Ready Set Rogue (Studies in Scandal #1)

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Book Blurb:

WHO WILL WRITE THE BOOK OF LOVE?

When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another…

Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction? ~ From GoodReads

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

The Review:

I was actually invited to read this book by the publisher. Unfortunately, I was able to read it in advance, but it did not stop me from reading it. It took me a one day to read it, and I was really happy that I was able to have a chance to be part of the blog tour.

Yes, it took me like a day to finish this and I truly enjoy this book. I had to obtain the release material to read it in another medium.

I love how this was made. As the start of a new series, it gave us an impression that each ladies will face difficult times ahead. So far, the plot of this book was really unexpected.

I like Quill. I was about to dislike him, but the way he changed his heart and how the change came about was really good. There were more on Ivy’s thoughts, but the way it was written was artfully entertaining. I love how the two were thrown together. If ever Lady Celeste was alive she is one heck of a matchmaker.

Here is the excerpt of the mystery and why it become a very intriguing book for me:

“Abandoning her scan of the bookshelves, she turned fully to face him, her hands clasped before her so tightly that her knuckles were white with it. “Lord Kerr,” she began, her green eyes shadowed with trepidation. “There is something I must tell you.”
Quill felt his stomach drop, and a pang of disappointment ran through him. Now she’d admit that she and the others actually had found some way to trick Aunt Celeste into leaving them Beauchamp House. The whole business of the competition had sounded like a farce, and though he’d known his aunt to possess a playful streak, he’d never guessed it would reveal itself in such a way. Certainly he’d not supposed she would play fast and loose with the dis- position of Beauchamp House, where she’d spent so many happy years.
“Then by all means,” he drawled, allowing every bit of the world-weary ennui that cloaked him in town to settle over him. “Tell me all, Miss Wareham. I confess I am curious to hear how you all managed it, never having set foot in Beauchamp House before. It must have taken a great deal of coordination amongst the four of you.”
But if he’d expected her to surrender completely, he was to be disappointed. “What?” she asked, her nose wrinkled in puzzlement. “I thought we’d just put that behind us. And yet, here you are with accusations again. You are like a dog with a bone, Lord Kerr. Honestly!”
“If not that, then what is it you wish to tell me?” he demanded, exasperated. He’d never thought himself to be a particularly emotional man, but since he’d met this chit on the road he’d gone through more feelings than a year in London had elicited from him. He must be sickening for something. “You can hardly blame me for jumping to conclusions when we’ve just been speaking about my earlier suspicions.”
“I can blame you all too easily,” she retorted with a scowl. “But I will not because I am tired of being at cross purposes with you. And I do not believe your aunt would like it.”
Indicating with a wave of his hand that she should go on, Quill waited.
“I found a letter from your aunt waiting for me in my bedchamber,” she said, her fine features marred by worry. “I greatly fear that Lady Celeste was murdered.”

***Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

I like the romance between the two. It was like a volcano ready to erupt. And they were doing their best to stop it from growing. And boy it was totally unexpected turn for me. It was like the faucet was in full blast and there was no way of stopping it.

Hence the next except below:

