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A Most Scandalous Proposal [Audiobook] [MP3 CD]

Ashlyn MacNamara , Veida Dehmlow
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £21.68
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Book Description

3 Jun 2013

Ashlyn Macnamara's stunning romance debut - perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Stephanie Laurens.

After watching her beloved sister Sophia pine over the ton's golden boy for years, Julia St. Claire has foresworn love. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the Earl of Clivesden...the man of Sophia's dreams.

Benedict Revelstoke has assiduously avoided the marriage mart. But when he discovers that Clivesden has his sights set on Julia, Benedict proposes in order to protect his childhood best friend - only to discover that more than friendship is driving his desire to defend her...

Meanwhile, Sophia encounters a mysterious earl with a dark past who is intent to teaching her all kinds of forbidden pleasures to mend her broken heart...

Look out for more witty, touching romance in A Most Devilish Rogue.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media Inc; MP3 Una edition (3 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452663971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452663975
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

More About the Author

They say that once you reach your forties, you undergo some sort of mid-life crisis. That must have been what happened to Ashlyn Macnamara when she finally made up her mind to set down some of the stories that had been accumulating dust in the dark recesses of her brain for years. As space becomes available, other plots and characters have developed the pesky habit of moving in to take their place.

Ashlyn lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband and two teenaged daughters. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.

Product Description

Review

Ashlyn Macnamara brings all the elegance and romance of the Regency to life with this tale of high-stakes scandal and heartfelt passion. A Most Scandalous Proposal is a most delicious treat! (Tessa Dare, New York Times bestselling author)

Gossip, scandal, and breezy banter enliven this unusual dual love story that features some beautifully rendered secondary characters, illuminates realistic dilemmas, and highlights the overwhelming importance of one's social standing (Library Journal)

A charming tale... Readers will find themselves happily enchanted by this debut (Romantic Times Book Reviews)

Engaging and entertaining (Night Owl Reviews)

Witty, sensual, captivating. A must-read (Tracey Devlyn, award-winning author of A Lady's Revenge)

Pithy and engaging! A pure delight from start to finish! (Valerie Bowman, author of Secrets of a Wedding Night)

A great debut novel, a wonderful romantic read! (Brazen Reads) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Two devoted sisters. Two irresistible heroes. Two enchanting love affairs. A captivating Regency romance debut.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable début 26 Feb 2013
By Caz
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a very promising début from Ashlyn Macnamara. The writing and pacing were both good and there were none of those credulity-stretching moments that seem to have marred so many of the newer historical romances I've read recently.

I was pleased to discover that this book features not just one, but two of my favourite tropes in romantic fiction - forced marriage and `friends-become-lovers'. I should say at this point though that the `blurb' is rather misleading in that one could be forgiven for thinking the story is about Julia St. Clare and her childhood friend Benedict Revelstoke. In fact, the book features two parallel stories - one featuring Julia and Benedict and the other, her older sister Sophia and Rufus, Earl of Highgate, and I would venture to say that this fact marks the book out as something a little bit different.
Both stories are given equal prominence which, on the plus side, means that the pace never slackens. The negative side however is that it doesn't allow for a great deal of character and relationship development, and I know that some reviewers have said that they found the four different points-of-view to be distracting.

For me, the latter wasn't a problem, but I did have some issues with the lack of depth in terms of the characterisation. I would have liked, for example, for Benedict's awareness of his true feelings for Julia to have happened more slowly, over time, so that the reader could share in his gradual awakening. I also thought that the reason for Julia's reluctance to love was somewhat flimsy and, in fact, unnecessary, given what she was seeing every day in her parents' marriage.

I felt that Highgate was probably the most rounded character, even though we probably see less of him than of the other three protagonists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Most Scandalous Idea. 2 April 2013
By The Demon Librarian TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really liked the sound of a friends-to-lovers romance story and was excited to start this book. It turns out that A MOST SCANDALOUS PROPOSAL is written a little differently from your standard historical romance, in that it features not one, but two couples; the main character, Julia, and her love interest, and also her sister, Sophia, whose romance takes up almost an equal amount of page time.

The thing is, I liked both sets of characters and both romances, though they were very different from each other. But splitting the readers' attention like that, I think, was a mistake. I was never able to fully engage in either pairing, as we'd just start to build up a little momentum with one, only to abruptly leave them to rejoin the other. Having said that, the two relationships were nicely linked by other characters which meant on several occasions, everyone was in the same scene, which certainly helped. Most notably completing the often complicated circuit, was the rakish Earl of Clivesden, whom Julia's sister Sophia has been madly in love with for years. What, then, is Julia supposed to do when he takes a paticular interest in marrying her instead?

It was a complicated tangle that got sorted out to a satisfying and heart-warming conclusion. The intimate scenes, through rather sparse, were well-written and the characters themselves were fleshed out well to say there were four of them. I just wish we'd had more time to watch each romance bloom naturally.

