Series: Love By Numbers,
Also in this series: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord
Published by Avon on 26 April 2011
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Regency, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
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Also by this author: The Season, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, The Rogue Not Taken, A Scot in the Dark
Place(s) Traveled to: London, England and Dunscroft // Yorkshire, England (1823)
First Line: In retrospect, there were four actions Miss Juliana Fiori should have considered that evening.
Related Posts: Fragment Friday
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean is the third and final book in her Love by Numbers series. The first two books dealt with twin brothers Nick and Gabriel St John who were both a bit rakish and (at least with Gabriel) seemed to enjoy breaking the rules of society. But of all the members of the St. John clan no one breaks as many rules as Nick and Gabriel’s younger half-sister Juliana Fiori. Although, in her case, all the rule breaking is unintentional…mostly. You see, Juliana was raised in Italy where the rules of conduct are different. She is shipped to England to live with previously unknown brothers on the death of her father and has to quickly learn to navigate in a society that loves rules and has a quick disdain for those that don’t quite fit in. And no one dishes out disdain more than Simon Pearson, Duke of Leighton. Which just means that he and Juliana are going to have one heck of a roller coaster ride to love.
I loved this book. I think its safe to say that Eleven Scandals is my favorite Sarah MacLean book to date. Juliana is such a fun character filled with spunk and strength and I couldn’t get enough of her. Simon could be a total jerk at times with his condensation but I often felt sorry for this fictional man as he was no match for the fiesty Juliana. And before anyone gets on me for spoiling this *IS* a romance novel so of course the two MCs are going to get together in the end. Although I have to admit that even this long time romance reader had her doubts that MacLean would be able to pull these two very strong willed characters together! But she managed to do so in a believable and totally heart achey way that left me a bit breathless from the non-stop push and pull of these two fabulous characters.
Another thing that Sarah MacLean managed to do with her book was to make me gasp aloud. This isn’t something that I do with books. Laugh out loud yes. Yell at books when a character makes me angry (more often then I care to admit) but gasp? I can’t recall the last time that happened. But it did in Eleven Scandals, right around page 159 where something happened that I never expected and so I gasped in pleasant surprise. That same scene was already a fun one as it saw the appearance of a beloved character from MacLean’s YA book The Season and that had made me all giddy. Then you have this bit of shock and….well….it just further shows just what a roller coaster ride this book was.
In the end, Eleven Scandals, was a lot of fun. Juliana is a total fish out of water and I loved her little mistakes in coming up with the right vocabulary when trying to describe something. She was bold and unapologetic and despite her mistakes she was always honest about her self. She wasn’t perfect but she never pretended to be. She simply tried her best and people had to accept her or not for who she was and because of that she makes a great role model for girls of today. Because who doesn’t struggle with identity and tries to fit in? I loved this book and recommend it to all…and I also learned recently that the heroine of Sarah MacLean’s next book actually makes her debut here for those observant enough to catch it. I admit i rushed through my first reading of this book but I think that trying to figure out the heroine of A Rogue by Any Other Name is more than enough reason for a reread of Eleven Scandals…not that I need a reason but it helps in rationalizing why I am ignore the bagillion other books in my house waiting to be read. 😉