The youngest of four daughters, Primrose Ainsworth is used to getting lost in the shuffle. But when her parents decide to delay her debut into English society, Prim hatches a plan to go rogue on the night of her sixteenth birthday.
Donning a mask, Prim escapes to the infamous Vauxhall Gardens for one wild night. When her cover is nearly blown, a mysterious stranger intercedes, and Prim finds an unexpected partner in mischief . . . and romance. But when it’s revealed her new ally isn’t who he says he is, her one night of fun may last past dawn.
In this frothy regency romp perfect for fans of Austen-esque flirtation and Shakespearean hijinks, sometimes a little scandal can be a good thing.
The description mentions Austen and Shakespeare, but it fails to mention the allusions to Hughes—John Hughes, that is. I can’t help but notice the parallels to the classic teen movie Sixteen Candles, minus the problematic content.
Specifically, the book begins on Primrose’s sixteenth birthday. Her parents are too busy planning her sister’s wedding for any kind of celebration, so she decides to make her own fun.
This book was so delightful. I found myself smiling throughout the entire thing; even though Primrose was clearly out of her depth, she remained determined to find her missing friend. And even though a handsome young man insisted upon accompanying her, she didn’t abandon her goal to spend more time with him.
I’m going to keep things vague to avoid spoilers, but the mysterious gentleman’s identity should be fairly obvious to the savvy reader. Primrose remains oblivious, although she pieces together some clues to know that he must be well-connected and wealthy. The big reveal at the end is one of the most romantic gestures I have ever encountered in a romance novel in twenty years of reading them.
I would absolutely recommend Sixteen Scandals. This is classified as YA, but I think older fans of Regency romance will enjoy this one too. I’ve gotten pickier about my historical romance in recent years, but this one was easy to enjoy. I’ll confess that I own several of Jordan’s other books, but they have lingered on my TBR. After this, I’ll be bumping those other books to the top of the queue!
I received an ARC of this book from HMH Books/NetGalley.