A Lady’s Guide to Skirting Scandal (Lords of Worth #2.5) by Kelly Bowen

a lady's guide to skirting scandal

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Lady Viola Hextall is bored—of the ocean, her chaperones, and the woeful lack of available dukes on the ocean voyage from London to New York. Scrambling for any diversion short of jumping overboard, Viola strikes up a conversation with the ship’s rough-hewn, blue-eyed surgeon—and discovers an immediate cure for what ails her…

To Nathaniel Shaw, Viola has the bearing of a lady and the spirit of an adventurer—an unlikely combination that he finds utterly irresistible. So he’s hoping to convince Viola to leave the stifling ballrooms of London high society behind because there is a big, wide world just waiting for them to explore—together.

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Publisher and Release Date: Forever Yours, August 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Early 19th Century, Atlantic Ocean
Heat Level: 2
Genre: Historical Romance Novella
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review by Jenny Q

Bored out of her mind on a punitive transatlantic voyage with two stuffy old birds for chaperones, young, vivacious Viola decides to strike up a flirtation with the handsome ship’s surgeon to occupy her time. But she doesn’t count on finding his work so interesting, or on his willingness to let her assist, or on how boldly he touches her. Even more disconcerting is how responsive she is to that touch, especially since she has her mind set on marrying an English duke to bolster her family’s standing in society.

Nate is leaving the past behind and looking forward to a new life in the American West, and he’s earning his passage by serving as the ship’s surgeon for the voyage. He promised his friend he would keep an eye for on his sister and make sure she doesn’t get into trouble like she did in England; but keeping Viola out of trouble is hard to do when she is so tempting. As medical lessons give way to steamy encounters, Nate realizes Viola is just the woman to step into the wild unknown by his side. But can he convince her to choose a life of adventure with him over the life of a duchess before their time aboard ship is over?

This is a fun novella and an effective introduction to Kelly Bowen and her Lords of Worth series. I was drawn to this because of the setting aboard ship and the fact that Nate is a surgeon. I have not yet read the previous books, but I don’t not feel that it’s necessary to read the others first, though some of the people mentioned may have had more meaning if I had.

As happens often in novellas, the story and characterization are somewhat lacking in development. Everything happens rather quickly, and I could have read a full-length novel about these two and the adventures that await them. But though the story is a little light on substance, I found the author’s style to be highly enjoyable – smart, quick, witty, and sexy – and I will definitely read more from Kelly Bowen.

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