A Scandal By Any Other Name by Kimberly Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary from GoodReads
Jasper De Vere doesn't do sad. Ever since the death of his parents, he’s devoted himself to life’s many pleasures—while making sure to avoid attachments. It’s difficult to avoid your own grandfather though, especially when you’re the heir to his Dukedom. Unable to sit by and watch one of the few people he cares about wither away, Jasper flees to his friend Nicholas’s country estate.
Julia Bishop leads a life of glorious excitement—in her head. The spinal injury she was born with makes her a permanent pariah in society, so despite being the daughter of an earl, she's spent her life in the country with just her family to keep her company. When her brother-in-law’s flirtatious—and devilishly handsome—friend mistakes her for an untroubled debutante, Julia isn’t about to let an opportunity for some real, live adventure slip away.
Delicious distraction and flirtation turn into an all-out affair, and slips dangerously close to something more when family intrudes. Can Jasper and Julia return to their separate lives in isolation, or will they take a risk and choose each other?
I received an e-ARC from NetGalley & Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
First of all, I'd like to thank Jen from Book Avid for the recommendation. They had posted many times about the importance of the book and about the heroinE, Julia.
The story takes place in the Victorian era, in the early days of the Queen's reign. Julia Bishop is the daughter of a wealthy family, she is beautiful, educated and has a loving family. But she is shunned by the 'good' society because of her 'issue'. You see, Julia was born with spina bifida, a birth defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord (as dear old Google says).
To live like this at THAT time period had to be horrible and despite the liberty, the author takes, which she also mentions in the end of the book, it must have been horrible to have children and not being able to save them.
Then Julia meets with Jasper DeVere, soon to become a duke, and sparks fly between them. Despite the book being the second in the duology, it felt like a good stand-alone and I really enjoyed it. Also, Jasper deals with grief and the need to have someone who can understand him, so the couple dynamic worked very, very well. Also keeping in mind the social forms of the era, the author weaves a heated romance, which evolves in quite the love story.
I want to have more books like that. There is a presence in the YA world but in this genre, it would also become a strong breakthrough. Truly recommended!
About the author:
Author of The Countess Scandals w/BerkleyRomance.
The Importance of Being Scandalous EntangledSelect out July 2017.