Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline Linden (Scandalous #3)

Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline LindenAvailable: May 26, 2015 Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

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?

This is a wonderful series; I have enjoyed reading about these three friends and their scandalous reading material since the first book. Two have found their heroes with amazing stories; and Penelope’s is just as delightful as she finds love with the least likely man.

Penelope Weston is feeling lonely, her sister and best friend are recently married and she feels left out as she tries to enjoy the season in London. She has befriended a young girl who seems to be enamored by Benedict Atherton, a man who almost ruined her sister Abigail’s husband. Penelope is angry with Benedict and puts notions in the girl’s head about love, which prompts her to turn down his proposal. But when Penelope gets into trouble helping her friend Olivia, she finds Benedict is the only one that will assist her, with marriage.

Benedict has had a difficult life; his father is a brute who terrorized his family through both physical and verbal abuse. He has done his best to shelter his sisters and mother by agreeing to anything his father wanted, even to the detriment of others as he has lost friends over his choices. He regrets many things and wants to break the ties that bind him to his father but without money he feels his options are limited, marriage to a wealthy woman is what he is striving for and amazingly Penelope happens to fulfill his wish and is in need of a savior.

This is another remarkable story from Ms. Linden. The books in the Scandalous series have become favorites of mine; it is a series which features engaging characters with interesting life struggles, flaws and delightful romances.

Penelope is adorable, she is bright and witty but a little lonely since her sister and best friend have married. Yet, she also seems to entangle herself in situations that are hard to get out of, even with the best intentions. She mangles the second attempt of marriage for Benedict and then when she tries to help her friend Olivia with the evil Mr. Clary, she falls into a scandal that only marriage will get her out of.

Benedict is a wonderful hero, albeit he had to prove himself to me as he left a bad impression in the last book; but I knew there was something special about him. He has been hiding specifics about his past and when they come to light we understand much more.

I like the romance in this book, they both want to find a special bond and connection from the person they marry and I like how each really strives to make it happen, it is a sweet romance that they truly work together to achieve. They have chemistry to burn and I like that she is as interested and aware of their attraction as he is. She is full of spunk, speaks her mind and Benedict loves that about her, she even stands up to Benedicts father which not many do. He thought he wanted a docile wife but after spending time with her, does not remember why.

The pace of the book moves quickly as the scandal that starts the ball rolling takes place early and continues to cause issues throughout the story. There are secrets and hidden pasts that come out to bring light to some animosity and guilt. Secondary characters play important roles, we get to see several characters from the previous books and find out how their lives have continued. The ending has some twists and turns and although I am very satisfied with how things turn out, I did want a bit more closure from Benedict and his father’s relationship. I am also intrigued with a storyline that is left up in the air, what has happened with Olivia and Penelope’s brother Jaime, is there another story in the works? This can easily be read as a standalone, the author does a great job of keeping the reader informed. All in all a brilliant story that is part of a wonderful series that I highly recommend.

I give Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline Linden 4.25 stars!

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