Juliet isn’t your typical debutante; she’s shy, doesn’t dance and is frequently mocked by the other unmarried ladies in the room. Nicknamed one of the “Ugly Ducklings” along with two very close friends (one we’ve already met in “How to Dance with a Duke”) the girls have bonded and been by each other’s sides through out whatever comes.
Very few people know what really happened to Juliet when she spent time in Europe with her family. While her father was deeply engaged in politics as part of the embassy, she decided she’d had enough. While I don’t want to giveaway what happens to Juliet and the events leading up to it, she manages to get badly injured and is never quite the same afterwards. We learn just how much she’s suffered and what she’s had to overcome to get to where she is.
With an extremely controlling mother, Juliet has been a wallflower most of her life. When Alec suddenly notices her and brings her into the limelight, she’s unsure of what will happen. New dresses, learning to dance, and having many more friends; her mother fears that someone will find out about her “affliction” and it will look poorly on her. She wants her to blend in and marry the man she chooses – which has it’s own set of crazy problems.
All in all this was an amazing read. I loved learning more about Juliet and reading more about Cecily and what happened to her after her “Happily Ever After”. That’s one of the great things about a series - you get to see past characters! This was the type of book to pick up on a lazy sunny afternoon and curl up under a shady tree with. I was so engrossed in the story, I didn’t even notice the sunburn creepying up my leg!
Will I recommend this book? Oh yes, I loved Manda’s debut novel, and was thrilled when I saw it come up on NetGalley. I wasn’t disappointed either, the story was just as fantastic as her first, and I totally loved Juliet! I can’t wait to see what the next book holds for Madeline (“How to Entice an Earl”). Will I read more by this author? That’s an absolute affirmative! Manda has easily earned a place in my “Auto-buy” list and a permanent home in my e-reader or bookcase.