Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel
by Samantha Grace
(Sourcebooks, $6.99, PG-13) 9781402258312
****
Lana Hillary is on the verge of becoming a spinster. The end of her second season is fast approaching and she hasnít found a husband. Her mother makes sure to remind her of that every day. While she has had offers, they were mostly for her money, and she would not accept that. She would rather be alone the rest of her life than marry without love. And these days, most marriages were not about love, so her prospects are dwindling.

While trying to get away from a dreadful Viscountís approach during a ball, Lana finds herself in a compromising position with a man she does recognize. She flees immediately not wanting to risk scandal. Once back in the ballroom, the mystery man seeks her out and is introduced as Lord Andrew Forest, Lanaís best friend Phoebeís brother-in-law and well-known scoundrel who rarely attends society events.

Lana accompanies Phoebe to a country estate for an extended stay. She is not happy to see the appearance of Lord Andrew a few days later. He starts to show an interest in her, but Lana does not wish to risk her heart on a man that can only hurt her.

Andrew, who goes by Drew, has been living a life of carefree independence. He has the pick of any woman he pleases and makes it clear to everyone that he is not a man who plans to marry. He doesnít know why Lana has become a source of interest for him and he knows she is off limits. He just canít seem to leave her alone. Her relaxed views on marriage and unabashed flirting are nothing like Drew has ever experienced in a woman and itís making him rethink his own thoughts about his future.

Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel is Samantha Graceís debut novel. The banter between Lana and Drew is entertaining and amusing. Drew is a true scoundrel and itís easy to see why the ladies like him. Heís a very smooth talker and would have any woman swooning at his feet.

This book is a real joy and for a debut author I was impressed with the writing quality, flow of the plot, and unpredictable twists and turns along the way. My only criticism is the formality of the words used in the non-dialogue portions of the book. It reminds me of struggling through studying vocabulary for the SATs. Besides that, there are no faults and I highly recommend Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel.

--Nichole Howell


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