I think my review of Julia Quinn’s First Comes Scandal could be summed up with this sentence: I enjoyed this book and found a lot to admire in it, but I didn’t love it.
Med school student Nicholas Rokesby proposes to his neighbor (and his best friend’s sister) Georgiana Bridgerton. Lest you think this gesture is borne of romance, Nicholas’s father has ordered him to propose because Georgie was deliberately ruined by an idiot-scoundrel.
But to their great surprise, Georgie and Nicholas start noticing things about the other, and those things are actually quite entrancing, now that they think about it.
I picked up this JQ book because with everything going on these days, I wanted something comforting. I found it.
I also found a book that addresses the plight of women spectacularly (capable of being ruined so easily, among other things). Three cheers to Julia for writing a non-rake hero who often agrees with Georgie’s less conventional beliefs and behaviors and for making her heroine at least somewhat aware of her privilege. The proposal scene is just *chef's kiss.
The banter between Georgie and Nicholas is pleasing and the exploratory sex scenes between the two relatively inexperienced friends-to-lovers, sexy.
But tbh, Nicholas comes across as strangely arrogant at times given how otherwise modest he is, and a bigger problem for me: some aspects of the book, including the development of their feelings, seem a bit rushed and need more groundwork laid.
On the whole, the book feels kinda domestic and cozy but also peopled with characters who are quietly rebellious. That’s an attractive combination, but while First Comes Scandal was a delightful way to spend my afternoon, it just didn’t grab my heart (or sometimes my interest) like so many of her other books do.
CW: a disgusting, selfish man who ruins Georgie; asthmatic heroine
First Comes Scandal releases on April 21, 2020. Thanks to Edelweiss+ and Avon Books for my complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Give me that HEA, please.
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