The Importance of Being Scandalous

The Importance of Being Scandalous

by Kimberly Bell

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633756793
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Series: Tale of Two Sisters , #1
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 562,331
Product dimensions: 5.29(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Kimberly Bell is a 2015 RWA Golden Heart Finalist and 2014 Maggie Award winner. She writes historical romances from her home near the beach in San Luis Obispo, California. She lives with her shepherd-coyote mix rescue.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

The long driveway hadn't changed at all. As the carriage rolled toward the towering exterior of Nicholas's parents' country home, the last two years dissolved under its austere presence. The dutiful second son was returning home from time spent abroad, and everything would be exactly as before. Why did the thought irritate him?

The entire household was arrayed to greet him. Nicholas's parents hadn't changed, either, but he hadn't expected them to. Their rigid postures greeted him with timeless familiarity. Lord and Lady Wakefield had dedicated their entire lives to presenting the stolid, dignified air of respectable English nobility. Returning home to find them changed ... now, that would have been truly unsettling.

Nicholas waited for the footman to open the door. Haste was for the unmannered and the imprudent.

He stepped down from the carriage, stopping in front of his parents to deliver a formal bow to each in turn. "Lord Wakefield, Lady Wakefield."

"It is lovely to see you again, Nicholas." It was the equivalent of an emotional outburst, coming from his mother.

He was careful not to let his smile cross into unseemly joy. "And you as well, Mother."

Formalities observed, there wasn't much else to say. Nicholas followed his parents up the steps, through the grand double doors, and into the foyer. Smithson took his hat and gloves with an echoing sameness. No, nothing had changed at all.

Nothing except Nicholas.

At the foot of the grand staircase, his mother stopped. "Tea will be served in the south drawing room, after you are settled."

Nicholas nodded. "Of course. I won't be long."

He didn't take the stairs two at a time. That would have raised eyebrows.

A wash basin was waiting in his room. He used it as an excuse to strip off his morning coat and waistcoat. The starchy cravat landed on top of them on the four-poster bed as he rolled his shirt sleeves up. It was only after he pushed the window up in the casement, letting in the cool Berkshire breeze, and sprawled out in the armchair beside it, that he truly could breathe.

Home. It was supposed to fill one with a sense of comfort and nostalgia, wasn't it? Instead, the cold formality of this house filled Nicholas with a longing to be somewhere else. If anyone asked — not that anyone would — Nicholas could claim he was missing the winding streets of Paris or breathtaking frescos of Rome.

In reality, his longing had only ever led him to one place: the estate hidden behind the tree line that separated Wakefield lands from their nearest neighbor.

France and Italy had been fine distractions, but still, always, his thoughts returned to the Bishop family home, and to one Bishop in particular. Amelia might have remained in England, but her specter had walked every step of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées at his side. Even a construct of his imagination was better than being without her — even if it was equally incapable of returning his affections.

"Lord Nicholas?"

"Come in, Bertram."

The arrival of his valet, and the accompanying footmen with their luggage, marked the end of his musings. Once Bertram had the first trunk opened, Nick pulled two packages off the top of the neatly folded clothes. The first was a stack of letters.

During school, Nick had developed a habit of writing to Amelia every day. He'd tried to when he was away this time, but the romance of Paris had seeped into his words and he hadn't had the courage to send them to her. He tucked them away in a drawer of the desk that sat in the corner of his room. Better to wait until he could be sure they would be well received. And he would be sure. Being away from Amelia for so long ...

He went back to the window, staring at the tree line. In Paris, he'd discovered what was important to him. More than his parents' approval, more than the fear that Amelia wouldn't feel the same for him, he needed to declare himself and find out once and for all if she felt the same.

The second package might help his cause. Nicholas picked up the slim book with its unassuming blue cover. It was a first edition collection of sonnets on love that defied distance and time. The little shop he'd found it in would have made Amelia dizzy with excitement if she had been there.

"Shall I lay out a new shirt, sir?"

"Better make it a full change, Bertie."

Looking his best for his visit to the Bishop household would help quell the nervousness that had taken up residence under his skin at the thought of seeing Amelia again.

Although, he'd have to spend some time with his parents first. They were expecting him for tea and he was once again ensconced in Wakefield Manor, monument of familial responsibility. The freedom he'd found during his absence had made him see things differently. For a time, he wasn't just a second son, subject to the whims of his parents and elder sibling. For a time, he'd been able to live the way he wanted (within reason) without anyone frowning their disapproval over the breakfast table. It had been glorious.

Now he'd been summoned back. After the first year passed with no such request, Nicholas had begun to doubt it would ever come. Perhaps they'd forgotten about him. Perhaps they'd been as relieved to have him go as he was to be gone. While the second thought had come with an unexpected sting, it had quickly dissipated under the joyful possibility that his bohemian holiday might be permanent.

The letter had not explained why he was being asked to return. For all Nicholas knew, they could be commissioning him to the army or commending him to the clergy, though he strongly doubted it. No Wakefield — even a second son Wakefield — need do something as vulgar as taking on a profession.

"Ready, Lord Nicholas?"

"Not in the slightest, but I have every faith I will look impeccable for whatever awaits me." Nicholas slid the book into the inside pocket of his jacket and went down.

