Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Scandal of the Year - Laura Lee Guhrke

Scandal of the Year is the second book in Laura Lee Guhrke's Abandoned At the Altar series. I read and reviewed the first, Wedding of the Season, and thought it was a fun story. I read this book a couple of months ago now, and held off on the review because I just couldn't quite decide how I felt about it. Let me say I was super excited to dive into it because I loved the hero and heroine of Scandal of the Year -- part of the supporting cast and crew of Wedding of the Season. So my expectations going into the book were high.

Our hero is Aidan Carr, Duke of Trathen, who was jilted by our heroine in Wedding of the Season. The heroine is Julia, Lady Yardly, cousin to Beatrix (heroine of Book 1), and the definite rebel of the family. Known for her scandalous behavior, the book starts off with a particularly scandalous event for the times...Julia's divorce proceedings. What we see then is a mix of looking back on Julia and Aidan's past meetings and (mis)adventures, leading up to the current time as Julia tries to get her life back on track. There are parts of this I absolutely loved. I mean, we all new that Aidan just couldn't be as stuffy and boring as he was portrayed...and there was never doubt that there was more to Julia than just a rebel. How it all plays out between them though is intriguing, although there was just something at the end that just left me a bit unsatisfied, even though overall I did enjoy the book and look forward to book 3 (after back to back releases of 1 and 2, we have to wait until January 2012!).

I think in part there was the same problem I had with Wedding of the Season - the ending seemed extremely rushed. Everything was wrapped up in a neat package in way too few pages after all the lead in to the issues the hero and heroine were facing. For the heroine to have a total 180 over the major dilemma she was agonizing over in about 45 minutes to an hour...seemed a bit too easy for me. I also have to say that after almost two books of hinting about the awful things that Julia suffered at the hands of her former husband, and the effects on her, I was sort of surprised at the reveal...I expected much worse. Not that what she had to deal with wasn't bad, it very much was, yet maybe it was just me but I'd had this big build up in my mind and wouldn't have been surprised with a story of human sacrifice...needless to say it didn't reach that level.

Overall, I have to say I did enjoy the book...just not quite as much as I hoped to I think. I love the family we focus on through the series, I love the other characters, I think the setting and time frame is fabulous, and I like the way that Guhrke puts a story together.

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