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To Tame a Scandalous Lady: 3 Paperback – 12 October 2019
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In the wake of a fire that decimates his racing stock, Christian Andrews, the Marquess of Amstead, struggles to keep his family's stud farm from slipping into ruin and painstakingly rebuilds the program. When one of his prime stallions is injured, he notices his new assistant trainer has a special way with the horses. As talented as the trainer is, once he realizes he is a she…and a very beautiful, spirited she at that…he should sack her before scandal breaks. But it’s only weeks before the high stakes race he’s counting on to build back his fortune, and Flora should be by his side for the win.
Miserable under the weight of the ton’s expectations, headstrong Lady Flora Campbell laments her privileged life in London. Embracing her dream of working with racehorses, she disguises herself as a lad and slips away to learn as much as she can from England’s premiere expert, Christian Andrews, never thinking of the scandal she courts but the glory to be had.
Although she develops a tendre for the dashing marquess, she can never let on that she’s not only a woman, but the daughter of a duke...
- Publisher : Independently published (12 October 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 310 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1699299013
- ISBN-13 : 978-1699299012
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.98 x 20.32 cm
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Flora is an awesome woman, she is strong and resilient, able to adapt to many situations, at time I loved her but also disliked her.
She knows what she does around horses and has every right to be angry at Christian when learning she was a woman he tries to clip her wings. But she is also wrong, she put her reputation at stake, and not only hers, so she had no right to reject so harshly Christian, even if they would have had a lot to adjust between them.
I loved her independence and will to forge her own path, by refusing society’s dictats but it is not the XIX st century, she lives during a period where women were mere possession, so she was already lucky to be granted the freedom she has. She acts quite thoughtlessly and when discovered runs away like a coward, letting the others clean the mess behind.
Christian is far from flawless, even very imperfect. But during their time together, he does a lot of growing up.
He had a upbringing of a heir of a Marquess, so sure he has his expectations and haughty confidence, but when shown the right path, he is willing to change even if it means swallowing his pride.
He tried even to curb is own protective behavior to allow Flora to continue her dream.
And by the end, what he did for her is just an awesome proof of how much he changed and the depth of his feelings.
I have one big reservation, Flora does not arrive in Christian’s bed as a Virgin, it doesn’t in itself bother me, but it is the reason that didn’t sit well with the era, she has been intimate with other men because she wanted to be free and act like a man, not because she has been in love, which it is simply dangerous and foolish. She might be a bit fickle to not see how acutely inane it is, first she is a duke’s daughter so the disgrace would be enormous, second risking a pregnancy is rather reckless, close to stupid for this time period. The society was unforgivable for fallen women, so jeopardize her future and those sharing her name because she wants to be equal to men, was bold but foolhardy due to the possible consequences. As at any moment protection against pregnancy was discussed.
I like my heroines strong and ready to fight society’s conventions but not by taking inconsiderate and priceless risks.
In all, I rooted for their romance, both have their failing, and seing them evolve from boss-employee to friends then lovers was entertaining. Their relationship is one of mutual trust, until Flora by her silence betrayed it and jeopardized it. I do think a bit of groveling on her side would have been nice, because Christian was the one wronged, and still he apologized, for being a man of his time under duress, with the biggest gesture possible.
I was granted an advance copy through Netgalley by the publisher Entangled, I also preordered my own.
Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
The male protagonist is aware of his past failings, seeks to make things better and is open to learning new perspectives. He is, of course, handsome and chivalrous, even if sexist like most men of the time period. He develops and changes for the better over the course of the story.
The novel includes insightful personal growth and features healthy relationship building. There are sex scenes that are detailed but are described in a way befitting the characters’ personalities.
The horse racing aspects ad to the tension in the story but are secondary to the romance.
The secondary characters are memorable and add to the plot development. The scenery is nicely described. The witty dialog between all the characters is the best part of the story.
I had a great time reading this book. I loved how integral the trainer Mr Mubarak and Asad the racehorse and the whole horse plot were, they're absolutely essential to the romance. And how much Flora and Christian admired each other for their innate talents but also care for the horses. This was a really enjoyable read and by far my favorite of the series.
A few notes on some sadder things in the book - there are two off page deaths mentioned, both tragic, and there is an on page animal death that made me cry, so just watch out