Scandalous by Charlotte Lamb
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This book snuck up on me. I wasn't sure I'd like it, although Charlotte Lamb's books are generally very good. It turned out to be a winner. I really liked the heroine, Stacie. She was spunky, smart, and had a very snarky sense of humor. I liked that she had her flaws, which she was aware of. For instance, she knew her temper tended to get her in trouble. I liked that she was realistic about herself. She showed self-respect, in that she wasn't willing to settle for less than she deserved. She'd made a mistake in the past, falling for the wrong man, and it made her wary. She didn't want to get caught in the same trap again. Which was why Nicholas was such a threat to her. I also liked that she was a photographer, in a position that was normally occupied by men, and she had to work hard to get the respect and career opportunities due her. She wasn't afraid of hard work.
Nicholas Kinsella comes off as a bit of a bully initially. As this is one of the older Harlequin Presents, you don't get to see his POV at all. Any conclusions you might draw about him are based on his behavior. He is a powerful man, and he seems to be used to manipulating his power to get what he wants. He doesn't come off as particularly warm, either. What I liked, was how Stacie was able to get this ice-cold man to melt. I felt you could see how she was changing him, and how he was falling in love with her, willing to give up his control and all his plans to have her in his life. By the end of the book, I could see just how deeply he loved Stacie. I was hoping she'd let him into her life and give into her love for him.
I truly enjoyed the adventure element in the climax. I did not expect it, but it helped to make this book for me. It served as a very good catalyst for bring this couple together, and it made me love Stacie even more, for her quick thinking and her selfless actions.
This was a very good book, and I ended up enjoying it a lot. The beginning was a bit slow, so that's why I'd give it 4.5/5.0 stars instead of a full 5 stars. I'm glad I have a bunch of Charlotte Lamb's other books in my tbr pile. Although she's gone now, she's left quite a legacy behind in the great books she's written.
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