He took the grand staircase back to the ground floor and made his way to the south drawing room. It overlooked the large manicured lawn that dominated the southern end of the grounds, which ended at the tree line. The Bishop estate was completely hidden from view — a deliberate work of the last nineteen years, tirelessly undertaken by the grounds crew under the direction of Lady Wakefield.

When his mother saw the direction of his glance, her mouth tightened. His father observed very little except the pages of the periodical his face was hidden behind.

"Markets treating you well, Lord Wakefield?" Nicholas sat down in the wingback chair that matched his father's.

"Fine, fine."

They lapsed into silence, broken only by the clinking of teacups and his mother's politely innocuous commentary. Eventually, though, they had no choice but to come to the point.

"Your father's not well."

At first, he thought he misheard. Nicholas's parents had both always been in the peak of health. A Wakefield would never be so inconsiderate as to be burdensome. "Excuse me?"

His father appeared to agree. Lord Wakefield set down his paper and frowned at his wife. "Lavinia."

"No, Arthur. You agreed to bring him home. It's time to tell him."

Lord Wakefield sighed. "It's nothing, really. I'm not infirm. I just —"

"He forgets things," Lady Wakefield said bluntly. "And he has trouble making decisions."

Nicholas froze, still holding his teacup. Lord Wakefield was a force to be reckoned with. Always certain, always in control. "Surely there is some mistake. Perhaps you're just tired."

Lord Wakefield shook his head. "I don't like it any more than you do, but what your mother says is true."

He couldn't wrap his head around it. "For how long?"

"About a year." Lord Wakefield was unable to meet his son's eyes. "It's getting worse."

A year. And they hadn't said a word.

"Does Philip know?" His older brother hadn't said anything when Nick had stopped over in London on his way to the estate.

"We didn't want to worry him." Lady Wakefield's spine was as rigid as ever. "He's extremely busy with his work in the House of Lords. His reputation is becoming quite prestigious."

Ah, prestige. Nicholas set his teacup down. The furthering of the Wakefield legacy could not be compromised for something as silly as informing the Marquess's heir that his father was slowly losing his mind.

His own presence at their ancestral seat suddenly acquired extreme clarity. He had not been called back for any sentimental reason. He was to be a replacement. "You mean for me to be Philip's proxy until you're ready to tell him."

"Yes."

The old wounds cracked open. His very existence was a redundancy. An heir and a spare. He had been conceived as a contingency plan in case something happened to his brother. Or, apparently, in case his brother was just busy. But along with the old pain came the corresponding complication. Nicholas cared.

The respect his brother had earned in the House of Lords was a credit to Philip's intelligence and integrity. It was exactly what Philip had hoped for as a boy and he was accomplishing it. Nicholas didn't want to interfere with that. And Nick cared about the estate. Hundreds of tenants relied on them and the Wakefield family had made good on that trust for generations.

He cared about his parents, who sat across from him and calmly prepared for their world to fall apart. If he turned out half as strong someday, he would count himself a success. "Why didn't you call me back sooner?"

It was Lady Wakefield's turn to avoid meeting his eyes. "We thought it would pass, and ..."

"And it took a long time for me to admit that it wasn't going to."

Nicholas wanted to comfort his father somehow, but they weren't that kind of family.

Silence descended again until his mother broke it with the conversational equivalent of a cannon volley. "Amelia Bishop is engaged."

Just like that, the same way she'd mention how pleasant the weather had been.

Lord Wakefield scowled at his wife, reverting to the relative peace of The Morning Post.

A sharp pain started up in Nicholas's chest. "I hadn't heard." If he had, he wouldn't have spent his entire trip home planning out how to tell her he loved her. Amelia was engaged. Amelia was engaged.

Lady Wakefield made a neutral humming sound. "To Lord Montrose. It was quite surprising."

"Not that surprising," Lord Wakefield said from behind the paper. "Lady Amelia's dowry could finance an empire. Some people are swayed by that sort of thing."

"Still."

Still, no one respectable should be associating themselves with the tainted Bishop family. That was the rest of what his mother wanted to say but wouldn't, because it was neither proper nor would it end well. Nicholas had placidly adhered to the expectation that he be agreeable at all times, on all subjects, except one — the ostracizing of the Bishop family from polite society.

The sheer proximity of their estates was enough to send Lady Wakefield into a torrent of sniffs and non-committal humming sounds. If Wakefield Manor hadn't been the ancestral seat of the title, Nicholas had no doubt she would have forced his father to sell it long ago and moved somewhere less controversial. As it was, his mother had never forgiven the Bishops for not having the decency to leave the area when they fell from grace.

"I didn't realize the Bishops were acquainted with the Earl of Montrose." They hadn't been when Nicholas had left. What the devil had happened while he'd been gone?

"It was an accident. Quite out of the ordinary," his mother explained. "Something to do with a broken carriage wheel."

"One wonders why Lord Montrose sought assistance from the Bishops instead of coming here." Nicholas's distaste for society's prejudice against the Bishops wasn't shared by many.

Lord Wakefield snorted. "One of the benefits of not having a daughter, especially a pretty daughter, is the remarkable infrequency of accidental visitors at one's door."

