Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn Macnamara

A Most Scandalous Proposal
by Ashlyn Macnamara
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
ARC provided in exchange for my unbiased review
*purchase through buy links supports this blog


After watching her beloved sister Sophia pine over the ton’s Golden Boy for years, Miss Julia St. Claire has foresworn love and put herself firmly on the shelf. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father have other ideas, and jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the newly-named Earl of Clivesden…the man of Sophia’s dreams. Since resigning his Cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has set Julia in his sights, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover more than friendship driving his desire to defend her. He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when she refuses him and her father announces her betrothal, he fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society…and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.
Ashlyn Macnamara’s debut regency romance novel A Most Scandalous Proposal introduces us to two sisters of the ton who have turned down suitors, one is holding out for the man she has secretly loved and the other is determined to avoid marriage and its complications. I quickly consumed this humorous, suspenseful and sweet romance.

The St. Claire sisters are in no rush to wed. Sophia has had a crush on the ton's golden boy and is waiting for him to notice her. At a ball that is turning out to be the crush of the season, he arrives and begins cutting a path towards them. Sophia is overjoyed until he seems to give all of his attention toward Julia her sister. Julia is shocked as he confesses he is now the newly named Earl of Clivesden. There mother's eyes all but glow with wedding bells.   He asks her to dance, and she looks for a way to cry off. Thankfully, her best friend Benedict Revelstoke swoops in to save the day as he apologizing to the new earl stating that Julia has already promised this dance. Sophia finds herself paired with Clivesden but he only seems to care about Julia. When the dance ends, she is distressed and moves to get out of the crowd. When she faints her mother sees a way to have both of her daughters married by the end of the season. Twists, plots, wagers and trysts made this tale delightful.

Macnamara introduces us to some fascinating characters and some rather annoying ones. I liked both sisters and found their preconceived ideas about love and romance to be funny, sad, and complicated. Sophia is a tad spoiled and naive, while Julia is intelligent, snarky and protective. It was fun watching them bloom and discover love. I wish someone had hit Sophia over the head regarding her infatuation with Clivesden and their parents should have been poked with a cattle prod. The lengths their mother was willing to go to, to see them wed and her easy dismal of her girls concerns made me cringe. I also questioned why the sudden rush, but the author does a good job of explaining the fine pickle Mr. St. Clair has placed them all in. Revelstoke was sweet, and his attempts to protect Julia warmed my heart and angered me. Confess, confess I say!  Highgate was delightful with his gentle ways and insightful advice to Sophia.  

The tale is filled with drama, humor, heartbreak and romance. While the tale was predictable and we see many tried and true story-lines weaved into this one, the author does a sound job of making her own mark on it. All in all this was a solid debut novel and the perfect light read for a Sunday afternoon.

A Most Scandalous Proposal was a delightful debut novel embracing regency romance. I look forward to reading the author’s next endeavor.

Three cups of Folgers coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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35 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous NovaReylin said...

This sounds so cute!! And I actually like that cover!



I totally think the synopsis should be read with an English accent. I read this out loud to my hubby in my fake little accent. ;) I mean, A Most Scandalous Proposal? Yes, definitely English accent inserted!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM , Anonymous Barbara Walker said...

A pretty cover, friends to lovers (or at least future lovers) and a hero named Benedict - swoooon. Terrific review, chica! I've never heard of this author before, I'll have to check her out.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM , Anonymous Aurian said...

This sounds good Kim, adding it to my wishlist.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:13 PM , Anonymous Cyn said...

You were nicer than me ahah, the sisters drove me insane, and oh gosh the mom! I did really like the heroes of the story! (But I totally agree about the needing to confess!! haha). I'm hoping I'll enjoy her next book more because overall, I did enjoy her style of writing for the most part (:

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

Scandalous! It is sounds good, but don't know if I'd pick this one up. When I FINALLY do get around to reading a historical romance again, I want it to blow my freaking socks off.. :D

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

The time will come I took a five year sabbatical. .and now I enjoy at least one a month

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

YES..you need epic for your first.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Hehehe..so agree

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous A Belle's Tales said...

I'm not sure about the Folgers coffee, but I love this title and cover. Glad there were some great characters to make up for the annoying ones - it really does sound like a lovely Sunday afternoon read. Thanks for sharing <3

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ha..agreed but some peeps like it so I have to serve it once in a while

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

Predictability has been frustrating me of late, but I don't think I'd mind so much here. It sounds far too entertaining otherwise. :) You always make me want to pick up these delicious romances as soon as possible. Great review, Kimba!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yeah..HF in general is predictable. .sure there are twists but we know we are going to get our HEA

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

I just wanted to say congrats on the nomination. I totally voted for you. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Aww I voted for you too;)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Agreed

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Poor Sophia she has quite the crush ...haven't you ever crushed on someone you barely know..wishing he would notice you?

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

A crush yeah, but loving a guy from afar ... not really.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

You and your historical romances, Kim!
I was about to ask you why on earth Sophia loved the guy if she's never really interacted with him. I might want to smack her repeatedly as well if I was reading this. Poor girl though. It must have been terrible for her to watch the guy she crushes on not being interested in her.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

It really must have been hard to be a woman during this era.


Great review. Even though this wasn't perfect, I think I would like it. I like that it had some humor thrown in with everything else.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This was a solid, fun read and the author is talented..i am looking forward to watching/reading her work

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Julie @ Coffee & Book Anytime said...

I just received this in the mail to review yesterday and I even had it on my Amazon Wishlist! Thank you for the great review. I love historical romances. I can't wait to read this book!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy Julie, it was fun.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Jessica said...

Great review! I agree with what you said and I too am giving it a 3 out of 5.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

*high-five* Yeah, I am looking forward to seeing this author grow.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

I like the word delightful :D haha enough for me

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

delightful....bwahahaha!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Andrea @The Bookish Babe said...

Ugh, I love this type of story! I admit, though, scheming parents drive my batty. A Most Scadalous Proposal does seem like a fun read.
Great review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yes parents of the ton can be outrageous..but they rarely succeed!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

new author cupcake, you haven't been under the rock too long and yes Benedict *yum*

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous Lexxie said...

I really enjoyed this book as well! I agree with everything you wrote :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Lexxie

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I thought this was a solid debut, and sometimes I like when characters get me flustered.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Aurian this was a good debut novel!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM , Anonymous Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

This sounds very sweet and funny. I never would have guessed it. too bad it was a tiny bit predictable, but even that isn't so bad all things considered. I don't believe I've read a regency romance in my life.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love Regency romances, they are always fun.

 

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