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Scandalous Lovers [Paperback]

Robin Schone
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £9.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 453 pages
  • Publisher: Brava (Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575666995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575666990
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.2 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,176,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"My grandparents were very poor: they did not have indoor plumbing. When I stayed with them, I lived pretty much like our ancestors did in the 19th century. The experience gave me a very practical mindset regarding history and the people who lived it. Technology may change, but we do not. We all want. We all need. Beauty. Passion. Love."


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Schone is the recipient of the Romantic Times 2008 Career Lifetime Achievement Award for Most Innovative Historical Romances. She is published in thirteen countries, including China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Spain. Scandalous Lovers was chosen by RUSQ (Reference & User Services Quarterly, the official journal of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association) as one of five books to represent the "wide range of historical fiction in romance." Claims RUSQ: "Robin Schone writes sensual, explicit stories...about characters who are frequently older and less beautiful than most romance protagonists. Her history is impeccable; the storytelling is straightforward but emotionally driven."

Product Description

Witty, emotionally involving, and intensely sensual, the novels of Robin Schone have captured the erotic imaginations of readers everywhere. In "The Men and Women's Club," this USA Today bestselling author turns the heat up even higher, as she explores the very essence of desire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read with a difference 24 May 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
How refreshing to read a book where the hero and heroine aren't in their first flush of youth. Robin Schone still manages to captivate her reader with issues regarding sexuality and sterotypes, not only in the time period but also reflective of the older couple's thoughts and feelings.

Another great book from Robin Schone who dares to push the boundries of historical romance.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not her best 22 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback
i was eagger to read this book... what a disapointment... i felt completly disconneted with story, even the love scenes left me cold...
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Undisputed Queen of Erotic Romance is BACK--All Hail!!! 12 Feb 2007
By The Fountain Pen Diva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It has been nearly six years since Ms. Schone's last novel 'Gabriel's Woman' and in that time the erotic romance genre has grown from a few paltry titles into one of today's hottest markets in women's fiction. E-books have popularized erotic romance, making them widely available as well as giving newer romance writers their first taste of publication. Even Harlequin, seeing the way of the wind, has gleefully jumped into this market with its Blaze and Spice lines.

With the popularity of this genre, it is to be expected that some books which purport to be erotic romances concentrate heavily upon the erotic and leave the romance somewhere out of the final edit. Far from being a prude or a purist (because I do enjoy plain old erotica as well), I've found that these books attempt to out-kink their competition by throwing in as many sex scenes as they can encompassing practically every form of loveplay imaginable. However it is not just the sex that makes an erotic romance erotic. It is a skillful blending of plot and characters who come to life and become more than words on a page as well as the sexuality that makes an erotic romance not only worth reading, but keeping.

I own every book Ms. Schone has written as well as the two anthologies, Fascinated and Captivated and it is her two novellas in each--A Lady's Pleasure and A Man and A Woman--that I find myself re-reading simply because they're so passionate and true.

Ms. Schone's books are easily some of the most character-driven in any genre. One thing is that she has never written the standard and boring romance trope of perfect people with perfect bodies who get together and have perfect sex. In Scandalous Lovers she continues that tradition with two of the most `realistic" people to date. Frances Hart and James Whitcox are so much like everyday people that it's almost impossible to believe that they never lived. By the time I finished the book, not only did I believe, but hoped they found happiness together.

Frances Hart is truly every woman some time in her life who yearns and seeks out something more than just what society says should fulfill her. Frances is 49 (certainly not the typical nubile twenty-something heroine), a mother, a grandmother and a widow who needs to know that there is more to her life than that. She comes to London three months after her husband's death to find that something.

What she finds is The Men's and Women's Club (which was the original title of the novel), a group of people from all walks of life who get together to discuss equality between the sexes. One member of this unusual gathering, a barrister named James Whitcox whose life outside of the club has also been regulated by what society deems acceptable for a man, seeks more than the dry, analytical discourses that to him completely skirt around what he truly wants to know. When Frances accidentally stumbles upon their meeting, James is quick to ask her what a woman desires.

