Monday, July 8, 2013

That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran

Book Description:

One Daring Widow
In the social whirl of Regency England, Elizabeth Chudderley is at the top of every guest list, the life of every party, and the belle of every ball. But her friends and admirers would be stunned to know the truth: that the merriest widow in London is also the loneliest. Behind the gaiety and smiles lies a secret longing—for something, or someone, to whisk her away. . . .

One Reluctant Suitor
Raised in scandal, Lord Michael de Grey is convinced that love is a losing gamble—and seduction the only game worth playing. But when duty threatens to trump everything he desires, the only way out is marriage to a woman of his brother’s choosing. Elizabeth Chudderley is delightful, delicious—and distressingly attractive. With such a captivating opponent, Michael isn’t quite sure who is winning the game. How can such passionate players negotiate a marriage of necessity— when their hearts have needs of their own?

This latest offering by Meredith Duran focuses on Elizabeth Chudderley, a side character from two of her earlier works.  Unfortunately, I found it very hard to warm to Elizabeth in this book- she drinks too much and is often too vapid for sympathy.  As the book unfolds, she does get more palatable, but I just never really found myself pulling for her.  I also think that there wasn't much background tension moving the romance forward which is a marked contrast to other Duran books.  In the end, even a mediocre Meredith Duran is a cut above many of the offerings in this genre, but it was nevertheless disappointing given the high quality of her earlier books.

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