A Scandal By Any Other Name

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

Sweet romantic story. I enjoyed the chemistry between Characters.  
I highly recommend this book.  
 Thanks to Netgalley for this free copy.
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Jasper DeVere was summoned to Parliament to confirm his new title as Duke of Albemarle but the problem is Jasper doesn’t want to be Duke. He would do anything to go back to pretending his grandfather was still alive. Jasper knew he could never fill those shoes and no one could expect him to either. So what does Jasper do? He runs away from his responsibility to his best friend’s house in the country. Unfortunately someone is also there, Julia Bishop. Of course Jasper doesn’t realize who she is because Julia can’t tell him who she is. Julia has been riddled with scandal and a health issue that has plagued her entire life. Of course when Julia admits who she is; will Jasper accept her and if he does can Julia avoid falling for him? Can Jasper avoid his feelings for Julia when his responsibilities come crashing back into his life and will he be able to step up to them too. 
Okay this book was a bit unique. How can I say that when it is regency historical romance and I have read so many of them but Ms. Bell made it different because of how the heroine is portrayed also she has a health issue too. Sure the book is enjoyable and fun, I loved reading about the characters even with their flaws. Jasper the intrepid irresponsible hero who couldn’t face his title or who he is bothered me at times. I seriously wanted to shake him most of the time. Of course it was really nice to see love change him so I did start to slowly like him. Julia  on the other hand was just a fantastic heroine. Sure her health issue isn’t really written very well so it is vaguely understood but even with that she still manages to overcome everything even a Queen denial. Julia never let her health get in the way even if it did anyway. I seriously was rooting for her and wanting everything to turn out okay for her. Even with all the trials the characters go through there is still a wonderful happily ever after making me glad for them both.
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So last year there were posts going around about The Importance of Being Scandalous which was a historical romance with a character that has spina bifida. Turns out, the character with spina bifida was the sister and the romance did not include her one bit. I was disappointed especially because I thought she would have made an excellent pairing with Jasper, the best friend of the male love interest.

BUT Julia’s back with her own romance this time! And it was fully adorable (and sexy) and I really loved the character growth that happened and honestly soo much better than the first book. Definitely recommend for a fun, light read that features a character with a disability that is recognized and acknowledged but does not define. 

What I liked:

-This book was about Julia! It was what I really wanted from the first book and she is just so much more interesting than her sister Amelia.

-Representation of a physical disability. I really liked that her disability was addressed in terms of physical limitations and societal limitations such as stigma during a time when her whole family had been shunned for her being born at all. I liked that all of the characters learned to acknowledge it and move on because Julia is so much more than a disability. Also, having read the author’s note at the end, it really seems like Kimberly Bell did her research to have an appropriate representation in her book.

-The character growth from Julia and Jasper. It was definitely cheesy and a tad unrealistic but their romance was more about getting to know and trust each other in a way they had never let anyone else in before. It was also about facing their truths without backing away and really accepting the consequences for taking risks. 

-I also really love Julia’s sexual agency with Jasper despite her hesitancy and concerns about the way her disability has shaped her body. She is such a strong character and a driving force in their sex-capades which I don’t feel is very common in romances.

What I didn’t like:

-Some of Jasper’s choices were straight up frustrating but totally in character.
-We never got to see Julia and Jasper play chess against each other and I really think we missed out.
-I think Ruby was really underserved and would LOVE to see more about her.

*Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*
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I fell in love with Jasper and Julia in the first Tale of Two Sisters. I adored Julia and her sister Amelia’s relationship. They were both so impish and naughty. The kind of girls I’d want to be friends with. Jasper was such fun in the first book. Such a schemer and a flirt! I knew immediately that he and Julia would be the perfect match. And I knew their story would be so much fun to read. I just never imagined it would be so romantic and moving.

