Handsome ladies’ man Lucas Beckford has agreed to help his friend, an impoverished baron, win the affections of an icy heiress. It should be a simple task, especially for a seducer of his reputation. However when Luke catches sight of the enchanting lady, he is captivated with her pretty brown eyes, quick wit, and sharp tongue; and his desire to see his friend marry the girl quickly evaporates. Now he just has to find a way to convince the penniless lord to turn his attentions elsewhere - leaving the Ice Princess to him.
Lady Juliet St. Claire has always believed that her fortune would protect her from ever having to relinquish her freedom in marriage. Though fortune hunters endlessly hound her, Juliet's outwardly cold demeanor keeps most of them at bay, licking their wounds or patching up their pride.
However when Luke charms his way into her life, he easily melts more than just her heart. Unfortunately, the rogue is of the love 'em and leave 'em variety, and leaves Juliet's tender heart in pieces. But when her fortune lands her in danger from an unscrupulous foe, Luke returns to her side, offering his help and protection. Now Juliet has to decide if her heart is strong enough to trust the rogue a second time.
A Regency Historical Novel - Book Two of the Scandalous Series...
©2011 - 2016 Second Wind Publishing (P)2013 Jodie Pearson
She does a great job of expressing each character's lines and putting personality into each one.
It was a little annoying the way book 1 overlapped into book 2. You heard the same scenes reread from Book 1 because the 2 stories overlapped time wise. I found it a little hard to really like the hero in this book because his character was severely flawed by his actions 5 years earlier with his brother's wife. (she wasn't his wife at the time, but she was a 16 year old girl he thought was a virgin. Really, what kind of man seduces a 16 year old virgin with no thoughts toward a serious relationship and no remorse or misgivings about his actions. A very gross kind of man in my opinion. Even WITH thoughts toward a serious relationship, it's creepy. I wasn't sure I would be able to root for him. In the end, he realizes his lack of character and changes. That's what saved it for me.
This is the same story as book 1 A Scandalous Wife but told from Lucas (Luke) and Juliet's perspective so certain parts of the story are a bit repetitive but I didn't think this detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book however it would definitely be better to listen to book 1 first.
Lucas, through most of the book, is a dislikable 'love em and leave em' handsome rogue who is attracted to Juliet but, unlike everyone else, it's not for her money as he has no plans on marrying her or anyone else. Juliet can't believe her luck when Lucas pays attention to her and she agrees with him about the marriage bonds so they hatch a plan to pretend to court whilst actually bedding each other (oh... how shocking!!).
In the end, and thankfully, Lucas realises he has to change his character because he starts a damaging rumour and all the family have to stick together, pitch in and do their best to squash the rumours. Coupled with that he panics, frightens poor Juliet who is heartbroken and in danger. There's sub plots, a villainous greedy Uncle, a shocking murder that'll have you saying "WHAT!!", revenge, a romance or two and everyone gets what they deserve.
There was no Bonus Novella called A Scandalous Secret as mentioned in the summary.
Worth a credit? Yes - I don't know where the series goes from here but it was very unusual to get a different take on the same storyline.
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
This book is Lucas Beckford's book...that is, it's about his love match with Juliet St. Claire. And, although I whole-heartedly loved Juliet St. Claire, I never warmed to her hero. However, that is ok, because this book still had merit based on the extra lens it allowed into the lives of Robert and Lydia and other supporting characters in this series.
What I really liked about this book:
1) More perspectives and information on Robert and Lydia. That was the main treat in this book! I consider this book more like "A Scandalous Wife 1.5." I loved hearing about Robert's nature & how his friends & family noticed a big difference within him after he fell in love with Lydia. I enjoyed Juliet's appraisal and perception of Lydia. That increased my liking of both Lydia and Juliet.
2) Juliet is a worthy heroine. She is intelligent, cautious, loving and has good instincts. Overall, I was happy that she found love even if it had to be Lucas. She endured a lot with that man, so I'm glad, in the end it worked out (as is typical in a novel...but hey..still happy for her...lol)
3) One of the characters I most enjoyed seeing in action was Caroline Stavely (Robert & Lucas's sister). I liked seeing her work her magic around the people around her. She's more than a match-maker, she is one who takes the needed action to ensure that her friends and family are happy.
4) I also enjoyed the side romance between Hugh St. Claire and Susan Clark; that was really sweet and quite perfect. It was sooo fortunate that she avoided what would have been a miserable marriage to Hayward.
5) Lucas main redeeming quality is his love for Juliet. His love for his brother Robert that he demonstrated by allowing the ruin of his own reputation to propagate some measure of "damage control" in his second tarnishing of Lydia's reputation in society. Also, I like how Lucas shows affection toward his nieces/nephews.
Let me count the reasons I don't like Lucas Beckford
1) One of the reasons I can't stand Lucas Beckford is because he is exactly what Juliet described him as a "self-serving bastard." (Although he's not literally a bastard). Lucas is selfish, irresponsible (in his relationships because monetarily he's quite responsible), and impulsive.
2) The main reason I can't stand him is because of his mistreatment of Lydia. His treatment of Lydia is reflective of his poor value toward women, in general---at least that's my take. From the beginning I could not believe how Lucas held such disdain for Lydia. He ruined her as he was caught in bed with Lydia when she was 16 years old. He abandoned her and left his brother Robert to pick up the pieces. Ok, that was 5 years ago, but even after all of that time, Lucas's is condescending, resentful and loathsome in his treatment of Lydia. And, the only reason given is that she didn't end up being the innocent miss she originally presented to be---WHAT GIVES???? So, even though Lucas is a notorious rake who has been with innumerable women, because he was not Lydia's first sexual partner, he feels the liberty to refer to her as a "whore" and hold judgement of her that hardly wained throughout the first two books. Unfortunately, because there is never a well connected resolution to his disdain for her. There are moments where you get the idea that he reconsiders his position, but nothing really concrete or meaningful to the reader. He never asked her forgiveness or verbalized that he was happy for his brother, Robert in his newfound love for Lydia, his wife. I think Juliet had good instincts in this area because she excoriates Lucas for his behavior toward Lydia....way to go Juliet!!! (another reason I like the heroine).
3) Lucas's poor value of women, in general, seeps through in his treatment of Juliet. He also abandons her after their first intimate sexual experience and then resurfaces into her life once he realizes he can't live without her. Unfortunately, when he re-enters Juliet's life she has gone through a MAJOR life crisis and tragedy. And, even with knowledge of this tragedy and loss, and her need for secrecy, the Jerk continues to patronize her in the presence of others (as a way of getting a response from her since, at this point she wants nothing to do with him). Oh yes, he does apologize, but overall he just doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes. He leaves her twice in the book. That is too much for me. Overall, I notice that Ava Stone embeds a time apart between all of the hero and heroines of this series (since I've read the other books as well....well, with the exception of A Scandalous Secret)
With all of that being said, I think the book was still worth my time when reading it as a part of the series because of the information you glean about the continuing lives of the characters in this series.
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