Title: It Started with A Scandal (Pennyroyal Green Series, book # 10)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Julie Anne Long
Publisher: Avon, March 31, 2015
Source: Free for Review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword, and a stone-cold conviction: he’ll restore his family’s fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach—when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green.
An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. She is shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, and her survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a frighteningly formidable prince.
The bold and gentle Elise sees past his battered body into Philippe’s barricaded heart . . . and her innate sensuality ignites his blood. Now a man who thought he could never love and a woman who thought she would never again trust must fight an incendiary passion that could be the ruin of them both.
This is another delicious addition to the Pennyroyal Green Series. Phillipe Lavay is a prince of the French Bourbon line. Most of his family was executed during the French Revolution and his family’s many residences confiscated. Phillipe is planning to avenge this destruction of family by buying his ancestral home and building anew the family name with his grandfather, sister and himself. Unfortunately his funds are low and the only way he can see to improve them is to either marry a wealthy woman or work for the British Crown in the capacity of a spy. Since he was attacked he is too weak to take on a clandestine mission. That leaves marriage his only option. Unless…
Elise, is a scandalized woman. She is not aristocratic but she is the daughter of a physician and was raised to be a gentlewoman. She knows the job of housekeeper to Lavay is her only hope. She attacks the position using her intelligence and savvy to win over the household staff and put Lavay’s household to rights. She did not expect to lust after the master and she guards her feelings tenaciously.
The clever dialog between Phillipe and Elise helps to build the sensuous sexual tension that ever so delightfully, slowly, culminates in their first kiss. By the time this occurs we are shouting at the book “Yes, Yes, kiss her”. But is there any way a prince and a housekeeper can make a life together? This is the conundrum that kept me turning pages into the wee hours.
This is, eventually, a very sexy book and Long knows how to write sexy. In fact I am not remiss in mentioning that she is one of the best at writing these scenes. We wait a long time for this and we are rewarded with both romantic and lust filled scenes.
The prose is magnificent, here are examples of Long’s sensuous writing:
“The trouble was….when she touched him, he’d been both chaos and peace. Nothing had ever felt more right. Nothing had ever been more wrong.”
“And Phillipe watched as if in a dream as his hand reached out and closed ungently around her arm. It was a reflex. It just seemed critical to hold onto her, as if she would fly off away from him, forever, like an untethered kite.”
The Pennyroyal Green series is one not to be missed. All the books are beautifully written and there is variety in the action, adventure and romance. Each can standalone but you will find delight in reading each book from the beginning, and how lucky if you are just coming to this series that there are ten books available.
Yes, I HIGHLY recommend this book to all readers even, or perhaps especially those who doubt the worth or validity of the genre.