Cover Image: An Island Princess Starts a Scandal

An Island Princess Starts a Scandal

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Member Reviews

Back in Paris with the Leona's, this time focusing on the forbidden love story of Manuela. What seemed would be a very lighthearted story about one last hurrah before having to be married to someone she didn't love, this story was pretty emotional. Both MCs had some sad background stories that were well thought out and had impact on the story.
I struggled alot with the pacing and the excess descriptions of things. Something I didn't notice with A Caribbean Heiress in Paris.
Even so, over all I enjoyed it alot.
Thank you to netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I dragged my heels reading this one, and I honestly can't tell you why. A sapphic historical romance set in Paris?! Like, hello. This should've been an instant read for me. I think what took me so long was getting through the beginning chapters. I struggled to remember where we were in the first Las Leonas book, and it's for that reason I wouldn't recommend this book as a standalone for anyone looking to only read this second title.

Where this book did excel was the push and pull of our princess and her duchess. Like, two very strong wills, two very different personalities, and I was living for it all. I also felt like Herrera really cared about the history of the setting, and her author's note at the end really shone for me. If you love a sassy heroine and enjoyed the first title in this series, I definitely recommend this second book.
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I've read this book twice this year and would not be surprised if I reread it again any time soon. An Island Princess Starts a Scandal is a tantalizing yet tender book about a couple of Latinas trying to bloom in a patriarchal garden (super relatable, huh?). Book two of the Las Leonas series follows Manuela del Carmen Caceres Galvan, a talented artist and vivacious woman who inherited an incredible piece of land from her grandmother. After reluctantly accepting a man's proposal, Manuela seeks to experience a summer of debauchery and bliss with her friends in Paris before committing to this duty. 
Cora Kempf Bristol, Duchess of Sundridge, is a known hardass who believes she only needs a few things in life: to be have the same (or more) power in business as her male peers and to protect her family and friends. That is, until she meets the bewildering and beautiful Manuela. The same woman who happens to stand between Cora and her pursuit of a strategic parcel of land. The "princess" promises to hand it over for a price: proper monetary compensation and a series of thrilling sapphic adventures while she's in Paris.

This story is full of lusty longing and tender devotion. These two have an immediate infatuation that is playful but also intense! I loved Manuela's constant curiosity and sense of style. Being the "fun" friend does often come with an assumption of foolishness and, while Manuela can sometimes be foolish, I'm glad she got a chance to push those around her to take her seriously. She has pain she hides behind her mischievous smiles. I also liked that Cora had to confront how she was playing into the patriarchy by trying so hard to "measure up" or outdo her male counterparts in business. It can be hard to straddle the line between fighting back against a sexist society and seeking to be as powerful as men. 

Once again, Adriana Herrera created an addictive story with nuance, passion, and beautiful dialogue.
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After loving the Leonas in book one, there was no way I was going to miss this one. 

I loved Manuela and Cora. They're both smart and passionate and so much more than people see of them on first sight. I couldn't get enough of their banter and button pushing and the chemistry that was palpable. And of course it was lovely to see the other Leonas. 

Plot wise, it was good. I liked the outings, the new friends, the  way Paris came to life on the page. I quickly grew tired of the push and pull and little miscommunications. However, the last few pages of grand gestures and groveling were some of the best. 

Overall, I love these ladies and I can't wait for more. The next book better be Aurora and Apollo. 

**Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**
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An enjoyable if light F/F romance set in nineteenth century Paris among Latin American ex-pats. An enemies-to-lovers trope between a wealthy heiress (who is constantly referred to as "the heiress") and a cold, patrician industrialist.  Moderately steamy and moderately entertaining.
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THE 411...

First Impressions: Manuela + Corazón are on my shelf of forever loved characters! It’s going to be tough choosing a favorite Leona 🌈

I'll start this review off by saying Adriana Herrera can do no wrong in this corner of the interwebz! I simply love this author to pieces! This time around we get introduced to Manuela who has to be hands down the liveliest character I've come across on the page. She's so much fun and not even the fact that she is set to enter a loveless marriage to a wealthy business man in Venezuela can deter her from her last adventure in Paris. It's 1889 and Paris is having its Exposition Universelle, Manuela who is also an artist plans a trip with her two Leona besties. Her mission is simple: to get into the naughtiest of troubles, preferably with a beautiful woman. Manuela is marrying because it's what will continue to allow her family to live a life of luxury but her truth is that she is attracted to women. On her trip to Paris, Manuela meets the sexy and enigmatic Corazon Kempf Bristol the Duchess of Sundridge while visiting one of the pleasure clubs. Their attraction is instant but they walk away not knowing whether they'd meet again...

