There is no telling where a scandal might lead...
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.
But unfortunally, it's harder than her brothers had hoped, because Juliana just can't seem to learn the ways of a behaving like a proper miss. She's too bold, too brash, too passionate for life. She'd rather ride a horse astride, speak her mind, and talk to a gentleman without first needing to be proproly introduced by another person. One man inparticular caught her interested while she was shopping in a book store for a gift for Gabreil. The man didn't introduce himself, but he definitely flirted, and they seemed to have a moment. All of the ton knew about her presense and her lack of social grace, but here was a gentleman who didn't seem to care and approchaed her anyway.
In Eleven Scandles to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, we find out that the man in queston was the very Duke of Disdain. Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton, didn't have any idea who the pretty miss in the book shop was, but he took an instant liking to her. When he finds out just in fact who Juliana is, he pulls back and distances himself. The book starts about 8 months after their first meeting, and neither like the other very much. That's not true, but they want the other to believe it.
Simon loaths scandal. As the Duke of Leighton, it's his duty to uphold the family name which is everything to him and courting the Italian beauty would drag that name through the mud. To fight the attraction he has for her, he's rude, arrogant, and cold towards her, earning his moniker, The Duke of Disdain. Simon's in enough trouble as it is with his pregnant, unwed, 17 year old sister. Simon hopes to marry to the most respectable woman without a blemish to her reputation to ease the shock and eventual scandal of his sister's pending motherhood. He can't afford to be distracted nor tempted by Juliana.
However, Juliana won't make it easy for him. She dares him to give her two weeks before he marries to let her show him that life without passion is a dreadful life in deed. Simon knows he should turn down her dare, but he doesn't. Through this agreement, Juliana and Simon are thrusted together in the most provacative situations that really excited me as a reader. The romance was top notch, and the love scenes gave me tingles that had me anticipating each encounter. I loved the reparte between the hero and heroine and their character growth was well paced and believable in my eyes.
I loved watching Simon come undone around Juliana, and her unintentional antics to catch his attention were hilarious. I loved the writing of this novel and was really glad I gave it a chance after not liking the 2nd book so much. I had rated book one 5 Olives and jumped into #2 with high expectations, but it fell far short. I rated that book 3 Olives. But this one redeemed the series, wholeheartedly deserving of the 5 olives I'm giving it. Sarah MacLean is definitely a author I'll be looking for in the future in my historical romance novel reads.
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