All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Scandalous Liaisons – Sylvia Day

on December 18, 2013

Scandalous LiasonsScandalous Liaisons 
Sylvia Day
Penguin Books AUS
2013, 332p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Originally published years ago as Bad Boys Ahoy this collection of three interconnected historical romances has been repackaged.

In Stolen Pleasures pirate Captain Phoenix takes a ship only to discover that the young lady on it is his bride, married by proxy to Phoenix’s other identity, the Earl of Merrick. The passion flares between them and even though Phoenix’s first thought is to drag her to London for an annulment it doesn’t take long for that to not be an option. But trouble awaits them when they finally reach land – the Earl of Merrick has unfinished business to attend to before he can truly take a wife. However his bride isn’t too happy about the way in which he will be going about it.

The first story wasn’t too bad, a lot of it takes place on a ship after Merrick/Phoenix takes the ship of a merchant and discovers that the daughter of the merchant is now his wife. Merrick was originally a younger son but the death of his older brother has led to him inheriting the title (his father, still alive is the Marquess and Merrick has a very difficult relationship with him). As the daughter of a merchant, Olivia hasn’t had an easy time in society and she withdrew after a Season or 2. Despite the fact that the marriage was arranged by his father, whom he mostly despises and that Olivia wed him out of duty to please his father, both of them really want it to work but they have to face both their own insecurities and a threat from Merrick’s pirate ways to make it work. They’re both headstrong and a pretty good match for each other.

The second story is Lucien’s Gamble and this was my favourite of the three. Lucien Remington is the bastard son of a Duke who has maintained a long and loving relationship with his mother, an infamous courtesan. Shunned by a lot of society Lucien has made his revenge by running a gentleman’s club and often taking large sums from those who wouldn’t see him as equal. When he spots Lady Julianne La Coeur in his club dressed as a man he pounces before anyone else can see her and ruin her reputation. Lady Julianne’s brother inherited the title at just 10 years of age and has steadily run about debts all over town – including to Lucien. Lady Julianne needs to marry well to someone who will wipe out her brother’s debts but will she consider the rich but untitled man she’s so attracted to?

Loved this one….it was by far my favourite. The two main characters had so much chemistry and the story was a lot of fun. I’ve read a lot of historical romance and I do love stories that revolve around the couple being of noticeably different classes. Although blue blood, Lucien’s illegitimacy means that he cannot move within the right circles. He’s a notorious rake but he’s also notoriously good at heart underneath and he attempts to help Julianne in several ways before realising that all he has to do is ask her to marry him because he loves her. I also loved his parents, who added a nice little element to this story. I did however feel that this one should’ve been placed first in the book. It takes place in 1810, the second story in 1813 and Lucien and Julianne do briefly appear in the first story already married. It seemed a bit odd that they’re out of order.

The final story, Her Mad Grace revolves around Lady Julianne’s younger brother Hugh, who since his sister married Lucien Remington has been learning about money – how to make it and more importantly, how to keep it. On his way to his sister and brother-in-law’s his coach has problems and he needs to take shelter in a nearby manse from a savage snowstorm. The house is well known to him for containing a lady known as Her Mad Grace – a reclusive Duchess who was the second wife of an elderly now deceased Duke. High finds himself incredibly drawn to Charlotte whom he takes to be Her Grace’s companion and he finds himself intrigued by the way in which she lives and the odd assortment of staff that run it.

This one fell a bit flat for me and it took me a little while to figure out why but I think in the end it came down to the hero Hugh. I read quite a bit about him in the previous book and he basically ran off and hid while debt collectors called around and had to be dealt with by his sister. He was also willing to marry Julianne off to anyone who could pay his debts for him and it’s sort of lucky that she married Lucien (who did pay his debts and absorbed the 100,000 pounds that Hugh owed him which in that time must’ve been positively astronomical) and that Lucien taught him about money. However Hugh still seemed sort of petulant and a bit unlikable, just now he had money. Charlotte’s secret is relatively easy to guess and although I liked her character the two of them together didn’t really do a lot for me. The chemistry wasn’t really there like it was in the previous stories and overall I found it a bit lacklustre. I think this one is probably a story that could’ve benefited from being full length because of the backstory of both Hugh and Charlotte and also the strange conditions under which Hugh finds himself there. I’d have like it if more time were taken to really bring the characters to life. I think Hugh in particular needed a lot more work.

7/10

Book #322 of 2013

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: