Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5
The Year of Living Scandalously (the cover itself is quite scandalously enough for me!) was a tale of star-crossed lovers whose passion reaches the stars. Nope. I’m lying to you. It’s actually about a girl turned woman whose beauty and charm attracts man out of their wits and an earl who loves horses. The rape and suicide of a childhood friend leave them both haunted and in hatred/guilt in each other’s presence.The first thing that made me pause and think about the novel was the prologue and epilogue. See, they are both told in Lily’s perspective while the rest of the novel is told through Keira. It was such an odd match that I had to look up the synopsis of the novel to figure what the novel focuses on. The prologue was a much longer chapter than I expected and set things up more so for the sequel rather than this installment. It set the ball rolling for The Year of Living Scandalously but doesn’t play the biggest role in the romancing of Declan and Keira.
But when Lily, Kiera’s cousin, finds herself a new title her desire to travel abroad overcomes her sense of duty and enlists the help of Keira to maintain her newest property. Keira finds Ashwood barely hanging on—a clear cry from when it held the grandest party of all time. There, she runs into Declan who plans to purchase a fine horse from the estate and cajoles him into helping her. Keira is determined that Ashwood stay afloat despite a new neighbor who is out to get the family and discovered what truly happened to the family jewels that led to one woman’s death and her cousin’s sudden arrival to her home.
Keira may find more than she ever bargained for.
Declan and Keira are well suited for each other: both being born in Ireland, wanting to travel and experience life, and a strong liking to horses. They are both also like horses or rather mules—stubborn, head strong, doesn’t exactly think things through carefully before acting and reacting. Going with their gut instincts. Oddly enough, this is an appealing characteristic to the novel as the novel is direct about the plot while amusing as the two butt heads.
The novel ends roughly, which leaves plenty of tidying up to do in the sequel for Lily as she comes back from her trip.