Title: A Most Scandalous Proposal
Author: Ashlyn Macnamara
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 26th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
“After watching her beloved sister Sophia pine over the ton’s Golden Boy for years, Miss Julia St. Claire has foresworn love and put herself firmly on the shelf. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father have other ideas, and jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the newly-named Earl of Clivesden…the man of Sophia’s dreams.
Since resigning his Cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has set Julia in his sights, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover more than friendship driving his desire to defend her. He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when she refuses him and her father announces her betrothal, he fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society…
…and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.”
A Most Scandalous Proposal is the debut novel of Ashlyn Macnamara.
The above blurb it’s very explicit, the only thing it doesn’t say is that A Most Scandalous Proposal is not only Julia’s story but Sophia’s as well.
I have to be honest; I had a lot of problems with this book especially with the first part of it, I considered DNF-ing, but if you know me I hate to DNF a book, so I kept going; luckily the book picked up its pace and became more interesting after the halfway point.
As I said before this book is not only Julia’s story but also Sophia’s. Both sisters are supposed to be too old for their times to still being single, to the point that if they don’t marry soon they are going to be considerer spinsters. Sophia is twenty-three years old and Julia is Twenty-two, and here is where I have one of my biggest complains, they both behave like little chits, especially Sophia whom is supposed to be the older sister. Her behavior was so immature and infantile that it was annoying and completely unbelievable, it would have been better and more real if she were in her teens. Julia behaves more her age but her personality was too wishy-washy to really like her.
Sophia is been pinning for the Earl of Clivesden for years, the guy is a jerk but she’s blind to his actions. He knows she’s in love with him but he doesn’t want her, he wants her sister Julia because he knows Julia doesn’t expect a love match. To take Sophia out of the picture Clivesden force her into a compromise situation with the Earl of Highgate, an older man surrounded by gossip and a dark past. Sophia’s power hungry mother snatches the opportunity and forces Highgate to offer for Sophia’s hand. Now with Sophia betrothed to another man Clivesden starts courting Julia. Knowing how Sophia feels about him Julia does everything in her hands to discourage him but he has made a bet for a lot of money that he will marry her and nothing will stop him.
Julia’s childhood friend, Benedict Revelstoke, learns about the bet, he despises Clivesden because he knows the kind of man he is and the last thing he wants for his dear friend is to marry a man like him. What Benedict didn’t expect was to realize his motives are not as altruistic as he thought; his feelings for Julia are deeper than a mere friendship. But they weren’t counting with the ace Clivesden has up his sleeve thanks to Julia’s debt ridden father, something that will force them to go against all society protocols.
As I said before this book became a bit better after the middle, I think this was thanks to Sophia and Highgate’s relationship, especially thanks to Highgate. He felt more real than any of the other characters to the point that I wished their romance was the main story instead of Julia and Benedict’s.
The stories were entertaining enough, but they didn’t bring anything new to the genre, and the use of clichés and overly flourish language didn’t help at all. Still I might give another opportunity to Mrs. Macnamara, after all this was her first book; maybe her second book, A Most Devilish Rogue (August 27th, 2013), will be a better one.
My Verdict: 3 Stars
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