Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Audiobook Review: Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh

Series:     Bedwyn Saga #3
Pub. Date:Jan. 17, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Rosalyn Landor
Length:11 hrs 55 min
Source:Publisher

Slightly Scandalous is the third book in the Bedwyn Saga, following a large aristocratic family in the early 19th Century. Tt was not until after I finished this audiobook that I realized that the heroine was actually introduced in a prequel to the series, which I did not know about. I wish I would have read A Summer to Remember first, as that story is such a huge part of Freya Bedwyn's history.

Freya Bedwyn is the eldest female of the Bedwyn clan, and I was first introduced to her in Slightly Wicked, where she struck up a friendship with Ranulf's wife, Judith. In that book, Freya seemed to be fearless, indomitable, and searching for excitement to break up the tedium of her life. In Slightly Scandalous, Freya was at turns priggish and reckless. Sometimes she was so uptight, I couldn't stand her. Other times, Freya was a delight as she thumbed her nose at hostile acquaintances. But one thing I couldn't get over with her character was how often she resulted to using her fists. She punched our hero several times (or tried to). While I could forgive her the first two times due to the circumstances... at other times she was resulting to violence in anger. I wasn't down with that. 

Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallmere was a wonderful hero. After unexpectedly inheriting his title from an uncle, Joshua finds himself at the center of marriage schemes left and right. I enjoyed watching him thwart other's plans with regard to his matrimonial future. Joshua also had a wonderfully flirty personality. He didn't take anything overly serious, and he did a good job at riling up our heroine (and earning a few punches to the nose for it). Aside from his looks and personality, Joshua had suppressed vulnerability that made him relatable and tugged the reader's heart strings enough to establish a character connection.

The romance between these two started as a lark. Joshua needed someone to stave off his marriage-minded and scheming aunt, and Freya was seeking a distraction from heartache. I did feel bad for Freya and her feelings regarding Kit and Lauren... but I was missing the backstory from the earlier book that I should have read. It is clear that the situation made Freya somewhat jaded, and she was not looking for romance. She looks for every reason to not love Joshua, and she jumps to many conclusions very quickly (and sometimes ended up looking foolish for it). I enjoyed the banter and interactions for the most part, as long as Freya wasn't being punchy. 

As usual, the Bedwyn family bands together when needed and I enjoyed seeing them come (en masse) to Joshua's aid in this story. Wolfric, the Duke, is being humanized bit by bit with each situation... and I can't wait until I get to his own tale of love. I have a feeling his future wife is going to be a most improper female.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this audiobook that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.