The third book in a deliciously sexy series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book–Ffty Shades of Grey for the Regency era– has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.
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. But, 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?
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/03/love-in-time-of-scandal-scandalous-3-by.html
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/114934-scandalous
Author Info Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at www.carolinelinden.com.
Penelope Weston has definite opinions about marriage, most importantly that it should include love and passion, and never be a matter of convenience. When a friend confesses that Benedict Lennox is courting her, Pen urges her to be sure that her potential husband feels a genuine regard for her. Pen has a particular dislike for Benedict, Lord Atherton, although that wasn’t always the case. When they first met, Pen was quite taken with him, and they got along very well. Then Ben decided to court Pen’s sister, Abigail. While at first suffering her own disappointment that he didn’t choose to court her, she then becomes aware of some serious character flaws. He is decidedly under his father’s thumb, and made no effort to stand up for a friend who was falsely accused of a crime. Pen’s regard turned to scorn and disdain, and she was happy that her sister chose to marry someone else.
No one outside his immediate family knows the extent of Ben’s father’s cruelty. As a child, Ben suffered countless beatings, food deprivation, and other punishments. He also took the blame for many things not his fault to protect his mother and sisters. Now as an adult, Ben no longer has to take the beatings, but his father still plays cruel games to control him. He controls all the money, and sometimes chooses to cut Ben off without a cent, or banishes him so he can’t visit his mother. Ben will be wealthy when his father dies, but until then, he is helpless. So, he decides to marry. An heiress will allow him to live independently of his father, and never have to see him. He also wants a sweet tempered girl, who won’t create drama in his life. His courtship of Abigail wasn’t successful when she chose another, and now it appears his courtship of Frances will fail because of the ideas planted in her mind by Penelope Weston. Ben doesn’t really understand why Pen dislikes him so much now, when they got along famously at the start. Ben only chose to court her sister Abigail instead because she was a much gentler, amiable lady, and Ben thought she fit his dream of a peaceful life.
When a twist of fate puts Penelope’s reputation at serious risk, Ben has the opportunity to save it by offering marriage. While Pen is fiery and passionate, she is still a great heiress, and can give Ben his freedom from his father. Pen is at first reluctant, but surprisingly, it’s Ben’s seductive wooing that wins her over. So they are married.
Pen has been a devoted reader of the scandalous series, 50 Ways to Sin, and she is eager to learn about physical pleasure. Ben is just as eager to experience pleasure with Pen, and their marriage starts off on a scorching high. Unfortunately all their time isn’t spent in the bedroom, and they are not so compatible in other ways. They have to come to terms with everyday life, and their differences from each other. In addition, to this, they have to deal with unexpected danger, and Ben’s father, who doesn’t want to stay out of the picture.
Ben is a good man who has suffered greatly due to his father. It’s a credit to his own strong character that he grew up determined to be a totally different kind of man. I admired his ability to still show kindness and humor despite everything he endured. Once Pen realizes the way things were, she is quick to change her tune and support her husband. Their journey from convenience to passion to love was a lovely one to read. Both Pen and Ben are admirable and likeable characters. This book has a little bit of everything – action, mystery, passion, and, of course, love. It’s very well written, and flows along so smoothly and quickly, that I was finished before I knew it. LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL can be read as a standalone, but reading It Takes A Scandal (Abigail’s story) will give much more background. I enjoyed this one very much, and highly recommend it.
Grand prize: A journal to keep track of all your own scandals, plus print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, and IT TAKES A SCANDAL
Runner Up: print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, and IT TAKES A SCANDAL
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