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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: The Importance of Being Scandalous Kimberly Bell


Print Length: 
Publisher: Entangled: Select (July 25, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…

None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.

The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…

But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This story had a solid and engaging concept, however I feel like the execution could have been done better. 

To begin with, I am curious as to just why Nick's parents, his mother especially, feels the way she does about Amelia. It is hinted that she is unsuitable for Nick, in fact his mother insults her on more than one occasion. However, the reader is never told why. If Amelia's family have some deep dark scandal that makes her inappropriate to marry a second son, how does she end up engaged to an Earl? It is implied that maybe Nick's family is simply afraid of scandal to their own name, and while Amelia's sister does have some sort of spinal issue, it does not seem like to should be enough to keep the couple from being together.

I also felt that Nick could have shown more of a backbone where it came to her. When he comes home to find her engaged, he suddenly wants to tell her all the things he never could before? He had letters that he had written her every day that he was abroad, but yet he never sends them. If he had, this entire debacle could have been avoided. Instead of friends falling in love, this read more of a "I only want her now because someone else has her". In fact, I enjoyed Nick's friend Jasper much more than I enjoyed Nick, even if Jasper was at times a bit over the top. 

Then we get to the topic of all the off putting, scandal calling, society shun worthy things that Amelia does in order to attempt her fiance to call of the engagement. And for what? If she was considered wholly unsuitable before by Nick's family, what would they think when society completely shuns her due to her openly scandalous behavior? 

I will say that I enjoyed the risk the author took in portraying Nick's father's dementia. It isn't often that historical novels delve into things like mental decline, and I felt the author did an amazing job portraying the breakdown of his mind. 

Overall, I do think this novel will still appeal to those who enjoy a "friends to lovers" historical romance. I would read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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               The Importance of Being Scandalous is available from Amazon.com

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