That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran (Rules for the Reckless #1)
January 29, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
The more I read Meredith Duran books, the more I become fascinated and enthralled with her voice. This books starts with a really well done (and important) prologue. Lord Michael de Grey’s brother is a duke, a duke who has turned into a sickly recluse after his wife was discovered not only sleeping with many other men, but also giving away political secrets. The duke is not only devastated his wife is dead, but her betrayal is drowning him, terrified the scandal will someday hit the papers. Years ago after Michael’s mother fell ill and nothing could be done to help her, Michael decided to turn to medicine and became a doctor. His brother funded the hospital that Michael now proudly runs. The duke knows he will never marry again, so he turns to Michael and demands he marry well, and produce an heir, if he does not, he will take all funding from the hospital away. Outraged and shocked and just completely sick of his brother’s behavior, Michael does the one thing his brother doesn’t expect him to do – he leaves the hospital, leaves town and goes into hiding in the country.
It is here he walks outside his house one morning to see a lovely lady passed out drunk in his rose bushes. Elizabeth Chudderly is a widow who is just the talk of the town. Gorgeous and outrageous, she throws the best parties and knows everyone. But behind the scenes things are bleak for Elizabeth. Her late husband left her many debts, and her most recent love has left her once he found out she was broke. Many people depend upon Elizabeth’s money, and she has finally concluded she must marry wealthy to secure everyone’s future that depends on her. But when she wakes up with a hangover in what she thinks is a country doctor’s office, her life will take a turn.
This book is so adorable and witty and just so well written. Elizabeth thinks Michael is some random country doctor and Michael lets her think that, as he doesn’t want his brother to catch on to where he is. She has no idea he is a rake and from the high class. But her reaction to him at first, stuns her
Mr. Grey settled the kit on the floor and then knelt before her – and began to roll up his shirt cuffs. Her mouth nearly fell open. What a barbaric thing to do! He was a savage. A savage whose bare forearms…made her mouth go dry.
His wrists were broad, lightly haired. His forearms looked to be carved from pure muscle. The veins on them stood out distinctly as he unwound a length of gauze.
Elizabeth is well versed in flirting, but her reaction to Michael surprises her so much. I also adore that while she is the epitome of fashion and thinks Michael is a barbarian for showing his forearms, she has absolutely no embarrassment that she was passed out drunk in his bushes.
“The headache will diminish,” said Mr. Grey – startling her, until she realized that she was rubbing her temple. “Be sure to take fluids until it does,” he added. “Broth and tea, preferably.”
The dear, sweet bumpkin! He issued his instructions as though he imagined this was the first time she had drunk to excess.
From here these two spend a lot of time together and develop a friendship with some very intense and wicked sexual tension all the while having such witty dialogue.
His eyes met hers over the rim of his cup, then flicked away as though hers burned.
Warmth prickled through her cheeks, The wild thought came to her to say to him: Yes, I feel it, too. Marvelous, isn’t it?
It all comes to a climax when they fall in love but Elizabeth has such a strong sense of duty to the people she cares for, and Michael has no money now that his brother cut him off. For Michael, he loves Elizabeth, but his brother basically raised him and he is not certain he can walk away from him and a hospital that helps so many.
There is much more to this story that I haven’t even mentioned. Elizabeth’s secretary has a great and intriguing role in this one and I hope we get more from her in the future. This is just a very lovely romance book about two people who meet, become attracted to each other, and help each other overcome personal obstacles to eventually find true love.