"We were quite fortunate to be blessed with sons." Lady Wakefield rushed to move the discussion away from the prettiness of Amelia Bishop. "Did you see Caroline or the boys when you visited Philip?"

"No, but Philip says they're doing well."

"That's nice."

Everything was nice. Anything with the audacity to be something other than nice was promptly ignored or hidden from view. Or shipped off to the continent, where Lord and Lady Wakefield could be certain it wouldn't embarrass the family by having unsuitable feelings for the unsuitable neighbor. It was obvious now why they'd waited to summon him back. They would rather risk the estate to threat of senility than risk having Amelia Bishop as a daughter-in-law.

Amelia was engaged.

Suddenly Nicholas needed to escape the confines of the perfectly ordered sitting room. "I believe I'll go for a ride."

Something akin to panic flitted across his mother's face. Lady Wakefield looked to her husband for guidance, but the periodical still shielded Lord Wakefield from view. "I think your father wanted to discuss something with you."

"Hmm?" The Morning Post lowered enough to reveal Lord Wakefield's confusion. "Not that I recall."

"Oh, well then." Her composure slipped again.

If his sense of charity weren't somewhat diminished by their decision to ambush him with the news of Amelia's engagement, Nicholas might have allayed his mother's fears by telling her that the Bishop estate was not his intended destination. However, he was not feeling overly gracious, nor was he in the mood to lie.

*
The swish of the door dragging across the carpet woke Amelia from her midmorning half sleep. She pretended not to hear it or the tell-tale rhythm of the intruder's steps as they made slow progress across the room. Amelia expected the weight of the body that landed on top of her, but expecting it didn't make it any less jarring.

"Go away," Amelia complained, pulling the covers over her face. She hid herself in a cocoon of periwinkle satin.

"I will not." Julia bounced to add to Amelia's discomfort. "You've been in bed all morning."

"I am unwell. Most people have the manners to leave the ill in peace."

"Most people are not your sister." Julia wrestled the covers away from her. "And you're not sick. You're hiding."

"Am not."

"Are so." Julia stopped squashing her to death and settled onto the mattress next to her.

Amelia turned to face her, clutching a pillow to her chest for comfort. "It's our parents."

Julia smiled. "I tried to tell you."

"Honestly, Jules. Where do they find the energy? Do they never get tired?"

"Being the favorite is exhausting."

Amelia tugged on a piece of Julia's perfect gold hair. "I'm sure you're still their favorite."

"I wouldn't be so certain." Julia tugged back on Amelia's brown strands. "You've landed an earl, and a young, handsome one at that. I think you're just going have to get used to it."

"I can't." She truly couldn't. Until she'd feigned sick this morning, Amelia hadn't had a moment to herself all week. It was a never-ending stream of planning parties, making vital introductions, and playing catch-up on a lifetime of social skills Amelia had never expected she'd need to learn.

Julia took their two locks of hair and started weaving her golden strands into Amelia's brown, linking them together. "Of course you can. Meanwhile, I am desperately excited to discover what it's like to be left alone for a while."

"Can't you pretend to have a headache so Mother will rush to your side?" "Absolutely not. Once you marry, they'll be worse than ever. I'm taking this reprieve while I am able."

Amelia groaned. She rolled over, facing the garden windows instead of her completely unhelpful sister.

"Cheer up. Once you're Lady Montrose, you'll live with Embry and you won't have to see any of us if you don't you wish to."

Lady Montrose. Amelia was going to be a countess. It was too much to fathom. Even her parents had never expected her to marry above a vicar or some lesser merchant.

"Julia," Amelia asked seriously. "Are you certain you're all right?" "Of course. I'm thrilled."

It sounded sincere, but Amelia knew her sister better than that. "We always said —"

"Don't be silly. We both knew you'd marry someday."

"Not before you."

Julia rolled her eyes. "We're not children anymore. I think we can admit that's never going to happen."

"I will not, and you shouldn't, either." Amelia's sister was beautiful, intelligent, and talented. Julia was superior to Amelia in every way, right down to her impeccable style and lyrical voice.

