Title: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: Love by Numbers, book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
“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.”
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart is the third book in the Love by Numbers series by Sarah MacLean.
Juliana Fiori is the daughter of a fallen English Marchioness and an Italian merchant. Her mother is famous for abandoning her first husband and her two children and running to the continent where she met Juliana’s father, married him, had Juliana, couple of years later ran away abandoning them as she had abandoned her first family.
After the dead of Juliana’s father she learns she has two (twins) brothers in London and is put under the guardianship of her older (for four minutes) brother, Gabriel St. John, The Marquess of Ralston. (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, book 1 of the series).
Since her arrival to London Juliana has tried her best to fit into London society, but getting the acceptance of the Ton is not an easy task and it’s even harder for her thanks to her background. Being the half sister of a Marchess sometimes is not enough when scandals follow her everywhere and everybody thinks she is just like her mother.
Simon Pearson, Duke of Leighton, also known as the Duke of Disdain for his too uptight and snobbish behavior is the antithesis of Juliana. He was raised and bred to serve his title. He is the holder of a sterling reputation, but soon a family secret is going to be exposed ruining centuries of pristine lineage. Now more than ever Simon needs to maintain the image of the perfect Lord, and needs to marry a Lady with a perfect bloodline and impeccable reputation to try to counteract the effects the secret’s exposure would have with the ton. He founds the perfect candidate in Lady Penelope. The last thing he wants and needs in his life at this moment is being part of a scandal. But when he crosses paths with Juliana things are easier said than done.
I felt in love with Juliana in Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and was looking forward to read her story. And let me tell you Mrs. MacLean doesn’t disappoint with this book.
Juliana is the perfect heroine, she is strong, passionate and willed but at the same time as any normal woman she has her insecurities that make her feel more real. She is always showing a strong façade even though sometimes she was in pieces inside. Juliana has come a long way. She is in a strange city, with a strange family and a strange culture. She has tried to adapt as much as possible but sometimes her boldness puts her in difficult circumstances. There were scenes in which I really wanted to hold her and tell her “everything will be all right”.
Simon is the proper titled Lord with a duty imprinted since childhood. He is cold, arrogant, rigid and sexy as hell. Sometimes you want to hate him (and you do for a bit) but you can’t blame him for his behavior, that’s the only thing he has ever known and he thinks he is doing what it’s best, until Juliana comes to his life and shows him there is more to life.
In my opinion Simon is the character whose transformation is more remarkable.
Simon and Juliana are just perfect for each other. They are smart, witted and noble. Their attraction and sexual tension had me biting my nails. I love their banter and seeing them overcome the obstacles to be together was a great pleasure.
The characters we loved from previous books complemented this one and new and unexpected characters contribute to make this read a more memorable one.
Two previous characters that I loved in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart were Benedict and Georgiana. I really hope Mrs. MacLean has plans for them. They deserved their corresponding HEA.
The narrative is fluid, humorous and engaging, the romance has a perfect balance of drama and humor, the characters are vibrant, vivid and undoubtedly will make you fall in love with them.
I really loved this book. I cannot recommend it enough and this series in general. This book can be read as a stand-alone but I won’t recommend you to do that, the previous books and its characters deserve a chance to be known and love too.
If you are not a fan of historical romance I can guarantee you Mrs. MacLean and this series will make you change your mind. And if you are a fan and haven’t read this book or this series you need to do something to fix that situation as soon as possible.
- She was a sacrificial offering at the temple of his sanity.
*There were other noteworthy quotes but they are very “spoilerish”, so I’ll restrain to share them with you.*
My Verdict: 5 Paws
Other books in the series
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
Other reviews Goodreads