Who would have thought a man could tire of being fawned over and flirted with? Ever since Cooper Townsend returned from France as a hero with a new title, he has been relentlessly pursued by every marriageable miss in London. Perhaps that’s why the unconventional Miss Daniella Foster is so appealing. She doesn’t simper or flatter. She only wants him to help unmask her sister’s blackmailer, and Coop has never been so intrigued…
Let every other woman in London fight over His Lordship’s romantic attentions. Marriage is the last thing on Dany’s mind…at least until she samples his illicit kisses. Now, as a mutual enemy races to ruin Coop’s reputation and Dany’s family name, an engagement of convenience will spark an unlikely passion that might save them both.
Publisher and Release Date: HQN Books, April 2016
Time and Setting:
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by Sara
In A Scandalous Proposal, fame isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
At least that’s what Lord Cooper Townsend comes to find when he becomes the darling of the ton after the release of two stories of his heroics in France. These highly exaggerated tales of his time fighting Napoléon and saving widows and children from the French army have made it impossible for Cooper to go anywhere without being mobbed. His popularity has become a joke to his friends but is much more of a nuisance to Cooper, especially as the anonymous author of the pamphlets has hinted at knowledge of events that no one but Cooper and a select few should know. Those small hints, hidden in the pages of both stories, become threats that all will be revealed in a third and final story that could ruin not only Cooper but also highly placed members of society unless he pays to keep the author silent. Unable to risk exposure, Cooper begins an investigation to find the blackmailer and keep them from ever publishing again.
Cooper is not the only member of the ton facing ruin at the hands of a blackmailer. Lady Cockermouth made the foolish mistake to trust that a correspondence with a secret admirer would remain secret. With the threat of her secrets being exposed to her husband or the gossips in town, Lady Marietta shuts down emotionally and it’s up to her younger sister Daniella Foster to take up the fight. Unfortunately Dany is young and in over her head. What she really needs is a hero who will help her track down the blackmailer; and her prayer is seemingly answered when she literally runs into Cooper Townsend and finds a way to enlist him to her cause.
A story like A Scandalous Proposal reads almost like it was ripped from today’s entertainment news feeds. People love to build up celebrities but also love to watch them get caught in scandals of their own making. Cooper’s instant celebrity comes with a high price; his privacy is taken from him and his life is instantly under a microscope. Meeting Dany and falling for her is refreshing to Cooper because she is unmotivated by his new rank or his exploits while a soldier. She only knows him for who he is, and as they learn about each other she cares only for the man he will be once his celebrity has died down.
Where the story loses a bit of its charm is in how unnecessarily complicated the blackmailing plot becomes. I was disappointed when the motivation behind the blackmail was revealed because it was quite anticlimactic and served only as one giant plot device to put Dany and Cooper together when their normal circumstances wouldn’t have. Even the explanation of what Cooper was protecting didn’t have the gravity it needed to help readers understand why he’d risk everything to keep the blackmailer quiet.
I think some of the problems just come from Ms. Michaels’ style of writing. Her characters carry on long conversations full of parries, jabs, innuendos and other details to move things along and it’s a wonder any of them can catch their breath! Some of these scenes work beautifully to show the relationship between characters, from the friendly teasing of Cooper’s best friends to the relationship between Dany and her sister. However in other scenes. similar conversations are so overloaded with banter that pertinent information gets lost. There needed to be more quiet moments for Cooper and Dany to just reflect and feel for each other rather than having to constantly express themselves.
When the dialog isn’t weighing it down, A Scandalous Proposal is a light and enjoyable story, and in spite of that reservation, I’ll be looking forward to the next book of the The Little Season series.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kasey Michaels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 110 books (she doesn’t count them). Kasey has received four coveted Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly, three for historical romance, The Secrets of the Heart, The Butler Did It, and A Gentleman By Any Other Name, and for the contemporary romance Love To Love You Baby. She is a recipient of the RITA, a Waldenbooks and Bookrak Bestseller award, and many awards from Romantic Times magazine, including a Career Achievement award for her Regency era historical romances. She is an Honor Roll author in Romance Writers of America, Inc. (RWA), and is a past president of Novelists, Inc. (NINC), the only international writers organization devoted solely to the needs of multi-published authors.
Kasey has written Regency romances, Regency historicals, category books including novellas and continuities and a few series “launch” books, and single title contemporaries. She has coped with time travel, ghosts, trilogies, the dark side, the very light side, and just about everything in between. Hers is also the twisted mind behind her ongoing Maggie Kelly mystery series starring a former romance writer turned historical mystery writer whose gorgeous hunk of a fictional hero shows up, live and in color, in her Manhattan living room – to melt her knees, to help her solve murders, and to leave the top off her toothpaste. And, says Kasey, she’s just getting started!
Find Kasey at <a href=www.kaseymichaels.com>kaseymichaels.com</a> and on <a href=https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKaseyMichaels>Facebook</a>.