Author: Sarah MacLean
Original Title: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
Release Year: 2010
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, regency
Series: 3° of Love By Numbers series
This romance gave me thrills. It's splendid! And I actually don't know what to tell you more besides the fact that is an amazing novel, with extraordinary protagonists and an entertaining and charming plot.
Juliana Fiori is everything except an English lady. She's Gabriel, the Marquess of Ralston (Nine rules to break when romancing a rake) and Nick's (Ten ways to be adored when landing a lord) italian half-sister, who recently moved to England.
Juliana is a magnet for trouble, she refuses to follow society's rules and because of her behaviour she's precisely the kind of woman Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton, wants to avoid.
Simon is engaged to a proper lady, the kind of woman perfect for him and for the role of duchess but when he discovers Juliana he's lost and captivating by her recklessness and her mediterranean beauty.
I found Simon's growth and development towards his feelings so passionate, touching and moving; OH MY GOD how perfect he is in the last chapters (before the epilogue)...
He dropped his arms, raked one hand through his drenched hair, and shook his head.
“I don't know what to do. I don't know how to win you.”
Someone could appoint that Simon is too proud and disdainful towards Juliana and way too unsettled by his strong feeling but, in my opinion, this is exactly the reason why I appreciated so much his transformation.
Mind you, I am the kind of reader who definitely prefers when is the hero the one who “suffers” because of his apparently not reciprocate love, but here Simon's real feelings, his behaviour, HIS WORDS, his desire of Juliana's love are so moving that made my heart aches.
Juliana is italian, like me! Her temperament and her attitude make her an amazing character, I empathised with her and her decision. She is passionate, bold and natural, and this contrasts with Simon extremely proper and proud attitude and his mindset at the point that makes them more perfect for each other.
In case wasn't clear enough, I adore this romance, which is funny (especially the initial pages) and exciting, and I strongly recommend it!
“Don't you . . . ever . . . ” He pulled Nick from the wall and slammed him back again. “Ever . . . refer to what I feel for your sister as charity. She is bold and beautiful and brilliant, and you are lucky to breath the same air she breaths.”
2. Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Nicholas, Iasbel)
3. Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Juliana, Simon)