Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scandalous by H.M. Ward

One kiss could have changed Abby's life, but when it didn't happen, she ran. Jack was everything to her and when he didn't respond, Abby couldn't bear it. Everything about that night--leaning in close to his face, feeling the night breeze teasing her hair, the way his scent filled her head--was burned vividly into her mind, including the moment when Jack pulled away. There was no kiss. Abby was wrong. She was wrong about him, wrong about them. 

Maybe she didn't have to go to college two thousand miles away, but she did. She had to forget about him. Abby threw herself off the grid, disappearing completely from the life she knew.  After completing her undergraduate degree, she enrolled in seminary. All contact with her old life was severed and she never looked back, until she was forced to.
When Abby puts idealism into practice, her congregation throws her out. If she can survive a year on her own, they'll take her back, and continue to pay off her student loans--but if she fails, Abby is on her own with enough debt to fund a small town. Seminary wasn't cheap. With no place left to go, Abby returns to New York and her best friend takes her in. 

Desperate to make it on her own and prove she was right, Abby follows a job lead to an art studio on Long Island. It isn't until she hears Jack's voice that she freezes. The hairs on the back of her neck prickle as she turns to see Jack, ten years later, looking even more tempting than before.

Fate is cruel. Abby left this life behind, but she's thrown back into it, head first. It's like someone hit rewind on her life and its ten years earlier. She's the cotton-mouthed girl that she always was around Jack, and now her future relies on the man who rejected her.

Let me just start by saying that I love everything H.M. Ward. I recently discovered her work and have been hooked ever since. Usually she breaks a story down into several books and she always keeps me on the edge of my seat with anticipation waiting on the next book, but with Scandalous she made it a full length novel and it definitely lived up to its name!! I loved the story line, it's unique and it really took some getting use to with Abby being a minister, I was a little put off by that at first, but the more I read the more it fit the story. Abby ran away 10 years ago because of rejection and now she has returned with what she thinks is a shameful secret. Her best friend takes her in and says she can stay as long as she needs to. Abby is determined to pay her way and tries to find a job with decent pay. Her only option is a small art gallery but once she arrives she realizes that the owner is Jack, the man who rejected her all those years ago and the hurt she thought she let go of comes back full force. Jack realizes it's Abby sitting across the table from him and he is determined to keep her around this time. With everyone out to get him, Jack needs someone he can trust to be his assistant and no one is more qualified than Abby.

Other Titles by H.M. Ward:
Scandalous 2
The Arrangement (Vol. 1-4)
Secrets (Vol. 1-5)
Damaged (Release date 4/6/13)
The Secret Life of Trystan Scott (Vol. 1-4)

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