When I saw “Scandalous Summer Nights” by Anne Barton I jumped at the chance to read it. I really love historical romance. I also love the friends falling in love with each other story line. I had never read Anne Barton before so I was eager to discover another historical romance writer.
I can honestly say that I gave this book a fair chance. I read it and put it down a couple of times but I pushed through. But it just did not work for me. First, our heroine- Lady Olivia Sherbourne. I can only describe her as a self-absorbed, entitled, spoiled brat. Wow! It’s been a while since I disliked a heroine like her. First, I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. She has loved James Averill secretly for many years. James is her brother’s good friend and has only viewed Olivia as his best-friends sister. When Olivia discovers that James is about to embark on an adventure she starts to despair. She decides to confess her feelings for James at a party that they are both attending and kisses him. The kiss doesn’t lead to James falling in love with Olivia and just leads her back to the party. Olivia returns and she locks herself in her room and is too depressed for life. So, I thought, ok, I’m hanging in there… When she learns that James is leaving London she chases after him. They meet at an inn where James feels responsible for her.
James was a good hero but I really wanted him to grow a backbone. He was not of the same class as Olivia and felt that this would be a burden for them. He tried to help her realize that he could never give her the type of life that she was used to. James has always dreamed of going to Egypt and made arrangements to take care of his family so he could fulfill his dream.
Overall, this was an ok story. The story did start to unravel 60% of the way through the book but honestly I was not invested in the characters. Olivia eventually matures a little but I was really over her. James seemed a little flat at times and I really wished he left the heroine and went off to Egypt. I really had a problem with the heroine and her selfishness. Instead of wishing James the best she sets out to change his dream of going to Egypt because she loves him. I guess this means not having any consideration for his feelings. The author had some surprises in store along the way that were unexpected. Although I didn’t love this book I do plan to read more by this author.