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A scandalous proposal [Paperback]

Julia Justiss


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Book Description

2000 Historical
Threatened by extortionists, disowned widow Emily Spenser has little recourse--until the handsome Earl of Cheverley unexpectedly comes to her aid. Emily cannot repay the Earl's expenditures on her behalf--not in coin. But having learned through bitter experience not to trust the largesse of powerful men and desperate to hide her son from the aristocratic father-in-law who would take him away, she decides to cancel her obligation to the earl immediately.

Evans Mansfield thinks Emily Spenser an exquisite jewel set among the dross of a bonnet shop. Although he assures her he requires no repayment for the assistance he willingly offers, when she makes him A Scandalous Proposal, he cannot bring himself to refuse.

But as they spend time together, Evan finds in Emily an intelligence, wit and talent to rival her beauty, and Emily discovers a man who possesses a complexity and courage equal to the soldier husband she still mourns. An affair both expect to be fleeting quickly turns into something neither can afford...love.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Books (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373291329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373291328
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 10.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,661,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Author

What happens when good people try to make the right decisions--and end up having what they want most in direct conflict with what they feel they must do? Emily and Evan think they have all their priorities in order...until a passion neither can ignore clashes with duty, honor and a deathbed promise.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmers with a passionate and undeniable love March 5 2002
By Susan Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is my first novel by Julia Justiss. I read her novella in The Officer's Bride but was not particulary impressed. Looking at other comments about her work, it would appear that she started off not pleasing the reviewers but, fortunately,is growing with each additional work. Well, this one was terrific! It is a very evocative portrayal of a man and woman who, through circumstances beyond their control, knowingly and willingly enter into an illicit relationship which is fraught with the possibility of scandal. This creates a true frisson to their mutual passion which is shown in scene after scene to be deep, true and moving.
Emily Spencer eloped with her first husband and had a son. Both of them were disowned by their families but she was happy with him, following the drum during the Peninsular campaign. After his death, Emily returns to England and, to avoid her husband's family, she does not use his name and sets herself up as a designer and maker of hats. This makes her beyond the pale and a social outcast.
Until she is threatened with extortion by her landlord her life is as she wishes, her son safe and being privately educated by a priest. However, when her world is shaken by threats, she is rescued by the son of a customer, Evan Mansfield, the Earl of Cheverley. In order to "repay" him, she offers the only currency available to her - her body. He accepts, for he is terribly attracted to her, and they embark on a secret affair which becomes a "marriage blanc".
Unfortunately, a deathbed promise to his best friend means that Cheverley must marry his friend's sister, Andrea, and so the affair must end although, with reluctance but with helpless attraction, they continue to meet. Eventually, Cheverley goes abroad on government espionage business and eventually returns, injured and ill. Emily returns to nurse him and is discovered by her family, being taken into the family home, protected by the new head of the family, her husband's middle brother and one of her close friends from her army days.
Eventually Emily and Evan are reconciled although their path is not smooth. Both are full of self-doubts and both have been hurt by their pasts. However, their deep and abiding love help them to overcome the odds and their passion is finally satisfied.
This book is very well done; the plot is carefully executed, the descriptions of the ton, clothes, etc, are well done. The secondary characters are also good. I particularly liked Emily's brother and sister in law and Andrea. If you like adult characters with grown up emotions, behaving in a manner in context with the times in which the author places them, then you will enjoy this book. I look forward to trying some of the author's other work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely romance April 16 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the story of the love affair between Evan, Earl of Cheverley and Emily Spenser, the owner of a hat shop. It's story of two people who overcome societal attitudes to find each other. I enjoyed this book because there was an element of reality about it. The hero was selfish but redeemed himself by his heroic actions on behalf of his country. Emily was a pragmatic mistress but found the freedom to express herself in the end. I would have given the book 5 stars if Emily had stayed a shop girl - if Evan had overcome his prejudices to risk everything to win her. As it was, Julia Justiss organised things very neatly ...a less tidy and certain ending would have suited this story, to my mind.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Dec 14 2010
By Figwit's Folly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not so long ago I would have turned up my nose at anything that was deemed 'romance' but the availability of ebooks at very reasonable prices has me trying out all types of genres with glee. This one followed closely on the heels of another 'romance' story and at first I thought I was reading the same author. I kept thinking though that the author had really improved from her last book. Of course, I am a dill, and the author was Julia Justiss who I had never read before.

The characters were strong and likeable. No whimpy female here waiting for a big strong man to rescue her. The male was a good guy. He wasn't a bully or sadistic. He was a gentleman. There weren't too many misunderstandings and those that were there, were sensible and you didn't feel like shaking the characters.

I enjoyed the story. Ms Justiss is a fine writer and I appreciated the love story with a very real backdrop of Regency England.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get comfortable........you won't be putting this book down! Feb. 18 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow! From those first pages, as we are introduced to Evan and Emilie, this book will own your heart and make you believe you have but to look into the eyes of another to find your one true love.

This story is from beginning to the very end-a true rollercoaster ride of emotions. Julia's characters are so well written you will actually feel the anguish and dispair, the joy and ecstasy rolling off the dialogue in waves.

Emilie-For all her secrets-she is the most surprisingly refreshing heroine I think I have read to date!

Evan-A Lord of Happiness-One of the Regency Era's best written generous and most chivalrous Hero's!!This man expresses his every emotion-and his passion comes thru in his pillow talk. Every encounter will have you sighing if not swooning.........................not over done-just right.

P.S. I could have read a thousand more pages!

This will be a very recommended read for all my friends!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect Jan. 16 2009
By gracie & kelly's mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've only read one other book of hers "Untamed Heiress", and that book was excellent. This book is as well. It is a page turner no doubt. I'm looking for another of hers to purchase.

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