My super, Super, Long Review: A Scandalous Past by Ava Stone (audiobook)

A Scandalous Past (Scandalous, #4)

A Scandalous Past (Scandalous book #4) By Ava Stone
Narrated by Stevie Zimmerman
After years of abuse at the hands of her mother, Cordelia Avery knows the only way out is marriage to the perfect man. A man who will allow her all the freedom she has ever craved. And she has the perfect man picked out. The scandalous Marquess of Haversham might not be perfect to anyone else, but taking the man’s black reputation under consideration, Cordie believes she’ll enjoy all the freedom she’s always wished for in his disreputable arms. If only she could get her heart to go along with the plan and to stop leaping whenever Lord Adonis…er…the Earl of Clayworth is nearby. But the very properearl is most assuredly the wrong sort for her purposes.
Brendan Reese, the Earl of Clayworth, has no intention of ever marrying again. He’s still trying to clean up the mess his first wife left him, even years after her death. To all the world, Clayworth is the epitome of the perfect English gentleman, and he so wishes that image was the truth. But the truth, as it often can be, is ugly. After all, a perfect English gentleman would never have a traitor for a mother. And unless Clayworth can find the evidence his late wife hid, he could face the gallows himself. But a chance encounter with the reckless Cordelia Avery gives him the best lead he’s had in years to finally putting his family’s past to rest. Unfortunately, focusing on anything other than Miss Avery seems a nearly impossible task.


Wow. I was really surprised by this book! I got an audio version and gosh it was fantastic.
This was filled with lots of action, humor, and many many characters, plus suspense~. I was surprise that there were many or some POVs from the secondary characters but they were great and gave us a different perspective and gave us a view into their heads/thoughts.

So our heroine Cordie is miserable without her closes and best-est friend Olivia (Livvie). Ever since Livvie got married scandalously to the Duke of Keltfield, her mother had banned her from seeing Livvie ever again. Besides banning Cordie and imprisoning her to their home and dragging her around town to teas and what not, she would always get reprimand at the hands of her mother. Everything Cordie did was always wrong. Not being pretty enough, not catching a gentleman, dancing with the wrong dude, talking with people beneath them… yady yady yada~ She’s always getting backlashed from her mother’s blundering mouth. The worst possible person ever!!! And there is a secret too!!! Argh~ I was so not seeing that coming and hated her even more! She should be punished by the hands of Cordie’s husband! But anyways….

That’s why Cordie decided to find a mate, and fast! After ditching a certain Captain seeking for her hand, she planned to find a husband just like Livvie’s; a rogue! She will finally then get her freedom and do as she pleases, but most definitely she’ll get to see her friend without being dictated and controlled. But when she met the Earl of Clayworth, everything about him was wrong. He didn’t know who she was when his wife was her older sister’s bestfriend, he was controlling, a scrooge, stuck up, uninteresting, and very very handsome; Lord Adonis! But she know that he’ll never give her the freedom she craves and from what she’s heard about him, not a loving man but cold and heartless! He will never do. But Marcus, the Marquess of Haversham is wild, a rake, full of passion and energy and will do immensely. She will get her fill of adventure and freedom when she marries him. At least that’s what she thinks.

Our hero Brandon, the Earl of Clayworth, is broken and have demons of his own. Plus he has a sister and nephew to look after and is happily widowed but, finding his mother’s traitorous letters are becoming a pain. But where to start is a little fuzzy because who is “the Lion” that holds the letters his dead wife spoke of? And will “they” return it to him once he found it? But the Little minx, Miss Avery is catching his attention and not in a good way. She’s interesting and the first lady to ever diss him, and for that overbearing rake Haversham! But she holds the clues to his lost letters and he’ll use her by any means to get them back. He just wasn’t expecting to fall so hard for her during his time escorting (and stalking) her. But she makes things very difficult indeed to being wild and all.

I love how Brandon is very protective of Cordie even if she hates him. But he’s not going to stop shadowing her if she keeps putting her life in danger of scandalous and compromising situations. He’s focused and determined and well, I love it when he’s jealous because of Haversham. And gosh Cordie can get on my nerves when it comes  to annoying Brandon with her escapades. But then Cordie is a very bold and determined character. She’s not going to fall pray to her true feeling for Brandon because she knows he’ll never give her leeway if they’re married. Although she feels for Marcus/Haversham and wants to be with him for “good” reasons, her feelings towards Brandon are even more dangerous every time he’s around her. I found that very fascinating because she really liked Marcus when they first met and there was an immediate attraction between the two, which gave me pause and confused me at the same because I didn’t know who was going to be the hero. That with the POVs of Cordie, Brandon, and Marcus got my mind swirling. They worked but I thought it was going to be some menage or some threesome or something because both dudes wanted the girl and well, she liked or was confused with both dudes.

I can honesty say that I was hating on Marcus as the story hit half way or a little bit before that. I really loved him in the beginning and then when he admitted his feeling towards Cordie. I was lost and didn’t know whom to love more, Marcus or Brandon?! But as the story went on I just wanted him to leave and do as he promised, wait till Brandon was through with his two weeks with Cordie. He’s truly not a gentleman of his words but he never claimed to follow those rules either. And then that scene when he brought Cordie to his house and his reaction when she bailed!!! I thought I was going to have to beat him up, especially with his own secret out! Sheeesh~ But my love came back around for him because well, he was a gentleman and even to the every end, so it’s all good and repaired.

Maybe my anger should be directed at Cordie for bring my anger towards Marcus. She was leading the poor man on a leash, naive as she is. She was pretty good at making herself look, err act…. experienced in the realm of flirting and…… such….. Which is what caught Marcus in the first place. If only he knew! But I really did like Cordie and her witty and humorous banters and thoughts. Her reasons for choosing Marcus over Brandon was… understandable. I wouldn’t do as she did but it was practical I guess. What I found hilarious was when she didn’t know what the “bulge” was when Brandon kissed her or held her in his arms until her wedding night. It was the out most hilarious thing ever!

Oh the lovable secondary characters. I’ll say there were many of them and if you didn’t read the past 3 books you might not know who they are or how huge of a roll they play in the series. But they were a fabulous bunch of guesses and really did have a huge part in this story and in driving it forward.
There is a suspense element to the story where the letters and Brandon’s ex-wife’s secret comes in, but throughout the whole books it’s just mainly focused on the courting and growing relationship between Brandon and Cordie. Brandon did forget about those two troubles because of his determination to get Cordie but all is well.

So over all, this was a very enjoyable read and listen. And well, Stevie Zimmerman with her accented narration of the book is just fantastic! I wouldn’t mind listening to her read other Regency romances again.

This audiobook was won as a gift by the author.

4.5 out of 5

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