Jasper DeVere, Viscount Bellamy was known to be outrageous, exuberant, wild, and fearless. He didn’t feel like much of that now. After the death of his grandfather, Jasper was to be the new Duke of Albemarle. And that scared him to death. Still grieving for his grandfather, Jasper knew he could never fill the man’s shoes. It would be an insult to his grandfather’s legacy. He had no expertise to offer. He wasn’t qualified. He wasn’t ready. He needed more time. And so he found himself running away. Like he always did. He’d hide out at his friend Nicholas’ house since Nicholas and Amelia were gone traveling. It would be the perfect place for him to come to terms with his life.
Julia Bishop was enjoying the freedom of her sister’s house. Away from society’s whispers and exile. Due to an exposed spine condition at birth, Julia’s family had been more or less a pariah in society. So Julia enjoyed her time in the country where she could do as she pleased and race across the countryside on her horse. Which is exactly what she was doing when she literally tumbled into Jasper’s life. After helping her to her feet, Jasper assumed her limp was due to their mishap, and Julia saw no reason to tell him otherwise. In fact, he didn’t know who she was. But she knew him. He had been the leading role in her fantasy love affairs ever since she’d peeked at him whenever he came to visit her sister. Why should he know she was That Bishop Girl? Jasper was said to be one of the most sought after lovers on the continent and he was here alone with her in the countryside. She could have a taste of the romance she’d always wanted. So, giving him an atrocious fake name, her charade began. It could come crashing down at any moment, but for now she was Miss Juniper Fairchild and she was ready to flirt with the outrageous Viscount Bellamy to her heart’s content. And for Jasper, the thought of flirting with Miss Fairchild added a sense of purpose to his escape that thrilled him.

What follows is nothing short of divine. Of course the ruse falls apart once Amelia and Nicholas return from their travels, but by then Jasper and Julia are captivated with one another. Jasper found Julia bewitching. There was a challenge to her that set his blood on fire. She was wicked and innocent at the same time. The perfect blend of saint and sinner. With her, he didn’t think of the things that were haunting him. He felt a rightness that had been missing for a long time. Julia found that there was more to Jasper than a famous name and perfect face. He made her feel beautiful. No one other than her sister had ever seen beyond her façade. Jasper did. And he didn’t run away. Her time with him felt magical. What had started as a flirtatious fling was so much more now. But Julia knew “the world would never let them keep each other, no matter how good it felt to be with him. He was a duke and she was the disabled daughter of a disgraced country lord”. But Jasper wouldn’t give up. Julia’s objections were based on what society would allow, and Jasper didn’t care what society thought. It was time for him to quit hiding and face his family and his title.
If possible, I fell even more in love with Jasper and Julia in this book. I loved Julia’s strength. She was aware of the stares and whispers from society but she held her head high. She didn’t cower. She was a ‘seize the moment’ kind of girl. So hopeful. Jasper had “devoted his life to fleeting pleasures that distracted him from memories he didn’t want to recall”, but with Julia he finally felt peace. She gave him a reason to face the world.
There were so many romantic, yet funny moments. I loved when Jasper faced his fear of water just to be near Julia. And her defense of him at ‘the dinner party from hell’ was delightful. The banter between Julia, Amelia, Jasper, and Nicholas was marvelous. The family and friend dynamics added so much to the story. The most romantic of all though had to be the Fairy Barrow. I thought my kindle might go up in flames!
I’m hoping there’s more to come in this series. I would love to see Amelia and Julia’s mother redeem herself. And I am dying to know more of Jasper’s sister Ruby’s story. Ruby is so dutiful. Never doing anything dangerous or crazy. I’m anxious to see her discover the chaos that love can bring.
This funny, believable, romantic, and heartwarming story will bring a smile to your lips and a delight to your heart. This series is worth every page turning moment and even the book hangover that will definitely follow. I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book. This and other reviews can be read at facebook.com/loveat1stread.
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I didn't really connect with this book. I felt the Hero, Jasper, was a spoiled little rich kid.  He is spoiled, indulged by his grandfather. Instead of training to be a duke, he's allowed to go and sow his wild oats while his sister helps his grandfather run the estates.   When his grandfather passes away, instead of handling his responsibility, he runs away.        When the heroine, Julia, lies to him about who she really is,  he has no real problem with it. This story was just not for me.
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This was an interesting story. Julia has a disability, but it does not deter her from attempting to live her life to the absolute fullest. Jasper was escaping London to mourn his grandfather in private and came across Julia.

