Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran
Series: Rules for the Reckless #1
Published by Pocket Books on January 29, 2013
Genres: Regency Romance
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Courtesy review copy
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One Daring Widow

In the social whirl of Regency England, Elizabeth Chudderley is at the top of every guest list, the life of every party, and the belle of every ball. But her friends and admirers would be stunned to know the truth: that the merriest widow in London is also the loneliest. Behind the gaiety and smiles lies a secret longing -- for something, or someone, to whisk her away ...

One Reluctant Suitor

Raised in scandal, Lord Michael de Grey is convinced that love is a losing gamble -- and seduction the only game worth playing. But when duty threatens to trump everything he desires, the only way out is marriage to a woman of his brother’s choosing. Elizabeth Chudderley is delightful, delicious -- and distressingly attractive. With such a captivating opponent, Michael isn’t quite sure who is winning the game. How can such passionate players negotiate a marriage of necessity -- when their hearts have needs of their own?

This is the first book in Meredith Duran’s Rules for the Reckless series, and it starts this series off with an intensity and luxuriousness that you see throughout all the books. The vivid world and striking characters are instantly forefront, and draw you in.

With this story, as with all of this author’s, there’s too much going on to summarize, so I’ll try to point out why I like her so much. This author’s voice has absolutely drawn me in. To be honest, I don’t think I would have liked this heroine very much if it had been written by another.

Lady Elizabeth Chudderly, widow and party girl extraordinaire, has passed out in the rosebushes. Michael, brother to a duke (a duke whose wife has betrayed him in so many ways), is a doctor. His brother, now done with women, has decreed that Michael must wed and produce an heir or the duke will stop funding the hospital. Michael leaves Town and hides in the country, which is where he happened upon a lady passed out in the roses.

He allows Elizabeth to think him a simple country doctor, and the two of them are almost instantly smitten with each other. But he isn’t a simple country doctor. And Elizabeth is in dire need of money. Her late husband left her in debt. Her most recent lover left her when he discovered she had no money. There are so many who depend upon Elizabeth, that the more she falls in love with Michael, the more she realizes it will be impossible for her to marry a poor country doctor.

This author has such a way with words. Her voice is compelling. Her characters are witty, smart, exciting, and scandalous. And the whole time you’re rooting for them. You see both of them being unable to turn their backs on their duties, yet you want them to. You want them to somehow persist and make it work, because at one point it does feel almost impossible. But this author makes the impossible possible, and you close the book satisfied and with a smile on your face.


***Book courtesy of Pocket Books