[Book Review] Scandalous Summer Nights

Scandalous Summer Nights / Anne Barton (Powell's Books)

Lady Olivia Sherbourne knows her mind, and is known for it, on top of being stubborn, direct, and the sister of the protective and sometimes intimidating Lord Sherbourne.  James Averill works as a solicitor and is childhood friend of Lord Sherbourne, putting Olivia out of bounds.  Oliva doesn't much care for James' concept of "out of bounds," and when she learns that he is bound for a two-year expedition in Egypt, she decides to throw away lady-like convention and not only make her intentions known but follows him to the countryside.

Scandalous Summer Nights is an apt description, in the setting Olivia and James do behave in a shamelessly scandalous manner.  I have to hand it to Olivia, for a relatively innocent maid, she's got chutzpah.  James may try to stand on propriety, but she identified his returned interest and played dirty.  Too bad for overprotective brothers barging in, assuming the worst, and through sheer stubbornness to do the right thing nearly destroy a relationship.

There's a tiny hint of magic in this book.  Not strong enough to say for sure that it's included, but just enough to make you wonder.  The story is rather sweet, for all that it revolves around some incredibly stubborn people.  There is no dastardly villain or reputation ruining skeletons in the closet.  Just two adults with some strong mutual attraction getting up to what adults get up to when left to their own devices.  There is character growth and noble (if a little far-fetched) efforts to do the right thing.

Overall Scandalous Summer Nights makes for a fun, fanciful, romance read.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.


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