3.5 Stars ★★★1/2
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Job 2 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought this was an amazing service as I got my books quickly and it is good condition , I couldn't of asked for better
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4.0 out of 5 stars Give It A Whirl - Well Written and Entertaining 30 April 2013
By Annie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must confess that I knew I'd probably enjoy `A Most Scandalous Proposal' long before reading it - not because I'm a bit of a romance junkie, or because the cover was gorgeous and the synopsis titivating, although all these things are true, but because I first heard about the book in an email from Nelson Literary Agency (who rep many of my favourite authors, including Simone Elkeles). And I was not disappointed.

Ashlyn MacNamara's debut grabbed me from start to finnish and made people gawk at me on several occasions when I laughed out loud; Ms MacNamara has a great sense of comic timing. The storyline was kept apace by not one romance or intrigue, but several. Julia is facing the marriage block as the ardent, horrible Clivesden (newly improved by a title) seeks her hand anyway he can, while her sister Sophia manages to wind up engaged to the Earl of Highgate (a scarred mystery) by way of an ill timed faint, and into all of this comes Benedict, Julia's childhood friend.

I would have liked a slightly more expanded `just before the end' section as the Julia/Benedict romance was settled too soon (why oh why do word counts exist?), but otherwise the book delivered completely. Well rounded likeable main characters with interesting predicaments, check, sexy heroes, check, humour, check.

I read this book through Netgalley (ebook for review) and now I shall be off to the bookstore to buy my own paperback copy for my `thoroughly rereadable' shelf! Any questions? Feel free to post them below...

Next book in the series: `A Most Devilish Rogue' (this will tell the story of Upperton, Benedict's best friend).

For similar reviews please check my blog: [...]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Debut Novel 26 Feb 2013
By Kathie @First Page to the Last Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Spectacular debut novel from Ashlyn Macnamara. I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading this!

This was a lovely surprise as it was really two stories in one book. Generally speaking, we would have seen either Julia or Sophia's story, and then would have had to wait for the next book to find out the other's story.

Nope. Ms. Macnamara has intertwined the sisters' stories, first time I've seen one like this, and it was a JOY to read.

Julia, after watching Sophia pine for five long years over the newly named Earl of Clivesden. If that's love, then she wants no part of it. She much prefers the friendship of her childhood friend, Benedict Revelstoke.

He is rarely in town, but stumbles across a wager in White's infamous book. A wager that shocks him. Someone is betting that they will marry Julia. He simply can't let that happen.

Meanwhile, Sophia is suffering through unrequited love. Her heart soars when Clivesden glances at her and she sobs when he ignores her. When he maneuvers her into a situation with the Earl of Highgate, she has to accept his betrothal or forever be shunned in society. Highgate was a high point in this book. I loved him. He has a hurt heart and can empathize with Sophia, but he also is rather taken by her. Yep, LOVED him.

Julia and Sophia, for separate reasons, have spurned any and all proposals that have come their way over five seasons on the marriage mart. Their parents are beyond restless (and on the cusp of bankruptcy) and start pushing things. To the heartbreak of their daughters.

I like to see characters grow, and learn. These two sisters are a shining example of how it should be shown. Well done, Ms. Macnamara!

So many things to enjoy in this book. In fact, so much so that I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. reading! Had to find out how both story lines would be resolved.

Thank you, NetGalley and Ballantine Books, for the opportunity to read this book!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scandalously fun read! 27 Feb 2013
By Book Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first book I've read by Ashlyn Macnamara but it was a delight. A clever hommage to Sense and Sensibility, it tells the tale of two sisters, but is primarily about Miss Julia St. Claire, and her realization that she has found love in the most unlikely of men - her childhood friend, Benedict. Fans of the original Jane Austen book will certainly see nods to that novel, but those unfamiliar with it will still find this an adorable, engaging story full of heart, humor and a little steamy romance, too! A very enjoyable book which has found a spot on my "keeper" shelf! Can't wait to read her next book, A Most Devilish Rogue!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars 26 Feb 2013
By Ginny Lurcock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is actually two separate love stories, with four different POV characters. I have to admit, I have really come to enjoy stories where there is a main romance with another smaller romance woven in with it. Maybe the secondary couple isn’t enough to warrant their own tale, but their addition to another couple’s journey can just give it that little something extra.

It really worked here.

Plus I think Highgate was my favorite of all the characters.

Just sayin’

If there was any flaw in my enjoyment, it would be that the story was lacking a little something in the “realizing we’re in love and not just BFFs” between the two main characters. I mean, you know they’re in love, I just wish it was more of a gradual stumble than it was.

Still, it was an enjoyable historical romance that featured: compromising positions, necessary betrothals, overbearing parents and rakes getting theirs.

3.5 stars. Can’t wait to see what Ms. Macnamara gives us next.

I hope it involves exposed ankles.

