Author: Esther Hatch
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Proper Scandals #3
Release Date: May 10, 2021
His scandals were right on track until she derailed everything.
As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship she's secretly been fascinated by the man for years.
Lord Bryant is well aware of his questionable reputation. Indeed, he has cultivated the image carefully, and the last thing he wants is a wife. But when he's approached by the younger sister of a business associate, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he cannot help. However, when he sees for himself what she is up against, Bryant grudgingly offers his assistance. Faced with his most complicated entanglement yet, Bryant is firm in his conditions and Diana knows that to get romantically involved with Bryant would spell certain heartbreak. But as the counterfeit couple grow ever closer, the line between truth and lies becomes blurred, threatening both Lord Bryant's well-laid plans and the future of Diana's railroad business.
Reviewer: Adriann Harris
This is my first honor reading one of Esther Hatch’s Proper Scandals. To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since I was starting with book three in the series and Lord Bryant had been a character in the first two books. A friend told me that it would not make a difference as they could all be read as a stand-alone, and she was right!
A Proper Scoundrel starts out with single Diana Barton running not one but two railroad companies. She decides to unconventionally enlist the help of Lord Bryant to help ward off unwarranted suitors. From here, the story takes off and never has a dull moment. Hatch outdid herself in all the characters' development, including depth and growth. I have to admit I don’t think I have ever read a story with better chemistry between two main characters, their banter, clean heart-throbbing kisses, and laugh-out-loud moments kept me turning the pages.
The favorite secondary character that I would love to have her own story is Mrs. Oliver. Her antics made up some of the best parts of the story. Go, Mrs. Oliver!
Learned a lot about the railroad business in the Regency Era and Women’s roles in that time. The ending is worthy of not only applauding but an ovation. Bravo, Esther Hatch!
I will definitely read the first two books in this series, A Proper Scandal and A Proper Charade, as I really want to know Lord Bryant’s whole story from beginning to end.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Covenant Communications, Inc. through Interviews & Reviews. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Raechel Kelly
Where has this book been all my life? Okay, perhaps I exaggerate, especially as this was only recently released, but oh my goodness, I enjoyed A Proper Scoundrel so much! The plot, the characters, the romance...if ever I need a swoon-worthy-kiss book for a photo challenge or something, this book is IT.
A Proper Scoundrel was the perfect fake-relationship-to-more story, and it was so sweet. The characters were absolutely life-like and so well crafted that I immediately fell in love with them. Especially Lord Everton Bryant. Ah, if only these heroes were real, right?
I went into this book pretty blind. It was my first read by this author, I didn't know it was technically part of a series, and I figured it'd be good, but frankly, I was blown away by how thoroughly I enjoyed it. It was a quick and pretty light-hearted read, but so fun. The witty banter between Diana and Everton was spectacular, and there were so many scenes that had me giggling with laughter and enjoyment.
And as I said, the romance was really great. There were many 'aws' uttered throughout the pages as I read. Not to mention that I read the book in about two sittings, which has been a rare thing for me lately, so it was extra pleasurable to be so enraptured by this book, swept away into a lovely world with fun characters.
The content is clean, with some swoon-worthy kisses as aforementioned. If you're looking for a romantic Regency read, I definitely recommend A Proper Scoundrel.
This book was provided courtesy of the publisher/author through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"Diana had had a few good ideas in her lifetime, but she was beginning to think her scandal with Lord Bryant was one of the best. "
Driven to distraction with the continual flow of inane men through her office, railroad owner Diana Barton had given up hope that their intentions might be to invest in her company, instead of her future . . . . after all, a husband would gain the right to oversee everyday operations, trumping decisions that Diana had every intention of making herself. The question became, what to do about it? In her desperation to scare off unwanted attention, she did the only thing that came to mind; ruining her reputation, conspiring with the best of the best in the "ruin" department, the infamous Lord Bryant. Surely, no man would want his name coupled with hers after that, and she could get back to the business of running a highly profitable railroad. Two months. Just two months. It was all she needed.
There is something incredibly enchanting about a romance that is trying its hardest not to be. Like actors on a stage without a script, Diana and Everton stumble their way through a most unconventional arrangement, only to discover that what began as a hoax, had a mind all its own. Readers won't be able to turn the pages fast enough!
"Lord Bryant. . . . . I want you to be yourself."
I was invited to read this book through Interviews and Reviews. I purchased a copy of my own.
Reviewer: Nora St. Laurent
What a pure refreshing delightful read. I enjoyed how the author had readers feel a wide range of emotions for this story and her characters. I liked laughing out loud a time or two. I was fascinated by this woman who felt she had no other choice but to do something daring, something that would have society talking about her for years to come. But Diana Barton musters up her courage and heads off to the house of the only one she knows could help her navigate these shark infested waters she found herself swimming in. Baron Lord Bryant, his reputation as a scoundrel could be used to her advantage to fight off all the man that wanted to marry her; oh, not for love but to get their hands on her railroad business.
