Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Lady Scandal by Larissa Lyons

All of London is ablaze with rumors about the identity of Lady Scandal, a female brazen—and desperate—enough to advertise for a husband.

But for Juliet, the young and surprisingly innocent widow, it’s her last option if she wants to avoid another marriage not of her choosing. Her prickly, pig-headed father has threatened to marry her off once again but this time Juliet is not without resources. She hopes the unentailed lands she possesses are enough to “bribe” some rich man to swoop in and save her from another unwanted union. And she has fingers and toes crossed she can find a potential bridegroom who will make her insides melt.

Zeus Tanner, a self-made man from humble origins, has one driving goal—to reclaim his stolen birthright. When the scandalous advertisement catches his eye, Zeus believes he’s found the key to realizing his dream. But after surpassing the arduous task of obtaining an audience with the infamous Lady Scandal—who’s hidden herself behind a screen without explanation!—Zeus never imagined he’d be asked such a strange assortment of questions, given a test of manners over an atrocious scone, and ordered to disrobe and show her his chest—and “male parts”. Zeus heartily refuses to comply with this last outrageous request. Unless, he ponders out loud, the intriguing female is willing to trade her stockings and stays for the privilege...

*MAD*WARNING* This Regency-era tale features flying slippers and stockings, a soaring silk neckcloth and silky undergarments, an unplanned eruption of epic proportions, and innocent licks that soon turn lust into love!

This has got to be one of the most refreshing books I’ve ever read. It’s funny—and by that I mean side-hurtingly funny, the kind of laugh that makes you cry. I laughed so hard at one point my husband laughed at me laughing.

An absolute treasure of a book, Lady Scandal is guaranteed to brighten up the worst of days. Honestly, I sat up straighter with this line: The notice scandalized the ton. It was so blunt, so funny after following an utterly delightful notice placed in the newspaper at the start, that I smiled knowing I’d get a brilliant read. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

The best thing about reviewing is that I frequently find authors who delight me, who write with such glorious wit, such fabulous inborn talent that it makes me smile until my face hurts. Larissa Lyons has that wit, that talent, and if all her books are written in this way, I want to read every single one of them.

Lady Scandal, Juliet, has hidden behind a screen while her friend has interviewed prospective husbands. They come to win her hand in marriage, but Juliet has specific needs and, despite needing a husband with money pretty quickly, she won’t just take anyone. Her last husband, an older man who had no idea how to treat a lady, did things that made her shudder, so to wed a man with the same traits just wouldn’t do. Also, she wants to find her husband visually appealing, not someone who makes her shrivel away from his unwanted touch. She wants to be allowed the chance to be herself—a lady in public but a woman in private. Will she ever find a man like that? Does he even exist?

After seeing who has presented themselves to her so far, she’s despairing of ever finding the perfect mate—until Zeus arrives. He has his own reasons for having to jump through hoops in order to just get a meeting with Juliet, and one of them is to reclaim his birthright. What he doesn’t bargain on, though, is his goal becoming unimportant once he sets eyes on Juliet. They have a fantastic conversation while disrobing—you have GOT to read this book to see why they disrobe—and both realise they have found the person they have been seeking their whole lives.

This book is charming—so bloody charming it charmed my socks right off! I adored it. There are some lines in there that had me laughing so very hard, had me smiling, had my eyes misting and, much to my surprise, tears prickling. It is not difficult to become attached to these two. They are alive on the page, so very THERE, that you can see them, feel them, hear Juliet’s throaty laughter—laughter she has always thought made her sound like a crone but something Zeus loves.

I won’t give anything away, but I promise you, if you like regency, you’ll love this.

Willing wax pot.

…like a pointy pebble in his boot.

…um, things centred above and between.

…nearly bugged to Bedfordshire and back.

“Partake of a scone, please,” the melodious voice demanded.
“And if I do not care for a scone?”

“With…bedding you?” he said raggedly.

“Would you perchance show me your male part?” (This is the line that had me roaring.)

Masculine protrusion.

Bobbing bauble.

“I’ll teach you, you know. …” (Tears stinging here!)

“Here now, we’ll do it together.”

The last few lines. Wonderful!

I can’t praise this book enough. Regency fans, if you like gorgeous wit in with your devilishly superb, well written, sexy reading matter, Lady Scandal should be on your “Must Read” list. If you’ve never tried Regency because you think you may not like it, it doesn’t matter one jot—this book is the one I feel will switch you on to Regency. Please, just buy it. It’s so well worth the asking price!

1 comment:

Larissa Lyons said...

Well now, I hardly know what to say.


[...still thinking...rereading review...feeling all warm and wonderfully tingly...]

"Thanks" seems inadequate when, in truth, I'm wondering if I can have your review bronzed and hung on my wall? The literary equivalent to baby booties maybe?

I'm delighted with everything you said and not feeling any pressure at all to make sure my next Regency is up to par. (Okay, maybe a little pressure!)

:-) Larissa