Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Sins and Scandals Trilogy
Synopsis for An Earl by Any Other Name (from Goodreads):
An earl in the streets, a rogue in the sheets . . .
Leopold Graham, Lord Hampton, was never a man to let propriety stand in the way of his pursuit of pleasure. Hedonism is his only desire in life—until his father’s death saddles him with debts that threaten to bankrupt the entire family. Now the only thing that stands between him and utter ruin is marriage to a proper, and preferably wealthy, young lady.
Ivy Leighton is no sweet English rose. Perhaps it’s her gypsy roots, but she would rather make a spectacle of her independent spirit than sit quietly on the sidelines. If that means that the only place she’ll ever have in society is firmly on the shelf, then so be it. But when Ivy runs into the handsome, rakish Leo who’s looking for a respectable, well-bred wife, she can’t stop thinking about the troubles they can get into. Now she just has to convince him that a life with her is really what he needs.
Series: Sins and Scandals Trilogy
Author: Lauren Smith
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Genre: Adult, Historical, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: August – December 2017
Source & Format: Netgalley–eARC | Thank you Forever Publishing!
**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
Over the last year, I’ve discovered that Lauren Smith writes great novella series. They have solid plots, swoon worthy romance and never feel like they are half the size of other works in the genre. So I was really excited to see what she would do with a historical romance novella as opposed to the contemporary works I usually read by her.
What I Liked:
–Felt Like I was Back in Downton Abbey!–
The cover made me think this was a regency era novel but it’s actually set in 1911, which is fabulous! It had a great Downton Abbey feel to it because this is precarious time in history. You’ve got a change in the hierarchy of England and women are searching for the right to vote and be independent.
I loved the setting and how it contributed to the antagonism between Leo and Ivy. Instead of your heroine rebelling for the sake of rebelling, she’s rebelling to contribute to the greater good of society (suffragette movement!).
–Fun Plot Line–
It’s not in the synopsis but I liked that there was substance to the reason why these two were brought together. It added a lighter flare to the story and added some fun to the circumstances.
What I Didn’t Like:
–I Just Needed a Little Bit More–
While these two had great chemistry and I could see why they would be a fabulous match, I felt like things were wrapped up just a little too quickly at the end. Not that I wanted some unnecessarily drama but another chapter would have been great!
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I really enjoy this setting and how there are so many interesting factors contributing to the character’s motivations. We’ve met the next hero so I’m curious to see what his story has in store.
–September 6, 2017– Book #2: A Gentleman Never Surrenders
I’ll be the first to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Owen as the hero in this novel. He didn’t leave the greatest impression on me once I finished An Earl by Any Other Name for obvious reasons. But if anyone could get me to fall in love with an unlikely hero, Lauren Smith is that author.
And she definitely succeeds!
I immediately fell in love with Milly and Owen’s story–and their romance. I adored Milly’s independent spirit and her drive to be something more than what society deems. Watching her get that confidence and grow as a character was such a treat. And learning more about Owen’s motives and seeing him evolve as a character helped erase my previous misconceptions about him and love his characters.
Those misconceptions I had about him were the same ones that Milly had as well at the start. She’s apprehensive about the situation she now finds herself in and that brings out these fantastic moments between them. You get these heart-warming moments where they discover there is something more to the other than they ever thought and they fall that little bit more in love. They have a fantastic chemistry and have these delicious moments of sexual tension that I just adored.
These two charmed me completely and I absolutely loved this story!
–November 23, 2017– Book #3: A Scottish Lord for Christmas
I’ve been looking forward to this book since we where introduced to these two earlier in the series and it was just as good as I had hoped.
This story is just heartwarming from start to finish. It’s a story about learning to love again and accepting that love can happen anytime and that it is worth the risks.
It’s a delicate balance for Quinn and as a result he has some great character growth. You watch him struggle with a range of emotions and thoughts when it comes to his feelings for Rowena. It just gives his character a genuine edge that I really enjoyed as a reader. This is very much Quinn’s story about embracing the past but moving forward to the future.
In comparison, Rowena is very confident in her feelings and so she doesn’t have as much character growth as I expected. Instead, she’s more of a solid foundation to build this story up. In a way it was nice to see the female character be the “stronger” one who doesn’t have to learn or become more comfortable with herself.
While the chemistry is there from the start with these two, I found the sexual tension took a little longer to build. I think it’s because their initial meeting is so rushed and Rowena’s feelings are almost insta-love that it took me awhile to feel the sparks between them even though I knew they worked well on paper. But the romance between them definitely heated up the more I read.
Overall, it’s a great read in time for the holidays and a solid installment in this great series!
My Rating: 4/5
An Earl by Any Other Name 3/5 | A Gentlemen Never Surrenders 5/5 | A Scottish Lord for Christmas 4/5
This was a nice break from the regency historical novels we often see. If you want a Downton Abbey era novella series, this is the one!
Read if You Like: quick reads, Downton Abbey, historical romance
Avoid if You: want a full length novel