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Reading is my addiction... I read paranormal romance, urban fantasy, science fiction and fantasy, young adult, romance and historical romance. I am part of the blogging team over at Badass Book Reviews: http://badassbookreviews.com 

The Year of Living Scandalously (The Secrets of Hadley Green)

The Year of Living Scandalously - Julia London There’s so much I loved about The Year of Living Scandalously. First of all, it is a historical novel complete with the beautiful gowns, the frilly hats, and all of the accoutrements of the elite society. It is also a romance novel with a very slow buildup. The Year of Living Scandalously is also a mystery that kept me guessing right up to the cliffhanger ending. The novel begins and ends with Lily Bodine’s story. When Lily was 8 years old, there was a theft of the family jewels at Ashwood estate. Lily saw a man escaping on horseback. Due to her testimony, this man is sentenced to death. Later on, Lily is sent to live with her Irish cousin Keira Hannigan. The rest of the novel focuses on Keira. Flash forward 16 years and Lily has been notified that she is now the sole heir to Ashwood. She is to go to Ashwood and become the Countess. Lily has other plans and wants to go to Italy. She sends Kiera to take care of the estate until Lily’s return. When Keira arrives at Ashwood, she is mistaken for the Countess. Keira decides to go along with the deception, believing that she is helping out Lily and not thinking of the repercussions of her actions.To further complicate matters, she is recognized by a childhood friend who calls her on her deception. Declan O’Connor and Keira share a past event that scarred them. Keira’s childhood friend Eve was raped and beaten and subsequently committed suicide. Both Declan and Keira share the guilt that they were unable to prevent Eve from killing herself. This past event affected their relationship.I really liked Keira’s character. Keira treated this experience as her “last hurrah” before she would have to marry and settle down. She took on the role of the Countess with an idealistic goal in mind. Keira genuinely believed that she would do good in the area if the estate was restored. Keira worked to repair the estate and to increase its profits. She also became a patron of the local orphanage, raising funds to help out the children. Keira becomes the focal point of the community and has many gentlemen courting her. I enjoyed how Keira’s character developed throughout the story. Now, Declan was delicious. At first I didn’t know what to make of his character. I found him a little pompous and condescending. I didn’t like how he didn’t even want to listen to Keira, he just threatened to expose her. The romance aspect of this book has an excruciatingly slow build up (in a good way). At times, I felt like screaming at the characters that they should just get together already. Declan and Keira were made for each other and this is evidenced in the way they worked together to solve the mystery of the jewel theft. Overall, a very pleasant read. My only disappointment was the cliffhanger ending with no sequel in sight. I look forward to reading the next book when it becomes available. **This book was won in a Goodreads Firstreads giveaway**