Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke

One tryst was all she wanted . . .

From their very first meeting, Julia knew that Aidan Carr, the oh-so-proper Duke of Trathen, had a bit of the devil in him, a devil who secretly yearned for what he could not have, a devil who harbored a desire for her. So when she needed to be caught in a compromising situation, Aidan was the answer to her prayers.

One tryst just wasn't enough . . .

Aidan is supposed to be looking for a bride, yet his scandalous liaison with Julia is all he can think about. Hot, erotic memories of kissing her skin, falling into her bed, pulling her naked body on top of his own continue to torment and tempt him. What is it about this brazen seductress that he finds so hard to resist? And how can he stop himself from falling into her bed a second time?

Enemies to lovers is a trope I enjoy time and time again.  While Julia and Aidan aren't necessarily enemies, theirs is a chafing sort of existence: they tolerate one another.  Aidan is engaged to Julia's cousin, Beatrix, so she'd willing to tolerate him for the sake of Bea's happiness.  Julia's behaviors aren't what Aidan would consider ladylike, but he's willing to tolerate her and what he considers her negative effects on Bea.

Once the engagement is off, however, and after Aidan and Julia are caught in flagrante delicto, they keep bumping into one another in various social circles.  It's unusual for Aidan because every time he sees Julia again, he cannot stop thinking about her or the first time he met her and how much she's changed from that girl.   

Julia never meant to hurt or scandalize Aidan with their sexual encounter.  She timed it perfectly to the arrival of her husband, however, and testified in open court, so it's safe to say Aidan is almost as ruined as she.  They want to stay away from one another; they simply cannot.

I was surprised by the lengths at which Julia would go to escape her marriage and why she hadn't attempted such a feat before.  I also felt the ending was rushed and a bit of a compromise for Julia, given her reaction toward marriage and re-marriage.

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