I was captivated and educated all at the same time as I watched Diana Barton run her families railroad line and that of her friends. Diana is a smart, serious businesswoman trail blazing her way through a male dominated world. I like how she kept the main thing the main through as she sought Lord Bryant’s help. Both characters are strong and vulnerable but not letting the other know of their weaknesses.
I adored seeing these characters transform over the course of this story. The romantic situations in this story are precious as readers try and figure out who is fooling whom? The dialogue between Diana and Lord Bryant sparkles with witty exchanges, full of warmth and humor; giving the reader a peek into the charms and complexities of the Regency Era. This is a great summer read and one that will work well for your next book club pick. This is the first novel I have read by this author it won’t be the last.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through Interview and Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
What a delightful story of two people getting to know each other in an unconventional way. Lord Bryant (Everton) has already experienced a marriage that was rather heartbreaking and he has decided he will not marry again. He is certainly involved in many scandals and he is known as a rake. He is just the sort of man that Diana Barton needs to help her out of her situation. Being the owner of a railroad, too many men keep coming by interested in her due to her railroad. She is determined, when she chooses, will marry for love. Not marry so a man can control her business.
So Diana hatches a plan that is doomed to failure for many reasons. Least of all does she realize that they will both fall in love.
Both characters are fleshed out well as though they were good friends of mine. Their banter with each other was brilliant and funny and just showed both of them that they were in the presence of a unique individual, certainly not up to the ton standards.
This story hit all of my wishes in a book. A tortured hero, a damsel who figures out her own way, friends to lovers, and a love that is guaranteed to last a lifetime. Throw in a bit of humor and a measure of heartbreak and you have a story that I deem a favorite for this year.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Have you ever wanted to read a story based on the cover? If not, check out A Proper Scandal by Esther Hatch.
The cover definitely caught my eye. A swoony cover, an intriguing title, and a fascinating premise quickly piqued my interest, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. Plus, I’ve read Esther Hatch’s other books and knew this would be a great read. I absolutely love her fun sense of humor and her colorful, endearing characters.
Diana Barton is capable, a successful business owner, and tired of men trying to catch her interest and share her wealth. She enlists the help of Lord Bryant to spend time with her and ruin her reputation so she can get some work done. Lord Bryant has a reputation, which he has carefully cultivated, as a scoundrel. I loved the witty, fun banter between these two and enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and change.
I fell completely in love with Lord Bryant. His back story is so poignant, and I could feel his torment. A stellar cast of supporting characters added spice to the tale, and it was delightful to see some people from previous books in the series pop up in this one.
Hatch is a fantastic storyteller, and I’m looking forward to what she has in store next for readers.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Carolyn Bryant
A Proper Scoundrel is a well-written, entertaining addition to the Proper Scandals series.
Although it is the third book in the series, it works well as a stand-alone. However, I recommend that you read A Proper Scandal and A Proper Charade to better connect with the characters and understand references made to events in the other books.
Of all the characters in the previous books, Lord Bryant was the most intriguing to me. I am so glad to finally read his story in which his true character, motives, and past are revealed. Strong, determined, independent Diana Barton is a perfect match for him. The witty romantic banter that pops up frequently and in the most unexpected places such as on the floor of Parliament is delightful and well-timed.
With a steadily flowing, captivating plot, laugh-out-loud humor and loveable, engaging characters, this swoon-worthy, character-driven clean romance, is a fun and heart-warming read. I highly recommend this book and the series.
I received this book courtesy of Covenant Communications through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
I have to confess that this is the first time ever that I picked a book because of the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't pass up the chance to read it. And I'm so glad that I was introduced to Esther Hatch's writing through this fun book. I didn't realize that it was book 3 in the Proper Scandals series until midway through the book. Though I didn't read the other two books, this book was easy to slip into and you know that I'll be going back to read the two previous books soon.
I really enjoyed the delightfully engaging interactions between Diana and Everton in this Victorian Era setting. The romcom that plays out from their hare-brained schemes in the stuffy and formal Victorian backdrop is often laugh-out-loud kind of funny and incredibly sweet at the same time. Everton is the perfect hero - brooding, haunted by regrets and self-loathing but still hopeful and tender. Diana is his perfect match - stubborn, confident, unexpected and refreshing. The author turns mundane daily happenings into sizzling romantic venues and the ending is absolutely precious. The premise and some of the events seem a little over-the-top but that makes it all the more fun to see how everything unfolds. A light-hearted romantic comedy to lift up your mood on a rainy day.
I received the book from Covenant Communications via Interviews & Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.
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