(and for the record, I think either couple could have stood on their own in this case, but weaving the two stories together really adds something. Especially when the rake gets his. Gawd that guy was a dink.)
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Most Ambitious Proposal 4 Mar 2013
By Anna (Books to Brighten your Mood) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Most Scandalous Proposal is one of those books that makes it incredibly difficult for me both to review but especially to rate it. It's one of those books with which I had quite a few problems but for some reason I kept reading until the end. And not only that, but despite its many flaws, I still enjoyed it more than I did other, technically better books.

First of all I have to note that Ashlyn Macnamara is a rather promising author. Surely, her writing is far from flawless but still it's full of potential and you get glimpses there that she can definitely do better than that. I mean let's face it, A Most Scandalous Proposal's biggest problem for me is the fact that it was too ambitious. Macnamara didn't want to tell the story of just one couple in this book but she ventured to tell us additionally the story of yet another couple along with the main one the summary promises. Much like in Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (a book this one shares a few similarities with, if not in the actual plot then in its spirit), Ashlyn Macnamara tells simultaneously the story of two sisters and their respective love interests. But Macnamara is no Austen. It's not an easy task to tell equally good and develop so well 4 main characters instead of two. It's not something one can't do, but it's difficult nonetheless. It's a whole other thing to have some well developed secondary characters, and a whole other to try and explore the secondary characters at the same depth as your main ones. And that is where Ashlyn Macnamara failed for me. There wasn't a balance between her two stories. And not that there wasn't a balance, but the story of Julia's sister managed to be more interesting instead of Julia's. You see where is the problem?

Soon after I started reading this book, I found myself more interested in Sophia's story (Julia's sister) and I couldn't care less about Julia herself. Especially at the first part of the book, I felt that the focus of the story was on Sophia rather than on Julia. Julia's character even though was better written in the beginning of the book, and Sophia was portrayed as a naive girl, by the end, all that had changed. Sophia really grew throughout the whole story and became more mature, whereas Julia herself was "colorless". The reason why she didn't want a marriage of love, was of minimum importance, to put it mildly. It wasn't believable or realistic. It almost felt that Macnamara wanted her character to have a reluctance towards love, but didn't know how to handle it, so she just put there the first reason that came to her mind.

Revelstoke on the other hand was again, a "colorless" character. A character without personality sort to speak. Whereas Highgate, Sophia's love interest, was a far more interesting character and maybe, the best thing about this book. He was intriguing and just perfect. And you can see clearly here, why I had some major problems with this book. The lines between main and secondary characters weren't just blurred. There were no lines, no balance. And the feeling I kept having that I was reading a retelling (or rather a story inspired) of Sense and Sensibility didn't help matters either.

All in all, A Most Scandalous Proposal is a promising debut, even if flawed. There's definitely potential there and even if I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I expected, still, I really want to see more of Ashlyn Macnamara's work in the future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read! 17 Mar 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Some things are worth the pain. They're most definitely worth the risk."

We encounter this quote very early on; in fact, it's in the excerpt at the beginning of the book. It should really make no difference because the first time I read it, it was out of context. It was just present as one of those ploys to get you to want to read the book.

Boy, did it work.

I have a thing for romance, but I'm usually a very picky reader. I find most romance novels to be somewhat corny, badly plotted and over too soon. I don't want a hero and a heroine that will get together in the last pages of the book after struggling against their feelings for most it. I want to feel the romance. I want to see it develop. I want to read a book that makes me feel like I was there, like I know these two characters, they're my friends, and I was, somehow, a witness to what transpired between them.

Ashlyn Mcnamara does a pretty fine job of this in "A Most Scandalous Proposal". Well, no. Let's dispense with understatements. She does a brilliant job of it.

Julia St. Claire has spent a long time seeing her sister suffer because of unrequited love. And she has learned her lesson. She is determined to be different. She is determined not to feel.

Benedict Revelstoke has been Julia's friend since childhood. He's certainly never had any romantic feelings for her. He's never had any romantic feelings for anyone. But when Julia's parents conspire to have her married to the same man Sophia has been in love with, Benedict discovers he's been deluding himself. Julia is not merely his friend. She has never been merely his friend.

This, however, is not only Julia's story. It's also Sophia's story.

And it's such a completely different story. Sophia has been in love for years, or so she thinks. But when she's caught in a situation she never expected to find herself in, she's confronted with the idea that love is not always about sighs and drama. Love, sometimes, is calm and quiet. Love can, sometimes, sneak up on you.

What a special treat it was for me to get both sides of the story in the same book. The kind of love that knocks you down, and the kind of love that you never see coming. For me, this is what a romance novel is supposed to be about. Characters that take a journey and invite you along for the ride. Heroines that make you root for them. And, of course, heroes that make you sigh.

I have neglected to mention him before, but I must say that Rufus is my absolute favorite part about the book. Benedict I expected to like. He, however, was a pleasant surprise. And, isn't that what it's all about? Isn't this why we read romance in the first place?

To recap, this is a wonderful debut, very well-written, engaging, and with the little bit of soul that all good romances need. I'll be sure to pick up the next book (Upperton, I'm so glad it's about you!), and any that come after. You should do the same.
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