A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin: The Debutante Files

( 10 )

Overview

The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .

Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society.Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he's determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.

. . . is about to become the only one he wants

But ...

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A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin: The Debutante Files

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Overview

The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .

Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society.Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he's determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.

. . . is about to become the only one he wants

But Rosalie isn't about to go along with Declan's plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity—and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.

In a shadowed alcove, Declan can't resist the masked temptress who sets his blood afire . . . any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/16/2014
Jordan (How to Lose a Bride in One Night) tackles the discomfiting topic of step-sibling romance in this series launch. Rosalie Hughes was raised with Declan until his father kicked him out at age 14. Now he’s the eighth Duke of Banbury, and Rosalie is the one who’s been cast off (by her widowed mother). Declan reluctantly accepts responsibility for Rosalie, outfitting her with a wardrobe, dowry, and chaperons, but he intends to marry her off ASAP. Rosalie, of course, wants more than the first illustrious name who comes calling, and is willing to be outrageous to get her way. There’s little feel for Regency period details or mores, and even less nuance—Declan’s stepmother is named Melisande, for those who need extra help identifying the villain. Even though it’s not a keeper, the story has enough verve and sizzle for a reasonably entertaining afternoon at the beach. Agent: Maura Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Associates. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062222503
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/29/2014
  • Series: The Debutante Files , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 80,662
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophie Jordan

Sophie Jordan grew up on a pecan farm in the Texas hill country, where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times bestselling author of Avon historical romances and the Firelight series. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows..

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** A Good Debut

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin by Sophie Jordan
    Book One of The Debutante Files series
    Publisher: Avon Books
    Publication Date: July 29, 2014
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss




    ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***




    Summary (from Goodreads):




    The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .




    Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society. Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he's determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.




    . . . is about to become the only one he wants.




    But Rosalie isn't about to go along with Declan's plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity—and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.




    In a shadowed alcove, Declan can't resist the masked temptress who sets his blood afire . . . any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin.




    What I Liked:




    My first Sophie Jordan historical romance novel - a HUGE success! I've read a few of her Young Adult books, one of her New Adult books, and now, one of her historical romance books. I'm a historical romance novel junkie, and I've read many historical romance novels from many different authors. I haven't read one since March, unfortunately, and that made the victory with this one even sweeter!




    Rosalie is the stepsister of Declan, a Duke and bachelor who wants nothing to do with her. But when Rosalie is deposited at his doorstep with nowhere to go and no mother in sight, he can't just turn her away (even if they are not blood-related). Declan places a huge dowry on her, and ushers her into the Season with his cousin, Aurelia. Rosalie has been in love with Declan for quite a while, and it's time that Declan realized that.




    I. Loved. This. Book. Seriously. There were so many parts and puzzles, so many subplots and twists. Rosalie moves in with Declan, and the chemistry doesn't start yet. Declan despises the idea of Rosalie because he hates his stepmother (her mother). Rosalie's mother married Declan's father, but everyone knows that she is a gold-digger, horrible mother, and a loose woman that flits from man to man. But as time goes on, and the proximity of Rosalie doesn't change, Declan starts to realize that she isn't like her mother. At all.




    I really liked Rosalie - she is quick-tempered and strong-willed, but she is also shy and well-mannered. I liked Aurelia as well - she is intelligent and thoughtful, but brash and bold. Aurelia convinces Rosalie to come with her to Sodom, which is basically a fancy whorehouse. Rosalie goes there masked, for a kiss, and guess who the hostess of the house sets her up with? Declan, a notorious nobleman who frequents the house, but also quite the gentleman. Declan doesn't realize it's Rosalie. Not until much later on in the book... oh, I loved that scene.




    Let's talk about that scene. My favorite scene in the book was probably the library scene. You'll know what I mean if/when you read it. It was sweet, steamy, vulnerable, tense, and revealing (in terms of many secrets between them). Favorite. Scene.




