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review 2020-05-10 22:41
First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn
First Comes Scandal - Julia Quinn

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Georgiana was kidnapped by a fortune hunter but even though she managed to save herself, her reputation is in tatters.
Nicholas is called down from medical school in Edinburgh by his father who orders him to marry their neighbor and Nicholas' childhood friend, Georgiana.
It's a marriage of convenience but a close quarters carriage ride with a grumpy cat might turn it into a marriage of love.

“There is only one thing to be done,” his father said. “You must marry her.”

First Comes a Scandal is fourth in the Rokebys series but I think you could jump into the series here, it would probably be even better to read the Bridgerton series before this. Rokebys is a prequel to Briderstons and heroes from the first couple books in the Bridgerton series make an almost center stage showing in this. As much as I enjoyed seeing the heroes as little kids, it was too much. Instead of focusing on the leads of this story, the little Bridgertons got too much of the spotlight; it started to feel like a cheap trick to get readers to like this book, trading on the Bridgerton love. If you haven't read the Bridgerton series, you'd probably be bored and think a good chunk of the first half was filler.

“She doesn’t need your time. She needs your name.”

I'm a sucker for little sister/big brother's friend trope but this was a little different with neither having a hidden or long standing crush on the other and we don't get much of Nicholas and Edmund (Georigana's brother) friendship. Not getting much, unfortunately, was a problem I had for the majority of the story. I had a problem with feeling Nicholas and Georgiana were strangers, to me and to each other. It wasn't until after the 50% mark that our two get married and then it is a carriage ride to Edinburgh. However, instead of scenes of these two bonding and dialogue to provide emotional and relationship building blocks, we get pointless cat drama, medical dramas needing Nicholas, and the story just seemed to want to focus on everything but Nicholas and Georgiana.

He’d been married a day and he’d barely even kissed her. He was going to have to do something about that.

The sentence structure had a tendency to veer to shorter and this made a good amount feel choppy but even though I didn't feel engaged with the story or characters, the pace did ping pong through pretty quickly. There was also a couple times where Nicholas or Georgiana expressed themselves a certain way that felt too casual of verbiage, not creating the historical feel I tend to look for when reading this sub-genre. This was also set in the late 1700s and besides some talk of hoop skirts to visit the Queen, it was indistinguishable from Regency set romances.

She liked being near him. She liked his quiet strength, his sense of purpose. And when his hands had been on her hips, even just to help her down from the saddle, she’d liked the way it had made her feel like she was his.

Georgiana and Nicholas felt like strangers to me and therefore, I wasn't invested or felt any emotional attachment to the conclusion of their romance. If you like some slapstick humor, there were a couple scenes when they take their carriage ride that might help drawn you into the story more than I. There were couple moments where I felt a hint of the chemistry between Georgiana and Nicholas but they were so buried in the numerous insignificant scenes the author decided to add, that it couldn't save the story for me. I went into this anticipating more of a focus on exploring their marriage of convenience and instead got a grumpy cat in a hammock.

I buddy read this, for more quotes and comments while I read: First Comes Scandal buddy read
 

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text 2020-05-05 17:50
Reading Update: 15%
First Comes Scandal - Julia Quinn

My buddy read for the month, discussing the new Rokesby over in The Hopeful Readers Group on GoodReads.
A grilled cheese and historical romance for this Tuesday

 

First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn purchase link

 

Bacon, Brie, and Apricot Grilled Cheese w/ Balsamic Reduction recipe

I used turkey bacon, loved the Brie, basil, and Balsamic reduction combo

 

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text 2020-03-16 03:02
Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 358 pages.
An Offer From a Gentleman - Julia Quinn

This stopped being quite so direct a Cinderella retelling at maybe page 85. It's been very enjoyable so far, and exactly the kind of reading I was in need of.

 

Okay, maybe I'll get my review of The Twisted Ones finished tomorrow. One more day off work, and then we go back...for who knows what. Still no word on whether the library is going to be open. We honestly don't need to be - half of the resources in our catalog are electronic and can be accessed by any students or faculty with internet and a computer (that might be an issue, but it's more a campus IT Services issue than a library one), and we could answer questions via email or chat.

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text 2020-03-15 15:42
Reading progress update: I've read 24 out of 358 pages.
An Offer From a Gentleman - Julia Quinn

I saw pictures of O'Hare and got anxious, so I decided to start this even though I haven't finished my review for The Twisted Ones yet. Romance novels and their guaranteed HEAs are a blessing.

 

I haven't read this before, although I've read others in the series. The heroine's the bastard daughter of an earl, and now that the earl is dead, his widow and her two daughters treat her like a servant. Very Cinderella-like.

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text 2019-10-27 22:43
Try to Keep Up . . .
A Night Like This - Julia Quinn
Married By Morning - Lisa Kleypas
Rules of Surrender - Christina Dodd
The Dream Hunter - Laura Kinsale

Okay, we all understand that genre fiction is so pleasurable because writers take a relatively set structure and group of accepted conventions and make new stories out of them again and again. Here's a chain of books that have some very specific details in common:

 

 

1. Julia Quinn's "A Night Like This" is a book that uses the "Lady hiding from her dangerous past by working as a governess" plot. The female hero's "governess name" is Anne Wynter. 

 

2. Lisa Kleypas' "Married by Morning" is also a "Lady hiding from her dangerous past by working as a governess" book.

 

3. Christina Dodd's "Rules of Surrender" is part of the author's "governess" series. Its plot is focused on "taming the wild male hero," rather than female hero in jeopardy, but the hero's name is . . . Lord Wynter.  This Lord Wynter ran off to the Middle East and lived among the people there for a long while then comes back to England to wreak havoc on everyone's ideas of "convention." 

 

4. Laura Kinsale's book "The Dream Hunter," (the best one on this list) also features a hero who lived in a Middle-eastern culture, specifically among the Bedouin, then comes back to England and faces his "adjustment." His name: Lord Winter. 

 

So there you go. Random details among the genre, lined up in a neat little row. 

 

-cg

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