- Title: Lessons from a Scandalous Bride: Forgotten Princesses
- Classification: Adult Fiction
- Genre: Historical Romance
- Format: Paperback, 384 pages
- Publisher: Avon (July 31, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 006203300X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062033000
- Author's Website: http://www.sophiejordan.net/
- Notes: I received the eARC (ebook Advanced Reader Copy) from Avon Romance
Cleopatra Hadley knew what it was to live a hard life. She knew what it was to live in poverty--to live without. She knew there were better ways to live then the life she led. Her stepfather kept her mother in a perpetual state of pregnancy, and they had fourteen children with another four lying in a neighboring cemetery to prove it. Cleo did what she could to help, but at times there wasn't enough to eat or enough money for them all to be properly clothed. Her own father had been out of the picture for as long as she could remember and she had all but forgotten him until the day he sent someone to "fetch" her home. Her mother encouraged her to go saying it'd be her chance at a better life. Cleo, however, saw it as a way to better the lives of her siblings as well. When she learned of her father's plans to marry her off to a man with a title, she knew exactly what type of man she wanted to marry. She'd long ago thrown away ideas of fairy tales, Prince Charming and happily ever afters. She was a realist and when she met Lord Thrumgoodie, an eighty year old fatherless Earl, she knew she'd met her perfect match.
Logan McKinney had a reputation as being "the perfect savage". He'd earned the reputation when he'd sliced a woman's stays with his sword when he realized she wasn't breathing properly. He was in London looking to marry an heiress so he could get his current estate out of disrepair. His problem, however, was that he found the woman of London society to be a bit too 'vapid' and 'feather headed' for his tastes. That was until he met Miss Cleo Hadley. He found her intriguing and down to earth. He saw her as not someone to be saddled with, but someone he could share a life with. Now he only had to convince her.
I really liked Cleo. She was a strong and independent woman who was very loyal to her family. She'd grown up with no male role models in her life and didn't know of anyone involved in a loving relationship or marriage. So when she entered the marriage market she knew exactly what she wanted in a husband and it wasn't love. She wanted security. When Logan McKinney, a young handsome Scottish lord, started pursuing her, she did all she could to discourage him even though she found him attractive. She'd set her cap set for Lord Thrumgoodie, and elderly gentleman with all rumors suggesting it would be a marriage in name only.
Logan was a fun character. I loved how he figured out Cleo early on and did all he could to dissuade her fears. He was the exact opposite of what Cleo thought she wanted in a husband. He was young, virile, attractive. Yeah, I know...What's wrong with her? lol But when you've grown up on the wrong side of the tracks, and you know what it's like to be hungry and to see your siblings perish because you couldn't afford medical treatment your priorities tend to differ from that of someone who has never wanted for anything. Plus, she was determined to make sure her mother's fate would not be hers. Qualities such as charm and good looks in a husband, after all, wouldn't pay the bills or put food on the table.
Why is the book named Lessons from a Scandalous Bride? Well, I believe it has to do, in part, with the fact Cleo finds herself amidst a scandal which leads to her becoming a bride. Also, in order for her marriage to work she needs to learn a few lessons. She needs to learn that not all men are the same and not all men are bad. She needs to learn not to let fear sabotage her future by dwelling on the 'what ifs' of life. Most importantly, she needs to learn to trust and lean on another individual--something she's never had the luxury of being able to do before. She's always had to be the strong one and look out for herself and everyone else in her family.
Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I liked how Cleo had to realize her feelings for Logan in her own time and in her own way. I enjoyed seeing her take a step back and decide what she thought of him and what she truly wanted. I loved how the chemistry between them was undeniable and got them into trouble. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.