From that moment on, James and Frances become what society has never allowed them to be--a man and a woman who feel deeply and passionately. Together they discover what they've never known possible both sexually and emotionally as the rest of the members of the club struggle to make sense of their own growing desires and fears. The sex scenes between James and Frances are powerful, pulling the reader into these tender, intimate moments and making the reader feel every quiver and whisper against their skin. It's almost like reading about two people who are virgins, and in a way, they are. Some readers may find James' discovery of passion unbelievable considering his past liaisons, but sex is no substitute for finding one's soul mate and learning to live.

It is Frances' eldest son David, seeing the changes London has wrought in his mother, is quick to castigate her for not accepting her lot as both a widow and a mother and decides that in order to "help" her, signs a lunacy order to have Frances put away in a sanitarium until she comes to her senses. Frances, hurt and betrayed refuses to submit meekly and decides to sue her own son for her emancipation. Sad to say this was an accepted practice in Victorian society for those women who didn't have the means to live their own lives.

One of the most memorable lines in Scandalous Lovers comes from Mrs. Jenkins, Frances' sixty-six year old housekeeper whom she catches in an intimate moment with the butler, Mr. Denton--"A woman's got one life: she's got to reach out and grab it with both hands or it'll pass her by and leave nothing but a smelly old fart in her face."

My only complaint with this book was that Frances' trial ended too soon and seemed to have been rushed. Though each of the members testified, it would have been fascinating to find out how their testimony changed them afterwards.

That being said, Robin Schone is the standard by which every novel that considers itself to be an erotic romance should be held to. Her books have always been of the highest caliber; beautiful, poetic and unashamedly sexual with characters anyone of us can relate to on some level. Her stories are complex and make the reader consider their own beliefs towards sexuality, especially sexuality that isn't about the young and beautiful. Ms. Schone writes as she lives--a champion of female sexuality and her characters, though from a bygone age, still have much to show us in that we may have come a long way from the repressive Victorian era, but it doesn't take much to slide us back. And in the end, we all have the right to love.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written Victorian Erotic Romance! 6 Feb 2007
By Beverly Romance Books - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Fans of Robin Schone have been waiting patiently for her next release and with Scandalous Lovers it was worth the wait. In this beautifully written Victorian Romance a middle-aged widow and widower find more than passion, and discover that true ecstasy is obtained only when the heart is engaged. The country-bred Frances Hart has spent her forty-nine years as an obedient wife and perfect mother and grandmother. Upon her husband's death, she travels to London, changes her appearance by purchasing a lovely wardrobe and dying her hair, and finally obtains the freedom to see the sights and do whatever her heart desires without having to answer to anyone. During her outing at the famous Crystal Palace she looks for a water closet and instead enters a meeting room where The Men and Women's Club of London are meeting to discuss social, moral and philosophical views of Victorian Society. There she meets the handsome, over fifty year-old, barrister James Whitcox. He sees Frances, is immediately drawn to her, and longs to ask her the question he had never asked his wife before she passed away; "What does a woman desire?" and "Does a woman desire to touch a man?" Frances, never having been asked those questions by her husband, answers honestly and frankly. From there she is asked to join "the society" and she and James are drawn closer to each other and eventually come together in intense passion, ecstasy and love. This is a hauntingly beautiful story that is well-researched and written in one of the most romantic periods of history. The imagery of the beauty of the Victorian Era, together with the well-written passionate erotic love scenes, makes for an intense, descriptive, pleasurable read. The story is as intense as the love scenes and has a powerful ending. James defends a woman accused of murdering her husband with the dreaded disease of the time, syphilis. He then finds himself defending Frances, as her eldest son, David, upon discovering her affair with James, her attendance at The Society meetings and free life in London, attempts to get her committed to an asylum, as the family does not understand her newly found freedom, believing she is going through a woman's change and is hysterical. This is a romance written for the mature, experienced adult, comfortable with their sexuality. Very few writers have the capability to address mature love and sexual matters, but Robin Schone has done it in Scandalous Lovers to perfection. If you have the pleasure of real, true ecstasy in your life, you will come away from this book recognizing it and being thankful that you have it. If you had it and lost it, you will be plagued with fond memories of those moments. If you have not yet had the pleasure to find it, you will yearn for it. A hauntingly beautiful story destined to be on the bedside tables of many women to be read again and again for years to come.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly remarkable. A courageous & triumphant break with tradition. 28 Feb 2007
By SheReads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bravo, Robin Schone. As a woman "of a certain age" as they used to say, I'm so grateful for what you've accomplished here. Honestly, I didn't think I'd be drawn into the sensuality of a book whose heroine is my own age - even though I've learned that a woman's sexual prime is whenever she feels best about herself. The deepest and most thrilling relationships of a lifetime happen when you've learned enough about your own needs to match an exciting partner...So why wasn't I thrilled when I discovered that the heroine of this novel was as old as I am?

