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The Year of Living Scandalously (The Secrets of Hadley Green) [Mass Market Paperback]

Julia London
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2012 1451662351 978-1451662351 Reprint
In 1792, the village of Hadley Green was the scene of an infamous crime: the historic jewels of the Countess of Ashwood were stolen. The testimony of the countess's eight year-old niece, Lily Boudine, sent a man to the gallows, but the jewels were never recovered. Afterward, Lily was sent to live with her relatives in Ireland. Fifteen years later, questions still linger...was it a crime of greed, or a crime of passion?

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The Year of Living Scandalously (The Secrets of Hadley Green) + The Revenge of Lord Eberlin (The Secrets of Hadley Green) + The Seduction of Lady X (The Secrets of Hadley Green)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (1 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451662351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451662351
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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About the Author

Julia London is the bestselling author of THE DANGERS OF DECEIVING A VISCOUNT, THE PERILS OF PURSUING A PRINCE, THE HAZARDS OF HUNTING A DUKE and 11 other romantic novels. She lives in Texas.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspend everything!! 15 Jan 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was not a bad story, and the characters started to develop as the book got going - but if we are asked to believe that it is a historical tale, then it is based on a series of COMPLETELY unbelievable events. So you will need to be prepared to suspend disebelief to a ludicrous extent. First of all, a woman inherits the title of countess, from an earl who was married to her aunt - no hint of any blood relationship, so quite apart from the fact of a woman inheriting (which is in itself unusual), in this case, it seems to have happened by magic, and certainly not by English law! Then the lady arrives at the new estate totally unaccompanied - and I know it has to happen like this otherwise the rest of the story doesn't work, but at that time it was unthinkable for a lady to travel alone (not to mention the problem of servants). So our belief is really stretched!

Apart from the glaring problems, which many readers may find an insurmountable hurdle, the story itself was actually quite fun, although I would have expected better from an experienced author like Ms London! Lightwieght & good for a casual holiday read, but sadly not a 'keeper'.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book by Julia London, and about time too! 19 Oct 2010
By J. Kollasch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had pretty much given up hope that any of my must-read authors were going to come out with new books that I would actually enjoy (there have been many-a-dud lately) that I almost didn't buy this book right away. I'm really glad I did. I had been craving a good historical romance and this one didn't fail to delight. While quite a bit predictable at times it still restored my faith in Julia London as a writer.

Keira Hannigan has offered to leave her home in Ireland to help out her cousin Lily by taking care of an estate she has inherited while she is in Italy. Longing for adventure, Keira finds the estate in debt and instead of telling the people living in Hadley Green that she is herself she assumes the identity of her cousin. What starts out as a impetuous decision turns into a whole pile of lies and Keira is forced to continue the charade to keep the villagers out of debt. In the midst of her lies she finds an old friend from the village she grew up in (Declan O'Connor) and enlists him to help keep her secret and find a way to solve a mystery that happened in Hadley Green 15 years prior. While hesitant at first, Declan is unable to say no to Keira and begins to realize that she is not just the young girl he knew from his past. Declan and Keira are both determined to experience freedom to the fullest but they cannot help but be drawn to each other.

I couldn't put this book down, I had to know what happened in the end. Keira, while sometimes selfish and headstrong, is a perfect match for Declan's strong will and I couldn't help but want them to be together forever. An exciting subplot with Keira and Declan trying to solve a theft that involved Keira's cousin was also an added bonus to this book. Overall the plot kept me enthralled for the better part of an afternoon and that is very difficult to do. There were moments where I could predict what was to come but the skill of London's writing even made those parts enjoyable. I can't wait to read the next installment of this series that she alludes to at the end of this book.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Okay & A Bit Morbid 1 Dec 2010
By C. Dickey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was only so-so in my opinion. Keira, the heroine, was like the popular, pretty girl in high school that everyone adored even though she wasn't a very nice person. She struck me as being exremely selfish, flighty and irresponsible, and even her charming 'joie de vivre' and patronage of the local orphanage couldn't make up for her basic unlikeable-ness. The author tried to redeem Keira in the latter part of the book, but by the time her deception was discovered I really felt she deserved all the censure.

I also felt like the author killed off an awful lot of people to make this story happen (even if they were minor characters), and in some disturbing ways. Having a young girl throw herself off a cliff after a brutal rape seemed a bit extreme to me, as did killing off an estate employee by spearing him with a pitchfork.

But more than the selfish heroine or the plethora of dead bodies strewn about, it was the contradictory or questionable details of the book that really irked me. Keira was supposed to be an expert horsewoman, but she didn't know what it meant when Declan thought his horse was foundering? That's like having a car with a flat tire - who would be in that situation and not know its significance? Also, who hired Mr. Fish, the wonderful estate manager, if he wasn't around until after the earl died? How was Keira able to turn the estate around when she had absolutely no knowledge of estate management? Why didn't Ashford have its own team of solicitors to handle any issues of the estate's entail? Why were there so few people around to answer any questions about Mr. Scott's wrongful conviction when Hadley Green was such a thriving little village?

