Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: Once Upon A Scandal #3
Release Date: October 21, 2019
Lady Flora Campbell, the youngest daughter of the Duke of Kilmorow, is visiting with her sister Juliana, the Duchess of Ashwood and drops a bombshell – she wants to take a job as an assistant trainer at the renown horse farm Amstead Gardens and work under the Marquess of Amstead – one of the best trainers in England. Flora’s dream is not to marry and have children, but to run a successful horse farm. She is aware of the risks to not only her reputation, but her families, but for her, the benefit outweighs the risk. So she disguises herself as a man and takes a chance.
3 months later, Christian Andrews, Marquess of Amstead is finally back at Amstead Gardens and ready to dive into training his new stallion, Asad. After a devastating fire that killed his father, Christian learned the extended of his father’s debt. In an effort to raise funds, he is holding a house party to attracted investors, one of whom is a former lover, who wants to rekindle their affair. In an effort to escape her, Christian goes to the stables, hoping to find his trainer Baniti Mubarak and get caught up with the progress of Asad. In the stables he runs into the assistant trainer – William Grant and immediately thinks that he is very “pretty”, but Baniti has nothing but good things to say and once he sees Will with the horses, he knows “he” has a gift.
Flora is immediately attracted but needs to stay focused. They spend a lot of time together and it isn’t long before he discovers her secret and they become lovers. But Flora hasn’t shared all her secrets and when the truth is revealed, Christian is hurt and angry. But Flora will not give up her dream, not even for love.
I didn’t really care for this book, the writing was great, but the story itself didn’t really capture my attention, first, there is A LOT of horse training, in fact most of the book is about horses, which just aren’t my “thing”. I probably could have overlooked that, but I found myself really disliking Flora, I thought she was incredibly selfish and the fact that she acknowledges it at the end didn’t endear her to me, it just make me dislike her all the more. Yes, Christian made some stupid comments and decrees, but for the most part, I felt like he was the victim, but he had to do most of the compromising in the end and Flora basically got to call all the shots and got her way without having to give up anything, even though she was the cause of all the trouble. I read the two previous books in the series and loved them and while I find no fault in the writing, I just didn’t like Flora and the story was just not my cuppa. This is the third book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*