A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin by Sophie Jordan

A Good Debutante’s Guide to RuinThe Debutante Files, 1Sophie JordanHistorical RomanceAvonJuly 29, 2014Paperback384

The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .

Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society. Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he’s determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.

. . . is about to become the only one he wants.

But Rosalie isn’t about to go along with Declan’s plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity—and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.

In a shadowed alcove, Declan can’t resist the masked temptress who sets his blood afire . . . any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin.

I love a good, mindless historical romance to read when I should be sleeping. I read romance faster than any other genre, and historical romance faster than any other subgenre. Unfortunately, a lot of this genre also fails to stand out to me in a positive way (if one is really different, it’s normally for the worst). Sophie Jordan’s A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin is luckily smack dab in the middle of my rating scale: an average 4.

There was a lot I liked:

  • Rosalie Hughes: an awesome spitfire who was also humanly vulnerable, knows her mind, and isn’t afraid to speak it (especially when Declan, Duke of Banbury, accepts a marriage proposal on her side).
  • Declan, Duke of Banbury: a “scoundrel rake” who is is noble, sexy, and is adorably confused and stubborn about his romantic feelings. Oh, and he’s her knight in shining armor on multiple occasions (basically a dream come true).
  • Lady Aurelia: Wow! Where do I begin? She was my favorite character in this whole story. She knew her mind, wasn’t afraid to go for it, was a lot more levelheaded than either of the two leads, and was instrumental in the story in multiple ways (I can’t say more without spoiling the novel).

And here are the things I didn’t like so much:

  • Love scenes: hot, but they seem a little too similar to each other after the first two.
  • Melisande: god, I hated her. I guess she was a good character to make me feel so strongly, but she didn’t seem to have thorough enough motivation to screw over her daughter (Rosalie) so much, and her behavior in general was so reprehensible that it almost detracted from my enjoyment whenever she popped up.
  • Lord Peter Horley: I hate him even more than Melisande. A creep to the nth degree, him trying to enter Rosalie’s room made my skin crawl and made me wish Rosalie hurt him (or at the very least Declan push him out of the tree at the end). As a non-violent person, my wishing harm on him just shows how much he affected me (and not in a good way).

With an equal number of good and bad things, and my still generally enjoying the story despite the 2 villains, I give this book a solid 4 stars.

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