Review: Scandalous Summer Nights by Anne Barton

Scandalous Summer Nights by Anne Barton
Series: Honeycote (# 3)
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Forever
Pages:  400
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review




Lady Olivia Sherbourne isn’t shy about speaking her mind, except when it comes to James Averill. For ten long years he has been her brother’s best friend and her heart’s only desire. But when Olivia hears James will soon set sail for an expedition to Egypt, she knows the time has come to make her move. It’s now or never . . .

James has always found Olivia bewitchingly attractive, but what kind of gentleman takes up with his best friend’s sister? Not that he’s thinking particularly gentlemanly thoughts when she appears on his exploratory trip-three hundred miles from home!-and incites a tavern fight. No matter what the devil she’s doing there, it’s his duty to see her safely back to her family. But how safe will she be when every starlit night brings wicked temptation . . . ?


Review:  This is the first book I’ve read by Anne Barton but it won’t be my last.  I definitely need to go back and read the previous books in the series, When She Was Wicked, Once She Was Tempted and the novella, To All The Rakes I’ve Loved BeforeAlthough I started with book three in the series I could easily follow the storyline since enough background information was given.

It was a different approach that there were definitions at the start of quite a few chapters – each with a double meaning and a sentence to explain the meaning not related to archeological terms.  James was planning to be away for two years by joining an expedition in Egypt to fulfill his desire to go on a dig and on an adventure. Much of the misunderstandings between James and Olivia stem from his upcoming plans.

This often steamy and quickly read historical romance begins in the early 1800’s in London and then continues in various towns quite a ways outside of it. Lady Olivia and James were friends since childhood since he was friends with her brother, Owen.  He watched her grow up and didn’t know she’d been in love with him for ten years and measured all men against him which is why she is still unmarried.  Olivia tended to be forward and not always think things through before acting and would get mixed up in trouble and sometimes come to harm as a result.  Nevertheless she was always full of surprises, acting unexpectedly and creating havoc wherever she went.   Oftentimes she was NOT a lady! Watching James realize his attraction but not wanting or able to act on it at various times throughout put him and Olivia at crossroads.  Seeing them draw together and then apart over and over while fighting their chemistry was at times fun and other times heartbreaking.  There was family, friends, servants, laughter, tears, romance, love, heartache, surprises and beautifully described clothing and scenery.  The dynamics between Olivia and her family and James and his was totally different as was their upbringings. There was the requisite happily ever after that had a nice twist and wonderful closure.  I look forward to reading Olivia’s sister, Lady Rose’s story, in One Wild Winter’s Eve.

Favorite Quote:  Though they’d kissed before, this… this was different.

This was the kiss she waited her whole life for.