Title: How To Handle A Scandal
Series: The Scandalous Sisters #2
Author: Emily Greenwood
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating: 3 stars
Seven years after fleeing to India brokenhearted, Tommy Halifax returns to be knighted for his service to the crown, and of course he would run into his first love, the more beautiful than ever Eliza Trueheart.
Widowed already, Eliza is no longer a careless flirt—in fact, she spends her time looking out for such wayward young women. She finds Tommy to have become quite the gentleman, too, and she wants to be honest with him, but she can’t decide what’s right: making up for her years as a wanton, or falling willingly into Tommy’s arms.
Read on for my thoughts on How To Handle A Scandal. No true spoilers, promise.
Eliza was a spoiled beauty in her younger years and heady with a strong willed determination to enjoy every moment of her ton success she was at times very heartless and childish. When Tommy, who had fallen in love with this beauty, proposed in a very public fashion Lizzie simply laughed in his face. Humiliated, Tommy set off for India with a determination to forget Lizzie ever existed.
Years later, Eliza has acknowledged her wanton ways of the past and is attempting to put forth a far different face to the world and herself. Now a widow, Eliza is taking in homeless young women to her home in order to keep them from a desperate life of prostitution. With training, an understanding of proper manners and skills, these young women can face the world with the talents and deportment needed to get decent jobs instead of turning to the brothels and the streets for their income. Yet, Eliza doesn’t truly understand the brothel life… so she does something completely foolish.
Tommy has returned from India to be knighted for his service. He is a stronger, wiser man than the young boy who left England so many years ago. Still when he does eventually encounter Eliza he wants nothing to do with her. When he visits a brothel, and unexpectedly encounters a woman who doesn’t quite fit the part – but that doesn’t stop the sparks from flying… or the results of their encounter.
Tommy and Lizzie/Eliza go through a lot of growing up, misunderstandings and eventually get their happy ever after.
I admit that I struggled greatly with this story and came close to DNFing it at several points. While I love and have read Emily Greenwood’s works before – this one I simply could not connect with. And again I admit that disconnection is on me and not the author. I frankly could not have given a flying fig whether Tommy and Lizzie/Eliza worked out their differences to get to their happy ending. I could not root for either of them because they both acted so spoiled, childish and without any backbone. This simply isn’t a book that I would read again – and don’t have much desire to finish up the series.
Having said that – I am also certain there are many readers who would love How To Handle A Scandal. And that’s awesome that we don’t all have the same tastes or opinions of books. But for me – I couldn’t connect and that does leave a sad feeling behind. So the 3 star rating (good book) is based on Emily Greenwoods’ skills as a writer – the plot was well woven… the fact that I didn’t care about the main characters is on me.
*I received an e-ARC of How To Handle A Scandal from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available in Paperback and for the Kindle