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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Duke of Scandal by Gaelen Foley

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Gaelen Foley (Self-Published)
Release Date: October 13, 2015

Jason Hawthorne, the Duke of Netherford, made it clear to the young, lovesick Felicity Carvel long ago that nothing could ever happen between them. He has earned his reputation as the Duke of Scandal--and she's his best friend's little sister. For honor's sake, he vows to stay away from the lovely innocent. But six years of the wealthy libertine's life have left Jason empty and exhausted, while Felicity has blossomed into a strong, beautiful woman, ripe for love and marriage.

When a sudden windfall makes her one of the most sought-after heiresses in London, chased all over Town by fortune-hunters, Jason knows he must keep the rogues at bay until her brother returns from his dangerous mission abroad. Unfortunately, the scandalous attraction between them has only grown to a searing intensity. Deep down, Felicity still wants Jason for her own. But after getting her heart broken once before by Naughty Netherford, does she dare attempt to play with fire again--and this time, can Jason resist?

Jason Hawthorne, the Duke of Netherford, aka “Naughty Netherford” and the straitlaced, reluctant heiress Felicity Carvel have know each other most of their lives. Jason has been best friends with Felicity’s brother since they were children and of course as the younger girl, Felicity fell in love with Jason at a young age but when she declared herself to him, he broke her heart and became distant. Now as adults, Felicity finds herself the recipient of her late aunt’s fortune and in need of help keeping the fortune hunters at bay but her brother is off on an expedition so Jason appoints himself as her protector and well, all that time together leads to a second chance at romance.

The Duke of Scandal is both familiar yet different in my opinion. Having been a fan of this author’s historical romances for years, I was super excited for this full length novel.

Jason made me laugh. He was such an entertaining combination of naughty, nice and protective wrapped in a layer of fun. Very few were immune to his brand of charm, myself included. Even though it’s clear he’s a scandalous figure, he’s totally and completely likable and impossible to hate. He’d definitely be fun at a party, but would probably get everyone arrested.

The same goes for the tenacious Felicity Carvel. She may have been burned by Jason in the past and tried to move on but once her intuition tells her that he’s not as unmoved by her as he acts she becomes determined to break down his reservations. I loved her intelligence and persistence to win a man who could out last a mule in the stubbornness department. It was a nice role reversal. She had to woo him and ease him into the idea of committing to her.

As a couple these two were clearly meant for one another, they complimented each other’s personalities and fit like a pair of gloves. Sometimes they were a little too sweet together and a little too perfect but it was to be expected from two characters like Jason and Felicity.

Felicity’s long gone brother Peter, a major in the military created a lot of tension for Jason given that the men have been best friends almost all their lives and Peter was really the only person in Jason’s life that wasn’t temporary or false. Though Peter doesn’t appear until much later in the book, his presence was definitely felt. I’m hoping he gets his own story too because his life and his time in the military are a mystery as is his time on the expedition Jason funded. I’d like to know more about Peter and just what kind of woman it would take to make him happy.

Duke of Scandal is perfect for readers who want their romance on the sweet side or who enjoy friends to lovers or second chance romances. Jason and Felicity are both lively characters who tend to overshadow anyone else who is unfortunate enough to be in the same room as they are. They don’t do anything in half measures and that’s what I liked about them.
If author Gaelen Foley’s intention was to do something different from her previous series’ then she definitely succeeded. Duke of Scandal has her signature charming style but less heat between the main characters than what fans may be used to. I would recommend this particular series to readers who love a fun historical romance that has a lower heat level.

Oh and longtime fans be on the lookout for an appearance from an old character before he got his own happy ending.

Final Verdict: Definitely a pair of charmers, Jason and Felicity made Duke of Scandal a light hearted romp that took me away from my surroundings for awhile.

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