Review of “Summer of Scandal” (Dare of Defy #2) by Syrie James

James, Syrie. Summer of Scandal. New York: Avon Impulse, 2018. 

Mass Market Paperback | $6.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062849694 | 407 pages | Victorian Romance

4.5 stars

Summer of Scandal is another sweet historical romance from Syrie James. I was once again drawn to her well-drawn, sympathetic characters, with this one focusing on defying convention as a major part of both the hero and heroine’s characters.

While the bluestocking heroine finding a hero who supports her intellectual dreams is a somewhat frequent trope in historical romance, I love the way it was done here, with Maddie being equally supportive of Charles’ forbidden pursuit as an inventor. And while the crisis of the book does boil down to a variation of one of my least favorite tropes (what I term, for lack of one already, the post-coital misunderstanding), I did admire that Charles did try to be a good and honorable person, meaning that his grand gesture felt sincere in spite of his momentary pigheadness.

I love how James also manages to capture just the right amount of more “traditional” Victorian sensibilities and more modern, forward-thinking ones in both Maddie and Charles, so it does feel very much reflective of the rivaling ideals of the late Victorian era politically and socially.

I very much enjoyed this book, as it was very much a slow burn where I could enjoy the fall into love as they both question whether duty trumps love. I would recommend this to other fans of sweet historical romances.

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