"No suitable man wants a crippled wife, Mia."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Importance of Being Scandalous"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Kimberly Bell.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Importance of Being Scandalous 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
candy-b More than 1 year ago
Amelia and her sister are inseparable. She has become engaged. Nick is their neighbor and the three use to be together all the time, until he was sent away. Kimberly Bell's descriptions are wonderful. They make things come to life, and become more vivid. The characters, Julia with her bad spine, her mother who is very selfish and her father, is all love, become real.. Nick's family, at least his parents, were stiff, authoritarian, seeming not to love their children, while his brother, was loving and gentle. They all combined to make a heck of a story. I could see myself racing along with the girls to either the trees or the meadow. The plot swirled around the characters, descriptions and bought them smoothly together. and concisely. It was masterful, the way they all blended to make an excellent read. I very definitely, recommend this book for older readers. It has very racy moments. I was given this book at Net Galley for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I couldn’t put it down. The wealth and depth of the relationships and camaraderie in the story is beyond (my anyway) description. There’s Amelia (“Mia”) and Julia’s sibling relationship. Closer than twins, they share a bond such that Amelia decides she can’t countenance a marriage if it means being separated from Julia. They tease each other, gang up to tease just about everyone else (so wickedly funny & witty). Julia was born with a spinal defect making her a cripple. She is ostracized and the whole family treated looked upon with scorn and as pariahs, surely a sign of bad blood! Nick’s family (more his mother really) is a stickler for proprietary, considers the whole Bishop family disgraceful and frowns upon Nick’s relationship with “that Bishop girl”. Heaven forbid that he would consider her blessing a match between Nick, second son thought he is, with Amelia. Nick has been the closest of friends with Mia & Julia since they were children. But it’s Mia he’s loved and whom he has the closer bond with; always together, confidants and trusted friends. When Mia finds herself pressure by her family (the mother again is the one accountable!) into accepting a marriage proposal from a wealthy Earl, is when Nick is forced to confront his feelings for her & if he can bear to watch her be someone else’s wife. The relationship between Nick & Mia was beautiful; so much more than friends to lovers. Poor Nick is hard put upon (pun!) to be honorable when doesn’t realize how her (totally innocent) actions are arousing to a man deeply in love. Funny & romantic as the same time. Humorous, witty, charming, wonderfully romantic & touchingly poignant at the end. A definitely keeper. I hope the next book(s) feature Julia & Nick’s totally irrepressible & roguish though wonderfully loyal BBF Jasper - a duke’s heir no less! who plays a huge part in being Nick’s back up whenever Mia needs help. ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Is there anything better than discovering a new author and being utterly charmed! Nicholas Wakefield has been summoned home after two years, he’s the marquess’ second son and highly disposable. Nothing seems to have changed, but in fact, a lot has. Nicholas’ father is not well, he has been showing more and more signs of dementia, and Nicholas’ mother is at her wits’ ends. Nicholas has always loved Amelia Bishop, and when he sees her again, he knows it’s finally time to declare himself, even though the Wakefields disapprove of the Bishops. Unfortunately, things have changed there as well: Amelia is engaged to Embry Montrose, an earl, of all people! The Wakefields cannot believe their luck! I took this book on a whim; sometimes, I wonder if I like to torture myself when it comes to some titles or tropes, and see if the author has done it the way I would like. And by Jove, Kimberly Bell has done it! THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS is so much more than the title and the blurb imply. It is a very intelligent book, with a great story, astonishingly well written, and every character is sharply defined. I loved the exchanges between Amelia and her older sister Julia, they felt so real. Julia has a spinal condition, she is Amelia’s better in every way, except for the fact that Julia limps, therefore she is perceived as inferior, which was extremely sad to see. I was never sure if the Bishops were ostracised solely because of Julia’s limp, but with regards to the book, in the end, I didn’t really care, because THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS is a monument of elegance, of refinement, with an intelligent plot, characters I really cared for, and stellar writing. Nicholas and Amelia are childhood friends, and I felt it; I also felt Nicholas’ despair. He is so madly in love with Amelia, he is an honourable man, and when Embry shows his true colours, Nicholas is there to help Amelia, hoping she will see him the same way he sees her. Amelia is in love with Nicholas, but things are inordinately complicated, and her acceptance or refusal of Embry could alter many lives. The secondary characters are also so well drawn, and Jasper Bellamy, a recent friend of Nicholas’, is fantastic; I cannot wait to read his story. While Nicholas is proper, and mild-mannered, Jasper is exuberant, wild and fearless. The dialogues are nothing short of spectacular in their historical accuracy and tone. As for Nicholas and Amelia, they were so marvellous together, they were like sunshine and blue skies, so young, vibrant, and utterly lovely, and the sex scenes are some of the most lyrical I have ever read. I expected a peccadillo would provoke Amelia’s need to be “scandalous”, but she had a most valid and most commendable reason. And when things take a serious turn, Oh my! hang on to your reticules! THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS is simply phenomenal! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Brigittehf More than 1 year ago
