(I’m back! Well, sort of. Let’s see how long I can stick with it. 🙂 )
This month’s TBR Challenge was “recommended reads”. I collect a lot of recommendations from friends and librarian colleagues, but I get most of my book recs from blogs. A Night of Scandal by Sarah Morgan came highly recommended from two of my favorite romance book review sites, Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trash Books. This book was actually a Sizzling Summer Book Club pick way back in 2011 which shows you just how far back my TBR list goes.
I’ve read a couple of Sarah Morgan’s books before and I find her to be one of the few Harlequin Presents authors I actually like. A Night of Scandal was well received by lots of people and recommended by multiple blogs, so I chose to read it this month. If you remember from way back in January, I’m only reading books I already own for the TBR Challenge this year and there is no telling when I picked this book up. I’m guessing sometime in 2012. Yikes.
First up, the blurb:
Nathaniel…Icon. Celebrity. Heartthrob.
But underneath his movie-star good looks, he’s battling with the demons of his past. No one knows the real Nathaniel, they only see the pinup, the illusion he pretends to be.
Then one night he is forced to rely on Katie Field, an ordinary young woman from a very different world. She may be starstruck but she isn’t t blinded by the bright lights of fame.
Can Nathaniel trust her enough to reveal the real man behind the mask?
Let the seduction begin….
The most important factor in this review is that I read this book in one night. Presents’ are typically pretty short, but I read this one really quickly because the story clipped along and I was enjoying it.
Presents’ heroes tend to be super-alpha, sometimes bordering on alphole (alpha asshole), but I found Nathaniel to be pleasantly alpha with most of his surliness and standoffishness coming from his desire to protect his secrets rather than him just being a jerk. Nathaniel has real, actual secrets that I didn’t find contrived and I actually understood his reasons for protecting them. The secrets were revealed slowly rather than in a rush all at the end, which I really appreciated.
Katie was predictably innocent and optimistic, but the author made it a point to show that Katie was optimistic on purpose rather than just being naïve. She had good reasons for being cynical but made a real effort to stay positive and be cheerful. I liked that about her. It’s difficult to maintain that kind of attitude and I thought it was realistically presented. Katie wasn’t a pushover and she made her opinions known regularly. I didn’t question her motives as I often do in these kinds of books
Harliquin Presents’ are often heroine-focused, but A Night of Scandal was really Nathaniel’s story. He had lots of demons to overcome and I think at the end he was well on his way. This is the first in a series of eight books so I imagine the other books are focused on the other Wolfe siblings dealing with their own demons relating to the ones Nathaniel had as well as a continued resolution to the problems encountered in this book.
I had fun with this book. It wasn’t super angsty and the heroine wasn’t stupid (major downfalls in the Presents line). The secrets were believable as was the resolution. I didn’t think the “I love yous” were contrite or rushed and they felt genuine. A good, quick read.
Final Grade: A-