“It’s different for me because I now know what it is to have someone expect me to be more than what I am. Now I know what it is to want to be more.”
I chose the third book of Sarah MacLean’s Love by Numbers series, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart, as book 22 of my #50bookpledge. Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart is about Juliana Fiori, the half-sister of twin brothers Gabriel and Nicolas Ralston, and Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton. As I’ve mentioned in my pseudo-review of the second book in the series (book 18 of my #50bookpledge), I’m really quite excited to read this as I wanted to see if the author can endear me to Simon, who has been acting quite like an arse since the first book in the series.
As usual, here is the synopsis of the book from GoodReads:
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.
Juliana had never had a chance with him.
And only now, as the truth coiled through her, did she realize how much she had wanted one.
I enjoyed reading this book, a bit more than the second one in the series (but still less than the first). The story is a bit lighter compared to “Ten Ways to be Adored” but that might be because there’s a bit more fun happening in this book. I liked Juliana’s free-spiritedness even though she’s a bit impulsive. I think it’s unfair that people judge her because of what her mother did (I think it’s unfair that people judge the Ralston siblings because of what their mother did). Yes, she probably inherited her free-spirited nature from her mother but you can’t, and shouldn’t conclude that a person will become that same person just because they share blood. For example, I doubt Juliana would abandon the person the person that she loves.
I’ve already admitted to disliking Simon, the Duke of Leighton, in the past book. And really, you can’t blame me for that. I think that what he did in “Ten Ways to be Adored” is unforgivable. So, naturally, I was already a bit biased in my judgment of him during the start of the book. But as I read on, I began to understand where he was coming from. All his life, he was taught not to cause a scandal. Scandal had no place in the Leighton dukedom and nothing was allowed that could besmirch the family name. It’s sad that Simon did not grow up in a loving environment. It’s a wonderful thing that he has Georgiana for a sister. Georgiana is such a strong lady to be able to deal with her situation and forgive Simon for what he did.
Juliana and Simon’s mothers, though seemingly complete opposites of one another, are the same. At least, for me. I really thank that they’re both selfish and manipulative. Juliana’s mother only cares about what makes her happy, regardless if she tramples on the hearts of those who love her, while Simon’s mother only cares about their family’s reputation, regardless of how their family’s choices affect her children. If they continue with that kind of attitude, they’ll find themselves alone in the world.
She was everything he had ever wanted. And he would do everything in his power to keep her in his world.
I want to read a story about Callie’s brother. He seems like a charming sort of fellow and I want to see what kind of heroine Sarah MacLean envisions him with. It would be really awesome if there was a story, even just a short one, about him. It’s always interesting to read about the side characters in the story.
Before I go, here’s a teaser video for the book that I found on Sarah MacLean’s website.
Until next time dear readers! 🙂