I am quite partial to a good historical romance, and this one more than met my expectations. Part of the main topic being about the Heirs and the Spares is a real bonus. "The way it used to be"! Nicholas is the second son in the Wakefield family. His parents are the epitome of the snob tons and everything has to be done to perfection. For the family name. Nicholas has spent some time in Paris, where he met Jasper, a noble, who is now his best friend. He is "summoned" to return home and although he is not too thrilled to be back in the family fold, he has a something to look forward to. Rekindling with his neighbour! Amelia Bishop is from a prominent family who has been shunned by society, including the Wakefields. Her sister, Julia has a disability which is very much frowned upon. When Amelia receives a proposal from Embry, Lord Montrose, her family, mainly her mother sees this as an opportunity to get back into the good grace of society. Upon his return, Nicholas is informed of Amelia's engagement and he is disheartened as he has been in love with her forever. He has never been brave enough to tell her and even if he intended to reveal his feelings, he is a little too late. They have been best friends since childhood and he has to respect the situation. Embry starts showing signs that he is not who he appears to be and Amelia wants to rethink her decision. He doesn't take the news very well and refuses to listen to anything she says. Instead he resorts to blackmail! The Bishop sisters protect each other and together they go through various plots with the help of Nicholas to deter Embry but, it's like water off a duck's back. The mother doesn't help as she doesn't want to lose the opportunity of staying in the limelight . She does her own plotting with Embry! I love the camaderie between Julia and Amelia. Some of their mischiefs are hilarious and had me in stitches. As for Amelia's mother, I felt like screaming at her for the way she discards her daughters' happiness. Disgusting! I love the interactions between Amelia and Nicholas. The ideal couple. Friends turn into perfect lovers. It's a heartfelt story with tons of fun, despite all the unpleasant situations. Jasper makes a wonderful contribution to the whole story and I hope that we get to read his story. With Julia maybe? That would be quite something. I was kindly issued with an eARC from the publisher and the views expressed are my personal opinion.
HeyerF4n More than 1 year ago
Amelia's best friend returns from the Continent and she realizes that she longer wishes to marry the man to whom she is engaged. However, he refuses to accept her breaking of their betrothal, instead threatening her with a 'breach of of promise' action and so follows a series of adventures designed to make him want to end things between them. An enjoyable romp with endearing characters, I laughed out loud when reading the scene where Amelia is drunk. I hope the follow up book will be Amelia's sister getting her HEA with Jasper, as they appear well suited. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
How can anyone not love a heroine, smart enough to know what she wants and brash enough to set about trying to get it? Strong women characters are a huge plus for me, because so many times they are portrayed as secondary, more than the stars that they are. Amelia is a stunning example of independence. She's strong enough to follow her own rules and wise enough to listen when her heart comes calling. Nicholas is just the icing on the cake. He loves her strength and despite her a scandalous behavior, she owns his heart. The Importance of Being Scandalous wins my vote for a wonderful and empowering tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. Shows some guys don't care what a woman says, they only care what they want. I still think Embry only wanted Amelia because she reminded him of his dead 1st fiance. I think Nicolas and Amelia are so much better matched and you could tell he listen when ever she talked.
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
Kimberly Bell is a new to me author and I very mush enjoyed this book. This is a friends to lovers troupe. Amelia Bishop and Nicholas Wakefield have known each other since childhood. Nick returns from his two years away when summoned by his parents. He has also returned to revele his love for Amelia, but Amelia is now betrothed to another. With nothing else to be done he vows to be her friend. That is until Amelia reveals that she is not happily engaged and she needs hid help to end the engagement. Nick may not be able to keep his vow and just be friends when they participate in some of the most wicked adventures. Julia Bishop, Amelia's sister is a shining character and the witty banter between the sisters is some of the best parts of this book. I can not wait for Julia's HEA and I truly hope it is to Jasper, Lord Bellamy Nick and Amelia's partner in crime.
Cam-Boricuanbookworms More than 1 year ago
As much as I love historical fiction, I barely have the time to pick up any novels of this genre. When I was approved for this I was ecstatic because I had heard nothing but amazing things and by were they right. This Romance features a bright cast of characters with personalities brighter than the sun. I got a little poetic there but there isn’t any other way to put it. The two main characters were delightful to read but it was Julia and Jasper that stole my heart. Julia is Mia’s older sister who has spina bifida. It’s one of the few times where I read a novel with a disabled woman as someone other than the source of angst in the plot. Of course there is disdain from the rest of society especially in the time period this is set but Julia is spunky and opinionated ad I wanted to be her best friend. I cannot speak on how good the rep is as it is not my lane but the Romance itself was wonderful. Amelia and Nicholas are childhood friends and it seems Nicholas has an unrequited love with gentle Mia. Amelia wants nothing more than to stay side by side with her sister and live out their days together but she is now engaged to be married. And not to Nicholas. Throughout the story we see Amelia trying to figure out a way to get out of this unwanted marriage alongside her best pal Nick and his best pal, Jasper. Jasper is a duke’s heir and he is outrageously funny. I loved reading his scenes and he was by far my favorite character of the entire novel. I loved how every secondary character was so fleshed out that you made a special connection with them. It makes you feel even more connected to the story. I loved the pranks, the fun, the tension narrated in this novel and I can’t wait to pick up another book by this author. You can’t miss this one!
Romwrit More than 1 year ago