    I really liked Declan as well. I love how smoothly Jordan made the progression of his feelings. It wasn't just they-see-each-other-and-BAM-smoking-hot-chemistry-everywhere. No, in the beginning, Declan can't reconcile his negative feelings towards Rosalie. Things slowly change, and I love how both of them went after what they wanted. 




    So... I loved the chemistry. And the romance. The relationship between Declan and Rosalie isn't just physical (though that a pretty hefty part of it), but they also are best friends, from childhood and in adulthood. I love how Jordan kept bringing things back from their past, like the climbing trees aspect.




    There is a story to this book, besides the romance. There is the relationship between Rosalie and Declan, Declan and his masked woman from Sodom (who is Rosalie), Rosalie's relationship with her awful mother, and Rosalie's first Season. So much is going on, and I loved all of it.




    Basically, this book is in the running for one of my favorite historical romance novels so far. My first Sophie Jordan was a hit! 




    What I Did Not Like:




    There wasn't anything specific that I didn't like about this book! This isn't towards the book, the content, or the author, but I wished the title matched the story a little more. I was expecting something different, based on the title. BUT THAT'S OKAY. This book was excellent.




    Would I Recommend It:




    If you're a historical romance fan, definitely do NOT let this one float by you. I love historical romance novels and I've read so many in the past two years, and I'd definitely say that this is not one to miss. Be sure to check out Jordan's new series with Avon! 




    Rating:




    4 stars. I cannot wait to read the next book (it's a companion novel, as with most historical romance series)! I believe it features Aurelia's story. EXCELLENT. I hope it features Max as well. I LOVE their banter ;)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2014

    A Good Debutante's Guide To Ruin, book 1 in The Debutante Files,

    A Good Debutante's Guide To Ruin, book 1 in The Debutante Files, is an amazing start to a new series! Filled with intrigue, sensuality, innocence, and a touch of taboo, I refused to put this book down.

    Rosalie Hughes has nowhere to go. Having been all but abandoned by her mother, Rosalie ends up at her stepbrother's door. She's the second to last person he ever wanted to see.

    Declan, the Duke of Banbury, holds nothing but hatred for his stepmother. Though he and Rosalie may have fond childhood memories, he finds it hard to separate mother from daughter.

    Wanting to quickly rid himself of Rosalie, Declan sponsors her through the debutante season and offers a hefty dowry with her marriage. Unfortunately for him, Rosalie won't just go off with the first man to propose. She wants romance and love. But the longer she stays under Declan's roof, the more she wants those things with him.

    I was hooked and sucked in, on the edge of my seat waiting to see where this would go. Declan is never lacking in the company of women, but when Rosalie re-enters his life he unknowingly changes his rakish ways. She gets under his skin. He knows it's a bad idea. He can't go there with her. Looking for escape and to release some pent up frustrations, he runs off to Sodom for the night.

    Rosalie, afraid the debutante season won't bring her the romance she imagined, wants to experience life on her own terms...just once. She too finds herself at Sodom, a private club for illicit activities, donned in costume to protect her identity. There she's only seeking out her first kiss. And oh my steaminess what a first kiss it is...with Declan! Holy mother of first kisses those two have hot chemistry!

    “That's it," he growled. "Take what you want."

    Of course things can't be that simple though. He has no clue the woman at Sodom, that makes him want more out of life, is the same woman currently living under his roof. Explosive is the word I'd use to define what happens when he puts two and two together and stops fighting his feelings for Rosalie.

    "His kiss deepened, grew harder, hungrier. Fast and desperate."

    Oh but, Sophie Jordan, wasn't done with us readers yet. Declan and Rosalie would have to fight for their happy ending. Rosalie's conniving, twisted mother wants her daughter's dowry and she doesn't care about hurting her daughter to get it.

    Who knew a historical romance can be so fun! I'm looking forward to the next one in this series and more of Sodom. Seriously add this book to your TBR list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2014

    Not Bad

    Disgusted by the mother but not bad.

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  • Posted November 22, 2014

    3.5 stars. When I saw A Good Debutante¿s Guide to Ruin book com

    3.5 stars.
    When I saw A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin book come up as one of the book choices for book club, I was excited to read it. I’d already read Sophie Jordan’s YA Dystopian – Uninvited - and loved it, so I was curious to see how she did with this genre.

