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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change

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on 30 April 2013
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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on 2 April 2013
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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on 26 February 2013
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. But there's something about a wounded man with a bit of a murky past, isn't there? I also found his romance with Sophia to be the more satisfying one in the end, although that's not to say I didn't like Julia and Benedict's story as well.

Overall then, this is an engaging read with likeable characters (and a few not-so-likeable ones!) and a couple of well-executed storylines. The love scenes were romantic and sexy and the author did a good job in building the sexual tension between the ladies and their beaus.

If you're looking for a new voice in historical romance, I would definitely recommend giving this book a try, and on the strength of this, I will certainly be on the lookout for future titles from this author.

With thanks to Ballantine Books and Edelweiss for the review copy.
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on 31 July 2015
For the price I enjoyed the book but it was hard to figure out whose p.o.v the story was being told from in the beginning as it suddenly seemed to change. I got more used to it as the book continued.
Overall enjoyed it.
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on 7 July 2015
Quite a humours storyline, unique to involve two sister's. The narrative around Julia's and Benedict's sensual and charming love scene was enthralling beautiful.
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on 22 June 2015
This was a great story and another book where once you started it you just had to finish it. Fabulous Author. Can't wait to read more of her books.
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on 10 December 2015
A Good read, seem to have forgotten it already so probably not a keeper! Not to take anything away from the book as it was a tale of two loves. I found the secondary story more interesting than the lead and the Hero was far more dashing in my mind anyhow!!!
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on 2 April 2016
I enjoyed this regency romance and thought it was well written but it lacked the witty sparkle of the very best.
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on 10 May 2016
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Would recommend it to others.
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on 4 October 2015
A fun read, light and entertaining, but a bit unbelievable.
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