The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell (Tale of Two Sisters #1)
Released: July 25, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
Oh this book. It has some very well done and clever banter (one of my favorite things) and it has a sister relationship that I adored. But it also has a “get rid of the fiance” story line that goes through the entire book and I got super tired of it.
Growing up on neighboring properties, Nicholas and Amelia or Mia, have been very good friends most of their lives. And while both families are wealthy, Nicholas’s family is extremely strict, all about appearances and would never involve themselves in a scandal. They had an heir, and a spare (Nicholas) and Nicholas’s parents want their sons to follow in their austere footsteps. For the past two years, Nicholas has left England and has traveled to Paris and beyond, getting rid of the strict confines of his family home for the first time and pondered about his life. He has loved Mia forever, but his parents do not approve of her family, so he never found the courage to go against them and declare for her. When his mother sends him a letter that his father is ill, Nicholas comes home, to care for his father and finally declare love for Mia.
Mia and her sister Julia are extremely close and have grown up in a warm, boisterous household. They love to play pranks and they do everything together. Julia has a spinal deformity, that makes her walk with a limp. Due to this, and their more outgoing behavior, they are shunned by the ton – whispered about, and not invited to society events. Julia has come to terms with the fact that she will grow old alone, and when Mia surprisingly gets an offer of marriage, from a titled gentleman, Lord Montrose, she encourages Mia to accept, so she can move above and beyond their scandalous household. Mia does accept, but when her betrothed starts to say negative things about Julia and her disability, Mia knows she made a mistake. With Nicholas back in town, their feelings for each other start to come to surface and Mia wants out of her engagement. But her fiance refuses to break it, threatening to bankrupt her family is she leaves him.
To start with the positive, Mia is super cute, Julia is super cute, heck – even Nicholas is super cute. The three of them are good friends having known each other forever and I enjoyed the three of them hanging out. Even when Nicholas hangs out just with Julia, I really enjoyed those scenes. Like when Julia and Nicholas are spying on Mia and Montrose…
“Shh!” Nicholas adjusted until he could see the couple standing on the terrace below. “What are they doing down there?”
“We don’t know. Mother’s in fits thinking Embry’s trying to call off the engagement.”
Hope surged inside him. He squashed it down. “Why would he do that?”
“Because we’re unmannered wantons.”
“Well, obviously.” Nicholas grinned as he dodged the elbow she tried to jab into his ribs “Bu surely he knew that before today.”
They were warm, with clever banter and just really well done relationships. Mia and Julia together made me smile so much. They get into trouble together, they fight, but they love each other so much and I loved how their relationship is portrayed.
This book starts with Mia engaged to Montrose and she quickly learns he isn’t who she thought he was. After Montrose refuses to break their engagement, Mia, Nicholas, and Julia start to come up with elaborate schemes to embarrass and anger Montrose, so he will have no choice but to let Mia go. But this goes on the entire book. I got tired of it. Instead of giving Mia and Nicholas page time to court and woo, it’s silly events aimed to hurt Montrose that seemed very over the top. The love between Mia and Nicholas gets pushed to the back. Nicholas is still yearning for her, which is done well, but the two of them together – we miss out on.
I have to also mention Nicholas’s friend, Jasper, who comes to visit and adds to much to this book. He made me smile and laugh. He is truly devilish and naughty. Like when he catches Mia and Nicholas in bed together…
“Good evening,” he said, getting comfortable on his stomach. “You must be Amelia Bishop.”
She pressed her face into the carpet beneath Nick’s bed. “Unfortunately.”
“There’s nothing unfortunate about it. My name is Jasper and I expect we will become the best of friends.”
The man was ridiculous, and it must be catching, because Amelia couldn’t stop herself from asking, “Will we?”
“Oh yes. In my experience, it is extremely difficult to get our Nicholas to misbehave. And yet, here we are.”
This is a pretty cute book. I just wish that the fiance getting dragged through the book had been cut off much earlier.