Maybe I was overthinking while I was reading, but I felt that the novel was written too fast and lacked a good editing job. The details were just a little too sloppy. Still, I did finish it, and I will most likely read the next book, if only to find out where the family jewels were hidden all those years...
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to live scandalously for a year! 5 Nov 2010
By Romantically Reviewed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Julia London introduces us to two lovely cousins-Keira Hannigan and Lily Boudine-in her latest book The Year of Living Scandalously. The story truly begins when these two mischievous young ladies decide to switch places. Lily's uncle passed away and with that death she was declared the sole surviving heir to the Ashwood estate, something that she was not prepared for. Determined to follow through on her commitment to be Mrs. Canavan's companion in Italy, she proposes that Keira travels to Hadley Green in her stead. Keira, wanting an adventure of her own (although she was offered Italy too, what the heck?!) agrees to do it. What Keira didn't plan on was the people of Hadley Green assuming SHE was Lily. When Keira discovers that the estate is in over its head in debt, she goes along with the mistaken identity in an attempt to make things right for when her cousin returns.

All is going well, until Keira's childhood crush, Declan O'Connor, Lord Donnelly of Ballynaheath (say that name 10 times fast), appears on the scene and very nearly puts a kibosh on her charade. Declan, arriving at the Ashwood estate for a horseflesh auction was shocked to find Keira there, let alone impersonating her cousin. Lord Donnelly, not one to miss an opportunity to make Keira squirm, alludes to her wanna-be countess ways in front of Mr. Fish, a servant. Fortunately, Mr. Fish is a gentleman and allows himself to remain perplexed by the whole thing. Crisis averted.

Wanting to be as far away from possible from Keira's shenanigans, Declan makes up his mind to leave as soon possible. He has been burned by her "tricks" before and his manly shoulders are still weighted down with the guilt of it. Fate is a fickle creature though, and he finds himself in her path again and again and again. Or maybe it just that he isn't as adverse to her presence as he convinced himself he is. I'm thinking it is the latter of the two. It is a romance story, after all.

A mystery from the past gives our hero and heroine the perfect excuse to be close to one another (just in case their mutual attraction wasn't enough) and while the investigation progresses, the steam meter goes up and up.

Ms. London's Keira and Declan prove that there is a fine line between love and hate. Both of these characters poke, prod and tease one another, but artfully so. You are still left with the sense that they truly care about each other. Not once do you fight off the urge to roll your eyes, wondering why these two should be together-let alone stars of their own romance novel. You can see that they are both equally stubborn, equally strong, equally intelligent and well, just equal! Always a refreshing change from the damsel in distress scenario.

The witty dialogue riddled with humor, the interesting plot packed with surprises, and the even more interesting subplots make this a fast-paced, enjoyable read. However, it is the brilliantly crafted Keira and Declan that make this a fantastic read!

Kiss or Diss? Definite kiss! Better yet, can Declan kiss me?

-Sarah from RomanticallyReviewed
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Deceptive Packaging Issue 9 Jun 2011
By Omnivorous Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The amusing title and my enjoyment of the bungling Highlanders in London prompted me to buy this book. However, I couldn't get past the first chapter.

The world is full of depressing things; my work reminds me of that daily. I don't have to spend money or my free time reminding myself of tragedy.

The book begins with the execution of an innocent man and the shattering of the life of the woman who let it happen. Then we have the story of the heroine, who thoughtlessly pushed her reluctant friend into pursuing a man, with truly tragic consequences. I couldn't forgive her (or the author) for this action.

That was it for me. Into the recycle box and on to the next book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dimbulb heroine and cliffhanger ending 26 Jun 2012
By camille - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The heroine was an idiot. The horse breeder hero really needed to ask himself if he'd breed his prize stallion to a mare as dumb as this woman.

Cousins Lily and Keira concoct a farcical scheme worthy of 13 year olds who've grown up on the Suite Life of Zack and Cody.Tthey decide Lily will not travel to England to take up her inherited earldom, but instead will travel as a paid companion so that she might spend time with a man on whom she has a crush. Keira will travel to England and take up the reins. When Keira arrives at the earldom, a servant mistakes her for Lily and rather than simply correct him, she blithely assumes Lily's identity.

Declan meanwhile happens to arrive at the neighboring estate as part of his horse breeding hobby and discovers the impersonation and rightly castigates Keira for her fraudulent assumption of Lily's identity and authority. Keira continues to ignore any hint that deceiving an entire village is morally wrong because she's rebuilding the mill and is playing Lady Bountiful at the orphanage, as well as any concern that she might be arrested. Declan regularly reprimands Lily as if she were a particularly dimwitted child, but nonetheless can't keep his hands off of her.

Meanwhile Declan and Keira investigate a long-ago theft that led to a hanging and Keira deals with a mysterious Danish count who owns the neighboring estate and who seems determined to ruin the earldom.

I honestly had to check the cover a few times to see if Julia London really was the author. I cannot believe such a good author wrote this annoying book that seems like a throwback to the 1970s Harlequin Romances in which a young and stupid virgin needs a big, strong, smart man to save her from her own idiocy.
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