Saturday, January 7, 2012

Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel by Samantha Grace

Miss Lana Hillary has gotten herself into a bit of a situation.  She has found herself attracted to the type of man she has sworn off after a broken engagement, a scoundrel.  And unfortunately her first meeting with this scoundrel is quite indecent to say the least.  As Lana is trying to escape the lecherous advances of a man she disgusts, she climbs out of a window and hangs there until the rakish Lord Andrew Forest happens by and is able to help.  But as Andrew is a rake of the highest order, he thinks a kiss is a proper thank you.  Hee hee.  You can see the mutual attraction right off the bat with this couple but as Lana only will marry for love, there is no room for scoundrels but that doesn't stop Andrew from pursing her.  And when Lana's brother, Jake, throws down the ultimate challenge--stay away from my sister--the pursing begins in earnest.  After all, Andrew doesn't need to bed her completely, just some more steamy kisses will do.  However, the attraction is too strong and passionate for that to stay true and Lana ends up being the one that throws up the walls afterwards and leads Andrew on a bit of a chase.

This is Samantha Grace's debut novel and she does an excellent job of taking many common Regency themes--dashing scoundrels who will never marry but fall hard, heroines that refuse to marry for anything less than love, meddling mamas that must see their almost-on-the-shelf-daughter married now, protective older brothers--and mixing it all together in a way that was still fresh and fun to read.  I love stories that have large extended families that are close and get along well and this one delivers on that front as well through Andrews family.  Andrew has a wonderful relationship with his parents and siblings as does Lana.  Lana has a close bond with her brother Jake but there is tension between their parents and their mama can be a bit tiring at times.    

As for Lana herself, she was very delightful.  I thought she was going to be shy and proper but that turned out not to be the case.  Lana is witty, clever and a bit carefree but has a wall around her heart that Andrew tries so hard to break down with his love and affection but with his past rakish ways, it is a bit hard to Lana to truly trust him completely.  It was great to watch Andrew slowly transform from scoundrel to gentleman, while still maintaining his warm sense of humor and charm.  I also appreciated there was no back and forth on telling each other they loved one another.  When they realized it, it was said shortly after that.  Really one of the only negatives for this book was Andrew's pet name for Lana.  It is just a pet peeve of mine as I do not personally like nicknames being used all the time in place of the persons real name but the nickname 'peach' did suit Lana and when she confronts him about it (as she thinks it is a negative to do with her despised hair color)...sigh, so sweet.

Overall, a very solid debut for me.  This book had be laughing quite a bit at the sharp wit and also had quite a few surprised laughter at the end.  There is a dash of intrigue thrown in for the last part of the book that had me flipping the pages to see how it would end and I was definitely surprised.  Quite a bit of surprised laughter for me there!  There is also a small introduction into the next book in this series featuring Jake and the mysterious widow, Lady Amelia and I am quite anxious for that book!  If you are looking for a warm Regency filled with wit and laughter and a bit of mystery and some wonderful, hot loving, this is a great debut to try!  4 stars

I received this eARC from Sourcebooks via

A couple of LOL quotes for me

Frustrated with her inability to cease thinking on Lord Andrew, she huffed and shifted her position on the carriage seat again.
Jake crossed his arms and scowled, "For goodness' sake, Lana.  What's with all the huffing?  Are you laying an egg over there?"

Drew's mother patted her hand.  "I believe they miscalculated.  Phoebe appears to have swallowed a small pig, not that my grandchild will be anything less than perfect."

*Quotes subject to change in final book*

Books in series (I'm not sure if it has a name but it looks like they will feature the same characters)
Lady Amelia's Mess and a Half
        June 1st

 Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie -- Coming Fall 2012

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