I can now truly appreciate the importance of being scandalous! There’s a plethora of adjectives needed to describe the characters in this book- flamboyant, rakish, daring, handsome, loyal, beautiful, willful, dedicated – take your pick. I love them all…adjectives and characters. Nick, Amelia, Julia, and Jasper are my favorites of course, and I have a special place in my heart for Amelia and Julia’s dad. Mom and the no-good fiance? Not so much. Not all all really. Shame on them both, but they did make things interesting, not that they get any brownies points for that. I adored Nick and I’m glad he came to his senses and found his spine before I stopped adoring him. Nice way to keep me on my toes waiting for the joining. Nick and Amelia were as dedicated to each other as two people could be, their love story having a little resemblance to Romeo and Juliet, except the hate between the families was only held by the mean mother. It was refreshing that dad was so supportive of his girls. Excellent job on Bell’s part nixing the cliche of mean, controlling dad. Kudos! I anticipated each scandal. Couldn’t wait to see what she’d try next to get rid of Montrose. He was a total arse, as they say. He bugged me beyond belief, which translates to him doing his job since he was the villain of the piece. Oh, the shame! Wait, he had none. But the real show-stealers? Jasper and Julia. These two are a mess. And the interesting part is they never met each other. Their dialogue alone was enough to keep me entranced. I found myself laughing out loud several times at the things they said and how they said them. They most definitely kept things interesting. Jasper added a little wild to Nick and Juliet did the same to Amelia. But they also saved them in so many ways, the main one being making them face who they really were and going after what they wanted. As bad as I wanted Nick to give Montrose a blow to the head, nose, face, etc. it was true to his character to restrain, but I appreciated that he didn’t just whimper away. He spoke his mind. Jasper was the punch-throwing one of the group. My heart tittered a bit, not that I condone violence, mind you. I just love me an alpha male. I think Nick and Jasper are both catches each on their own, but what if someone could join them together? Perfect book boyfriend. I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself. I know the second in the series is coming, and I’m hoping it’s about Jasper and Julia getting together. Sending prayers to the book gods.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Such a fun read! The characters in this new series (Tale of Two Sisters) are a whole lot of fun. Of course I loved Nick and Mia--yeah, a conversation could have resolved much of their problems, but somehow Ms. Bell made it seem believable that they took so long to figure that out--but their supporting characters were just as much fun. Given the series name, you know that Mia's sister Julia has to get her own story (next? Please next?) but I've also got high hopes for Nick's BFF Jasper (*cough* Julia's story *cough*) and Jasper's twin sister Ruby...so much to look forward to! This was my first book from this author, but definitely not my last. I really enjoyed Ms. Bell's sense of humor and her unique take on family life and friendship in Victorian England (I agree, it is such a shame that Prince Albert met Victoria before Julia. Though I know Ms. Bell will more than make it up to her in her own book. Did I already suggest Jasper as the one to help her get over the loss? Yes?) and cannot wait to see what the rest of this series brings! Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Janeen More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Amelia and Nicholas together!! I thought that the slow burn and lead up to the characters getting together was worth the wait. It wasn't your mama's historical!! Thes two have been friends and neighbors since they were very young and secretly love each other, but have just never told each other. Nicholas goes away for his "Grand Tour" and when he comes back after a few years, Amelia is engaged to a tool. Amelia really doesn't want to engaged and tries everything to get out of it but her fiance is pretty pushy. Amelia's mother wanting prestige, wants her to marry the Earl. So, she keeps pushing her daughter to marry him. What follows is a hero who now knows what he wants and will stop at nothing to get it...oh I loved that! If you love historical- you'll love this and if you don't, you'll still love this!! I was provided an ARC from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect anyone else's.
LadyC More than 1 year ago
scandalous childhood friends to lovers trope! I immediately connected with Lady Amelia and loved her! Her sister Julia is also a great character and hope she gets her own happy ending!! Nick was likeable and infuriating at the same time but in a noble honorable way-overcoming familial obligations is hard in any time period. Lady Amelia's intend Montrose was indeed a monster and it was amusing to see how scandalous she was willing to get. With the help of a scandalous Duke (Jasper- I also hope he gets a story!!) and her sister Lady A created quite the talk among the ton.
gigiluvsbooks2 More than 1 year ago
A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society… None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé. The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable… But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door. Review: Wow, talk about not talking no for an answer! I don't know how much more Lord Montrose could have put poor Amelia through in his quest to keep her. It was a very entertaining journey to read about Amelia and Nicholas and their endeavors to keep Amelia from marrying Lord Montrose. This historical romance had lots of greats things going for it.... Characters who are interesting and you can really get behind and not just the main couple, but the secondary ones too. I have to say that I really want Julia and Jasper to be a couple. The lengths that Amelia goes through a thoroughly scandalous, the wearing of pants and racing horses and going to the naughty ball (sorry I cannot remember the official name) bring excitement to the story. Speaking of excitement, the intimate scenes between Amelia and Nick are very hot, they also have fun and tender moments woven into them. Then the dialogue is witty and just fun to read. Add into all those things a smart heroine, action and intrigue and you have a truly well-rounded story. I have not read this Author before, but like I said above she created a engaging and well-rounded story. One last plug for a Julia/Jasper pairing! 4.5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
