I’m going to start by saying I don’t read a lot of Historical Romance. When I do read the genre, there’s pretty much only one thing I want out of it: for the characters to hook-up. So you may ask, “why not just read erotica, then?” Because I want a tad more substance and historical romance generally scratches that itch, that’s why. I read these books because they are fluffy, don’t require a lot of thought, and it’s a formula where I will get exactly what I came for: the MC’s eventually having hot sex. I can be a creature of simple pleasures, occasionally. I wanted to read “Last Night’s Scandal” because I read “Lord Perfect” and liked it, but really enjoyed the antics of the two childhood friends the most in that story. So, this story is those kids all grown up but with a kind of Brady Bunch vibe. They are related by marriage but have confusing feelings for each other once Lisle returns from Egypt and discovers his childhood friend is a total babe now, and Olivia has a similar revelation about Lisle. It’s cute, plus, this book is about Lisle and Olivia going to his family’s castle in Scotland to repair it, and finding there may be ghosts AND hidden treasure there! But that’s when the book takes on a kind of Scooby Doo vibe.
I don’t want to think of Scooby Doo in my romance novels. But the mystery is totally like that and it’s not hidden or you know, an actual mystery. We get the culprits POV occasionally so it’s not really a spoiler to say that a pair of drunks raid the castle looking for treasure, and then try and scare off the new occupants through ghostly encounters in order to keep them from finding what may or may not be buried there. It was pretty silly, and kind of funny, and while entertaining, it was a tad strange to have in a romance. If it had been a little darker, and the encounters had brought our MC’s together more from a sense of danger… that may have been hotter but who knows.
I really like how “un-ladylike” Olivia is, and how she and Lisle have this friends-to-enemies-to-lovers thing going on. THAT was fun and entertaining, and I loved seeing a strong woman carving her own way within the norms of high society of the time. The friendship that I followed from “Lord Perfect” to “Last Night’s Scandal” was still there, which was lovely, even if Lisle could be a tad too condescending for my tastes at times. While the “mystery” was all kinds of inane, it fit well with the characters personalities, too. But I will say that, compared to “Lord Perfect” the romance itself was a bit lacking, which I found to be surprising—in a bad way.
More often than not, Olivia and Lisle were bickering, which made me wonder why they were so drawn to each other, besides the “hot factor”. Considering their friendship from the previous book, their almost constant clashing took away from that romance aspect I was hoping to fall into. In fact, there’s so much bickering between the two that things don’t even start to happen until well after the half way mark of the novel. That includes the forbidden feelings AND them going to Scotland. Which means, you guessed it, the real sexy bits don’t happen until there’s maybe a third left in the book! While I was hot and cold on the characters from “Lord Perfect” I will say their romance, their pull to one another, and their sex, was better presented than in “Last Night’s Scandal”.
Which makes this book hard to rate. I gave “Lord Perfect” 3 stars, and while this book was more entertaining at times, the romance felt a bit more lacking. Plus, I took this book with me on vacation to read poolside—totally makes sense, right?—and the binding was so poorly made on the paperback that the glue melted and all the pages started coming out! The book literally fell apart on me! Granted, it was stupid hot out, but I’ve taken books to the beach and all that before and I have never had this happen to me. If I had gotten this book used or something, then fine, all is forgiven. But my husband bought the paperback for me BRAND NEW. I don't fault the author for this, obviously, but the publisher and the supplier. I had been leaning toward 4 stars for this book, but I feel so weird about the book falling apart in my hands and having to throw it away (it seriously can't be salvaged) that I’ll stick with a 3 star rating here because of physical book quality. Otherwise, this was a light, entertaining romance that could have used a bit more sexual tension, but otherwise an enjoyable read!
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