I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline Linden
Also in this series: It Takes a Scandal
Series: Scandalous #3
Published by Avon on May 26th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
USA Today bestselling author Caroline Linden's third novel in her Scandalous series brings together a feisty heiress, a notorious rake, and a shocking book that could bring one woman the utmost despair—or the greatest pleasure...
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?
Penelope Weston, doesn’t care for Benedict too well, she doesn’t trust him, and still suffers hard feelings from the complicated situation that involved her sister. Penelope is back in London, for another season, and feeling more alone than ever. With her sister and her friend both happily married like doves, she doesn’t see the glamour in the balls or the soirees or the dances. One special evening, she has one friend left, a widow, a woman who is gentle and loving, but haunted. When she goes missing, Penelope goes in search of her, and finds herself in a dangerous situation, a situation, that she can’t save herself from, despite her efforts, and when Benedict strolls in and does save her, she knows that her life is about to change, even if she doesn’t want to admit it. Benedict has suffered under his fathers cruel hand for far too long, he needs to marry a woman with plenty of wealth, to escape his fathers decrees and wishes, and to find freedom for once in his life, and he knows he should settle for a woman who is calm and practical, not adventurous or wild and passionate…but when Penelope is put in a bad situation, and scandal erupts due to some cruel whims of a man who wants revenge, Benedict knows that he must marry her, because despite his best intentions he wants Penelope more than anyone else…and he means to keep her.
Benedict ever since he can remember has been abused by his father, who set high standards for every one in the family. Benedict is the only son, his two sisters his father could care less about. But Benedict is his heir, and has high expectations for him, especially for the woman he should marry. Benedict wants to be free from his father, more than anything, he needs to find his own place. Benedict knows that he made mistakes, but he was also protecting those he care about. Benedict was a hero I came to really admire. In the previous books, I wasn’t sure about his character, but we a more personal side to him in this story. We see what kind of home he grew up in, and the type of abuse he had to suffer both physical and emotional, and we the later effects it has. What was most fun about Benedict was seeing him change, slowly, but he changed from a man wanting to stand up to his father….to actually doing it. He takes action when it matters most, and I admire his drive and his honor.
Penelope is missing her sister….she and Abigail have always been really close. But now that Abigail is married and away, Penelope is feeling lonely, and even though she still has a couple more friends in London, she is bored with the pomp and circumstance. Penelope is quite entertaining. She wants adventure, love and passion. She doesn’t want a normal Ton like life. She wants more…she wants what her friends Abigail and Joan have. She adores the scandalous manuscript of short stories “50 Ways To Sin”. What was most fun about Penelope is her taking action before thinking about it first. She is very impulsive and not too smart about it all the time…but she does it out of caring and love…and I did admire that aspect of her character. She is bold, daring and not afraid to stand up to anyone, especially those she doesn’t approve of. She is considered “wild” for a reason, but she has a way about her that speak “Free Spirit”. And Even though I thought that at times she could use a bit more discretion at times, most of the time I found her wonderfully entertaining and freeing.
Plot and Story Line
Love In The Time Of Scandal is the third book…and what a story. I could barely put this one down. I had so much fun with this story. From beginning to end I had such a jolly good time with everything about it…the plot, characters, conflicts and the setting. Caroline Linden is one of those authors I love reading when it comes to Regency romance. Of late I have become a bit bored with the genre, since its done so much but Linden makes her stories come alive for me. She brings sensuality and adventure to her stories…and this story was no different. It picks off from where the last book left off. It had been a while since I had read book 2….so I had to go back over my thoughts on that one…so I could remember the circumstances that makes Penelope despise Benedict. I would recommend at least reading book two before reading this one…you can read this story as a stand a lone but you will be a bit confused on why there is a bit of tension between Benedict and Penelope. What was the most fun about this story is the connection between these two. They both REALLY like each other, they are too proud and stubborn to admit it at first. Benedict is more quick to admitting it than Penelope….boy does she need some help. She doesn’t like to put her feet in when she doesn’t want to admit something…especially her feelings for a man she is supposed to hate but can’t. I loved the way these two interact with each other, the quirky bantering, the sensual embraces….sexy and hot enough to make me want to find my own man. And the conflicts…the biggest one is Benedict and his father. Wow his father is one piece of work…he certainly needs a lesson in humility. And there is another villain in the story too…but I have a feeling we won’t see the end of him and his drama until the next book….which should be fun Olivia and Penelope’s brother.
Can I say gorgeous cover!!!! I mean it just might be my favorite one of the series. I love the pose…with the cream and red colors, and don’t ya love almost neck kisses….gives me those delicious spine shivers. And that hair on that fine male specimen…I know I know his body is pretty gorgeous…but hair like that you don’t see every day…just makes me want to run my fingers through it.
Love In The Time Of Scandal is a wonderful addition to this Scandalous series that will set your heart racing, the pages flipping, and the blood pounding in your ears. A story that has a hint of danger, a heart wrenching scandal, some steamy action, and a even more powerful love story that sparkles and shines!! A DELECTABLE GEM!!