LightningCityBookReview More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Kimberly Bell I've read and I am already looking forward to the next one! "The Importance of Being Scandalous" is chockfull of rapid fire witty banter, high-jinx and yummy hanky-panky. The heroine's sister is a wonderful ringleader of bad influence and questionable judgment. Speaking of bad influences the hero's best friend Jasper's one of the best secondary characters I've enjoyed in a while. I better see lots and lots more of him. Nicholas, the hero, is a well-bred second son in a reserved family. He's a bit insecure due to his merely existing to be a "contingency plan". Amelia's family isn't "acceptable" so she and her sister are rabble-rousing troublemakers. Often found terrorizing maids and racing their horses in the rain. Nick's been in love with Amelia since he first saw her. The only one who doesn't know of his feelings is Amelia herself. "The Importance of Being Scandalous" is a sexy historical romp and joy to read. Kimberly Bell has a winner of a romance with her foray into Victorian England. This installment in the A Tale of Two Sisters is fun, romantic, thrilling, and sexy. HUZZAH! Kimberly Bell portrays the sisters' rapport perfectly as they riff off each other while they're in antics and capers mode. The character of Jasper is synonymous with "shenanigans. This is my first Kimberly Bell book; since I'm eagerly awaiting the second sister's story, it won't be my last. To read the entire review please visit: http://wp.me/p4XqxF-23t This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.
FizzaYounis More than 1 year ago
I loved it! It's a well-written story. Characters are also well developed. I especially adored Mia. She is exactly the kind of heroine I love to read about. She is funny, strong, fiercely loyal to those she loves, and a beautiful person inside and out. I think this book is a must reads for historical romance fan, and I'd definitely be recommending it to my friends. Amelia Bishop has always had feelings for her childhood friend Nicholas. But he doesn't feel attracted to her, she knows that. Therefore, when the first person asks her to marry she says yes. After all she must marry. Because of her sister disability the family has been shunned for too long. This is her mother's chance to re-enter the society. Also her sister wants to live through her so at the time her decision to get married seemed reasonable. Now she isn't so sure. Firstly, her betrothed is not as perfect as he seemed before. Secondly, Nick is back and re-igniting all her feelings for him. May be it will be best for her if she never marries at all. But now it seems that she is stuck with her decision unless she does something truly scandalous. Nick can't believe Amelia is engaged. He had hopped that he'd finally get a chance to confess his feelings and propose to her. He knows that his parents will never approve of the Bishops but he is in love, has been for a very long time, therefore, he needs to think of his own feelings for once in his life. Apparently it's too late. Soon Mia will be married and he will have to live with his regret. He was a coward, he should have proposed to her a long time ago but he feared his parents disapproval. But soon he realises that things might not be how they seem. May be Amelia is not happy and he can convince her to marry him instead. Although it looks like she has sworn off men altogether. He still hopes to convince her otherwise but first they must get rid of her overbearing fiance and then he can focus on wooing her. This story is funny, romantic, and highly entertaining. Amelia and Nicholas are both wonderful characters. I really enjoyed reading it.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell What a delightful romp this book was! Friends from childhood meet again when Nicolas Wakefield returns from a few years abroad. He has decided that Amelia Bishop is the woman for him only to find out that she is betrothed to another. His return and subsequent events gives them a chance but only if the betrothal is broken. With Amelia’s mother and Embry the fiancé working together to keep the wedding on track and Nicolas and Amelia doing all they can to derail it the situation is filled with wonderful events for the reader to enjoy. Throw in Jas, a duke in waiting, who is friends with Nicolas and rather decadent but delightful; Julia, sister to Amelia who has a physical problem that has put her on the shelf when all she wants to do is be normal and enjoy life; parents of the H/h that help and hinder; situations Julia helps instigate to help Amelia find herself free…and so many fun interesting things that happen throughout the book and it is one story that if you pick it up you won’t be able to put it down. I really want to know who Jas and his twin sister end up with, who Julia will end up with and…just wonder if this might be the first book in a series? Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the ARC - This is my honest review. 5 Stars
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
in the importance of being scandalous, nicholas wakefield has loved amelia bishop since, well, since forever. but they've also been best of friends since forever. away from england in part to grow up, in part to come to terms with his feelings, nick is intent on revealing all to mia and hoping for the best. except she's about to announce her engagement to someone else. the thing about mia is that her entire life has been shaped by her sister's disability. born in a time where birth defects were considered a mark of sinfulness, amelia's family has been shunned by polite society due to her sister's infirmity. and now mia has the chance for normalcy and her family is determined that she take it. but when mia realizes her fiancé isn't as accepting of julia's condition as she had assumed, she realizes she cannot marry him. there's also the matter of her pesky feelings for nick to contend with. she'd thought she'd put her girlhood crush behind her when he left, but now that nick is back, her feelings have returned and they are stronger and tinglier than ever. the problem is, no matter how hard she tries to get rid of her fiancé he isn't budging on the matter of their engagement. his single-mindedness is fascinating, because initially he doesn't seem like a terrible person, but by the end of the novel it's clear that he isn't firing on all cylinders because why would he want to be with this woman who a) doesn't want him, b) comes from a family that has been tainted through no fault of their own and c) goes out of her way to humiliate and embarrass him. it takes a while for nick and mia to find themselves on the same page, but once they get all their feelings out in the open, things start to fall into place. one thing that i really enjoyed in this romance is the friendships that the lead characters form. it's not just nick and mia. nick and julia have their own friendship with a rich history. nick's friend jasper is a breath of fresh air, and he proves to be a good friend to both nick and mia. amelia and julia are more than sisters, they are true friends too. and even nick's brother, who one might expect to be disapproving, is supportive of his younger brother and is kind and generous. honestly, the moms are just the worst in this novel. and the fiancé who will not give up. one thing i wanted to know more about was julia's condition. it's described as a spinal issue, and she walks with a limp. so i wondered if it was spina bifida or something similar. the version i read did not have an author's note explaining things, so perhaps it's something that is pending for a future book, or it was meant to be purposely vague. **the importance of being scandalous will publish july 25, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (select: historical) in exchange for my honest review.
