Two exquisite cousins must exchange identities in a scandalous deception.
Madeline de Lacy, the duchess of Magnus, prides herself on being one of the most sensible young women in England, which is why she can’t believe that, in a turn of the cards, her noble father has lost his entire estate — and her! — to a stranger.
On a mission to salvage her family fortune, she changes places with her cousin and companion, sending the meeker Eleanor to confront the man who had won Madeline’s hand. Now, Madeline is free to enter the home of a notorious gambler, and pretends to be meek, humble, and competent with an iron. She is, of course, none of those things; she simply is resolved to win her family’s fortune back. Just when she thinks matters can’t get worse, she meets Gabriel Ansell, the earl of Campion, and they do. Horribly worse.
Four years ago, Madeline was engaged to Gabriel, and worshipped his arrogant kisses. Now, being forced to marry a man she doesn’t know pales in comparison to the ordeal of facing Gabriel again, the man who betrayed her — Gabriel, the only man she ever loved.
Review: I love historical romances. I’ve had the two books in this series sitting on my shelf for quite a while. I was in the mood for a historical romance, so I actually decided to pick up the books. But I wasn’t sure of the order, and I actually ended up reading this book (book 1) after it’s sequel. However, since the books are taking place simultaneously it wasn’t too frustrating to me.
The premise behind this series is that a duchess and her cousin / companion end up switching places. The duchess’s father has wagered her away in a card game and she’s supposed to head to London to meet her new betrothed. But on the way, she learns of a huge house party / card game and thinks her father is going to do more damage. So she sends her cousin to London to hopefully call off the wedding while the duchess goes to to the party to stop her father. But of course, nothing is as simple as you’d hoped it would be… and that makes for a good story.
This book follows Madeline, the duchess, and Gabriel. These two were engaged a few years in the past and she ran when she felt she was betrayed. Now they run into each other at the house party and the sparks are still there, however the trust isn’t.
I liked Madeline, but had some mixed feelings for Gabriel. But, they are good together once they get past all those trust issues. Madeline was fun to watch. Her whole life she grew up knowing she was going to be a duchess, so she’s a super strong and independent woman. So, when she’s decided to take on a role of a companion… well, it’s just a fun ride for the reader since she can’t contain her opinions and that superior air. Then there is Gabriel. He’s at the house party to stop a criminal and get revenge for his brother’s death. Running into Madeline is an unexpected, but delightful surprise. I often felt he was a little heavy handed in how he dealt with Madeline and I personally would’ve run the other direction. But, it did work for these two characters.
All in all, these books don’t have to be read in order, but I would recommend it. The last 50 or so pages of One Kiss from You have Madeline and Gabriel and seeing them together was rather spoiled by not having read this book. Also, Scandalous Again does set up the whole switch.