Falling Head Over Heels Into Romance
Scandal & Scoundrels Series by Sarah MacLean
The Rogue Not Taken (2015), A Scot in the Dark (2016), The Day of the Duchess (2017)
Roguish gentlemen, scots in kilts, and tempestuous ladies - my first time reading historical romance was a resounding success
Admittedly, I've had a strong stance against reading romance. My mentality has always been "If you like it read it, but it's not for me." However, thanks to following some wonderful bookstagram accounts like The Reading Foodie among others,I found myself thinking I should give them a try. I'd remembered hearing about a historical romance series on "All the Books!" podcast and went through their archive to look for it. It was Sarah MacLean's Scandal and Scoundrels series. Lucky for me, my local library had all three books and I quickly requested a hold place on them. As it happened when I finally picked up the books at the library, it was also one of the hottest weekends of the summer. With 115 degree weather and no desire to exert myself, it was the perfect time to settle in with a refreshing drink and devour an entire series.
The Rogue Not Taken (2015)
Scandal & Scoundrel, Book I
"When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocacy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn't saving her from ruin . . . it's filled with it.
Rogue's Reign of Ravishment!: Kingscote, "King," the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn't charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he's more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.
War? Or More?: He thinks she's trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn't have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . ."
I enjoyed book one! Some of the scene seemed a bit far-fetched for my historian mind, but overall I liked the main couple well enough and the book came to a satisfying conclusion. However, it didn’t completely blow my socks off. It was a quick delicious brain candy of a book. Luckily, I had the next to books at hand because I’m not sure I would have pushed through the rest of the series.
A Scot in the Dark (2016)
Scandal & Scoundrel, Book II
"Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren: Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate . . .until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.
Highland Devil Turned Halfhearted Duke: The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem..
Although a number of readers have said they didn’t like this second book as much, I personally like book two even more than book one! I really connect to both of the romantic leads. Additionally, the plot device of our heroine dealing with public humiliation over a nude portrait seemed all too relevant.
The Day of the Duchess (2017)
Scandal & Scoundrel, Book III
"The one woman he will never forget… Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.
The one man she will never forgive… After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.
A love that neither can deny…The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS
Book three is my favorite in the series! I think the character depth and development is the best out of all of them. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I think that’s why I liked it so much. Seraphina is a strong character and her desire for independence makes you root for her!
I’m totally on board for Sarah MacLean’s fun, at times hilarious, romance writing! I don’t think she ever takes the story too seriously and I enjoy the modern parallels. I’m also excited to read her next series, Bare-knuckle Bastards. I’ve heard that Wicked & the Wallflower is fantastic and really emphasizes consent.
Have any recommendations a romance newbie? Let me know in the comments!