Thursday, May 27, 2010

Scandal by Carolyn Jewel

Book Description:The earl of Banallt is no stranger to scandal. But when he meets Sophie Evans, the young wife of a fellow libertine, even he is shocked by his reaction. This unconventional and intelligent woman proves to be far more than an amusing distraction - she threatens to drive him to distraction. Unlike the women who usually fall at Banallt's feet, and into his bed, Sophie refuses to be seduced. And soon Banallt desires her more than ever - and for more than an illicit affair.

Years later, the widowed Sophie is free, and Banallt is determined to win the woman he still loves. Unfortunately, she doesn't believe his declaration of love and chivalrous offer of marriage - her heart has already been broken by her scoundrel of a husband. And yet, Sophie is tempted to indulge in the torrid affair she's always fantasized about. Caught between her logical mind and her long-denied desire, Sophie must thwart Banallt's seduction - or risk being consumed by the one man she should avoid at all costs...

Another quickie review due my studying...

This was in interesting romance, I'm not surprised, I love Carolyn Jewel. She has interesting plotlines. This romance switches back and forth between the present day (Regency times) and three years earlier when Sophie and Banallt first meet. In the earlier sequences, he's a ne'er do well, rake about town, she is the neglected wife of her wastrel husband, left to fend for herself at his country estate. Her husband pals around with Banallt, cavorting with whores and playing cards - spending her entire dowry. Upon meeting, Banallt tries to seduce Sophie at first, but she is faithful to her husband even if he doesn't deserve it. He soon realizes she's not the type to stray, so instead, Banallt opts for friendship, for it's the only thing he'll get from her. Soon, Banallt and Sophie become closer, he can see for himself what a gem she is, even if she's not gorgeous, that doesn't matter to him. He can see what a cross she carries married to her lout of a husband. They become confidantes to each other, but one night when he is weakened emotionally, he does something to her that is a mystery while she is still married and we don't find out until the end of the book. What did he do to make her send him away? He goes abroad for a time never realizing while he's gone that her husband had died in an accident and she is finally free.

In the later sequences, Sophie is a widow and Banallt who loved her three years earlier seeks the opportunity to win her love. It's not easy, she vows she'll never marry another man like her husband, who cannot be faithful to his wife, plus she doesn't believe Banallt could possibly really love her - he just wants her because he can't have her - he likes the thrill of the chase. Banallt has an infamous reputation to live down and it's not an easy task for him to change her mind and make her believe he's serious about her. But, he manages to wear her down over time. Whatever it was that he did to her three years earlier has her on her guard and she avoids him at all costs and gets her brother to help her as well. She knows only to well how irresistible he is as well - the less time she spends in his company the easier it will be to resist his advances.

Eventually, love conquers all and it was great getting there, and I was strung along dying to find out what the big mystery was and the penultimate moment when she admits to him that she wants him - *sigh*

I loved this romance and the way Sophie comes around. The chemistry is wonderful between the two and I read this in a day or two - it's short for a romance, though it has plenty of passion and heat. The characterizations were well done, I knew where both were coming from. I felt Sophie was a bit harsh towards Banallt at first - but he kept at it! He's larger than life and I found it hard to believe she could resist him as long as she did. He's handsome, virile, an earl - and loves her books that she writes under a pseudonym! (to pay the bills). Although I felt the big secret was a bit anticlimatic, all in all I'll chalk this up as another winner from Jewel (though I really disliked this cover!) Lord Ruin is still my favorite, though.



Renee said...

I love this book! Carolyn Jewel's writing style is really beautiful. I haven't read the rest of her backlist, and have Lord Ruin and The Spare on my tbr shelf.

Nice review, Julie!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Renee, I simply loved Lord Ruin! This is going to be a Carolyn Jewel summer for me, I've got several of her books lines up already! Indiscreet is next on my CJ list!

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