It Takes A Scandal by Caroline Linden (Scandals #2)

It Takes A Scandal by Caroline LindenAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

Sometimes It Takes a Scandal… Abigail Weston has everything: beauty, wit, and one of the largest dowries in England. Her parents hope she’ll wed an earl. Abigail hopes for a man who wants her desperately and passionately. But the money seems to blind every man she meets—except one.

Sebastian Vane has nothing. He came home from war with a shattered leg to find his father mad and his inheritance gone. He’s not a fit suitor for anyone, let alone an heiress. But Abigail lights up his world like a comet, bright and beautiful and able to see him instead of his ruined reputation. And it might end happily ever after… To Reveal Your Heart’s Desire …Until Benedict Lennox begins courting Abigail. Ben is everything Sebastian isn’t—wealthy, charming, heir to an earl. Sebastian won’t give up the only girl he’s ever loved without a fight, but Abigail must choose between the penniless gentleman who moves her heart, and the suitor who is everything her parents want.

This is a very enjoyable book that has some of my favorite tropes, a tortured hero, a heroine that is sweet yet strong and a hero that needs the people of the village to believe in him again. It Takes a Scandal is a wonderful second book that involves redemption and a scandalous pamphlet.

Sebastian Vane’s knee was shattered in the war; he came home to his father’s growing madness, dwindling finances and property, and the town turning against him. A night shortly after he returns his former friend Benedict comes looking for his sister Lady Samantha, although Samantha is not there, they do find that Sebastian’s father has disappeared. Sebastian turns reclusive as the villagers believe he may have killed his father and stole from Benedict’s home. His once best friend does nothing to absolve him and the rift between them widens.

Abigail and Penelope, the Weston sisters move with their parents and their brother Jamie to the country just outside of London, they are considered Nuevo rich and society often looks down on them. Not all of the family is excited for the quiet life of the country but Abigail enjoys it. At first Penelope is especially distraught because along with her sister they have been reading the serial pamphlet that is all the rage in London about the exploits of Lady Constance and her lovers, happily they find a local bookstore that carries the series.

Abigail and Sebastian meet while she is trying to catch their new dog; she is fascinated with Sebastian and wonders why she hears negative gossip about him. Their attraction grows as they walk together several times, but gossip and speculation prevent her parents from giving their approval and when Benedict decides to call on Abigail, distrust and rivalry surface.

This is such a wonderful story of love and forgiveness, with a bit of scandal thrown in to make things interesting.

Sebastian is all that I adore in a hero, a man of great passion that has fallen on hard times he desperately needs things to turn around for him, as he is barely hanging on. When he meets Abigail he believes things are looking up only to find her parents are not as welcoming as he first believes. I hate that the friendship of two young boys was destroyed by jealousy and a cruel father and I am angry with Benedict, a friend that turns away when he is needed the most but I love that Penelope is doing a pretty good job of torturing Benedict about his treatment. I believe many of Benedict’s choices are because of his father and I hope we find out the real story of the rift between these two friends, I am a bit unhappy that Sebastian and Benedict leave things hanging in the end.

I so like Abigail, she is sweet and feels from her heart. She likes Sebastian from the beginning and they share something quiet and meaningful while they walk in the woods. They find the mythical Grotto and share several intimate moments and it becomes very special to them, after all they did read those pamphlets. It is interesting that Penelope gets Benedict to help Sebastian by promising to show him the Grotto, I again wonder about Benedict’s story and the role Penelope will have in it.

Secondary characters add depth to the story; I enjoy Penelope and believe she will make a great heroine and she loves those scandalous pamphlets. I like the sister’s parents and thought they were very forward thinkers, being Nuevo rich seems to give them more freedom. Benedict is an interesting character and I believe he has quite a story to tell, and some making up to do because of the way he treats Sebastian. The pace of the story is done well; it begins with a friendship that slowly grows into love with complications throughout that hamper a quick HEA. There is the mystery of Sebastian’s father to solve and redemption to gain and I like how the book progresses. This is the second in the series but can easily be read as a standalone, there are many characters that overlap the two stories but the author weaves them together wonderfully.

I give It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden 4 stars!

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