‘Love in the Time of Scandal’ by Caroline Linden

littos clSTORY: 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?

REVIEW: I was so happy to find out that ‘Love in the Time of Scandal’ featured Abigail’s sister and Sebastian’s best friend from ‘It Takes a Scandal’. If you’ve not read that one, please get it. Your reading experience of this tale will be doubled. I promise!

You see, when we met Benedict Lennox, the hero of this tale in the story of his best friend, he was courting that friend’s girl, and he lost her. And in this tale, he’s now courting another young lady, but Abigail’s sister, Penelope is once more meddling in his love life.

I have to say that I adored both characters only because they were flawed. Neither was perfect and both were so very human.

Benedict, on the surface, has everything. His good looks and charm are obvious, and a future hair of an Earldom is a plus, yet this man has had a very tough upbringing. His childhood is just heartbreaking to read about. It has been a ‘mill stone’ around his neck for a long time and the only way to get rid of that would be for him to wed an heiress, preferably a biddable one.

Penelope Weston is young, bold and outspoken and she’s close to being labeled a spinster very soon. She’s feeling a bit lonely this season as her best friend and her sister have just gotten hitched, so now she’s wilting away in ballrooms, hoping she might meet someone special too.

Never in a million years would these two wish to become each other’s significant other, yet they’re both drawn by circumstances into each other’s orbit once more.
And while to some Penelope may have come off as shrewish and too outspoken and judgmental, I gave her a benefit of the doubt her character deserved.  Trust me, if you stick with her, she’ll surprise you and you’ll love her in the end.

As for our hero, Benedict, I can say the same. He was stubborn and austere at times, yet once you get inside of his head, you’ll know why he’s like that and you’ll start to like him and in the end you’ll love him as much as his Penelope does.

I just adored this story! Everything within it is perfect. It made me cry, laugh and sigh. Pace, plot, dialogue and most of all romance mixed with such sensuality that you may fog your reading glasses. It’s not only that this book is a must read, it’s this whole series that you must buy!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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