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Almost a Scandal (Reckless Brides) Mass Market Paperback – 13 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Paperbacks (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250003792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250003799
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 2.6 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 852,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Ms. Essex delivers romance at its finest; adventure-packed, passion-filled and totally satisfying. Teeming with adventure, passion, sexual tension, secrets, scandal, witty banter, romance and love, this story is a delight and a definite keeper." -"Romance Junkies "on "Almost a Scandal"

About the Author

Elizabeth Essex is the acclaimed author of historical novels including "The Pursuit of Pleasure" and "A Sense of Sin." When not re-reading Jane Austen, sipping tea or mucking about her garden, Elizabeth can be found at her computer, making up wonderful stories about people who live far more interesting lives than she. It wasn't always so. Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classical Studies and Art History, and then earned her MA from Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeology, also known as the archaeology of shipwrecks.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nikki Bywater on 5 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It was a family tradition for the Kent family to serve in the Royal Navy. A tradition they did with pride. Sally Kent also like many of her family felt born to do this too. The only problems were that it is 1805 and she is a girl. So Sally can not fulfil her dream of a life at sea, until one day when her younger brother Richard refuses to sign up and report for duty, Sally sees this as her opportunity and disguised as her brother and wearing full naval uniform, Sally takes her brothers place aboard the Audacious. Sally soon proves that she is more than capable to do the job as any man and she soon fits in with all the men, becoming the best midshipman on board. It would seem that Sally is getting away with her disguise, until handsome Lieutenant David Colyear (Col) sees straight through her charade to the woman she truly is.

Will Col reveal her secret?

A historical romance packed with adventure and danger. Sally is a very strong leading lady that is ahead of her time. The plot does mainly concentrate more on the naval prospective of life, the day to day duties and general life aboard the ship. The battles and war too. I would have preferred to see more on the development of the romance between the two leading characters than about battles and naval life. This is just my own personal opinion and I am a Pisces so I just am a stickler for a true romantic tale and pure escapism without all the ins and outs of everyday life getting in the way. I think the way the book as been written is more a true to life book though so this will appeal to readers who like more true to life stories.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 51 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
part sailing manual, part romance 31 July 2012
By Jeanne - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Almost a Scandal is an oddly different sort of historical romance. The better part of the book is filled with deeply detailed descriptions of sailing a frigate and the battle at Trafalgar. Using the old gender-bending plot element, Essex has her main character Sally Kent disguise herself as her brother and go to serve in the Navy aboard the frigate Audacious. While the plot clips along with adventures and plenty of detail about the daily lives of sailors, the sexual tension builds between Sally and Col, the ship's second in command, her brothers' friend and the hero of her youth. Sadly, while there are plenty of details about ships, sails, and navigation, there are huge gaps in what I consider the more important areas of personal details. Somehow, Sally lives completely comfortably among over 200 men on a small ship for weeks. Both the captain and Col realize from the start that she's female and do nothing--and this is in 1805! It's not a bad book, fairly well written and well-paced, and the main characters are likable. However, even though I am very comfortable with the usual willing suspension of disbelief that romantic fantasy requires, this novel demands more disbelief than I can tolerate.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Live life boldly 31 July 2012
By Ms.Harriet M. - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an exciting tale about a woman, Sally Kent who follows her dream by filling in for her brother aboard a ship in her Majesty`s Royal Navy.. She is soothing her conscious by saying that she is doing it to protect her family's honor but it is so much more.

It is a action packed story set against the backdrop of the high seas, and shows how wit can hold its own against brawn.

The main characters are Sally Kent and Mr. Colyear. Mr. Colyear has known the Kent family for years. He is the insurmountable object that Sally has to overcome to live unbound by the chains society has placed around her.

What makes this book special is that Sally has to face the consequences for her actions. There is a grittiness and believability in the descriptions of the life aboard ,the Audacious. The author shows that dues definitely have to be paid for breaking the rules. However, if you have the guts sometimes you will reap the glory in unexpected ways. It is these things that kept me turning the pages, that and the interactions and growth of the characters, sometimes those interactions were amusing and other times poignant.

I enjoyed the story immensely,cannot think of anything else to say.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Loretta Chase meets Patrick O’Brian 1 Feb. 2014
By CA - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like romance, if you like anything nautical, if you like a historical context, if you like a truly strong heroine and if you like witty banter – you will love this book. I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in a long time. This was sort of like Loretta Chase meets Patrick O’Brian, and what a great result!

