Thursday, April 21, 2016

REVIEW: "Love in the Time of Scandal" by Caroline Linden


Love in the Time of Scandal (Scandalous, #3)
(Scandalous #3)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Avon -- May 26, 2015
Ebook, 389 pages
Read in April 2016
Purchased

Goodreads -- Author Website -- Publisher Website

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY
Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can't forget how he abandoned a friend in need—nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He's the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn't feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel...

Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. Though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father's control, spirited Penelope just doesn't suit his plans for a model marriage—until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope's. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful . . . beguiling . . . and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?


THEMES AND TROPES
Enemies to Lovers, Second Chance at Love, Shotgun Wedding, Tortured Hero

READING CHALLENGES
2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

MY THOUGHTS 

Love in the Time of Scandal takes place shortly after the events of book two in the Scandalous series, It Takes a Scandal.  It features two important side characters from that story, Penelope and Benedict.  Benedict had been pursuing Penelope's sister, but was thwarted by his former and then reunited best friend.  Now Benedict is continuing to effort to find and marry an heiress in order to escape from his cruel father's machinations.  He has turned his attention to Frances Lockwood, one of Penelope's friends, and Penelope is determined to insure her friend is happy.  Of course, things don't go as planned and Benedict and Penelope find themselves in a compromising situation.

I thought this book was a fun combination of the "enemies to lovers" and "second chance at love" trope.  Benedict and Penelope actually met earlier than others remember and had a connection.  But, Benedict decided that he needed a less spirited wife so he turned to the calmer Weston daughter, Abigail.  After that courtship fell through, he met Frances and decided she would make the perfect wife.

The early part of this book shows how Penelope and Benedict kept running into one another with obvious tension and chemistry.  After being forced into marriage due to the above mentioned situation, the rest of Love in the Time of Scandal focuses on them adjusting to their new relationship.  I loved it when characters have to figure out how to be happy after the wedding and this is a great example of that premise.

Benedict is the heir to an earldom and has a father who is abusive (physically and emotionally) to everyone in the family.  He is desperate to get away from that control even if it means marrying someone he doesn't love.  Benedict's view on love is skewed due to his family situation, but he just can't help himself around Penelope.  I found Penelope to be very likable with her vivacious nature and loyalty.  She does have a tendency to jump before she thinks, but her actions always have the best of intentions behind them.  I enjoyed watching her bring warmth and spirit to Benedict's life.  It was also fun to see her stand up for herself especially in the early days of the marriage.

There was an intriguing subplot which involved Penelope's good friend, Olivia Townsend, who is being stalked by a dangerous aristocrat.  This storyline provides a transition to the final book in the series (Six Degrees of Scandal).  And, of course, there is the series long mystery about the identity of the author of the erotic "50 Ways to Sin" pamphlets.

I enjoyed almost everything about Love in the Time of Scandal.  The protagonists were well-developed and the romance was fun.  It can be read as a stand-alone, but I think readers will benefit from at least reading the book right before it to fully appreciate Benedict's character and the relationship between him and Penelope.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Love and Other Scandals (Scandalous, #1) It Takes a Scandal (Scandalous, #2) All's Fair In Love and Scandal (Scandalous, #2.5) A Study in Scandal (Scandalous, #2.5) 
Love in the Time of Scandal (Scandalous, #3) Six Degrees of Scandal (Scandalous, #4)

2 comments:

  1. This premise makes me think of The Viscount Who Loved Me so much!!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad you loved this. It's sounds fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is similar in tone though no Pall Mall match. I think you would like Caroline Linden's historicals. They are lighthearted, but also emotional with mature characters who communicate with each other!

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