A Scandalous Deal
by Joanna Shupe
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Book #2 in The Four Hundred series
Number of Pages: 377
Ages 15 and up
CW: misogyny, terminal illness
They call her Lady Unlucky…
With three dead fiancés, Lady Eva Hyde has positively no luck when it comes to love. She sets sail for New York City, determined that nothing will deter her dream of becoming an architect, certainly not an unexpected passionate shipboard encounter with a mysterious stranger. But Eva’s misfortune strikes once more when she discovers the stranger who swept her off her feet is none other than her new employer.
Or is it Lady Irresistible?
Phillip Mansfield reluctantly agrees to let the fiery Lady Eva oversee his luxury hotel project while vowing to keep their relationship strictly professional. Yet Eva is more capable—and more alluring—than Phillip first thought, and he cannot keep from drawing up a plan of his own to seduce her.
When a series of onsite “accidents” makes it clear someone wants Lady Unlucky to earn her nickname, Phillip discovers he’s willing to do anything to protect her—even if it requires A SCANDALOUS DEAL.
This series had a bit of a shaky start with me, but this book was much more what I was expecting from this author. I was absorbed in the story from the very beginning. Eva and Phillip are captivating together. Both are extremely stubborn, but fair in their dealings. Due to the nature of their positions in the world, Eva finds herself having to lie to Phillip from the start. Phillip does not take kindly to liars and there’s the feeling of impending doom while Eva has to keep her secrets.
Eva is such a wonderful FMC. She has such a strong character and just wants to be given the same opportunities as men. She finds some interesting ways to make her point when it comes to double standards in the world. Eva is also witty and bright and funny.
Once Phillip gets over his shock of finding out Eva, the mysterious woman from the ship across the Atlantic, is his architect, he wastes no time in trying to pick up where they left off. Eva has no desire to be a mistress, but cannot deny the pull that exists between them. They are fire and Phillip knows that, but he doesn’t seem to understand everything that is on the line if it’s ever discovered that they are together. He is smug and, although a wonderful champion for equality and the underdog, doesn’t appreciate the barriers and judgments that are put before women. In fact, he buys into many of the assumptions about women himself.
I’m all for a great grovel and had high hopes Phillip would come through. Especially after his mother straight out told him he had to go grovel. But no, Phillip bungles his grovel so badly. He knows it’s not going right, but doesn’t know why. That’s where his overconfidence as a rich white man comes in, he’s just blind to certain things. Fear not, he gets a do-over and does much better the second time around. It was so amusing to me to watch him fumble the play the first time around though.
This is such a great story if you enjoy books with strong women. All of the women in this story are tough cookies. The men around them love them all the more for that very fact.