Title: Notorious

Author: Nicola Cornick

Redonk Nutshell: Former lovers (and brief spouses) try to fight the inevitable as they’re drawn to each other.

Official Synopsis: Dangerously seductive and sinfully beautiful, Susanna is society’s most sought after matchbreaker. Paid by wealthy parents to part unsuitable couples, she’s never yet failed to accomplish her mission of diverting a groom-to-be. Until her final assignment brings her face-to-face with the man who’d once taught her an intimate lesson in heartache. James Devlin has everything he’s always wanted: a title, a rich fiancée and a place in society. But the woman who’s just met his eyes across a crowded ballroom threatens it all. Not because she’d once claimed his heart, or that every sinuous swirl of her ball gown takes his breath away. But because the secrets she carries could cost him everything. To put the past to rest once and for all, Dev just might have to play Susanna at her own wicked game…

Notorious by Nicola Cornick is Cornick’s latest release in her Scandalous Women of the Ton series.  For me personally I’ve found Cornick’s books to be hit or miss.  A few of them are my go-to favorites, but I’ve also read some that just really didn’t do it for me.  Unfortunately, Notorious fell into the latter.

Susanna finds herself face to face with her husband, a man she deliberately left after consummating their elopement and hasn’t seen in several years.  James, her husband, is engaged to a rich and beautiful woman and has set himself up to acquire everything he’s ever dreamed of having.  Too bad he’s already married…and still ferociously attracted to the woman that jilted him.

Cornick has a flair for the back-and-forth “misunderstandings” that are almost always the driving point of her story arcs.  James doesn’t know why Susanna left him; Susanna is haunted by her actions and is afraid to man up to them.  Of course, she’s also harboring the fact that she had conceived from their one night together, and was unable to carry the pregnancy to term.  They each have their preconceptions of one another, and their interactions are strained with sarcasm and thinly veiled disdain.  Oh, and sexual tension.  Because regardless of their brief but passionate history, they still are attracted to one another.

I was excited to get my hands on this book because I’ve come to enjoy Cornick’s work.  I was disappointed, however, with Notorious.  The plot was predictable and the pacing seemed to drag.  On the plus side, James’ humor had some shining moments, and Susanna’s handling of him was fun to watch.  Oh, and this cover? Gorgeous.

Rating: C-

Romance: 2/5 Raunch: 2.5/5

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