Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers #3)

The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Pub­lisher: Avon
Pages: 367 pages (Paperback)
Series: Love By Numbers
Pub­li­ca­tion date: May 1st 2011

She lives for passion
Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips…and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.
He swears by reputation.
Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening–risking everything he holds dear–he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety.
She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.


His eyes narrowed on the marquess, a man he barely tolerated on a good day. This was not turning out to be a good day. “I’m not marrying the girl.”
“There’s no way I’m marrying him!” she cried at the same moment.
Well. At least they agreed on something.
She didn’t want to marry him? She could do a damned sight worse. He was a duke, for God’s sake! And she was a walking scandal.

Every once in a while, a historical romance comes along that makes all those other clichéd and unabsorbing HRs, if not entirely worth the read then definitely tolerable, because they eventually led me to this historical, which restored my faith in the genre and erased the boring HRs from memory. Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart is one such book.

I've always been a fan of love stories featuring a cold-hearted hero and a passionate heroine (or vice versa) because these couples tend to complete each other so well. The romance between Simon and Juliana is one of the most engaging of the lot.

Simon was absolutely imperial in all his ducal glory and Juliana was an admirable hotheaded Italian. I love how Juliana always got under Simon's skin and how these two argued endlessly. The banter between the two is my favorite part of the book. Juliana was the perfect match for the otherwise unflappable Simon and I loved watching these two go head-to-head.

One thing I didn't appreciate (the only reason for the -0.5 stars) is how Simon kept leading Juliana on and kissing her while fully admitting he had no intention of marrying her. It seemed highly hypocritical coming from the Duke of Disdain and I would have liked him to display a bit more care than that because this, more than anything else, showed that he really didn't respect Juliana as he would have any other lady of the ton.

Other than that, I loved this story and it's definitely my favorite of the series. All the characters are very well-developed and their relationships with each other are natural and effortless. I also enjoyed catching glimpses of how life has gone on for the previous two couples, Gabriel and Callie, Nick and Isabel. I hope this isn't good-bye for real and we get to see more of Simon and Juliana in his sister's book.

4.5/5 stars

View all my reviews


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