    I was pleasantly surprised. Some authors I can only read in specific genres – but it looks like Sophie Jordan won’t be one of them. I didn’t love A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin as much as I did Uninvited, but I did really enjoy it.

    For one, Sophie did a good job with historicizing her characters. As we talked about in book club, this was a world where women couldn’t do some things without men – and you really felt this. Rosalee – the main character – doesn’t want to be married off to just any man. She wants to fall in love and pick who she’ll marry – but she can’t just throw away society’s expectations.

    By playing by the rules, Sophie created a much more complex character. Rosalee is strong and resourceful, but she has to figure out how to use the structures around her to get what she wants. And along the way, she makes some risqué decisions that could get her into lots of trouble – and that make the story that much more fun for us.

    A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin did have a potentially oogey point – Rosalee falling in love with her step-brother Declan. So, it didn’t bother me at all. Part of me thinks that Game of Thrones has just desensitized me to this taboo – but more likely its the way Sophie paints their relationship. First of all – they’re step siblings. Secondly, though they did play together as kids, they haven’t seen each other in years. This is not a close sibling relationship. So it worked.

    Although the plot was somewhat predictable, there were some unexpected twists for me. Rosalee’s mom is a definite wildcard in the story – and though I wasn’t thrilled by her role (why do parents have to suck so often?) – her involvement keeps you on your toes.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing this series develop, since I suspect we’ll be getting the stories of some of the other characters – one in particular I’m already predicting her story – and I’m really curious about the identity of another woman. I’ll definitely continue listening to it, as Carmen Rose did a great job with both the female and male voices. I thought the personalities really came to life the way she voiced them and I hope she’ll continue narrating.

    I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fun historical romance with a bit of steam and a couple twists to keep you on your toes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2014

    Fantastic! A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin is a fabulous start

    Fantastic!

    A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin is a fabulous start to new series. It is an engaging romance book with great characters that was difficult for me to put the book down.Sophie Jordan writes fantastic books with great romance, passion and adventures. Declan and Rosaline's story is one of the book that you want to finish it in one sitting and read it again.I can't wait to read the next one in this fabulous series. Thank you Sophie Jordan

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 16, 2014

    ¿A Good Debutante¿s Guide to Ruin¿ by Sophie Jordan is the first

    “A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin” by Sophie Jordan is the first book in the Debutante Files. 
    No one wants Rosalie Hughes and she’s been ‘forgotten’ at school for over two years until the school mistress takes circumstances in her own hands and dumps Rosalie on the front steps of her step-brother’s house, Declan, the Duke of Banbury. 
    I was struck by the stark reality of Rosalie’s position during this time. She has no money, her mother’s missing, and she’s at the mercy of her only relative. But based on Declan and Rosalie’s past together, he decides to give her a season, bestow a very generous dowry on her, and find her a husband. This was a wonderful story and for the last 75% of this book, I could not put it down. The pacing was perfect and the tension kept my fingers glued to the pages until 2 a.m.  The love scenes were well placed and steamy, but there were a few things about Declan that bothered me.
    On the surface, he seems like your typical Regency hero, rakish and avoiding marriage until he meets the ‘perfect woman’. However, he’s supposed to have experienced a great trauma in his childhood and I didn’t quite believe it. A book where I thought a hero’s childhood abuse was utilized to drive the conflict and motivation very well is “MacRieve” by Kresley Cole. Cole wrote a character who suffered abuse as a child and it tainted everything he did. And the romance between the hero and heroine was moving very fast until she reminded the hero of his abuser. Then, it stained the relationship between the hero and heroine until he had to make a choice to save her life or not. 
    But when I read Declan saying Rosalie reminded him of her mom, his abuser, I never quite believe it.  How were the two women even similar? I was never shown any evidence that this was the case, which made Declan’s conflict seem weak and his actions unmotivated. I, as a reader, didn’t feel connected to him and didn’t believe his growth as a character. 
    This book taught me how important backstory is to a character. If a character is to have suffered trauma or abuse, do the research. Talk to people and find out how these experiences have influenced their lives. 