We live in a time of rapidly evolving attitudes abour women, age and sexuality. Actresses like the gorgeous Rene Russo (age 54) and Sharon Stone (47) are proof that fifty really is the new thirty. But the fact that even a woman like me, despite my resentment of the cult of youth, didn't expect to enjoy this book, demonstrates that we have a long way to go.

I remember a time when I felt cerrtain I wouldn't care about romance by the time I reached age 40. At twenty, I'd have laughed at the idea of erotic fiction built around a woman with grown children. I should have outgrown the prejudice as I grew in experience, but long-held cultural biases cling to us like barnacles. Until someone like Robin Schone helps shake things up.

A few hours with "Scandalous Lovers" did more to reassure me of my own desirability than six months with my personal trainer, a $200 haircut and a face full of Botox.

(Well, no. I take it back about the Botox. I adore Botox.)

The other remarkable aspect of "Scandalous Lovers" is your ability to bring in a feminist theme without compromising the entertainment value of your story or the authenticity of its historical setting. I knew that women once risked being declared insane and locked away, simply for defying a male guardian. But you made the threat personal, as if it might happen again. It just might; there are parts of the world where women still have the legal status of children. Like other essential lessons of history, this one deserves more attention than it gets.

I read somewhere that you wanted to name this book after the real-life organization that inspired it: The Men's and Women's Club. I had no idea there really was such a thing. Knowing what its members risked, simply for discussing sexual topics in "mixed company," it's gratifying to be reminded that there are a few people in every time and place who defy absurd restrictions. Without them, there would still be insane asylums for grandmothers crazy enough to choose sex over a quiet retirement.

Thank you for making your long-awaited next novel such a meaningful one. The fact that it's one of your hottest is the cherry on top.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Excellent in So Many Ways 25 Sep 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have never read a book by this author. This book was recommended to me by a friend who knows my interest in 19th century British history, especially as regards women, morals, and the sexual roles of men and women, how that relates to class, the rights and power (or lack thereof) of women in various strata of society.

This book is so very much more than an erotic historical romance. I put it in a category of it's own, and something akin to A Handmaids Tale. This story is rich in history and presenting one incredible woman's sensual, sexual, and over all life awakening after being married at 15, then widowed at 49 years old. The love story takes my breath away, not only from a sensual or sexual standpoint, although there is ample heat in that department, but rather from the heart wrenching personal and private and shared perspectives of both a man and a woman in mid life, in Victorian England, awakening to their sensual selves, and their true needs, desires, and inner selves.

This is a wonderful, wonderful book! The author has a sound and impressive knowledge of British history, especially of this time period, and of British Law of the time. I finished this book two days ago and cannot stop thinking about it. This is definitely NOT light escapist erotic fiction, but it is a page turner. I know this is a book I will read again.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost worth the wait 22 Mar 2007
By LMN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robin Schone always wrote extremely mannered prose that teetered right on the edge of over-the-top, while managing to stay on the right side until now. The writing in this novel seems almost a characature of itself. It is sooooooo mannered that on several occasions I had to work to get past it to keep reading. In the past Ms. Schones stories have been dark and fun and hot. This time, while I appreciated that the characters are my age, I found this book silly, not because of the plot, which did indeed work, but because of the over-stylized prose. This author writes great sex, her plots are fine, the character's compelling. I'm hoping Ms. Schone has been writing something new while she awaited the publication of this novel and I sure hope she stretches herself a bit next time. Her pared down yet over-the-top style may seem interestingly arty to some; with this novel it seemed like laziness to me. As a fan of her other books, in particular, "The Lover," and "Gabriel's Woman," I'm not ready to give up on the author yet, but I'd buy this one used if you insist on reading it.
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