Corazon Kempf Bristol has spent some time in Paris making a name for herself as an intimidating yet well respected businesswoman amongst mostly white male counterparts.She has been keeping her name out of any scandalous headlines after a romantic affair that saw her exit London in a less than graceful manner. Determined to acquire a piece of land that would allow the completion of a railroad system, Cora arranges to meet with the owner of that land in hopes of convincing them to sell. When she discovers Manuela to be the owner and hears her proposal, she knows she's headed for a world of trouble but it's too late because Manuela has fully captivated her. Manuela wants Cora to give her a summer in Paris filled with passion and escapism in exchange for the sale of her land. Try as she might to resist Manuela's flirtations and tempting invitations, she simply cannot.


I'm torn between Luz Alana Heith-Benzan from A Caribbean Heiress in Paris and our Leona in this story, Manuela del Carmen Caceres Galvan! I don't think I can choose because I love them for very different reasons and that just speaks to how well crafted/developed Adriana Herrera writes her leading ladies. This was fun, flirty, steamy and also full of depth. Manuela thinks she's committed to this life back in Venezuela and just needs to get one more adventure out of her system before getting married. She never once considered the possibility of living her truth and finding others who have pursued their passion and made a life for themselves. She creates paintings that up until this trip haven't really received the praise they deserved. In a city where the rules are more lax, we see Manuela give into the deepest of her desires and allow herself to imagine what if...

If I could write an entire appreciation post for Corazon I would but I'd be here all day, that woman exudes confidence. She's hot even when she's trying to remain calm cool and collected. I think the harder she tries, the hotter she is SMH! Adriana Herrera is giving us the empowered female characters we need. While reading this book I felt all the warm familiar vibes you get when you have a full cast of characters that vibe off each other, a good time was had! It also doesn't hurt that those steamy scenes were 10/10 perfection! Don't think you can pick this one up in public and not get a case of blushed cheeks haha! I'm beyond ready for our next Leona, my curiosity is piqued and if it means more time with my faves making appearances then I'm all in.
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I love Adriana's books and I love lesbians from the past so obviously I loved this. I think I hyped it up too much in own head so I wasn't fully blown away, but I so enjoyed this love story with dynamic, delightful, and MESSY heroines. Thank you to Adriana Herrera for writing women like us into the historical romance canon.

Thanks to HTC and NetGalley for this ARC.
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I loved An Island Princess Starts a Scandal. While it can certainly be read as a standalone, the timeline intertwines with Luz Alana’s story and so it’s fun watching how Manuela and Luz Alana influence each other while falling over heels for their own partners. Manuela and Cora are both crazily passionate and it’s very fun to read about they take over everything at 100%. 

I love how Herrera uses her fun romcoms to also explore issues of the time and place. This story examines the ways in which women’s lives are restricted, queer folks’ personal lives are hidden, and how artists innovated to become commercially successful. I can’t wait to read the next one, Doctora Montalban is definitely the Leona I most identify with.

The fact that it took me a very long time to read this book is not a comment on the story itself. I hit a mental block halfway through that could only be broken down by mystery books with shovels. Such is the life of a mood reader.
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I love Strong heroines!!!

I have come to expect excellence from Adriana Herrera and this one didn’t disappoint. I initially chose this book for the beautiful cover but it also fit for a pride month read. This story featured two strong heroines who held their own in business. Trying to keep their attraction behinds the scenes was a whole other issue.
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Manuela has one more summer of freedom before being married off to keep her family afloat. Luckily, she's in Paris with the Leonas and meets Cora whom she presents with a proposition. Her land in exchange for Cora helping her live life to the fullest before having to go back to her home country forever. 

Another banger from Adriana. I am forever grateful for her dedication to telling Latine stories and a sapphic romance no less. I loved Manula cheekiness and how Cora is immediately infatuated with her even though she fights it so hard. I felt that the conflict each woman had was legitimate and made sense. Both women are just trying to do their best in a world ruled by men and making sure they don't lose themselves in the process. Equal parts sweet & tender but also steamy. I also loved hearing about the beautiful network and community of sapphic women who support each other and provide safe places to be themselves. 

