- Mass Market Paperback: 342 pages
- Publisher: Signet Book (Jan 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 045120767X
- ISBN-13: 978-0451207678
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.2 x 2.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,273,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In London, Gideon runs into Lord Stanwell, catching him in a scandalous situation. To insure he gains Gideon's silence, Stanwell bribes him with the hand of his daughter in marriage and entrance amidst the Ton for his sisters. Gideon agrees to marry Lady Julia, currently in her third season and the recipient of twelve proposals all rejected as she plans to wed for love, on the condition that she pretends to love him in public. Given no choice, Julia and Gideon marry, but that sham turns into real thing if the commoner and the lady can learn to trust in the love of their partner.
SCANDAL is an enjoyable Regency romance with a twist not often seen in the genre. The story line contains delightful subplots to include the snail game, Gideon's investigation for his missing sibling, Stanwell's secret, and other pleasant foibles. Gideon's dilemma is intriguing. He fears telling Julia the secret about her father because he thinks that could end their relationship; yet he panics over not revealing it to her for fear if she learns the truth elsewhere that would end their relationship. Heather Cullman entertains the troops with this wonderful historical.
Gideon Harwood returned from India. With the wealth he had accumulated, he planned to use it and everything else he could to help raise the station of his two impoverished sisters and locate his missing brother. He stumbled upon a shocking secret about the Marquess of Stanwell. To silence Gideon, the marquess offered a bargain, his daughter's hand in marriage. Normally Gideon's honor would rebel; however, marriage to the lovely Lady Julia Barham would open the Ton's doors for his sisters. Thus, Gideon swallowed his honor and agreed ... but only if Lady Julia convinced everyone that the marriage was a love match!
The Marquess never agreed to inform Julia of WHY he was forcing her to do the bargain. No, he made up a terrible lie, putting the blame on Gideon. To save her family (she thought), she had no choice but to wed the commoner and pretend to love him. Yet she planned to make sure he had no doubts as to how much she really loathed him!
***** That is the main plot. To tell the secret or the lie would ruin a good portion, so I left them out. For the sake of length, I left out the secondary characters as well.
I will state that Julia's siblings are wonderful, the mean aunt is the type readers love to hate, and Gideon's sisters have had it hard, so Julia had her work cut out for her in helping them!
To spice things up, on an already fabulous story, author Heather Cullman added an odd pet (like Laura Kinsale always did), and side kick. Gideon's personal attendant was from India. Jagtar was a tall and menacing sight to behold! He even kept a lethal-looking dagger tucked into his waist sash. The wicked image, however, becomes comical as readers enjoy Jagtar's pet, a slow loris! A slow loris is "an owl-eyed primate" with almost human hands and a taste for fruit. The pair stole the scene a few time!
This is the first of a Regency trilogy. I have no clue as to who the main characters will be in the next book. Personally, I am hoping for Lady Mina (one of Julia's friends) and Bethany (Gideon's oldest sister).
Pre-order this book whenever you can or mark your calendar! To miss a book THIS great is a sin! Highly recommended! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch.
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