Handsome ladies’ man Lucas Beckford has agreed to help his friend, an impoverished baron, win the affections of an icy heiress. It should be a simple task, especially for a seducer of his reputation. However when Luke catches sight of the enchanting lady, he is captivated with her pretty brown eyes, quick wit, and sharp tongue; and his desire to see his friend marry the girl quickly evaporates. Now he just has to find a way to convince the penniless lord to turn his attentions elsewhere—leaving the Ice Princess to him.
Lady Juliet St. Claire has always believed that her fortune would protect her from ever having to relinquish her freedom in marriage. Though fortune hunters endlessly hound her, Juliet’s outwardly cold demeanor keeps most of them at bay, licking their wounds or patching up their pride. However when Luke charms his way into her life, he easily melts more than just her heart. Unfortunately, the rogue is of the love ‘em and leave ‘em variety, and leaves Juliet’s tender heart in pieces. But when her fortune lands her in danger from an unscrupulous foe, Luke returns to her side, offering his help and protection. Now Juliet has to decide if her heart is strong enough to trust the rogue a second time.
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Round two of Ava Stone’s Scandalous Series is an even better read than the first!! A Scandalous Charade follows Lucas Beckford, infamous ladies’ man and confirmed bachelor. Luke has spent the vast majority of his life chasing tail, drinking, gambling and, generally enjoying every second of his life. Luke is wealthy, gorgeous and, has no intention of ever changing his ways.
Lady Juliet St. Claire is, without doubt one of the most sought after women in English society. She is beautiful and wealthy beyond belief and has always felt her money will be the thing to protect her from the wretched state of marriage. Lady Juliet has never seen a successful nor happy marriage and as such has no desire to give up her independence and engage in such nonsense. With the start of the new social season, Lady Juliet is quickly seeing the flaw in her plan. With her money and her beauty she is constantly being accosted by fortune-seeking “gentlemen” looking to wed and bed the young lady and take control of her considerable fortune. In her determination to avoid romantic entanglements, Lady Juliet has developed the reputation of being cold and impenetrable – a reputation she both despises and holds dear.
When Luke Beckford meets Lady Juliet St Claire everything in his world turns upside down! Juliet is all Luke could ever hope to have in a woman and most disturbingly, with very little effort at all, she has Luke considering things like commitment and monogamy. Dismissing these horrifying thoughts, Luke hatches a plan that will get him closer to Juliet and keep the wolves at bay. Startlingly, Juliet not only accepts Luke’s proposition but jumps at the chance to spend more time with the dashing Luke Beckford. Night after night, Luke and Juliet spin around dance floors and chat with friends and family in an effort to convince all they are a true couple. Within just a few nights all of English society is buzzing and both Luke and Juliet are mostly thrilled with their arrangement.
If emotions weren’t a part of life, Juliet and Luke may have been able to pull off their perfectly plotted plan. The more time each spends with the other, the deeper each falls for the other. Juliet is willing to accept her feelings and move forward with Luke but Luke is a coward and completely ill-prepared to deal with something like feelings. As one would expect from a somewhat reformed playboy, Luke totally and completely freaks out and leaves Juliet with her head spinning and her virtue no longer intact. As if to add insult to injury, Juliet’s estranged family rears their collective and ugly head and add a considerable amount of danger to Juliet’s already devastating life. With few choices and her life in danger, Juliet also pulls a runner.
The Bottom Line: Lady Juliet and Luke Beckford are absolutely, 100% made for one another but their road to an HEA is disturbingly difficult. Luke is perhaps the most charming and most stubborn of men and totally taken aback by his feelings for Lady Juliet. In an effort to spare Juliet anymore pain Luke runs for the hills causing her more pain than he could have ever imagined. Additionally, the dumbass causes himself a considerable amount of pain when he belatedly realizes just how much he cares for Juliet. The give and take – the struggle – between Luke and Juliet is all kinds of fun with her sharp wit and his charm constantly battling for dominance. Adding to pure enjoyment of this read is Luke’s sister, Caroline whose meddling ways are as delightful as they are devious. Caroline is pure joy and without her, Luke and Juliet would have no chance at all. Thank you, Ava Stone for Caroline J In all, I found A Scandalous Charade to be a most enjoyable Regency read and see it appealing to lovers of this genre as well as lovers of HEAs and light mystery.
P.S. A Scandalous Charade has, near the end some repeated parts from book one, A Scandalous Wife. If you have already ready book one, I highly recommend skimming over these parts as you won’t need the information twice. If you haven’t read book one, the information is necessary and you should definitely pay attention.