Review: A Scandalous Destiny

Review: A Scandalous DestinyA Scandalous Destiny by Ava Stone
Series: Scandalous Series #8
Published by Ava Stone on November 14th 2017
Genres: Historical

FINAL DECISION: I liked the connection between the hero and heroine but the book had too slow a start for me as it covered a lot of backstory. The resolution of a years old separation was too simple for me.

THE STORY: Major Gabriel Prideaux has returned to England to find his older brother in a lunatic asylum with much left unexplained. As he works to uncover what has happened in his absence, he has a reunion with the woman he loved and had to leave. Miss Sophia Hampton has always gone her own way. She eavesdrops at doors and dons men’s clothing in order to make her way around town. She doesn’t expect to find Gabriel again. As the two join forces, they discover that what they felt for one another is not in the past.

OPINION: I really liked the characters and the last third of the book was really good with lots of drama and character driven issues. Gabriel is a man who gave up the woman he loved (for reasons revealed in the book). He and Sophia are so perfect for one another that the story had to create an external factor keeping them apart because otherwise the story would be over too quick.

In fact, that is probably my biggest disappointment…something that kept these two apart for years was resolved too neatly. In fact, I wish the promise of these two defying everything to get together might have been more satisfying — if not as neatly a happy ending.

I found the book a bit slow to get into as there is much explanation and introduction, but once the book picks up, I couldn’t turn away. I think this book is worth reading and I might try it again with my expectations tempered by my understanding of what is happening.

The romance between these two was honorable and sweet in many ways and I really liked how Gabriel accepts and appreciates Sophia’s rascally ways.


CONNECTED BOOKS: SCANDALOUS DESTINY is the eighth book in the Scandalous series (but it takes place at the same time as book 6).  While this book is a separate and self-contained romance, there are connected characters that might prompt some people to want to read the books in order. I’ve read some and not others and didn’t feel that I missed anything.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC from the author in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.


Review: A Scandalous Vow

Review: A Scandalous VowA Scandalous Vow by Ava Stone
Series: Scandalous Series #7
Published by Ava Stone on July 18th 2017
Genres: Historical

FINAL DECISION:  I loved this book because these characters were so mature in their relationship which was based on intelligence and genuine liking for one another. While the two have a stormy past, their relationship was an intelligent pairing of people who talk to one another.

THE STORY:  Marcus Gray, Marquess of Haversham, has been in love with Lady Caroline Staveley for years.  For most of those years, however, she was married.  Now a widow, Caroline spends her time raising her children.  When Marcus discovers that Caroline has become the focus of an inquiry by the Home Office to find a code book being deciphered by her deceased husband, Marcus springs into action to find the book and protect Caroline. His search, however, brings Marcus into repeated contact with Caroline as the two discover the passion that is allowed for the first time.  At the same time danger surrounds the couple as various interests search for the code book.

OPINION:  I loved this book because of the heart involved.  The torch that Marcus has carried for Caroline feels like it has been a force for good.  It has made him a better person as he knows that he can never have Caroline but has concentrated on being her friend.  (As an aside, the two have a somewhat rocky history when Marcus kissed her once, but not having read most of the prior books in the series, I only am reviewing what I read in this book).

Caroline is a mature woman who has been married for half her life.  The mother of three, she had a very good marriage (what a relief from the “horrible first husband” stories that are so common).  I loved watching her balance her personal desires and her need to be a good parent to her children.  With four children between them, the kids are not just props but an important part of the relationship between Marcus and Caroline.

Marcus is a man with a dangerous past that costs him his relationships with those he loves. I really felt that Caroline freed Marcus from a past that trapped him from truly being the good man he is.  Always pretending to be worse than he is, having to deny those he loves. My heart hurt for him. His willingness to do anything for Caroline and his insistence to her daughter that he will not lie to Caroline was mature and I ended up liking him so much.

While this book has some action with spies and danger and thieves, what I loved most about this book was its quiet mature heart that is the love shared between Marcus and Caroline.  This book really made me buy the rest of the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  I’m now waiting impatiently for Rachel and the Covent Guard!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A SCANDALOUS VOW is the seventh book in the Scandalous Series.  There are many appearances by characters from the series and while this book is understandable without knowing about the prior books, it was difficult for me to sort out everyone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC from the author in order to write a review.  I was not required to write a review or a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.


Review: A Scandalous Ruse

Review: A Scandalous RuseA Scandalous Ruse by Ava Stone
Series: Scandalous Series #13
Published by Ava Stone on May 28th 2017
Genres: Historical

FINAL DECISION:  A sweet and gentle romance that has less angst than one might expect from Greg’s past and focuses on characters that fall for one another almost immediately.  Enjoyable even for those who are new to the series.

THE STORY:  Gregory, Baron Avery and Lady Arabella Winslett end up in a pretend engagement in order to save Bella from being forced by her grandfather to marry her odious cousin.  Greg is trying to make his own restitution for his past mistakes by helping the sweet and beautiful young woman.  As the two engage in their pretense, they get to know one another and find out that what began as pretend might be what they both want and need.

OPINION:  This is the story of strangers who enter into a pretend engagement — her because she is avoiding a horrendous arranged marriage; he because he feels guilt from his past mistakes. The two use their engagement to manage to fall in love.  The story was a nice read but not particularly deep.  It did however, interest me in the other books of the series because I know there is more depth to the stories of both the hero and other characters that are developed in the past.

The highlight for me was the genuine nice characters in this book.  Greg and Bella are so sweet together that his book was an easy read that made my heart smile.  I liked reading about their story and I hope we see more of them in the future.

WORTH MENTIONING:  There are a lot of side stories involved in this book that readers of the series might greatly appreciate.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A SCANDALOUS RUSE is the thirteenth book in the full Scandalous series (which combines several separately named series).  This book can be read as a standalone although there are a lot of characters with history that make significant appearances.  I wish I had read this book in order, because I think it would feel more complete.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book from the author.  I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.