Review – The Good, the Bad, and the Scandalous by Cora Lee

Andrew Elliott, Earl of Hartland, is no stranger to scandal. A notorious rake and eccentric genius, he fights crime in armor of his own design and celebrates his achievements with the merriest of widows. What the ton doesn’t know is that Hart has received a warning: danger is heading for London and it’s looking for Sarah Shipton.

Sarah discovers the bookshop her mother owns is failing and they will have nothing to live on when the month is out. So when the Earl of Hartland offers for her, she agrees to the marriage. But marrying Hart throws Sarah from the frying pan of imminent poverty into the fire of a world filled with science and peril she never knew existed.

How will Sarah cope with the knowledge that someone wants her dead? Can Hart keep her safe from a person hell bent on her destruction?

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                               The Good, The Bad, And The Scandalous (The Heart of a Hero Book 7)

My Review:    

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Andrew “Hart” Elliott, the Earl of Hartland, is a member of Wellington’s unofficial intelligence ring.  He’s also known as the “Armored Man,” because of his invention and wearing of early body armor.  Hart has a rakish reputation, which is perhaps not well deserved, though he has had several liaisons and enjoys gambling.  He also has a deep caring for innocent people, and a desire to protect lives.  When he receives word that a contract has been put out on Miss Sarah Shipton, his immediate response is to remove her to safety and to find the villain who wants her dead.

Sarah’s world has just been turned upside down.  First, she learns that her family bookstore is failing, and that she and her widowed mother will be all but penniless.  Next, the Earl of Hartland, a regular bookstore customer, informs Sarah of the danger to her.  As Hart and Sarah are having a private discussion about the handling of the situation, they are discovered alone and considered compromised.  Ever the gentleman, Hart proposes a convenient, typical aristocratic marriage.  Due to the danger to her and her mother, as well as their dire financial straits, Sarah accepts.  They marry immediately, and head off to one of Hart’s country estates.

Though Hart and Sarah were acquainted previously, that relationship was professional and only casually friendly.  They have to set the parameters for how they mean to carry out their marriage once the threat to Sarah’s life has been resolved.  Hart shows himself to be hardworking and dedicated as well as charming.  When he’s working, he loses all sense of time, and even forgets to eat.  His treatment and care of Sarah show him to be an honorable and likable man.  Sarah is very pragmatic, accepting, and intelligent.  Her knowledge turns out to be a huge help when the villain goes on a murderous rampage.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE SCANDALOUS takes some interesting turns and made for an exciting story.  I found the romance between Hart and Sarah to be warm, and I felt that they had a strong friendship and admiration for each other, but not a grand passion.  Their strength came from their learning to trust each other, and their intellectual and physical compatibility.  THE HEART OF A HERO is a series of books written by multiple authors, each one featuring a different member of Wellington’s intelligence ring, and showcasing his unique talent.  Though I haven’t read the other installments, this book seven of the series can easily be read as an enjoyable standalone.

The prequel to this series, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, by Cora Lee is an intriguing novella that introduces the characters who will be featured in the upcoming books, as we meet estranged couple Michael Devlin and his absent-for-five-years wife, Joanna Pearson.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:
No Rest for the Wicked (The Heart of a Hero) (Volume 1)

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