Review: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean

Posted May 1, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLeanReviewer: Tracy
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3) by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love By Numbers #3
Also in this series: Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2), Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3), Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 367
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

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.

Juliana’s mother took off when she was 10 and when her father died she was shipped off to a family (brothers) that she didn’t even know existed. The brothers, Gabriel and Nick, very much care for Juliana but they want her to fit in to London Society and while Juliana wants to make them happy, society & Juliana really aren’t a good fit. Juliana’s got a passion and a zest for life that society wants nothing to do with. She tries to fit in an become the perfect little Stepford Child that everyone expects but because of who she is A) Italian (gasp!) and B) of questionable birth, scandal surrounds her no matter where she goes.

Juliana, besides having a wonderful joie de vivre, has a burning desire for the Duke of Leighton. But Simon was raised by his mother – I call her the Commander of Cold – and he is one of those in society that bases everything on reputation. He wants no hint of scandal to surround him as his is all that is good and proper. Simon and Juliana meet and he has no idea who she is. He is enthralled with her…until he finds out her identity. Then it’s harsh remarks and cold, disdainful looks. Though this hurts Juliana she is determined to break his hard outer shell, get to the soft Simon center and make him feel passion.

The duke agrees to 2 weeks of Juliana “showing” him passion but he argues with himself about doing it. At the same time as he is having his “experiences” with Juliana he’s making arrangements to marry a proper, perfect, wealthy girl. You see, Simon has a scandal in his family that is a secret and he’s preparing for when that scandal is found out and he wants everything to be perfect before that. I’m not quite sure what he thinks getting things prepared will do. With London society as it was apparently you didn’t actually have to do anything bad – you could be related to someone who did and still be ostracized.

This book kind of reminded me of when I was little and I would capture the lightning bugs in a jar when I went to visit my grandparents in Iowa. I would capture the lightning bug in the jar and be completely fascinated by it’s light. But it would buzz around trying to get out and find freedom. Eventually its light would dim and die out. Ok, granted the bug eventually died from lack of air and Juliana in the book didn’t but you get the whole idea, right? (and I only did that a couple of times before I realized the bugs were dying and never did it again!)

The story is about Juliana trying to fit in and be herself, without having her light dimmed by society, and Simon trying to hold on to all he knows without letting scandal touch his family. But in the end we find that neither can happen.

I really, really liked this book. If felt so strongly for both Simon and Juliana in two completely different ways. Simon I was sad for because of his upbringing and his lack of fun. He’d been in control for so long and I just wanted him to let loose and give in to the things he desired. For Juliana – I hated to see the hurt she had to go through with the London socialites who were mean and vicious. Man they had sharp tongues! I loved Simon and Juliana together. They each had something that they could give the other and I adored seeing them come together the way they did, especially because no one else could see the attraction – an unlikely couple that just worked.

Overall a really great book

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Love By Numbers


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7 responses to “Review: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean

  1. I've heard so much about this book on twitter. Everybody seems to love it up 😉 I think it is quite the poignant story and love it when characters draw you into their hearts and mind like that! I just wish I had more interest for the historical romance genre. I'm kind off stuck with those authors I know and even then I have a hard time to keep up *sigh*

  2. Leontine – Sarah MacLean has a way of pulling me into her characters – that's for sure. Now that she's done with this family I'll be anxious to see what's up next.
    I take a chance on some authors that I'm not familiar with but normally I have to have recs from friends before I'll try a new author – so far I really haven't been disappointed.
    And historicals line my shelves! lol I need to read them faster as they're starting to take over. lol

  3. Reviews for this book have been pretty good so far 🙂 Glad that you enjoyed it. I love this type of storyline, the heroine thawing out the stuffy hero 😛

  4. I remember reading the first book in this series and really likeing it. Not sure if the heroine is for me, but…knowing I liked the first book and remembering what I do of the heroine, perhaps I should ignore the summary and give it a go? Plus…I like the sound of the hero 🙂

  5. Nath – Me too. I think MacLean did a great job of making Simon extremely stuffy. Not one of those that are supposed to be stuffy but aren't…Simon was the uber-stuffy guy. 🙂

    Orannia – I know what you mean about the heroine but I think you'd like her. It would be like taking an eclectic artistic-type free spirit and sticking her in military school. Boundaries are going to be pushed as much as she may want to conform it's just not in her nature. I love that MacLean didn't change her – it made the book so much better.

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