Sparks flew right away. You were pulled into their story right away. I loved watching them overcome their obstacles to find their way to each other. 

I enjoyed the secondary characters and while this was a standalone, I will go back to read the first in the series. Worth picking up!
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I enjoyed this book. I loved how sassy Julia was and did not let anyone deter her from what she wanted..especially the Queen. Jasper needed to grow up a bit and not let Ruby control his life so much. I cant wait to read more from this author
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Having read the first book in this series I was excited to continue on, and boy was I glad that I did. I really enjoyed this second book much more than the first. It was full of romance, and well written characters. I also loved that the main character had a disability, not enough books promote that. Can't wait for more :)
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I was really excited when I was approved for this request of A Scandal by Any Other Name. I hadn't read the first book in the series but I wanted to read this one first because the heroine has spina bifida. We don't get modern day heroines who have that, let alone historical ones. I found it fairly well-researched in the book and I liked the details about Julia's routines and her tendency to be prone to urine infections because of her condition, as well as people's usual reactions to her. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the first one in the series where we're introduced to Julia in the first place but this book stands fairly well on its own.

The first half of the book stands up well. Jasper and Julia's meeting is a meet cute and I love how blase they are about flirting, as well as how Julia doesn't worry too much about the scandal because she's already been 'ruined' in the eyes of the marriage market anyway. The variety of side characters, including Amelia's husband and Nora, were delightful and I liked how the plot didn't go how I expected it to.

Then we got to the second half and unfortunately, I felt very let down at this part. Jasper and Julia's relationship is more insta-love in this part (when it should be the other way surely) and they are both so ridiculous. Jasper is surprised when the relative he embarrassed at the very start of the story didn't want to do him any favours near the end and Julia immediately assumes Jasper has left because he hates her and doesn't want to see her anymore. She doesn't even try to justify his leaving to herself. There is absolutely no trust between the two of them and it's never addressed.

I would give the first half of the book 4 stars and the second half 2.5/3 stars so overall, I think I would give this book 3.5 stars.
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I'm so glad Julia got her story told and a HEA. I was already rooting for her in the first book. Her and Jasper were maddening at times but the chemistry was so good. I thought this book was so different from what I normally read and that was refreshing!

ARC provided by NetGalley.
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Julia Bishop knows that dreaming of exciting adventures and grand romances is as close as she will ever come to actually having them. Due to a spinal injury Julia’s life is on a strict schedule where deviation could mean something as small as a headache or as dangerous as life ending infection. But, when Jasper DeVere, an infamous rake and her brother-in-law’s friend unexpectedly arrives it seems the both adventure and romance have been delivered directly to her door.

I’ve been really excited to read this, I enjoyed the first book in this series The Importance of Being Scandalous and one of the things I loved most about it was Julia and Jasper. Although they never met, each of their characters were so vibrant and fun that they stole the show. So, having them couple up seems like a natural next step and was the reason for my aforementioned excitement.

They stole the show in The Importance of Being Scandalous, did they manage the same in A Scandal by any Other Name? I thought so. I loved Julia’s sense of adventure and that although she had some serious physical limitations it didn’t stop her from trying to live her life to the fullest and take opportunities when she found them. One of these opportunities being Jasper, with whom she had some instant chemistry. Jasper falls into the rake-with-a-heart-of-gold category and I was just as in love as Julia with his charm, humour and slight vulnerability.

The romance between them proceeds in a fairly predictable manner. But, although I knew what was happening and what was going to happen, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the ride. Not only because I liked the romance, but because I enjoyed the humour and relationships between not just the main hero and heroine, but between Julia and Amelia, her sister, and others she was close with. It all lent the book a warm cosy feeling, like you’re stepping into a circle of close friends.

