His Scandalous Kiss

Secrets at Thorncliff Manor

Romance - Historical
384 Pages
Reviewed on 06/05/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

    Book Review

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.

Miley the Book Junkie Rea

From The Book Junkie Reads . . . His Scandalous Kiss (Secrets at Thorncliff Manor, #3) . . .
There was intrigue, mystery, plots within plots, deceptions, misguidance, and some masquerade foreplay. We have returned to the one place that holds secrets and intrigue for the masses. Where else can you be seen but not seen than at a masked ball? One came to uncover a plot. The other came to be seen but in a different light. The music attracted them both.

Richard Heartly and Lady Mary both have their own reason for wanting to attend the Thorncliff Manor Masked Ball. Each has a plan and will stay on course until it is complete. Neither was expecting to find commonality on the dance floor. There was much that unfolded in the time spent at Thorncliff Manor.

This one has been a good addition to the others of the series. It builds on the mystery, intrigue and suspense of the previous books. I would advise taking the time to read them all and in order. You will find so much more enjoyment out of this Historical Regency Romance.
**This ARC was provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.**

I am, Indeed

Returning to Thorncliff Manor for a Masquerade Ball provides the perfect backdrop for intrigue, mystery and clandestine assignations. It’s also a wonderful diversion for Richard Heartly, a distraction from the endless time spent consumed with revenge. He’s been out of society since returning from the war, and with no real intentions to immerse himself, a ball is the best way to gather intelligence, gossip and dip his toes in. The house is, after all, the purview of his grandmother’s dearest friend, Lady Duncaster. Surely this is the opportunity he should not miss.

Mary Bourneville is utterly real and fabulous – thoughtful, generous, kind and wholly determined to live her own life on her terms. She’s also doing her utmost, with her own scandalous secret, to finance her elder brother’s life and home. She’s a wonderfully complex woman, full of moments that juxtapose her own innocence with the worldliness that comes from struggling to take charge of her own life without being hampered by a controlling family or husband.

Oh the secrets and revelations! Scandalous, deadly, shocking and even cowardly the layers of reveals and deepening of an underlying mystery involving a group of peers seeking to influence and control history, the story just glides from one moment to the next. Mary and Richard are delightful together – her far more confident and optimistic approach to life and the people she encounters are tempered only by her kindness and wish to cause no harm. Richard’s immersion in his quest for revenge and subsequent isolation from society, combined with his own fears of how he will be perceived with his injuries keep him on edge and carefully dissecting every utterance, insecure in his own approach to items that are not in line with his quest for revenge.

The story is slowly building to a conclusion of the underlying mystery at Thorncliff, with rumors of treasure and connections to earlier generations of the major characters in this story. Lady Duncaster, the current resident and owner, has brought the players together again, requested their assistance and silence, and hopes to close this chapter. A wonderful installment that keeps interest and excitement for the next book.

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Cat's Reviews

"His Scandalous Kiss" by Sophie Barnes is an enjoyable, historical read. There's love and romance, a touch of a mystery, some lighter moments as well as some darker and all around a touch of everything. I really liked our main characters - Mary and Richard. Mary is a sweet lady who is independent and knows her mind. Richard, though marred with physical and emotional scars, is taken by Mary and, I might say, he is truly a romantic, despite his words that say otherwise. The story flows and I never found myself bored or wandering what was happening. While not overly exciting, this story held my interest and had me rooting for our lovely couple. There also was some twists - a few things I wasn't expecting - that helped keep the story alive and interesting too. While this is book 3 of the series, and I don't think it is absolutely necessary to read the others first, I think it will add to the enjoyment of this one and possibly future tales of this series as well. Thank you, Ms. Barnes, for writing a tale that kept me intrigued yet not overly anxious - always makes for a pleasant read. (received copy for honest review)