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  • Posted August 19, 2014

    Boring!

    Boring!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Great read.

    )

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  • Posted August 6, 2014

    Luckily I started  A GOOD DEBUTANTE¿S GUIDE TO RUIN on a Saturda

    Luckily I started  A GOOD DEBUTANTE’S GUIDE TO RUIN on a Saturday morning because I couldn’t put it down until the last page.

    Rosalie is dumped on the stepbrother she hasn’t seen in ten years because she has no place else to go. They’d been close as children but Declan, now the Duke of Banbury, is nothing like the sweet, charming boy she’d known before his father threw him out and sent him into exile at Eton.

    For Declan, Rosalie is a painful reminder of his stepmother—the woman who destroyed his relationship with his father. And yet he can’t turn her into the streets. Instead he offers a huge dowry guaranteed to attract a husband who will take her off his hands. His plan seems to be working until Rosalie insists she have a say in who she marries, secretly hoping to find a man to love.

    After Rosalie and Aurelia, Dec’s cousin, slip off to have a scandalous adventure, Rosalie can no longer deny her inappropriate feelings for Declan while he fights a growing attraction to her. But in addition to the taboo of being step-siblings, a terrible secret stands between them—an old wound that has never healed and may destroy any chance they have of being together.

    As always, I loved Sophie Jordan’s characters. Rosalie is the right combination of courage, sensitivity and loyalty while Declan is just the kind of seriously damaged hero we love to see redeemed. The secondary characters—Declan’s aunt and cousin who introduce Rosalie to society, and his rakish friends—are so well-rounded and amusing I’m hoping they get their own books in The Debutante Files series. And in an interesting twist, Rosalie’s mother makes a great, if unconventional, villain.

    Although the book deals with some taboos, the decade estrangement between Rosalie and Declan made their adult attraction understandable and acceptable for me. Ms. Jordan’s skill as a writer allows her to step into unconventional territory and always do justice to her characters and their story.

    This is a wonderful start of a new series by a writer who never fails to deliver. Anyone who loves historical romance needs to read A GOOD DEBUTANTE’S GUIDE TO RUIN. 

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  • Posted August 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A charming, sweet, and enjoyable historical romance, A Good Debu

    A charming, sweet, and enjoyable historical romance, A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin was a fantastic read. I really liked this wonderful book. From the lovely romance, to the unexpected secret, this book was a delight.

    Rosalie was a lovely heroine. She wasn't openly defiant, but she was determined to carve out her own choices in any way she could. Even it it meant visiting a highly scandalous club. My only complaint was that I wished she had stood up to her horrible mother sooner, but she did eventually, so it wasn't a problem. I thought she was a perfectly likable character.

    Declan was wonderful. To be honest, I thought he was a complete jerk at first. He judged Rosalie based on his negative feelings for her mother and treated her poorly as a result. It was especially annoying because they had been friends of a sort when they were young, so he should have known better. But, after finding out why he hated his stepmother, I understood his resentment. His hatred for that shrew of a woman was so (rightfully) strong that he had difficulty separating it from his feelings for Rosalie. But, beyond that tangle of emotions, Declan was a more honorable man than he believed himself to be and he could be so sweet when he allowed himself to be. By the end of the book, I really liked him.

    The romance was great. It progressed realistically as Declan came to the realization that Rosalie was nothing like her mother. I liked how that was done. It made the romance more believable. And, from the start, these two had a ton of chemistry, though they were in denial about it at first. I thought they were a lovely couple.

    The plot was fast paced and I was kept hooked the entire way through. The secret of why Declan hated his stepmother so much was a shocking surprise that I never saw coming. And, there were a few twists along the way as Rosalie's mother fought to get her own way. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was perfect.

    A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin was a fantastic historical romance. I really liked this delight of a read and I enjoyed it from start to finish. Romance lovers, this is a book you won't want to miss.

    *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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