Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on January 3, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
WHO WILL WRITE THE BOOK OF LOVE?
When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another...
Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?
Ready Set Rogue (A Studies in Scandal #1)
By Manda Collins
Intrigue, lust, Rogues and Bluestockings
Can you imagine knowing that you’re dying and suspecting that it’s not from natural causes? How would you handle an investigation when you suspect someone means to cause you ill? Who would you call upon to find the answers?
Did the butler do it? Maybe it was the maid? Could it be the widowed vicar who lives down the lane? Well, in Ready Set Rogue Lady Celeste calls upon one of the smartest to find the answers. Welcome to the scene of the crime…Miss Bluestocking.
Aphrodite (Ivy) Wareham is a scholar who studies and translates ancient Greek texts. Being of the fairer sex has made it almost impossible for her studies to be taken seriously. When Ivy is informed that she and three other women scholars have been made beneficiaries to an estate to study full time she is ecstatic.
Her father, Lord Alton is a former classics professor at Oxford which has Ivy exposed to scholars on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Ivy doesn’t get to study full time because she helps her mother care for her many younger brothers and sisters. This is an opportunity that Ivy can’t pass up. At first, her parents are hesitant to let her go, but with determination, she gets her way and escapes the “madhouse”.
Torquil Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr is furious. How dare these four women come into his beloved aunts home and claim it for their own? Quill will do whatever it takes to thwart those plans, starting with meeting them face to face.
On the journey to Beauchamp House, his carriage breaks down and when he arrives at an Inn he is forced to step up to help a woman being accosted by a man. The woman he saves has his attention from the very start. She’s attractive, witty and dangerous with a box of books…that nearly broke his toe. Ahhh…he just saved one of the women he is on a mission to thwart.
Ivy and Quill don’t start off their relationship in the best way. They butt heads and are less than keen to be in each others company. Imagine their surprise when on arrival Ivy is given a letter from Lady Celeste asking them to join forces to find her murderer. Putting their feelings aside, they team up and try to work out who the murderer could be. As their investigation heats up…so does their feelings for each other.
I really enjoyed Ready Set Rogue. I liked Ivy and Quill individually but as the story moved along I liked them together even more. Ivy does not just follow along with Quill’s instructions and makes sure that her opinions are always heard. Her determination and intelligence were admirable and quite unique.
Quill is a man who does not rush into a situation without considerable planning. He had no time to plan for Ivy and it’s not long before he realises he can’t stop his growing feelings for her. If only they could keep their hands off each other.
I loved the additional characters we meet in Ready Set Rogue. Daphne, Sophia and Gemma are the three other bluestockings living in the house. Sophia and Gemma are sisters and absolute sweethearts. Daphne…well, she’s a wee bit honest…to a fault. All four women are specialists in their fields and struggle to get acknowledgement because of their sex. This opportunity gives them the chance to be around like-minded women.
We also meet Lady Serena, her six-year-old son Jeremy and the Duke of Maitland, Serena’s brother and Quill’s cousin. Serena has been appointed chaperone to the ladies. She had lived with Lady Celeste after her husband died. I loved getting to know Maitland, Serena and Jeremy and the close bond they share with Quill.
The mystery and intrigue had my attention from start to finish. The suspect only became apparent to me later in the book and was then amazed once all the pieces had been laid out.
The love story had a rocky beginning but once the connection had formed between Ivy and Quill it was intense, steamy and grew to be loving. Both Ivy and Quill have adjusting to do to make their relationship work. When Ivy’s life is put in danger, it’s obvious that Ivy and Quill’s initial feelings of lust had moved on to something stronger.
With all the pieces in place, Ready Set Rogue was a suspenseful historical romance that captured my attention and kept it. I cannot wait for more in the Studies in Scandal series.