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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-16 02:48
Scandal in Spades
Scandal in Spades - Wendy LaCapra

My reviews are honest & they contain spoilers. For more, follow me:


It’s been a while since I pretty much gulped down in about 2 days. Let me tell you that it’s a rare occurrence for me nowadays. But Wendy LaCapra’s newest historical romance, book 1 of Lords of Chance series, Scandal in Spades, managed to do just that. I was hooked from the first page till the last. I enjoyed almost every bit of it—the storyline, the characters, the humorous moments and the banters between the H and the h. Lord help me, but I wanted more when it ended. MORE!

Lords of Chance is Wendy’s 3rd series after the Furies (now complete) and Mythic Dukes (ongoing). I’ve been a fan of hers ever since I read the Furies series. To me, she was a rising star in the arena of Historical Romance. Her absence of a year and a half due to personal reason was greatly felt and I personally kept checking for a new release announcement. So I was ecstatic last year to learn that she’s back to writing—with not one but two series!

Lords of Chance is a Regency set series with 3 peers of the realm, 3 Lords who are old friends, as the center of the storyline. They go by sobriquet taken from the cards—Spades, Clubs and Diamonds. The latest, a new addition to that small group came in the form of Lord Markham; Hearts to complete the circle. He’s also the youngest in the group, often jokingly called as the ‘pup’. But unknowing to him, he was being groomed by our Spades for an ultimate purpose. No, nothing nefarious but that didn’t mean it was any less important to Spades’s own existence. In fact, his life has been upside down for a while now and only Markham could solve his problem. At least, that’s what he thought.

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review 2018-04-09 16:02
The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel) - Sarah MacLean

Seraphina, Duchess of Haven has been in exile for several years and now she returns demanding a divorce. Situations, misunderstanding and family have forced them apart but now she wants a life of her own and she's willing to beg in parliament for it.

He hasn't forgotten her, he needs to marry, but he still loves her.

I enjoyed the read but felt a little let down by the ending it felt a little pat.

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review 2018-04-04 05:49
Anatomy of A Scandal -- NOT a detection club book
Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel - Sarah Vaughan

So, I thought I was reading this for the Detection Club, because I'd shelved it that way, but I now have the book, and it's very clearly not included. I dunno why I labeled it that way, but I'm still glad I read it. (I think it could actually fit chapter 11, since the place they all met and most of the crimes take place at Oxford, albeit fake colleges at Oxford.)

 

I've heard only how awesome this book is. While it's not bad at all, perhaps because I've spent a large portion of my life sitting with men and women who are victims of interpersonal violence, I don't see these things as "current" or "of the moment" - I think they've been around since human beings have been around. Nonetheless, it's nice to read a book involving a rape that doesn't fall into the poor me montage or political diatribe schtick.

 

While not the best book I've read this year, it was excellent at keeping me involved because Sarah Vaughan knows how to build suspense. I started it last night before I went to bed, and it took a very firm talking to myself to get me to close it and go to sleep, then I greedily finished it today while ignoring phone calls and even sat it beside the sink while I brushed my teeth after dinner. (Sometimes the beauty of living alone is nobody to be upset when I read at the dinner table.)

 

I was able to divine early who had done what - the author makes it fairly clear, but that didn't stop the suspense, because I cared that the person get punished, and I wasn't sure that would happen. Even after I knew how the court case would turn out, I wanted to know what would happen to all of these (mostly unlikable) people. This is a perfect example of liking a book where the characters are less than sympathetic to me. I didn't like them, but I sure was interested in what happened to them and around them. It really is a book that kept me turning pages like a maniac.

 

It is an excellent example of privileged men. Toxically privileged. Not only are they male. They are upper class in the way that only Brits can be, or would notice. This gives them an air of "I can do whatever I please, so long as nobody sees me." While many might think that way, there is a degree of this that seems to be bred into the Oxbridge/public school tie set. An English friend once asked me why America has such racial divides, and I told him it was because we don't have their kind of class divide. (Then I offered to introduce him to some black Brits, because they think there's a racial divide there, but I'm off topic...)

 

Very sharp courtroom writing. It's amazing how vibrant straight-up court scenes were in this book, and though we got some information on the thoughts or feelings of the characters while in court, much of it was basically a trial transcript. That's compelling dialogue.

 

Sarah Vaughan managed to tell many people's stories through one court case (which is the reality, isn't it -- most court cases will involve or affect many people, though we only see a few of them in court.) All in all a perfectly good book, if not a great one, with excellent timing and also a great promo department (they have films about it and trailers and SO many blurb pictures, I gave up on picking one.) I'll look forward to more suspense from Ms. Vaughan.

 

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review 2018-04-02 21:35
Fantastic Historical Romance
Scandal in Spades - Wendy LaCapra

Scandal in Spades by Wendy LaCapra is an outstanding historical romance.  Ms. LaCapra has given us a book that is well-written and packed with amazing, lovable characters.  I especially enjoyed the characters in this book.  This is a fairly short read, perfect for those with limited reading time.  Giles has a trifecta of titles behind his name, but they don't mean much when you've learned you're a bastard.  Katherine was the key to his dilemma.  Their story is packed with drama, humor, sizzle and a dash of angst.  I loved this story from cover to cover and look forward to reading more from Wendy LaCapra in the future.  Scandal in Spades is part of the Lords of Chance Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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review 2018-04-01 16:58
Give me all the Bowen books
Duke of My Heart (A Season for Scandal) - Kelly Bowen

For whatever weird reason, I’m extremely uncomfortable with historical romance featuring a female MC who has been already ruined, been a figure of scandal, and is somehow supposed to still get a happily-ever-after with a member of the aristocracy. It’s a really massive obstacle to overcome in HR, and I’ve read a number of them that were basically, “we love each other and we don’t really want to be in London, so society be damned.” Which, sure, but still left me vaguely unsatisfied because I want my female MCs to triumph at the end.

 

Here’s the great thing about Ivory in Duke of My Heart, yes she’s an opera singer, yes she married a duke and was never properly received, but Bowen makes this her backstory, and the reason why she gets to invisibly glide through society now, handling scandals for other people. Everything about the premise worked for me. Ivory is talented, smart as hell, and totally running her life on her own terms. And she continues to do so, handling cut-throats and aristocrats with equal aplomb.

 

Maximus was a good male love interest. He ticked all the boxes for me, but the real fun was watching Ivory manage him. Seriously, I cannot rave enough about her. Duke of My Heart is smart, sexy, witty and a one-sitting read.

 

If you haven’t checked out Kelly Bowen’s work and you love historical romance, then you need to start reading her.

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