Big smile as I write this post! 🙂 I love when a book surprises me. When I received this newest book in the mail–A Proper Scandal–I had already judged it (not necessarily by its cover–because that’s utterly gorgeous, but by its genre). I like Regency, but at times, the stories can be stuffy and sort of boring romances by today’s standards. But this one made my eyes blink more than normal, my jaw gape at times, and just overall shocked me, in the best of ways. Here’s the summary.
Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home. And though taken in as an orphaned child by the vicar and his wife, her unsurpassed beauty makes it impossible for her to remain in the vicar’s household—with two daughters of their own about to enter Society, the vicar and his wife see Grace as nothing but competition. Thankfully, Grace’s estranged Aunt Bell has agreed to take her in to her home in London. But Grace soon learns her situation has just gotten much worse.
It takes only a moment’s acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake. And Aunt Bell, recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With no experience in the art of attracting a husband, Grace quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare.
5 Huge Supernova Stars! This story is a mega-winner. The plot, characters, and conflict are complicated and multi-layered. It’s not your typical, dry Regency romance. Grace Sinclair is sent to live with her aunt and step-uncle in London. All she wants is a family, since her parents died 6 years ago. She wants to be loved and accepted for who she is, not her sizable dowry. But when a terrible man on the train ride to London makes overt advances (after learning about her dowry), she strikes up a conversation with a stranger, calling him Uncle, to escape the man’s less than honorable intentions.
Nate Barton is attracted to the beautiful woman who uses him to escape another man at the train station while she waits for her real uncle and aunt to arrive, but he’s been betrayed by a beautiful woman before and has no use for women. Though of noble birth, he works with a railroad laying tracks and doesn’t need a distraction. But when circumstances throw the two together days later, and the beautiful Grace tries to get him alone to compromise him and force him to the marriage altar, he refuses to succumb to her charms. She will not win this game. He knows a woman like her could never love him for himself, and he won’t be played again.
I won’t give more of the story away, because it is so delicious you need to experience each twist and turn of the plot for yourselves without being warned. But I read it in 2 days. I’d given myself a week to get through it, but it was too good to prolong. To me, that shows the beauty and brilliance of this story. The author basically hijacked me and held me ransom until the end. And I have Stockholm syndrome and will applaud my literary hijacker’s skill and authority with gusto. Bravo, Ms. Hatch. Thanks for kidnapping me and taking me along for Grace and Nate’s marvelous ride.
About the Author
Esther Hatch grew up on a cherry orchard in rural Utah. After high school, she alternated living in Russia to teach children English and attending Brigham Young University in order to get a degree in archaeology. She began writing when one of her favorite authors invited her to join a critique group. The only catch was she had to be a writer. Not one to be left out of an opportunity to socialize and try something new; she started on her first novel that week. Visit her at estherhatch.com.
The publisher is giving away a paperback copy of this book. Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to be entered for your chance to win. Good luck!!!
Have a great week, and may your Memorial Day weekend be amazing!