ARC Review: How to Survive a Scandal by Samara Parish

About the Book:

Title: How to Survive a Scandal

Author: Samara Parish

Series: Rebels With a Cause

Page Length: 368

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

Publisher: Forever

Synopsis: In this whirlwind regency romance a near-death experience leads to a marriage of convenience for two unsuspecting strangers, but will their unusual meeting lead them to true love?

Lady Amelia was raised to be the perfect duchess, accomplished in embroidery, floral arrangement, and managing a massive household. But when an innocent mistake forces her and the uncouth, untitled Benedict Asterly into a marriage of convenience, all her training appears to be for naught. Even worse, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to this man no finishing school could have prepared her for.

Benedict Asterly never dreamed saving Amelia’s life would lead to him being shackled to the hoity Society miss. Benedict was taught to distrust the aristocracy at a young age, so when news of his marriage endangers a business deal, Benedict is wary of Amelia’s offer to help. But his quick-witted, elegant bride defies all his expectations . . . and if he’s not careful, she’ll break down the walls around his guarded heart.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   

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My Review:

An enemies-to-lovers historical romance, How to Survive a Scandal follows Lady Amelia and Benedict, a couple from two different worlds who are thrust together after a near-death experience. When Benedict rescues an unconscious woman from the freezing elements, he had no idea that the woman was Lady Amelia.

Though they don’t want to, the pair is pushed into a marriage so that Lady Amelia’s pristine reputation isn’t tarnished. Benedict distrusts the societal elite, and Amelia knows nothing of the working class, as she was trained to be a duchess. What happens when two people from very different worlds collide?

It’s interesting to see how Amelia and Benedict get over their impressions of each other and what they represent. Amelia and Benedict are vastly different in their social standing and their views of the world. Benedict scorns the elite and has great disdain for the way men and women of the ton use their time. Amelia looks down upon the working class and holds the people and etiquette of the upper crust in high regard. I like that they both learn to be less judgmental and have opportunities to see the positives of each other’s worlds. Of course, they both see the negatives too, and they have to figure out how to be part of both worlds, which proves challenging.

The romance between Amelia and Benedict runs hot and cold, which isn’t surprising considering they were all but forced to marry. Amelia and Benedict are harsh toward each other at times, and they sometimes say hurtful things to each other, which seems intentionally mean. It takes them time to understand, like, and respect each other, and they are often unnecessarily harsh. Though I didn’t love that aspect of their relationship, they are passionate about their feelings, and the sexual tension and chemistry are wonderful. When they both let their guard down, their romance is lovely, which, I think, is the point. Without walls, without societal constraints, without the judgment of others, Amelia and Benedict care for each other. They challenge each other in so many ways, and they change each other for the good. It’s definitely a unique, well-developed, opposites-attract relationship.

Other characters in the story are also really interesting, like Benedict’s younger sister and his co-workers. The story hints at another intriguing romance between an unlikely pair, and I’m curious to see what happens with this couple in future books in the series. It is clear they have a past, and I think they might have a future as well!

I think Amelia is very underestimated throughout the story, and there are definite messages here about gender roles and equality. There are also strong messages about prejudice, inequities among social classes, and the harmful nature of hubris. As Ben tries to insure a contract with an overseas company, the story examines the tense relationships between England and America during this time. I like that the story highlights relevant and prominent issues of the time.

This is an intriguing debut novel from Samara Parish, and I think lovers of historical romance will enjoy How to Survive a Scandal. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Forever, and Samara Parish for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • Cassandra. She is so sweet and kind, and she loves to read!
  • The romance. I didn’t love the mean way they sometimes spoke to each other, but their chemistry is fantastic.

Favorite Lines:

Progress is a succession of failures until it’s not.

At the heart of it, an investment is not unlike a marriage. They want to know the money is going to come in and feel secure that the person they’re investing with is not going to do something rash and ruin it all.

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