A great romance, I am not sure if this is the last book, I assume it is as the series is named A Tale of Two Sisters and both of them are nice and settled. But, whatever Kimberly Bell brings out next I know I am going to be picking it up.
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I will not restate the plot nor reveal any spoilers in this review. 
A Scandal By Any Other Name is an excellent read. The author, Kimberly Bell, brings to her readers a story with strong characters, lots of romance and conflict. It is well-written and mostly well edited. (There are some errors but not enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of this book.)  The h yearns for acceptance and the H wants a different life. Together they make you believe in HEA.
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A beautiful love story! 
Jasper a man who flitted from place to place enjoying his statues and wealth in a bid to forget the tragedy of his parents death, was totally overwhelmed when his grandfather passed away. In his mind Jasper wasn’t psychologically ready to be a Duke.
Julia a woman who grew up living her life with her disability was just what he needed. Witty, sensuous and every mans dream. She taught him how to not be afraid and live life to its potential instead of running away!

I loved every word on every single page of this story, it didn’t disappoint!
I recieved a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest unbiased opinion.
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I have not so patiently waiting to read this book since I read The Importance of Being Scandalous. I just knew Julia and Jasper's story was going to be great. They really make the perfect pair what with Julia being a social outcast who isn't afraid to speak her mind and Jasper being a wild rogue who doesn't want to take over the Dukedom when his grandfather dies. Julia lies to Jasper about her identity when they first meet since she doesn't want him to look down on her for her disability. While I think she went about it all wrong and Jasper would have never thought less of her, it did allow them to get to know each other without the complications of her family being societal outcasts getting in the way. 

I was really happy to see the amount of research Kimberly Bell did to write this book and the time she took to include pertinent information about spina bifida and how it was viewed during this time period. She even includes a note at the end explaining all of this. 

I look forward to reading more from this author.
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A Scandal By Any Other Name by Kimberly Bell is book Two in the "A Tale of Two Sisters".  This is the story of Jasper De Vere and Julia Bishop.  I have read the previous book 'The Importance of Being Scandalous', but feel this can easily be a standalone book. 
Julia has spina bifida which has caused her family to be protective of her and others to whisper and say hurtful things about her.  With her sister away she has some freedom and takes advantage of it.  This leads her to meet Jasper.  Jasper takes to avoiding emotional hurt after the lost of his parents.  Now his grandfather health is has taken a turn for the worst.  So he takes off to his friends property to try and get away from his issues.  Jasper and Julia come together to as a distraction for their problems but find that they can't avoid their growing feelings for long. 
Really enjoyed their story!
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I’m going to run out of superlatives to describe how good this book is. It is, quite simply, the best historical romance I’ve read in ages - and I’ve read quite a few good ones, as you’ll see from my review history.

Lady Julia Bishop is the eldest daughter of a wealthy earl, and as such, she should have too many eligible suitors to count. However, Julia was born with an exposed spinal condition (revealed in the author’s notes to be spina bifida occluda) and is known to society as a ‘crippled freak’. Instead of hiding herself away from the world, though, Julia is determined to live whatever life she might have to the absolute fullest, schedules and medical treatments notwithstanding. Meeting Jasper, Duke of Albermarle, when he accidentally causes her to fall from her horse, she makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to conceal her identity and pretend her severe limp is caused by a twisted ankle rather than her condition, wanting just for once to be treated as a ‘normal’.

Jasper is already head over heels in love with her by the time he figures out she hasn’t told him everything, and to his credit, the only way he allows the knowledge to colour his actions is in the greater consideration he affords her physical limitations when planning activities for them to do together. He was wonderful, but it was Julia who is the star of this story, Julia the fearless, who refuses to accept other people’s restrictions on her free choices, who refuses to be defined by her illness. Her sense of humour and indomitable will were inspirational, and her interactions with her sister Amelia had me laughing my head off more than once. I have sisters myself, and the way they teased each other was so true to life, I absolutely loved it.

