Blog Tour: Ten Kisses to Scandal by Vivienne Lorret (Review, Excerpt, Teaser, Giveaway)

The Bourne Matrimonial Agency has one rule: Never fall in love with the client. However, they never said anything about kissing a rake…
Briar Bourne’s matchmaking career could be summed up in two words—comic disaster. Unless she can learn about the irresistible forces that draw men and women together, her professional future looks rather bleak. But Briar has an intriguing plan—enlisting London’s most irredeemable rake to teach her everything he knows about attraction. Given his notorious reputation, it’s no surprise that Nicholas Blacklowe, the Earl of Edgemont, requests one thing in exchange for his tutelage. For every lesson, he wants a kiss in return. And what harm could there be in a simple kiss? After all, Briar would never fall for a scoundrel…
Nicholas has no romantic notions about love, and no intention of changing his ways. He’s only helping Briar so that she can find the perfect bride for his jilted cousin. Yet Briar is so clever, so curious, so candid—so blasted tempting—that soon, Nicholas can’t stop wondering what it might be like if he was irresistible to her.
Ten lessons. Ten kisses. And a million ways to fall hopelessly, scandalously in love.

About the Book

Ten Kisses to Scandal
by Vivienne Lorret
SeriesMisadventures in Matchmaking Series
GenreAdult
Historical Romance
PublisherAvon Books
Publication Date
December 24, 2018
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Excerpt

“I’d better stand or else I’ll end up on your lap.”
“I wouldn’t mind, love,” Nicholas crooned, patting the tops of his thighs and earning a perturbed glare.
Even so, Briar was too intent on her goal and stood, settling her cool, delicate hands on his face. The simple touch of her fingertips, soft and uncertain, stirred a low flame of arousal.
“I thought your rule was ‘no hands.’ ”
“Hush. I am immersing myself in the full experience,” she whispered as if afraid of breaking the spell. “Besides, it was my rule for you, not for me. Now close your eyes, if you please.”
He complied, half humoring her and half curious to see if she would balk and shy away. Yet she lingered, her warm, clean fragrance filling his nostrils and making him think of fresh bed linens, sun-kissed and wind-beaten into a decadent suppleness. He wanted to lie down with that scent, tumble with it, bury himself inside of it. And all this was before he felt the sweet rush of her breath over his lips.

Review

It’s astonishing how quickly Vivienne Lorret has become one of my favorite historical Regency period romance authors. If you twisted my arm and forced me to choose my top 5 (which would be terrible cruel, so don’t do that), she would definitely be on the list. After reading Ten Kisses to Scandal, I can safely say she’d be on the list even if you limited me to choosing my top 3. (But, again, making me could would make you a monster!)

I adore Briar and her lucky [insert item of clothing here]. I like that she steps in a pile of horse poop and just figures out how to pull her foot out with the least amount of damage, and if that doesn’t work, she figures out Plan B. And then, if necessary, Plan C, Plan D, and right on down the list. Her family thinks she’s frail, but she’s determined and driven and at the same time optimistic and hopeful. Here she is just setting out to accomplish something – this is a line from the beginning of the book, before she even meets Nicholas. She’s literally going out to try to meet up with a client for her matchmaking agency.

She’d swallowed ten thousand stars, whole, and they were shimmering inside her. Never mind the frothy layer of fog hovering inches above their street in St. James’s. She was a light. A force. Nothing could stop her.

I don’t know about you, but this is someone I want on my side; someone I definitely want for a friend, which for me is how I connect to characters in books. 

I also really appreciate that Nicholas is (for once!) NOT extremely handsome, and that at first Briar comments about his too large nose and rather craggy features. However, later (after they’ve gotten to know each other) when they’re talking about looks and he’s giving her a “lesson” that attractive men aren’t as good in bed because they don’t have to work as hard for it, while unattractive men go out of their way to get better at pleasing women so they seek them out, she’s like “But how would you know that?” Because she truly doesn’t get that he’s speaking from experience and talking about himself, because she doesn’t think he’s unattractive. And since even he thinks he’s not attractive, he gets that she’s genuinely clueless and is floored. There are a million little tiny cupid arrows like this, and by the end of this book I was a pincushion or a hedgehog or something equally just stuck all full of of these tiny arrows of “ARGH! That’s so cute, I can’t even!” 

The chemistry between Briar and Nicholas is also just amazing. They’re so playful together, but at the same time supportive. When Briar gets a crazy idea into her head of something she wants to do that her overprotective family would never allow her to, Nicholas makes it happen (even though he spends the entire time gritting his teeth and swearing up and down never again). And even when their sexual tension is explosively hot, there is still an element of fun and silliness in it that is so unique to them as a couple and I just *adore* it.

It seemed an eternity before the barest contact. More whisper than kiss. A featherlight back and forth sweep without the slightest bit of pressure.
“See here. That isn’t a proper kiss,” he rasped, disgruntled and more than half aroused.
“Hush.” Her chide was a soft caress, the dark golden fan of her lashes resting against her cheek. “Such a disagreeable cup of chocolate. I told you before that the froth is the best part.”

Of course, their relationship exists bases upon a set of rules and boundaries, namely it’s supposed to be about lessons in reading people and their emotions for the purposes of matchmaking in exchange for kisses and in exchange for Briar finding matches for Nicholas’s cousins, so there are plenty of obstacles thrown into their way (many of them of their own making). And of course Nicholas has A Dark And Tragic Past that makes him heartless and incapable of love (or, you know, just scared silly of it), so that takes some working to get through. So remember all those arrows Cupid shot into me earlier? There’s a fair amount of Vivienne Lorret grabbing the ones stuck into my heart and giving them a good twist, especially in the last quarter or so of the book. But much like a bite of bitterness in your drinking chocolate, needing to work through adversity makes that happy ever after all the sweeter in the end. 

This is the second book in the Misadventures in Matchmakingseries, but can be read as a standalone. Briar’s sister Jacina, who was a lead in the first book in the series, makes a few side character appearances in this book, and there are some minor spoilers for that book about on the same level as if you’d read the blurb on the back cover. That being said, How to Forget a Duke is a really good book in its own right, so it’s definitely worth reading if you want to start with book one, if you want to go back and read the first book after you read this one! You’ll be fine if you decide to start with book two (this one), and I LOVED THIS BOOK and did enjoy it more than the first in the series. 

Worth noting: I can’t wait to read the next in the series, The Rogue to Ruin. It’s an enemies to lovers *and* fake romance about the third sister, Ainsley, and Reed Sterling, the owner of the gaming hell across the street – and the tension between them has been building in the background through the past two books, and I CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Tour Wide Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of TEN KISSES TO SCANDAL by Vivienne Lorret, we’re giving away one paperback copy of How to Forget a Duke!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of How to Forget a Duke by Vivienne Lorret. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 12/21/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copy out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

About Vivienne Lorret

USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of works including: The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Season’s Original Series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series. For more information on her books, sign up for her newsletter at http://www.vivlorret.net.
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