I really enjoyed reading this story and I’m happy to share my thoughts on it. Please read my review and check out the excerpt from the book. Also, besides the awesome giveaway of a print set of the Scandalous Series, books 1 – 3 (LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, IT TAKES A SCANDAL and LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL), there is a special treat at the end of the post. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to comment. I would like to know if you’ve read this author before and what you think of her stories 🙂
Six Degrees of Scandal
Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a dangerous man in search of a lost treasure she doesn’t possess, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see… and the man who was her first—and only—love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different for them this time.
James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and now he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe—and to win her trust again. He’s confident he can outwit the villain chasing Olivia. But being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart … even those that he swore would stay hidden forever.
Somehow I missed reading books 2 & 3, but that really did not detract from enjoying the story. Six Degrees of Scandal can be read as a standalone because it focuses on Olivia and James’ story. Characters from the previous stories do pop up, but their purpose and backstories are sometimes explained, if it was pertinent to the storyline.
I loved Olivia and James’ story. It had a sweetness factor that I sometimes miss in Historical Romances. Even when James thought he was spurned, he didn’t hold a grudge. There was no revenge motto for him, in fact, he was wanting to apologize! How refreshing to read about a Hero that doesn’t have to be a jerk to gain the heroine’s attention. If you are looking for a new Book Boyfriend, look no more, because James is the one you seek. A girl needs a break from a jerky, self absorbed hero, and James proved to be all that was good. He comes to Olivia’s rescue and helps her to once and for all, get rid of the ominous shadow that is constantly following her.
Olivia’s character was also well written. I liked the fact that she stayed true to herself throughout the book. Her inner monologue and thoughts did not jump all over the place. In that, she knew what she wanted and she strove to obtain it. She had her fears and doubts, which made her more realistic and the threats to her person caused her to run away. Not everyone is strong, but she did end up growing as character and her strength came from her realizations. Which came to her slowly and steadily.
The plot made for an interesting read. I love art smuggling themes and the camaraderie between the characters trying to solve the problem took me a journey with them. There were some humorous parts towards the end of the book, which lightened the overall tone of the storytelling. It was wrapped up perfectly and now I know that I have to go back to read the ones I missed. I have to say that from what I have read previously (Book 1), this one was better written and the main characters were more endearing.
*I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*
Olivia Herbert knew James Weston was a rogue the first time he winked at her, one fine Sunday morning in August when butterflies were riding warm drafts of air through the open door of St. Godfrey’s and Mr. Bunce the curate was droning on and on as if he meant to put every person in the church to sleep.
She was staving off the urge to do just that by watching the butterflies. James Weston, it turned out, was watching her. As her gaze followed one butterfly—a delicate white one with spots of blue on its wings, who swooped and glided effortlessly on the hazy air—it connected with James’s. His family was sitting in the next pew over, and when their eyes met, the impudent boy winked at her.
She looked away at once. Not only had he caught her woolgathering, wishing she could flit about the church and out the door like that butterfly, but it was probably a sin to wink in church. With some effort she tried to focus her mind on the sermon, but within moments a bee flew overhead, and once again, quite independently of any wish to be well-behaved, her eyes tracked the insect as it buzzed away, right toward the Weston pew.
This time when he caught her eye, he grinned. Slowly he raised one hand, and with small, cautious movements, pretended to flick the bee as it flew by. Then he screwed up his face and mimed being stung, shaking his finger and sticking it into his mouth.
Olivia couldn’t help it. She smiled, and a tiny giggle shook her shoulders. His grin grew wider, and he wiggled his eyebrows at her.
A sharp jab in her side made Olivia hastily jerk her gaze back to Mr. Bunce, whose voice had settled into a low drone, as if he, too, were falling asleep. Beside her, Mother glared from the corner of her eye. Olivia repressed a sigh. Ladies didn’t giggle in church, and Mother was determined that Olivia would be a lady.
Mother didn’t even wait until they reached home. Her scolding began as they walked to their carriage after the service. “Olivia Herbert, what were you thinking? Laughing in church! What a common, hoydenish thing to do.”
“I’m sorry, Mother.”
“And making eyes at that boy.” Mother didn’t grimace, but her tone dripped with distaste. “Those upstart Westons.”
“Upstarts they may be, but well-heeled ones.” Father spoke for the first time, giving Olivia a measuring glance. “She could do worse.”
Mother gasped. “Thomas Weston is an attorney. I want better for our daughters, Sir Alfred.”
“You’ve got to be practical, madam.” Father waited as the footman helped them into the carriage. “Our girls won’t have much to attract a noble husband.”
“Only their beauty.” Mother’s gaze softened as she looked at Olivia and her younger sister, Daphne. “A lady’s face, along with her sweet temper and amiable disposition, are her greatest assets, girls.”
“Yes, Mother,” piped up Daphne. “I’ll make you proud and marry a royal duke!”
Mother laughed gently. “I’m sure you will, my beautiful darling.” It was already clear that Daphne took after her mother. Olivia wasn’t sure if she took after her father or not; Father was often preoccupied with rank and money, and he was very fond of wagering on the horse races, none of which appealed to her. But at the same time, Olivia didn’t share her mother’s keen interest in fashion or ladylike accomplishments. She supposed she might as she grew older, but at the advanced age of ten she wasn’t much interested in sizing up potential husbands.
Rafflecopter Giveaway (a Print Set of the Scandalous Series, books 1 – 3 (LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, IT TAKES A SCANDAL and LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL (US Only))
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.
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