REVIEW: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon

Where did you get the book: Bought

Release date: Out now

This review contains a minor spoiler that occurred in the previous book.

Blurb taken from author’s official website:


She lives for passion

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips…and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening–risking everything he holds dear–he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety.

She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

I was disappointed in Sarah MacLean’s last release, so I was a little wary of Eleven Scandals. But after reading the glowing reviews, I got a little excited, but didn’t want to go deep into the hype. But I’m happy to say, this book is bloody fantastic!

I’ve always liked Julianne since book one, and there has always been a air of scandal surrounding her that she never deserved due to the past of her mother. And in Eleven Scandals, you do really feel Juliana’s heartbreak, sadness, and anger. This book has to be the most emotional book to date of Sarah MacLean’s, and I do believe her best. Juliana hates how the ton and society treat her just because of her mother’s behaviour and because her father was an Italian merchant. Even though her brothers love and accept her, the ton still puts that taint of ‘scandal’ upon her, and Juliana sometimes (and sometimes not on purpose) lives up to the scandal by behaving unlike a proper Englishwoman should. No man infuriates and hurts her more than Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton, who is the total opposite of Juliana. He is the most proper of Dukes and does not engage in any type of behaviour that would tarnish the reputation of his lineage. He is everything that Juliana is not, and vice versa, but they have a deep attraction to one another that neither can ignore.

Both Juliana and Simon are engaging and fully developed characters. Juliana’s mix of emotions was conveyed so well that I sometimes felt my throat close up, and that rarely happens for me in a book. She puts on a good show for the ton, but deep inside, she was truly hurting. The stinging put downs that Simon uses against her as a defense for his attraction to her just heaps more hurt upon her, and Juliana just acts out more in anger and defense.

Sometimes I felt like bopping the oh so proper Simon on the head, but Juliana got him so tangled up in knots that it was great seeing him unravel and become undone. Their attraction to one another was smoking hot. The sexual tension between them seemed to heighten with each encounter and there was a passion between them that I haven’t seen in a historical romance for some time.

No matter how many promises he made to himself that he wouldn’t get involved with Juliana, he was always drawn back to her — willingly or not — and I loved their interactions with one another. Some of Juliana’s witty banter with Simon was hilarious and the way she would get her English words muddled really made her charming. Juliana is who she is, and I loved her for it.

Simon did seem like such a cold fish at first, and you soon realise that he was the victim of a parents upbringing – a very cold one. Simon doesn’t want to ‘want’ Juliana, and while he battles with her in private, in public he courts Penelope, someone who does have the right title, but he has no feelings for her. He does this because he knows soon enough, the scandal of what happened to his sister will become public, so his mother and Simon (reluctantly) knows that if he marries someone with a good title before it happens, the scandal won’t be as bad. But his attraction to Juliana becomes stronger with each passing moment, and it’s not long before Simon really looks past Juliana’s anger and defenses, and sees a wounded woman at heart who has been dealt blows from others and from himself.

Simon soon becomes one heck of a decent hero, and what he did towards the end for Juliana was just oh so romantic. It was the ultimate ‘I love you’ and be damned of everyone else.

Eleven Scandals to Win a Duke’s Heart is a wonderful romance that is full of passion, witty banter, and two individuals who really are the perfect match.

I give Eleven Scandals an A+

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean”

  1. Crystal Posey

    I loved this book! Juliana is one of my favorite characters of historical romances.

  2. @Blodeuedd I really enjoy her work also. I was disappointed in her last release, but this and past titles are so wonderful and romantic.

    @Crystal The characters were so well developed. 🙂

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