Scandal can be handled....
Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he's returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl - quite inconveniently deceased - tied to his missing sister's bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he's at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.
Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she's somehow...flawless. It's just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected - yet absolutely true.
©2016 Kelly Bowen (P)2016 Hachette Audio
I just love having to stop long enough to laugh out loud again and again. BUT mostly I love, love, love sexual tension in a book, and this one has a lot. I don’t even care if there’s sex as long as the tension is there. I absolutely, positively hate it when there’s no desire, no lust, no thoughts, no nothing, then there’s an explicit sex scene or two. AND some reviewers call that “hot and steamy.” Umm, no it’s not! It’s sex thrown in because sex sells. BUT there’s NOTHING that led up to the sex so that makes it boring.
Anyway, this is my first book by Ms. Bowen but it won’t be my last. I like sex in my books and I’m always looking for authors who can write sexual tension. So far I’ve found Samantha Holt and Katie Reus, and 1 other that escapes me right now.
I really like Max and Ivory, and everything that happened in his sister’s bed chamber. And I loved how Ivory kept giving Max orders and he fought her every step of the way then ended up agreeing with everything she said. It really did remind me of Olivia Pope, of the TV show Scandal. If you like the show you would like this book, and the way Ivory and Elise solve problems for the TON. I have to admit I was getting more and more interested in what happened to Beatrice. AND after I did find out, I realized she was just a normal, non-thinking teenager, as dumb as a box of rocks. I wish the author would have handled that a little bit different. I was hoping I would like Beatrice but I didn’t when the truth came out. It almost ruined the book for me. But not quite.
There was, as I said before, sexual tension throughout this book and some great sex scenes. There were a couple of “dammits” but that’s about all. So, for all of you who like explicit sex but absolutely NO swearing, this book is for you.
As to the narrator: Ms. McNab does a good job on the male and female voices but she doesn’t have much emotion when she reads. She doesn’t laugh at all, when it’s called for. She just reads it like normal. Ashford McNab used to be one of my favorites but lately so many narrators seem to be looking at reviews and listening to what people have to say about what’s wrong with narration. For example, Eric G. Dove was just OK for me but I just borrowed my daughter’s iPad and listened to him do Tessa Dawn’s Blood Curse series, and OMG he was phenomenal. He did all the things he never used to do. The same things Susan Duerden ALWAYS does. Things I wish A.M. would do. I’ll continue to listen to her but there are those who are so much better now.
STORY: This is the first Kelly Bowen book I have come across and I hope there will be more. Finding this in the 'historical' romances is a tiny bit deceiving since there is no history of any kind whatsoever... not even a specific point in time that I can recall. It is definitely London.... Regency.... but a more unique HEA Mystery Romance in this genre I haven't seen in quite a while.
NARRATOR: Ashford McNab always delivers and this is another masterful performance. When you hear male and female, young and old, voices with such distinctive individuality you know you've struck gold.
HEAT FACTOR: Mature theme from the onset but heat? Yes, there is some true chemistry culminating in a few steamy scenes... scorching even!
I listen to a lot of historical romances, but it has been a long time since one has held me so captive or touched me like this one. The writing is intelligent and emotional. The characters are smart, funny, honorable and passionate. The romance is excellent, but the mystery is equally good. Although I wasn't quite sure about the narrator's approach in the very beginning, I found it didn't take long to find the rhythm and personalities. I immediately looked for any other work by Ms. Bowen! Is she new? Please do a series with these characters! I couldn't put this book down. /JB
"A book to listen too"
Between the author and narrator ... A must listen to book ... Hope you enjoy as much as I did
I loved everything about this book. It was well written and narrated. I couldn't put it down! Great characters and storyline I highly recommend.
Kelly Bowen is a new author to me. I love her writing style. Her story lines are original and her plots interesting.
Max and Ivory start off a little rocky when a dead earl is found in Max's sister's bed. The story grabs you from the start and just keeps you on your toes.
Ashford McNabb is my favorite narrator hands down so the combination in this book is perfection for me.
I highly recommend this book and also the next in the series too. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did.
REALLY great book!!! I adored it. It's not a detailed historical romance but it has mystery and great dialogue. Really likable characters for the most part. I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to more books from this author.
"Entertaining the whole way through"
What I especially liked about this book were the variety of characters with their very seedy, sketchy, and sassy personalities. Some books get confusing with a variety of characters who are more differentiated by their titles, but this was balanced and personality polished to a royal perfection. I laughed, held my breath in anticipation, was memorized, enchanted, and got heated with the steamy parts too. Very well written and fabulous reader as well! Nicely done!
"The most pathetic Duke character"
I have never read a story about a Duke so weak and un-powerful. He does not know how to get his missing sister back and away from a man who will bestow ultimate disgraceful upon his family???? AND he is unable to use his Dukely powers to stop this awful faith from happening? Really? Pathetic character and weak especially once one realizes the circumstances under which this all was happening under. Unfortunately I can not say more or I will give away the plot. I could not wait to finish this book and be done with this weak character of a man. To top that off a heroine who is supposedly sooooo well known to the TON and no one is able to recognize her as she goes around putting out fires for the aristocracy? Hmmmmm. I am sorely disappointed in this book and the intelligence Mis Bowen takes for-granted in her readers. Can not recommend this book.
This book started out with a clever, if improbable, premise - a detective type of agency run by a woman. However, as it proceeded into very improbable scenarios (auctioning off the daughter of royalty by an seemingly untouchable bad guy) it deteriorated into foolish. The writing is not bad and the narrator was great.
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