Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher:  Avon Books (June 28, 2022)

From Goodreads.com: Week one: Lovely, lively Octavia Holton arrives in the village, determined to claim her inheritance--the home she grew up in with her late father. Surely he meant for his daughter to have the property, and owning it means she could fix it up, sell it, and use the money to pay off her debts. But when she arrives, she discovers the house is also claimed--by one Gabriel Fallon.

Week two: Gabriel claims his father won the property in a bet, but he can't bring himself to toss Octavia out on her very delightful derriere, so he makes her a four-week bargain: Together they'll pretend to be engaged, all the while seeking out any will, letter, or document that proves who gets the ownership.

Weeks three and four: But that means togetherness...a lot of togetherness, and long days--and evenings--in each other's company. The pair seems destined to "duke it out," staking their claims...but it's all too soon that they realize their rivalry might lead to something much more intimate. And suddenly four weeks seems like a long time. And yet not enough.

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This one was weird for me. I spent the majority of the novel thinking I had read at least one of the others in the series because they sounded so familiar, only to find out that I had not. So for me at least, this book did absolutely fine as a stand-alone. We did get a bit of backstory of the two female leads (which was the main reason I thought I had read one of the prior stories as I definitely remember a card game of this sort taking place in another story I read), but it wasn't anything that I felt I needed to see more of in order to have this one make sense. 

My issue with this one was mainly with Octavia. Her "act first, deal with the consequences later" personality would have been fine had that not been her only real personality trait. Time and again, she muses about all of the mistakes she has made because she didn't "plan", yet she doesn't for the most part even try to rectify her behaviors (to the point the hero has to bribe her with sexual favors for her to even complete a list of things she needed to do for a plan she herself had come up with). 

I was also not a fan of the constant "internal" dialogue, but then I have this issue a lot, especially with historical novels. It is one thing for the character to come to a realization, or re-think some of their actions, but when it gets in the way of the story actually moving forward? There is a problem. And I feel like quite a bit of this story could have been taken out and therefore moved forward simply by having our two characters TALK to one another instead of thinking about their feelings. It was also hard to believe that Octavia didn't search every nook and cranny of the house (as evidenced by something that happens later on) for proof of just which of their fathers actually owned the house. 

All things considered, I am sure there are others who will love this novel. I just couldn't keep myself interested in the outcome with how long it seemed to drag on.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. 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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                                       Four Weeks of Scandal  is available on Amazon.com