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Reviewed by Kerliza Foon for Readers' Favorite
His Scandalous Kiss is book 3 in the Secrets at Thorncliff Manor series. While each book can be read as a stand alone, Sophie Barnes interweaves clues from previous books as well as characters in her tale. Meet Mr. Richard Heartly, the second son in the family who has been to war. Richard suffered a devastating blow that led to him avoiding society for the past five years. Lady Mary, on the other hand, is a wallflower whose only interest in marriage is if it involves love and common interests. Everything changes for both Richard and Mary on the night of the masquerade ball where fate seems to lend a helping hand. The only problem, it seems, is that secrets formed their connection. Would they be willing to reveal their darkest secrets for a chance at true love?
As a big fan of historical romances, I enjoyed reading Sophie Barnes's His Scandalous Kiss. It was an easy read with a gentle romance. Richard and Mary's tale is one of a romantic courtship; meeting in the dark without a chaperone, saving the heroine at every opportunity, and falling in love. The characters' development was easy to see, but was at times a bit predictable. The suspenseful element would have made it better if not so easy to figure out. On the other hand, since suspense is not the main element, this book met all the romantic criteria a reader could hope for. It did have the added twist of finding secrets that are central to the series, as well as adding the characters' own secrets.