Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn Macnamara

Another debut for this year and it turned out to be rather promising.  Miss Julia St. Claire has no desire to fall in love and marry, instead she leaves that to her sister Sophia who has pined over the Earl of Clivesden for years.  Yet when Clivesden suddenly shows an interest in Julia, tension abounds and Julia keeps distancing herself from the drated man but he is always there.  She turns to her childhood friend, Benedict Revelstoke for help getting out of her unwanted betrothal.  Julia would rather be ruined in the eyes of society than cause her sister pain.  Problem is Benedict will not ruin her without offering marriage...a marriage Julia fears will be one sided in love and the thing she wants to avoid at all costs. . .

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this story actually is two romances in one; Julia and Benedict and Sophia and the man she inadvertently gets compromised with.  I was afraid that Sophia's storyline was going to detract from the other storyline but instead it really added to the story as I came to realize that Sophia also needed to find her own happily ever after and closure for Julia's story to really work (though I would have really enjoyed Sophia in a full length as her story had a bit more mystery to it).  Julia is known as a bit of a frigid lady due to her desire to guard her heart and not open it to any man, not reveal her true feelings.  Her interactions with Benedict were fun and sweet though I do wish she would have given Benedict a chance a bit sooner.  Benedict had no idea of his feelings for Julia until they waltzed and suddenly his life was turned upside down and all he can do now is protect Julia but he naturally, has a hard time expressing this.  He is charming, clever and it was refreshing not to read about a rake or titled gentleman for a change of pace.  A very pleasant, yet steamy, friends to lovers story with a nice sense of family, wit and charm.  Really looking forward to the next book featuring Benedict's best friend.  3 1/2 stars

eARC provided by Ballantine Books via netgalley

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