Monday, August 22, 2022

Book Review: Scandalized

By Sara Steven

Exhausted and on deadline with a story that could make or break her career, investigative journalist Georgia Ross is on the verge of a meltdown when a cancelled flight leaves her stuck in the airport overnight. But when a familiar face appears—the older brother of her childhood friend—and offers help, Gigi seems to have caught a break.

Alec Kim is handsome, humble, and kind—exactly the sort of man that Gigi has forgotten existed after her own painful heartbreaks. An evening of reconnection followed by a night of no-strings-attached passion with Alec feels like a gift—that is, until Gigi finally realizes that their childhood connection isn’t the only reason he seems so familiar to her.

Alec is determined to prove to Gigi that he is truly the man she thinks he is, even if it means coming clean about his fame—and his family’s connection to the story Gigi’s been working so hard to break. But as their feelings for each other grow deeper, Gigi and Alec must navigate a new reality…one where both of their hard-won careers are put directly in the path of an international scandal.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

If Scandalized had to be described by using only one word, the word that comes to mind for me is SIZZLING. This book was an absolutely sizzling experience! From the get go, Alec and Gigi have an instant connection, and it shows within their dialogue, the scenery, and the plot moving forward. Given the short amount of time they’ve become reacquainted with one another, it might have felt forced or awkward, but there was none of that. It was effortless and forthcoming, and it kept me wanting more–in a good way.

There is an understated elegance to Alec, despite his fame and notoriety. It made him a very likable character, the perfect match to Gigi’s go-getter attitude when it comes to her journalistic career. But one of the major potential snags appears to be forming any kind of serious relationship. I got the impression that Gigi didn’t feel as though she could ever match up to Alec, given his status, and Alec always feels he has to protect himself because of his career. Their shared past history from childhood was a nice touch, because it provided a nice sense of familiarity and foundation between them, yet living in separate countries is a major issue. It was the perfect “will it work out or won’t it” scenario.

After the fall out, I think I felt as gutted as the characters did! Scandalized is right. Gigi’s research has led her to some pretty awful potential crime scenarios and Alec is connected to it–which would cause issues in any relationship, but even more so when it comes to Alec and Gigi! There is no privacy, feeding into the chaos. 

And did I mention the sizzling aspect to Scandalized? The first few pages sort of alluded to this being “that” kind of book, and to my delight, it was.  There were some pretty steamy scenes that only elevated the sizzle and fed more into the deep connection the two characters have formed so quickly. Many times, even they’re amazed and in awe of it, which made it all the more believable to the reader, too. It was an intense, powerful experience–a mighty five-star read!

Thanks to Gallery for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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