by Julia London

October 2010
ISBN: 978-1439175453
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

The Year of Living Scandalously is another high stakes historical from Julia London. Readers will have to suspend their disbelief a bit at some of the choices the characters make, but overall, this book proved to be a strong story.

Keira Hannigan is most assuredly NOT the Countess of Ashwood. However, everyone at Ashwood and in the town proper believes her to be the countess. Keira is merely a placeholder. She is waiting for the true countess, her cousin Lily, to show up at Ashwood and proclaim she is the countess. Keira never meant any harm. She did not even mean to pretend to be the countess but somehow that is what has happened. Only one person can currently identity her and that is Declan O’Connor, the Irish Earl of Donnelly. He does not know what Keira is doing but he wants no part in it.

Unfortunately, pretending to be the countess is opening up old scandals and hard feelings again. As a child, Lily sent a man to the gallows for a crime that Keira is coming to understand he did not at all commit. But if Joseph Scott did not steal the legendary family jewels, who did, and where are those jewels now?

This book is rife with the tension of the past along with the hope for the future. Keira seems to get herself into several awkward situations and heck, she is lying for most of the story but at the same time, I liked Keira. She was nice and well-intentioned, even as she finally started to understand that things were not going to work out as she wanted. Her lies would be revealed and there would be anger. Fortunately, Declan proves to be the ally she needs. He wants nothing to do with her schemes, but soon comes to realize that Keira’s situation will get blown to bits if he does not help a little. They definitely make an interesting team. The attraction is very vibrant between them but it did seem like at times that the romance was slow to blossom.

While this story sometimes becomes slow due to a lot of exposition about the past, overall I was intrigued enough to keep reading. I definitely want to find out what happened to the jewels and I am hoping all will be revealed in Lily’s story.

The Year of Living Scandalously definitely lives up to its title! Keira is not exactly the ordinary miss of her time period and I think that some of her actions are beyond many historical readers’ idea of what is correct in a historical but on the other hand, I had a lot of fun reading this book. Julia London always gives me a satisfying reading experience!

Reviewed in October 2010 by Sarah.

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