by Vivienne Lorret
Misadventures in Matchmaking - Book 2
Release Date: December 24, 2019
Reviewed by Santa
Ten Kisses to Scandal by Vivienne Lorret is the second book in her Misadventures in Matchmaking series and it is definitely a five star winner for me. Briar Bourne is the youngest of the three sisters who, along with their uncle, run the agency. Briar feels her role is an insignificant one compared to her sisters. She meets and greets prospective clients with delicious tea and mouthwatering scones before her sisters come in and set up the clients with potential suitors. Briar feels that her romantic heart and instincts make her the better matchmaker. A fact her sisters fail to take note of. So, donning her lucky slippers, Briar sets out to take on the most eligible bachelor in England as a client and, quite literally, steps right into quite a mess.
An innocent from the countryside, she thinks nothing of sneaking out of her home in the pre-dawn hours to go to see this gentleman at his home. The only people out and about are despots, rakes, rogues and whatever bit of baggage they have with them. Enter one Nicholas Blacklowe, Earl of Edgemont. And, no, he is not THE most eligible bachelor...not even close. Briar comes upon him occupied and endeavors to take his hack so she can continue her quest. He’s having none of it. He shares the carriage and takes her back to her home. She stubbornly hangs onto her right to pursue her mission. He thinks she’s daft and has no idea how dangerous it is for her to be out and about.
He can see she doesn’t know the first thing about how to read people. Briar's romantic notions cloud her vision. Nicholas is no romantic. He had a disastrous marriage and, despite his good intentions, made a misery out of his own cousin’s life. He is drawn to Briar and feels protective of her and attracted to her at the same time. And so they strike a bargain. He will give her ten lessons on ‘reading’ people and for every lesson he gets a kiss. He also engages her to find his cousin a match. She agrees because she wants to prove she can match people to their soul mates and, besides, who would say no to ten kisses from a rogue?
I really loved the banter between Briar and Nick. Nick, despite his reputation, really cares for others as is evidenced by his closeness to his cousins who are more like siblings to him. I enjoyed watching him fall in love with Briar. And Briar is able to begin to see herself as an asset to her family - with quite a few hilarious hiccups along the way that show her value and potential. It was hard to see their struggles as they fall in love especially when people who are malicious and petty try to bring them misery. And nothing tugs at my heart strings more than a hero who knows how to tug at his heroine's heart strings. Nick does this in spades.