Sally, our heroine, is traveling disguised as her younger brother who had reluctantly signed on to sail on the “Audacious” (a British warship) and who didn’t show up for duty. She is able to manage this a bit too easily and at times I was a bit surprised that no one saw through her ruse, so there is a bit of suspension of belief. Sally is as skilled as the next midshipman, if not better – no, she was better. Having been raised in a nautical family, her skills have been well honed, and I loved to read about her climbing the mast lines like a monkey, and being able to anticipate changes in the weather days before they happened, or know how to set the sails before receiving the order. She is so happy at sea. Col, the second-in-command and Hero of the story, is a wonderful character and exudes the authority inherent in his position, and is also a fair and generous man……and not too bad-looking, of course. The sea is in his blood (as it is for Sally) and I had to chuckle at his reverse sea-sickness – he has been on board a ship for so long that he gets symptoms of sea-sickness when he steps on land. For anyone who spends considerable time on a boat, that’s not too far from the truth, but his situation was a little exaggerated without being preposterous, and it was his Achilles heel.

Sally was so cool. Not only can she hold her own among the men physically, but she holds her own mentally and socially as well, without veering from her own true self. Somehow, she knows how to think like a guy, and it’s almost inherent for her, which was a unique approach. She doesn’t have to be different to fit in, and I found that refreshing.

The banter – very Loretta Chase, and I was highlighting my favorite parts all over the place. The dialogue is worth re-reading, so it took me a few days longer to finish than it usually takes me, but I was also savoring the delicious story….Patrick O’Brian would have been proud of how much of the book focused on the nautical goings-on – in fact, most of the first half is life on a ship, which I found fascinating. The second half is based on the Battle of Trafalgar and nautical battle strategy, which I knew nothing about, so I also came away enlightened. And then there’s some love and heat thrown in there, so it’s all very, very interesting……..
The ending was a tad jumbled in spots which seemed to disrupt the flow for a moment, but the culminating scene made up for it! Can’t spoil it for anyone who decides to read this, so I’ll have to keep that one to myself…..

I read this book after reading the author’s delightful “A Breath of Scandal,” and was tickled to see that story’s Hero (Will Jellicoe) in this one as a secondary character, but when he was a 12-year old midshipman and learning the ropes – in case anyone read Will’s story. It’s not a prequel that requires knowledge of another story, but it was nice to see him again nonetheless. (That was a good book, too!)

All in all, very enjoyable, and I am happy I read this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Worth 10 stars. 6 Dec. 2014
By Danker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book, despite recognising its implausibility. I know, I know that history proves women did disguise themselves and get away with it AND even became masters of ships like the famous Irish privateer, but much of this story comes close to unbelievable - the most pressing example is the number of people who know who she is and let her stay on the ship (4 very significant people, including a villain who could have exposed her in a second).

Because the rest of the story is so enthralling, I was able to overlook those weaknesses.

I loved that the author conveyed the brutality of the life of the young trainees without going into the true gruesomeness, which would have ruined the story for me.

The battle scenes were gripping, despite being something I usually hate. They seem realistic, but what would I know?

I loved the love affair between the h and H. Of course the Col is drawn to Sally physically ( who could forget him wondering about how far her freckles spread) and he is rhapsodic about her ginger hair (all over) and naked body (once they get that far) but it is her competence, integrity, courage, intellect and talent as a sailor/navigator that ensnare him. That is why I love this book - it gives the reader a truly memorable h, who is, at first, brought to her knees by the scar that slashes across her face, but learns to see it for its lack of importance in defining who she is.

And it gives us a great H. I particularly love what happens when he proposes and Sally angrily asserts that, just because he has compromised her and she is now scarred, she doesn't need him to save her and he replies that she isn't listening, because he needs her to save him and then trust him to protect and honour her. Sigh! (He still should have written to her, after the accident. Or explained why he hadn't. )
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic adventure 10 Jan. 2013
By MichelleM - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. Loved. I was immediately drawn into the story and the characters and the ROMANCE. Oh! It's such a wonderfully romantic book. Ms. Essex has a wonderful voice and writes terrific characters who have such depth. I loved Sally and Col. She was spunky and confident without being overbearing and annoying. Col was completely dreamy and sigh-worthy. I very much enjoyed this sea-faring adventure. The author really knows her stuff and it's evident in the pages. And the romance was so beautifully written. I was completely lost in the pages from the first page to the last. Can't wait to read more from Ms. Essex!
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