Review of “To Tame a Scandalous Lady” (Once Upon a Scandal #3) by Liana de la Rosa

De la Rosa, Liana. To Tame a Scandalous Lady. Fort Collins, CO: Entangled, 2019.

Paperback | $15.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1699299012 | 288 pages | Regency Romance

2 stars

Like with the previous two in the series, I received a copy from the author, once again, serendipitously, through a giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Yet, I still feel a sense of pain that I didn’t gel with To Tame a Scandalous Lady like I did with the previous two, not because the method of acquisition, but because, as is often the case, I feel bad when I dislike works by authors I’ve built up relationships with.

The one major positive thing about this book is the heroine. Flora is extremely unconventional, but she still never feels out of place in the late-Regency setting, instead offering commentary on the assumption that women’s sole purpose is to marry and have children, ideals which have lessened with time, but remain prevalent today. While I did feel like she didn’t fully grasp how her actions would impact her family’s reputation, which she claimed she did not want to jeopardize, even when her brother tried to explain it to her, I did admire that she took a risk and that she fought back against the idea that her gender and station precluded her from following her passion.

What I truly had difficulty with was Lord Amstead. He never seemed to me to be good hero material, much less a worthy match for Flora. He says at one point hat she probably finds his arrogance appealing due to her own strong character (paraphrasing here), but not only did I not find him appealing (he’s apparently so hot, she remarks on it a ton, but is there something of substance to him?), I rooted for her to kick him to the curb and not take him back when he engaged in the awful double standard of appreciating her talents (both as a horse trainer and bedmate) befoe he knew who she was, and then tried to impose marriage and tradition on her when he found out she was a lady. The latter is understandable, given he has some sense of honor as most gentlemen did where women of their class are concerned, and it’s not right that she deceived him, but the fact that he saw her as less capable as Lady Flora than as William/Flora Grant is a harder hurdle to get past for me.

This is another case of “it’s not you, it’s me,” as arrogant, managing heroes aren’t my cup of tea, and I feel like there could’ve been a way to give Flora a strong hero who was also likable. However, if you like strong heroines and alpha heroes, I would give this a try.

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