Title: Ready, Set, Rogue (A Studies In Scandal Novel, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Manda Collins
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Jan. 3, 2017
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another…
Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?
I’m no stranger to Manda Collins’ books. I’ve read and enjoyed many (at least 5) over the past few years. I’ve always found them to have unique plots and this offering is no exception. Ivy receives a letter when she arrives at the Beauchamp estate from her deceased benefactor, Celeste Beauchamp, telling her that if she is reading the letter then she, Celeste, has died and probably under mysterious circumstances. She tells Ivy to work with her nephew, Quill, to solve her murder. Of course this alliance leads to time spent in each other’s company and a romance blossoms, rather quickly.
I have to confess that this book is not a favorite of mine. I thought much of the story predictable, and some incidents a bit of a cliché. The characterization of all characters was well realized and individual personalities of the other ladies inheriting along with Ivy were well drawn. We can, hopefully, look forward to their stories as the series continues. The mystery is interesting and held my attention even if I didn’t feel a romantic bond formed between Ivy and Quill. I recommend this book with some reservations.