Desert Isle Keeper
Some Like It Scandalous
I flew through Duchess by Design, the first book in Maya Rodale’s Gilded Age Girls’ Club series, a couple of months ago, and was super excited to pick up this second installment. Some Like it Scandalous is a delightful enemies-to-lovers romance, filled with all the sparkling wit and sizzling chemistry a romance reader could ask for.
Daisy Swan is on the verge of being declared firmly on the shelf by New York society, but contrary to popular opinion, she’s not at all bothered by her lack of a serious suitor. Instead, she looks forward to devoting her time to the study of chemistry, which has been her great passion for the past several years. She has dreams of one day developing a line of cosmetics for respectable women, so there’s simply no room for marriage in her plans. But when her father loses the family fortune through some rather shady investments, Daisy’s mother informs her that she must marry, and to make matters worse, the man she is to wed is none other than Theodore Prescott, the man Daisy has sworn to hate for the past twelve years.
Theo is no stranger to scandal. As the eldest son of a steel magnate, he’s managed to flit from one exploit to another with very little thought to the consequences of his abominable behavior, but now, he’s taken things just a bit too far. It seems he was caught riding a stolen racehorse, and his father has finally had enough. The elder Mr. Prescott has decided that his son needs a wife to help keep him in line, and he’s decided that Daisy is the perfect candidate.
When they were children, Theo mocked Daisy horribly, which resulted in her becoming somewhat of a social outcast. Since then, the two have done their best to avoid one another, so they’re stunned and more than a little dismayed at the prospect of being forced into marriage, but neither of them is sure how to get out of it. They agree to pretend to be engaged while they come up with a foolproof plan to call off the wedding without doing irreparable harm to Daisy’s reputation.
I was fully prepared to dislike Theo. He treated Daisy badly when they were children, and I wasn’t sure Ms. Rodale would be able to redeem him, but my fears were totally unfounded. He doesn’t change into a warm, caring man overnight, but he does grow quite a bit over the course of the novel. I loved his willingness to own his mistakes and his attempts to become a better person. He doesn’t always get it right, but the strides he makes felt completely authentic to me.
Daisy is an utter delight. She’s smart and driven to succeed, character traits that set her apart from most other high society ladies. She knows what she wants, and she’s determined to do whatever she has to in order to achieve her dreams. I was drawn to her right from the start of the novel, and as things progressed and I became aware of her vulnerabilities, I found myself liking her even more.
I don’t always have a lot of patience for couples who start out as enemies but eventually fall in love. I often find it hard to buy into the idea that all the bad feelings have slipped away in the face of true love, but Ms. Rodale made me believe in Daisy and Theo as a couple. Their attraction is plain to see, even when they’re doing their best to ignore it, their verbal sparring made me giggle, and the sexual tension sizzles just beneath the surface of their every interaction. There are some definite obstacles in the way of their HEA, but they manage to overcome them in a way that feels believable.
If historical accuracy is important to you, Some Like it Scandalous might not be the book for you. Some of the language feels a bit too modern and the overall tone of the story feels just a little too politically correct for the 1890s. Even so, I enjoyed every minute I spent with Theo and Daisy, and I definitely plan to read the third book in the series as soon as it’s released.