Scandalous Summer Nights by Anne Barton
Description: Olivia Sherbourne has been in love with her brother's friend James Averill for ten years. While he's always been kind to her he's never once acted like he notices her as anything more than the child she was than they met. When Olivia learns that James is set to go on an expedition to Egypt for 2 years she knows that before he leaves she must make him notice her.
Why I Picked This Book: Barton has been highly recommended and I like friends turned more type stories.
Pro: I really liked the Olivia of the last 2/3 of the book. She was kind, warmhearted and always ready to see the positive in things. When she acts impulsively towards the end of the book she does think about her friends and family and tries not to worry them. I liked that she actually reevaluated her actions and her life and decides to make changes. I'm not sure I've come across a female lead in a romance novel who realizes that the way she's living isn't the way she wants to live and decides to change it. James isn't a typical romance hero. While he is friends with aristocrats he works for a living as a solicitor. The pacing on this one was very good and even when I wasn't enjoying Olivia's antics I didn't want to stop reading the book.
Con: Olivia in the first 1/3 of the book made me want to shake her. Her focus on James is so fangirlish and bordering on hysterical that she comes off as very immature. For the first 1/3 it was hard to picture how a relationship could develop between James and Olivia that was in anyway healthy or balanced. While James does work for a living and makes a couple of comments to that effect it isn't really developed. I don't really have a picture of the difference in his life and Olivia's brother Owen's life. It was also never addressed how that would affect Olivia.
Overall: There was a rocky start but I was glad I had hung on. While there were some flaws with both characters I did very much enjoy this book and when I finished I was looking forward to reading Rose's story.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely. While I didn't love parts of this one I was excited to see Rose's story is next and than hopefully Sophia's! I also would like to go back and read the first 2 in the series.
Would I Recommend this Book?: I would definitely recommend the author but if you haven't read any books by her I'd try a different book.