If you’re looking for greater disabled representation in romance, seriously, you cannot do better than this fabulous love story set in the early days of Queen Victoria’s reign. I wish I could give it about fifteen stars, but sadly, five will have to do.
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I loves this book. I have been in a reading slump lately. Every book feels like every other book. I really enjoyed this one. I did not want to put it down until I finished it.  Julia and Jasper were amazing. Jasper was so sweet. Their romance felt natural. The secondary characters: Julia's sister Amelia and her husband Nick were perfect as was Julia's maid Nora.
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Jasper DeVere isn't ready to become the Heir to a Dukedom, and instead he decides running away to his friend's countryside property is better than accepting the fact that his grandfather is dead. However, it seems he's not going to get the peace and quiet he was expecting with Julia Bishop in residence. Will Julia give Jasper a chance, or will she believe she's not good enough for the man who is to be crowned the next Duke of Albemarle?

The first book of this series was such an incredible read, and this story was just the same in the way this couple have to overcome several really tough obstacles to be together including a family that doesn't approve of their relationship and the fact that the heroine doesn't think happy ever after is in the cards for her because of her medical condition. Will the hero prove to her that he wants her no matter what anyone says? Will the heroine realize that she shouldn't let anything hold her back from love and happiness?

As for the dialogue, it was entertaining due to the main characters back stories, their growing relationship and everything this couple go through on their journey to happy ever after. It is also entertaining, because the heroine is determined to find a way for the hero to give into their intense chemistry. Will Julia get her way? Really, it's quite amusing the way she acts. I also liked how she handles everything that happens when it comes to her illness and her relationship with Nicholas. Is she willing to fight for her chance at happy ever after with him? Will she finally win the approval of those that she needs approval by to be with Jasper? 

While the hero, the loss of his grandfather is crippling and he doesn't know whether he'll ever be ready to take over as the Duke, especially when he has so much self-doubt in whether he'll do as good a job as his grandfather did. I also liked how determined the hero was to win the heroine over, especially when they have so much against them with the heroine believing she's not good for the hero in the long run and the hero's family being so against their relationship. Yet, what I liked most of all about the hero was the decisions he made, no matter what the consequences. 

Overall, Ms. Bell has delivered another exceptional read for this series where the chemistry between this couple is off-the-charts because of their banter and the emotions of the characters; the romance was special and had me glad this couple achieved their happy ever after; and the ending had me so happy that the hero and heroine were willing to do whatever it takes to be together, even if it meant breaking the rules. Will they get the blessing they need? I would recommend A Scandal by Any Other Name by Kimberly Bell, if you enjoy Historical Romance, the opposites attract trope, or books by authors Stacy Reid, Christi Caldwell, Eva Devon and Jess Michaels.
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“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
I really enjoyed reading this story. The two main characters Jasper De Vere and Julia Bishop seem to have many  obstacles to face and endure. Jasper is enduring grief for his parents and is acting out for all the world to see. Julia on the other hand has had an back injury and is having to endure people either treating her with kid gloves or acting has if she is a pariah. The story flows well and asks the reader to come along for the journey. I have read a couple of books by Kimberly Bell and she shows with this book as well as the ones I have read in the past that she does not disappoint the reader with her great view on the lives of her characters..
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A Scandal by Any Other Name by Kimberly Bell is a very sweet historical romance.  It is so refreshing to see the female lead with the disability.  We always see the ‘damaged hero’ who finds a woman who will look past his problems.  Here we have a ‘damaged heroine’ who finds a man who will see her for who she is rather than her physical disability.

Ms Bell sensitively dealt with a physical disability that is classed as a form of spina bifida.  She was able to demonstrate Julia’s courage in managing the physical disadvantages of the condition and these were portrayed with class and dignity but without shying away from the more day-to-day elements of the condition.

Ms Bell had a lovely writing style.  Her world building was very good, and her characterisations were excellent.  It was too easy to like the characters of  Julia and Jasper and hope for their HEA.

I’d recommend A Scandal by Any Other Name for anyone who enjoys a light historical romance with truly likeable characters and a storyline that is just a little bit different, and all the better for it.
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