Studies in Scandal #1
by Manda Collins
Published on January 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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WHO WILL WRITE THE BOOK OF LOVE?
When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another...
Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?
It’s not every day you read a romance about a bunch of female scholars. Ready Set Rogue is the first in a series following four “bluestockings” as they inherit a home of a notable scholarly woman they’ve never met. Lots of mystery wrapped up in that little tidbit alone.
This first story follows Ivy, an expert in the classics and self-made detective on the trail to discover the murderer of her late benefactress. Of course she has to have the help of the lady’s nephew, Quill. The whole set-up was quite predictable as was the romance, but I found the story fun to read nonetheless. Collins has created four remarkable women, each with a different area of expertise trying to make it in her field against the odds. I loved Ivy’s sheer willpower to get the job done, how her work takes precedence even in the face of a blossoming romance.
It’s not that I disliked Quill as a love interest. This was your typical enemies-to-lovers scenario which I always love. I guess I was more annoyed with the romance itself. The entire murder seemed to just be the plot device to bring the two of them together as they happened to be in compromising situations, one after the next.
Now, the writing was a little… well I had some issues. Inconsistencies with the passing of time seemed to be a big one. I also never felt like the emotions between the two leads was developed and explained. Some problems with the technical side of things, grammar and whatnot. And just a general plot that wasn’t really a plot. I mean the story was there but didn’t really move the book along, if that makes sense.
It was a fun read. Not the best book out there and I had hoped for more, especially with the unusual bluestocking characters (woo, female scholars!), but I look forward to the next book featuring the… honest Daphne (you’ll see what I mean if you read this one).