Cant wait for the last Leona's book. Adriana is flawless as always.
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The first book in this series was nice enough, but for a Caribbean Heiress in Paris there was far too little Paris. This second book not only has a more interesting (to me) romance, but it is all about Paris! I really enjoyed the combination of World's Fair with art and the sapphic scene of Paris at the turn of the century. This is clever and fun and I heartily enjoyed it- of course we know going in how it will end, but I really wasn't sure how it would work out. There was too little groveling for me at the end, but I will forgive it for a storming the alter scene.

Four solid brightly-colored stars for a passionate Princesa and her stern businesswoman.
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This story has it all. It’s a historical fiction story set in 1889 Paris. It is a lesbian love story between a  dutches and an artist. The dutches needs to strike a business deal with Manuela. Manuela is there for a summer of indulgence in a lifestyle she yearns for before she enters a marriage of obligation.
Lines are crossed and when I say things get heated, I mean scorching hot!
Both women are strong and challenge limitations set on them.  Loved all of the art and culture of Paris! This one can be read as a stand alone but I recommend them both !
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A steamy sapphic romance with terrific characters and chemistry from the absolute jump. One of the things I've always enjoyed about Herrera as a romance author is how good she is at capturing chemistry between love interests before they've even initiated so much as a brush of hands between them. The tension between Cora and Manuela is off-the-charts good, and their initial semi-anonymous meet-cute set the bar high for an inevitable reunion that absolutely delivers. I wasn't expecting this to be so emotional by the end, and there was certainly a fair amount of angst in getting to the HEA given how fun and adventurous their romance was at the start, but between grand gestures and mutual declarations of love, I was sold. I've also really appreciated how many real-world details Herrera injects into this series, bringing the stories of people who were often living at the margins of history to the forefront and making them feel alive within the pages. (Plus, I'm never going to say no to any sapphic romance she writes.) Can't wait for the next Léonas book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This is another smash hit by Adriana Herrera! A beautiful knock-out Historical Rom with queer BIPOC main characters that left me feeling that level of feminist empowerment that I know AH delivers with her books. I'm a lover of many of Adriana Herrera's stories, and this one was so well done! Manuela was a great main character that definitely had her obstacles and growth shine throughout the story, and her relationship with Cora was so strong and steamy, it added a lot in an already well built world that AH began in A Caribbean Heiress in Paris. I can't wait for the upcoming third Leonas installment, because I'm simply obsessed with this world!
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This smart, sexy and steamy Sapphic historical romance was a perfect edition to this series. I can't wait to read even more of this series!

Thank you Harlequin and Netgalley for my copy.
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I now must go out and buy every book Herrera has ever written. This novel really spiced up my Pride Month reads. Manuela and Cora’s romsnce was titillating and heartfelt. These two characters chemistry was a wild fire on the page. 

Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Canary Street Press, and NetGalley for providing an eARC for a honest review.
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Thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley (and Adriana Herrera) for this advanced copy!

Herrera is always a great romance author and this book is a great story of two strong women who fall for each other in Paris.  Manuela just wants one last sapphic romp before she is forced to marry for money and Cora is determined not to fall for anyone ever again, but these two light up together as Cora takes Manuela around Paris, discovering a world she didn't know and couldn't dream exists.

Herrera as usual is perfect with the details and turns up the heat at just the right moments.  I think I liked the first book in this series better, and I'm REALLY excited for the third, but this story was wonderful and fun and I loved the merry band of friends that Manuela and Cora have.  And who can say no to a good novel in Paris?  Not me.
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I'm found it really hard to get into this one. It's just kind of underwhelming and I'm finding it difficult to get invested in Manuela and Cora's relationship. It might be a pacing issue, but it feels sometimes like more attention is placed on the people/places/events around them than them. It’s clear that a lot of research went into this book, like the first one, but it felt more organic in the first book and here it almost feels forced.
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This book was EVERYTHING!!!! I absolutely adored Manuela and Cora’s hate to love dynamic and how Cora was clearly so afraid to love again. I loved how unapologetically sapphic it was and how the author wasn’t scared to actually use the word “lesbian.” This book was just a breath of fresh air and I guess I need to read more by this author!!
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