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Ratings and Reviews (2 7 star ratings
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4.4 out of 5
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    A then he saw her.

    Bella overhears a conversation between her father and grandfather that forever changes her life. Her grandfather is going to marry her off to a distant cousin who is very cruel and lives far away. She will be separated from her family. Her brother is no help. He can't stay sober and is stealing from the family to pay is gambling debts. She decides that she must find a fiancée before her cousin arrives. So, she enlists the help of a friend. Greg has been staying in the country for quite a while. He has made a mess of his life and decides he just need to be alone. His brother talks him into going to London for the season because their sister needs him. They drag him from one entertainment to another. Then he sees Bella. He agrees to be her pretend fiancée, only it turns into more than pretend. Tragedy strikes and Bella's grandfather tells her the true reason that he despises her and she knows she can never marry Greg.
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    Lovely Characters

    FINAL DECISION: A sweet and gentle romance that has less angst than one might expect from Greg's past and focuses on characters that fall for one another almost immediately. Enjoyable even for those who are new to the series. THE STORY: Gregory, Baron Avery and Lady Arabella Winslett end up in a pretend engagement in order to save Bella from being forced by her grandfather to marry her odious cousin. Greg is trying to make his own restitution for his past mistakes by helping the sweet and beautiful young woman. As the two engage in their pretense, they get to know one another and find out that what began as pretend might be what they both want and need. OPINION: This is the story of strangers who enter into a pretend engagement -- her because she is avoiding a horrendous arranged marriage; he because he feels guilt from his past mistakes. The two use their engagement to manage to fall in love. The story was a nice read but not particularly deep. It did however, interest me in the other books of the series because I know there is more depth to the stories of both the hero and other characters that are developed in the past. The highlight for me was the genuine nice characters in this book. Greg and Bella are so sweet together that his book was an easy read that made my heart smile. I liked reading about their story and I hope we see more of them in the future. WORTH MENTIONING: There are a lot of side stories involved in this book that readers of the series might greatly appreciate. CONNECTED BOOKS: A SCANDALOUS RUSE is the thirteenth book in the full Scandalous series (which combines several separately named series). This book can be read as a standalone although there are a lot of characters with history that make significant appearances. I wish I had read this book in order, because I think it would feel more complete. STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
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