Despite her discomfort and distress at being drenched, she was in possession of the sort of temperament that did not allow the petty annoyances of life to dampen her spirit. He could not think of a single other lady of his acquaintance who would meet such a situation with such equanimity.
“If you wish,” he said over his shoulder, “you may remove your gown and wrap up in one of the blankets . . .” He trailed off as he saw that she was already in the process of doing just that. He swallowed at the sight of her breasts outlined by the wet fabric as she tried to reach behind to unbutton her gown.
“I am trying to do just that, but I’m afraid this gown requires the assistance of another pair of hands.” In another woman he might have suspected her of flirtation, but there was a sort of shy diffidence in the way she spoke that told him she was not trying to be coy. It was a refreshing change from the cynical seductions he was used to in London.
But when he looked up, their eyes caught, and he muttered a curse. She might be an innocent, but she had a wellspring of natural sensuality that just might do him in.
Completely unaware of the direction of his thoughts, she asked, “Would you mind helping me?”
He was crossing toward her before she even finished speaking, and when he moved to stand behind her, he was almost jealous of the wisps of damp hair that kissed the nape of her neck. “Move your hands,” he said thickly, unable to say more in case he’d tell her what he was truly thinking.
As he bent his head a little to see the buttons, Quill was assailed by the scent of woman mixed with rosewater rising from her warm skin. He fumbled a little as he set his fingers working against the fastenings, unable to resist dragging a little against the smooth skin of her back as one by one he pulled the bindings free. It was near impossible for him to breathe as he watched inch after inch of her gown part to reveal first the almost transparent fabric of her chemise, then neatly threaded laces of corset below.
As if she sensed his hesitation, she said quietly, “That’s good enough. I think my gown bore the brunt of it.”
The danger of the temptation she posed suddenly making its way into his brain, Quill pulled his hands back as if they’d been licked by flames. “I’ll go have a look at the fire,” he said pointedly as he turned his back to her and placed one hand against the wall beside the stone fireplace and gazed down into the actual flames below.
Perhaps it would have been safer for them both if they’d pressed on to Beauchamp House, he reflected as he tried not to listen to the rustling of her clothes as she slipped out of them. It had been years since he’d felt the sort of uncontrolled desire that held him in its grip now. It was impossible to forget every luscious detail of her. From the smooth skin of her bare back to the flush in her cheeks.
He’d also been cursed with a healthy imagination when it came to his carnal desires, which now unhelpfully flooded his mind with all the delicious ways in which two adults could put a rainy afternoon in close quarters to good use.
“You may turn around now,” Ivy said finally, after several fraught minutes of him trying to think of everything but the woman undressing just feet away from him, and failing miserably.
When he turned, he saw that the thick wool blanket that covered her was about as unflattering a garment as it could be. But even that did nothing to quell the effect of her loveliness on him.
“You may sit beside me if you like,” she said tentatively, her green eyes perhaps seeing more of his discomfort than he was comfortable with. “There’s no other chair here, and it would be ridiculous for you to sit on the floor when there is a perfectly good seat here.”
His expression must have shown his skepticism as he looked pointedly at the empty place beside her on the small bed.
“Do not be missish, my lord,” she said, echoing his own words to her as they huddled beneath his greatcoat. “We are both sensible creatures. I can sit beside you without unleashing my base passions on you and offending your delicate sensibilities.”
Despite his misgivings, Quill bit back a laugh. “I believe that is supposed to be my line,” he said with a grin. “You must think me a poor figure of a man if you think I will collapse in a fit of the vapors.” As he spoke, he walked the few steps to the other side of the cottage and lowered himself gingerly to the cot beside her.
“Hardly that,” she said holding her blanket at the neck while extending her other hand toward the heat of the fire. “You looked so serious, I thought to relieve the tension a bit, that’s all.”
“You use humor like that frequently, don’t you?” he asked, unfastening the diamond stick pin from where it nestled in the now crumpled folds of his cravat.
Before she could respond, he said, “Let’s use this to hold that,” holding up the pin.
Nodding, she shifted a little to face him, lifting her chin so that he could duck his head and see what he was doing as he stabbed the pin through the thick blanket. Pulling back a little, he looked up to find her green gaze lingering on his mouth. And unable to stop himself, he gave in to the temptation that had dogged him ever since they set out together that morning.
Pulling her against him, he covered Ivy’s mouth with his own, and kissed her.

***Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

This book was such a wonderful read. From the way the characters interacted, to the way it was plotted. I was a bit of a shocked too when the killer and the reason  behind the killing was revealed.

As the book closes, I wonder, what will happened to the Duke on the next book?

In the end, everything went well. I look forward to the second book.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

manda-collins

AUTHOR BIO: Manda Collins is the author of The Lords of Anarchy series, which includes Good Earl Gone Bad and A Good Rake is Hard to Find, as well as several other Regency-set romances. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.

MANDA COLLINS SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Twitter: @MandaCollins
Facebook: @MandaCollinsAuthor
http://www.mandacollins.com/

SMP ROMANCE SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Twitter: @SMPRomance
Facebook: @SMPRomance
http://smpromance.com/

Buy Links: Amazon | BAM | iBooks | B & N | Indiebound | Kobo

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