Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn MacNamara

A Most Scandalous ProposalHistorical Romance
Goodreads summary:
In Ashlyn Macnamara’s stunning romance debut—perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries—two childhood friends in Regency England discover love with the most unlikely of partners: each other.
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.
This book is unusual in that there are two sisters and instead of each getting their own book A Most Scandalous Proposal tells both stories.
Characters:  I wanted to shake Sophie.  It was apparent that she was wasting her time hoping that Clivesden would notice her.  Clivesden was a real heel, not worth anyone’s trouble.  Julia just would not listen to her own heart.  Benedict had been Julia’s friend since childhood.  He was almost too good to be true.  The Earl of Highgate is wounded one who is perfect for Sophie.  I did feel that putting the two stories in one book resulted in less character development for Benedict and Highgate.  The secondary characters were well drawn but did make some quick changes that did not ring true.
Plot:  The plot was good.  It used some tried and true devices.  There is a Father that gambles and looses too much. There is a misunderstood Earl who is only now coming back into society.  Of course there is a duel, just get one of the heroes shot so that someone realized they really do love him.  They all are needed to move the story and they work, but it does keep the story from being as original as it might have been.
Tension:  The tension does build over the course of the story.  I did keep wondering how some things were going to be accomplished. 
Writing:  The writing style is very good.  This is a first published book for this author and she shows great promise.
Ballentine will publish A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn MacNamara in 2013.
I received an ARC of A Most Scandalous Proposal from Edelweiss.

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