Scandal of the Year: Abandoned at the Altar #2 by Laura Lee Guhrke

Scandal of the Year: Abandoned at the AltarScandal of the Year: Abandoned at the Altar by Laura Lee Guhrke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the books and stories I’ve read by Laura Lee Guhrke, she has a way and writer’s way of re-building a relationship, such that it’s like the people involved or say the lead couple are discovering things about the other they didn’t know, or eyes were not open to before. In the Abandoned at the Altar series, that is one of the true premises along with second chances and other chance at love.

In Wedding of the Season we meet Aidan Carr, the Duke of Trathen the straight lace very honorable duke, looking to marry and carrying on his duty to his title and Julia Hammett and then Lady Yardley a free spirit with many shadows haunting her, now a year later divorced from her cruel husband with the unlikely help from Aidan whom she got roaring drunk (cheap drunk) and seduced him in order for her husband to catch them and for her to finally be free. Things though haven’t been easy for either. Julia though doesn’t admit it often, feels guilt for what she did to Aidan, whom has a dark blemish upon his own clean name, and Aidan while still looking for a wife, can’t get that afternoon out of his head, and when they meet again, there’s going to be a few more second chances in store for both.

I shall admit, that I really enjoyed the characters more in Scandal of the Year, perhaps due to them not really liking one another, the depth of their emotions or the scars they carried. There were so many reasons, and though an easy pace, both Aidan and Julia discover more about one another then meets the eye. Aidan isn’t always the honorable knight and Julia isn’t really that free as she plays. The road isn’t any easy one for this couple, as they have to overcome a lot in order for them be together.

Julia’s own ploy get herself out of her bad marriage cost Aidan a lot of respect along with her family, something she tries to just shrug off, but deep down, it pains her, and knows there could be no other way out. Julia is a haunted woman use to using humor and her wit to show the world she doesn’t have a care in the world, in reality she’s lost in a maelstrom of hurt, pain, numbness and great disappointment. She doesn’t understand after all the years of trying to be numb; she could feel anything when around Aidan. Julia takes a lot of emotional hits to be finally awakened from her slumber of being numb, and it scares the hell out of her. Thoughts of ever feeling the joy of being alive were just a passing dream to her, and she runs away from it and Aidan. Once Julia is able to truly feel free, she’s scared of being chained again to someone, scared it won’t work out. Julia’s troubles were understandable, and while I always didn’t agree with her actions, she reminded me of a scared animal, whose been hurt and needs to learn to trust again, you may get bitten, and scratch but through kindness, love and patience you have a chance to win the animal or perhaps person’s love. I did have one major problem with Julia toward the end of the story, and felt like a slap in the face when she lashed out again in fear of comparing her ex to Aidan. I thought that was a low-blow, and felt it unfair to Aidan whom is NOTHING whatsoever close to her ex. Thankfully she sees reason quickly and asks for her rock in the storm Aidan to be with her.

Aidan was the true character I wanted to read most about. He seemed so “contained” that I wonder what he was about. Like Julia I loved to see him smile, to get himself out of his box and dance in the moonlight. Aidan was truly honorable man, and while raised to be self-contained, it made it that more special when he crack a joke, tease and laid her heart on the line. Aidan wasn’t all that much of a saint mind you. He wanted Julia- and he wanted to relive that hazy sexual day again, and if breaking down the walls around her heart was the sure-fire way, then so be it. Of course, he says this to himself, but he’s always had a craving and deep connection to Julia since the first day he saw her over ten years before. Aidan true surprise was his insight to people. He wasn’t really fooled by anyone, and even went to the heart of the matter with Julia, something that shocked her to her core. Aidan though knows his own faults, but has to be reminded that sometimes love and your own well-being come before duty. And life isn’t about duty, duty duty, but about living it out full of love and laughter. When Aidan goes after Julia you see another side, and also how deeply he feels for her and others. If a heart is an never-ending well full of emotions and compassion - so said well would be Aidan’s. Even when the truth of the afternoon comes out, he feels more for Julia and what she went through, and sets out to prove to her his love for her, and that he wants to care and love for her, while setting her free from the chains she’s carried with her, and as she flies free, he flies along side her. Aidan is one of those awesome heroes that go straight to my all-time favorite list, for his big heart.

The pace may have been a tad slow, but I enjoyed it as it gave the impression of the bridge being built between Aidan and Julia, one paved from their pasts and built strong later with their love. Their attraction is built to a fever pitch. Oddly enough, I would have loved a few extra 10-20 pages, as the ending felt like a rushed job. Oh, it ended well and good, but left the reader kinda uneasy with its sudden abruptness. Maybe we’ll get to see more of this couple in the next book?
This series is shaping up to be the best yet I’ve read of LLG’s and I’m ready and waiting for the third book with a real hype and reader joy!

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