Caroline Linden

Books: Romance | Historical

It Takes a Scandal (2014)

It Takes a Scandal (2014)

Set in England in 1822

Abigail Weston is the daughter of a wealthy attorney, and has a dowry to make her acceptable to society, but she wants more than someone who wants her for her father's money.

Sebastian Vane returned from war with a shattered knee and a shattered future–his father went mad while he was away, and now he has a missing father, and a great deal of debt.

There are a couple of things I really liked about this book. First: Abigail's family loves her and her sister (and even her brother). Her parents love each other. She has happiness even though her younger sister complains about having to spend time at the country estate her father bought.

He sidled closer. "What will convince you, my love?"

She gave him a stern look. "We both know you aren't really asking my approval. I expect you've already bought it, haven't you?"

"But I still want you to be pleased," he answered, not bothering to deny it.

"But if you want us to get married, you ought to welcome any potential suitors, don't you think? Who knows; this might be Abby's only chance."

"Thank you very much," exclaimed Abigail in pretend outrage. "I will try not to get in the way of all your suitors, who number . . . wait a moment, let me count . . . Oh yes, there are none."

And that the sisters argue and bicker but are also obviously fond of each other.

Second: Sebastian has problems, but those problems come from duty and love: the constant pain of his knee, his memories of his loving father turned to ask by his actions as he went mad, his struggle to keep his home and remain where everyone thinks he mad and possibly a thief and a murderer.

Mr. Vane is our neighbor, and he was kind to me. I think it's unfair of people to shun him because of his father's illness and call him a murderer and a thief without proof, just as I think it's unfair for some people to believe you and I are ambitious schemers bent on buying titled husbands. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Those are the things I liked. What felt wanting was somewhere in the middle of the story where I wondered where everything was going. I liked the characters, but the mystery that took up the end of the book was downplayed until that point. Yes, it made sense, but it just felt–weird in the middle of the book.

Published by Avon

Rating: 6/10