Series: Cinderella Sisterhood #6
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also by this author: When a Duke Loves a Governess
Scandal begins with just one kiss. . .
Aurora Paxton was once the belle of the ball, the most sought-after debutante of the season―until a scandalous mistake ruined her. Shunned by her family, Rory was banished to the country to live in disgrace. Now she’s been summoned back to London by her stepmother, who is being blackmailed by the least likely person Rory can imagine: Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell.
Lucas is someone Rory’s known for years―a man as devastatingly handsome as he is coldly disapproving of her. What in the world could he want from her or her family? Rory intends to find out as soon as she comes face to face with her old foe. What she never expects, however, is that the icy aristocrat has a soft spot for her―and a secret plan to redeem her status. Could it be that Lucas has been in love with Rory all along. . .and has finally found a way to win her heart?
I was delighted to find that The Scandalous Flirt was a bit of a unique take on common historical romance tropes. You have a dash of matchmaking magic/fairy godmother, a hint of scandal and a possibly ruined woman, a cheating lady, a broke lord, and a mystery!
Rory (Aurora) is a enchanting heroine. She had her debut in the Ton and then promptly engaged in a scandalous outing with an Italian diplomat. As quickly as it started, her season ended and she was shipped off to a coastal town to live with an aunt. 8 years pass and Rory has made peace with her life. She is called back to London to help her awful stepmother, who is being blackmailed. Rory isn’t inclined to help the woman who has been so cruel to her, but its a chance to get some much needed money and possibly save her sister from a horrible marriage proposal. This gets her mixed up with Lord Dashell and things get interesting. Dashell, a marquess who inherited his rakish father’s gambling debts, has to marry for money. He has found the perfect mark, but just hasn’t asked for her hand. He remembers Rory from her 1 partial season and still finds her very alluring. They form a tentative partnership to find the blackmailer.
The plot is filled with so many facets! Celeste, Rory’s sister, is engaged to an awful man so you are hopefully Rory will find a way to save her sister. Then there is the blackmail. Who is it? Why? Next you have this mysterious ‘fairy godmother’ type with her magic slippers who is a renowned matchmaker. Add in Rory’s super sketchy stepmother and the staff at the house and you have lots of mysteries and entertainment! The slow burn between Rory and Dashell is delicious as well, even though he is a jerk to her early on. If you enjoy historical romances which have a smart heroine who isn’t perfect, you will adore Rory. She recognizes how naive she was during her first season. She has accepted that her actions were a mistake and she has found a way to be happy with her life; maybe even happier than she would have been had she stayed in London and married! Dashell wasn’t my favorite hero. He is ready to marry a girl for her money, his is quite cranky and dour, and he isn’t swoon worthy. However, his brother Henry was hilarious! He is the total opposite of Dashell-Henry is charming, light hearted, and suave.
Bottom line: The Scandalous Flirt was a refreshing historical romance with a well crafted plot and interesting characters all around!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: regency, blackmail
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler