Where to Buy*:
Do You Want to Start a Scandal kicks off with a fun chapter, and the fun only continues from there!
It's not secret that while my first love was historicals, it's been a few years since I've consistently read the genre -- nothing has been grabbing my attention like it once did. But this? This was engaging and kept my attention from start to end, as I know Dare's books always do.
So back to the fun beginning. Charlotte's mother is determined to marry her off, and knowing that Piers is on her mother's list, she tries to warn him away. In the middle of their discussion, a couple comes into the library and they hide to avoid any scandal at being found alone. Charlotte and Piers must hide behind the curtains listening to two very, er, amorous people go at it mere feet away. And the sounds! Poor Charlotte has to hide her face in Piers's shoulder at one point to avoid laughing out loud from it all. The couple escapes after they are, ahem, done, but before Charlotte and Piers can do the same, they're found in the library -- and the host's young boy, having overheard the mysterious couple, believes that the sounds came from them! While the boy thinks the sounds were that of someone being killed, everyone else knows all to well what really caused the sounds.
Charlotte does not wish to marry Piers, especially not because of a scandal that didn't even happen. She wants to marry for love, and only love. Piers doesn't love her, but he is ready to marry her -- both because it's the right thing to do and because he finds Charlotte fascinating. Marriages have started from far worse, after all. But Charlotte is determined to find out who the mysterious lovers were in order to prove that she and Piers were innocent and therefore cancel the engagement. And so begins a fun journey as Charlotte acts the sleuth -- with an actual spy (sort of) at her side.
Of course the attraction bubbles between them, while fondness grows as well, and Piers doesn't want to call off the wedding. Charlotte's tempted by Piers as well, but she doesn't feel the same about the wedding plans as she's unsure of who she is or what her strengths are, and believes that jumping into marriage -- especially when there's no declarations of love -- will lead to her becoming just another lady sitting at home and managing her husband's affairs. It's up to Piers to show her that she's got a lot to offer the world. Can he convince her that even if this all started over a fake scandal, he wants nothing more than to live the rest of his life with her?
Seriously, there were soooo many fun -- and funny! -- scenes and quotes. I highlighted quite a few to share on Twitter. Perhaps the one that made me completely lose my composure and start giggle-snorting was the eggplant and peach scene. Yes, I'm sure you know where I'm going with that, and you'd be right. Charlotte's mother was trying to give a "Here's what to expect on your wedding night" talk, complete with food props. I just about died reading that entire section. Here's a snippet:
And that's only a fraction of the scene. It's a few pages of golden LOL perfection.
But that was definitely not the only scene that made me laugh or smile. Most of my highlights fit that category. SO MANY GOOD QUOTES.
There's also some very swoon worthy scenes because Piers is great and I loved seeing him and Charlotte together.
There's a good deal of heat, too, not explicitly hot, but not exactly PG-13, either. One thing I really loved was the fact that Charlotte, while a virgin, was not ignorant about her own body.
The "mystery" was a fun surprised, and one that I wondered about but wasn't sure of until the very end. When it's revealed, it definitely put a smile on my face. I won't spoil it, you'll just have to wait and see.
I will admit that I didn't always love Pier's somewhat pushy "do whatever to get things my way, for Charlotte's own good, of course" actions. Such moments were brief, but still made me want to give him a quick slap. Otherwise, I did love him and very much enjoyed this story.
If you're looking for a charming, sweet and fun historical romp, you do not want to miss out on this one! You can read it as a standalone (I'm behind on the two series that this book connects to -- Spindle Cove and Castles Ever After), but trust me when I say that once you've tried Dare's witty writing, you'll be back for more.
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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss.
*Note: The quotes used belong to Tessa Dare; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.
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If you can't tell from the quotes I shared, I had a blast reading this and I look forward to catching up on the books I've missed in this, and Dare's other, series. :)
Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!