Ajgray More than 1 year ago
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Loved the book. Amelia and Nicholas have had a lifetime of friendship and love. The story is well written and interesting, especially the antics of Amelia and Julia. There is a HEA but only after Amelia's mother and Lord Montrose are outsmarted by the two sisters. I highly recommend this book if you like romance books. Loved the cover.
TamWindsor_69 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED Amelia and Nic's story! Nic is a man on a mission to not only help his childhood friend, Amelia, get rid of an unwanted suitor, but he also wants to make Amelia realize that he is the man for her, despite what his snobby parents think. Amelia is a woman who does not want to be married. The lengths to which Amelia goes in order to try to run off her stick-up-the-rear fiancé are not only clever, but more-than scandalous and uproariously hilarious. This cast of characters was vivid and full of life. The plot line was interesting and moved along at a rapid pace. There wasn't anything that I didn't thoroughly enjoy about this book. *I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley & Entangled Publishing, LLC in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS" by Kimberly Bell is the First Book in the new series "Tale of Two Sisters Series ". This story is about Amelia Bishop and Nicholas Wakefield. Amelia and Nicholas have been friends and neighbors since they were young. Secretly they both love each other but have never express those feelings. Then Nicholas went away for his "Grand Tour" but now he is back after being gone for a few years. But Nicholas feared he is back to late because Amelia is engaged to someone else. Amelia does not want to be engaged and tries about everything to get out of it but her future husband still seems to want her. Amelia's mother is set on this marriage to the Earl so that is where she is pushing her daughter to marry him. Amelia does have a older sister but do to a physical health issue she stays in her room and doesn't come out to see strangers. Nicholas is having some family issue too. Amelia is a strong heroine who tries to change her path. I enjoyed reading how these two worked things out to get together. I hope to read more from this author soon. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lord and Lady Wakefield of Wakefield Manor are welcoming their second son, Nicholas, home after an absence of two years. He has been enjoying his tour abroad. As usual, their welcome is formal and cool. Nicholas and his neighbor, Amelia Bishop, have known one another since they were children and have loved one another for years. But even with Amelia’s large dowry, his parents feel that the Bishop family is tainted as they made their money from trade. Even so, Nicholas has missed Amelia and is ready to declare himself to her…until his mother informs him that Amelia is engaged to Lord Montrose. It appears that Lord Wakefield may be sinking into dementia. The man is aware of it but he and his wife have chosen not to worry their oldest son, Philip, with this as he is busy with his wife, children, and his work in the House of Lords. Therefore, Nicholas is to act on his father’s behalf until the time comes to tell Philip. Amelia is not happy about her engagement to Lord Montrose even if he is an Earl. He is arrogant and already telling her how she should and will live her life. She begins to try things to turn him against her. Amelia’s sister, Julia, is a beautiful young woman but feels she is destined for spinsterhood as she is crippled. But, she is spunky and helps Amelia plot to get rid of Lord Montrose so Amelia and Nicholas can be together. This is a great book with lots of humor that will keep readers smiling and rooting for this couple. I loved it and found the characters to beautifully written. Be sure to read this one. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Brigittehf More than 1 year ago
I am quite partial to a good historical romance, and this one more than met my expectations. Part of the main topic being about the Heirs and the Spares is a real bonus. "The way it used to be"! Nicholas is the second son in the Wakefield family. His parents are the epitome of the snob tons and everything has to be done to perfection. For the family name. Nicholas has spent some time in Paris, where he met Jasper, a noble, who is now his best friend. He is "summoned" to return home and although he is not too thrilled to be back in the family fold, he has a something to look forward to. Rekindling with his neighbour! Amelia Bishop is from a prominent family who has been shunned by society, including the Wakefields. Her sister, Julia has a disability which is very much frowned upon. When Amelia receives a proposal from Embry, Lord Montrose, her family, mainly her mother sees this as an opportunity to get back into the good grace of society. Upon his return, Nicholas is informed of Amelia's engagement and he is disheartened as he has been in love with her forever. He has never been brave enough to tell her and even if he intended to reveal his feelings, he is a little too late. They have been best friends since childhood and he has to respect the situation. Embry starts showing signs that he is not who he appears to be and Amelia wants to rethink her decision. He doesn't take the news very well and refuses to listen to anything she says. Instead he resorts to blackmail! The Bishop sisters protect each other and together they go through various plots with the help of Nicholas to deter Embry but, it's like water off a duck's back. The mother doesn't help as she doesn't want to lose the opportunity of staying in the limelight . She does her own plotting with Embry! I love the camaderie between Julia and Amelia. Some of their mischiefs are hilarious and had me in stitches. As for Amelia's mother, I felt like screaming at her for the way she discards her daughters' happiness. Disgusting! I love the interactions between Amelia and Nicholas. The ideal couple. Friends turn into perfect lovers. It's a heartfelt story with tons of fun, despite all the unpleasant situations. Jasper makes a wonderful contribution to the whole story and I hope that we get to read his story. With Julia maybe? That would be quite something. I was kindly issued with an eARC from the publisher and the views expressed are my personal opinion.