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on 17 February 2003
"That Scandalous Evening" is a fabulous historical romance set in Regency London. Miss Jane Higgenbothem is a well-bred young lady chaperoning her debutante niece during her first Season. Jane has scandalised the ton ten years ago when she sculpted a statue of one of society's leaders, Ransom Quincy, the Marquess of Blackburn. The scandal was so great that Jane was banished to the country in disgrace. She hopes her youthful folly and public adoration of Lord Blackburn have been forgotten by the ton and she can appear at the balls as Adorna's chaperone. Lord Blackburn has recently returned from the Peninsulan War and he instantly recognises Jane when they meet at a society gathering. He could never forget the silly chit who made him a laughingstock in front of the ton and who insulted his male pride. He also remembers the passionate kiss they shared and decides to investigate Miss Higgenbothem's secret affairs and charms.Jane has matured from an innocent young debutante into a coolheaded disillusioned young woman and she is suspicious of Blackburn's intentions.The simmering desire between them ignites immediately and they encounter trouble after trouble. The author is a master of witty dialogues and she is a talented storyteller. Jane and Ransom are two very realistic and very human leading protagonists and they capture the reader's affection.Ms. Dodd has created a worthy circle of supporting characters with Adorna and Lady Goodridge at the lead. Young Adorna's ancient female wisdom is enchanting and Lady Goodridge's razor-sharp tongue and witty remarks add to the redader's enjoyment. The storyline is fast-paced where action, entertaining conversations and passionate love scenes follow each other.
THAT SCANDALOUS EVENING is a well-written Regency tale with an interesting twist. I have enjoyed the settings, the cast's very human behaviour and I am sure other readers will find it worth reading too.
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on 18 November 2002
Christina Dodd and indeed many of her contemporaries delight in bringing us female characters who show strength and independence in the mans world that was the Regency era. But here that truly is the best thing about the very enjoyable story that is 'That Scandalous Evening'.
Jane Higgenbothem was completely ruined 11 years prior to the opening of the book, when as a result of a nude sculpture she made of the man she worshiped as a god (Jane's words, not mine) and her following behaviour resulted in public scandal, Jane fled the fashionable ton. He sister died shortly after, and Jane has spent the intervening years sketching, painting, bringing up her niece, and spending a miserable time as unpaid housekeeper to her penny pinching brother in law. With the exception of the joy of spending time with her niece, she has generally lived in a state of near poverty and dependence on an unwilling relative. Now, however, it is time to launch Adorna in society, and her brother in law has told Jane that she will not be welcome in his house once Adorna is safely married.
The object of her desire, Lord Blackburn, more than any embarrassment at the scandal per se, was scandalised instead by a singular inaccuracy of the statue, that made him a laughingstock. Now hardened and saddened by his experiences at war, he has returned to London a more weary, more mature individual. He meets up with Jane and is intrigued by her, but more than that recognises that the protection of the resurrection of their scandal may enable him the breathing room to scour the ton for a suspected traitor and spy.
I knew I'd like the book, because Dodd wrote it and I've enjoyed every other that I read. That turned out to be the case of course, but I enjoyed it even more than I thought. Jane is such an intense person, who feels things so deeply, so passionate in her rages and hurts, so intense about her art (she has not sculpted since That Scandalous Evening. As soon as she does, she gets into trouble again). The call of the art of Europe is a genuinely strong one, and her love for Adorna, her beloved dead sisters child, is all that holds her to England. Even as she falls in love again with Blackburn, she is torn by her love for and joy in her art.
We get inside Blackburn's head on occasion, which was necessary for me to like him (otherwise I'd have to wonder what Jane saw in him). Jane's view of him is remarkably perceptive, except of course that she has little idea of the depth and warmth of his feelings for her.
It is delicious to become so involved in a character, and caught up in the emotional storm with them. I very much enjoyed this book for that reason, and recommend it to all readers of romance.
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on 22 July 1998
Over a decade has passed since debutante Jane Higgenbotham fled London society after causing one of the worse scandals to hit Regency England. The shy Jane constructed a nude statue of the man she desperately coveted, notorious rake Ransom Quincy, the Marquess of Blackburn. Assuming THAT SCANDALOUS EVENING has long been forgotten by the Ton, Jane returns as the chaperone for her niece.

Everyone remembers Jane and her sculpting. However, no one recalls Jane as much as Ransom does because that kiss he shared with her remains implanted in his brain. He also has never forgiven her for turning him into the joke of society. Ransom also has some circumstantial evidence that makes him wonders if Jane might be a French spy. Soon, he begins to court her and their dormant passion blazes into a forest fire of love.

Christina Dodd has a reputation for scribing some of the best historical romances on the market today. Her latest novel, THAT SCANDOLOUS EVENING, will enhanc! e her reputation as one of the leading lights of the Regency romance sub-genre. The intriguing main story line will thrill fans because the scandal adds a unique element to the relationship of the charming lead protagonists. Though the sub-plot involving the French spy adds little depth to the tale, the novel will be recognized as one of the top Regencies of the year.
Harriet Klausner
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on 26 April 1999
I am a long-standing Regency fan - I first read Georgette Heyer as a teen, and have been hooked ever since. This book was a dog. It is riddled with geographic impossibilities, trite plotting and banal sex. I am a fan of other Regency writers - Mary Jo Putney and Loretta Chase strike me as well-read, honest writers who put a lot of research as well as fun into their books. But this was the first Christina Dodd book I have read and definitely the last. The whole premise of the book was daft and implausible and ignorant. As someone living in southern England, who knows the southeast well, it was grating to read about a country estate overlooking the Thames estuary with a fleet of ships sailing for France which was only 3 hours drive from Mayfair in London. Anyone who knows tuppence about the Napoleonic wars knows that the British naval fleet was mainly docked at Portsmouth, nowhere near the Thames and considerably more than 3 hours from London. The hero was a boor and no sensible reason was provided either for his falling in love with the heroine or for the heroine really falling for him. The sex was perfunctory and consequently unsexy. If the heroine had such faithful friends, why the hell didn't they come and look after her straight after her fall from grace instead of leaving it 11 years. I am not keen on trashing books but this one was so dire, I felt it needed a health warning.
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VINE VOICEon 6 July 2006
This book has been very well summarised by another reviewer, so I will not give a synopsis. I have to say that my thoughts fall between the two previous reviewers. I did not like the character of Blackburn and felt it difficult to warm to him. He's pompous and thinks far to highly of his own standing. Going to the extent of ruining Jane all because she made the fig leaf too small on the naked statue she made of him and the ton laughed at him. Jane was besotted with him and thought him male perfection eleven years ago. She is a good artist and sculpter and makes a figure of him based on classical statues she has seen in museams, as he certainly didn't pose naked for her. Eleven years later when they meet again, he all too readily believes that she is a French spy, selling secrets to Bonaparte. However, as we are led to believe that he can't resist the twenty eight year old Jane, he seduces her and marries her even though he doesn't trust her and misconstrues everything she says and does. Nice man, eh!
His sister and Jane's neice are the light relief.
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on 27 October 1998
I was hooked on chapter one and compelled to rush on to the end in one night ( and into the morning ). The characters are the grab your heart kind. You get so involved you realize you're laughing out loud. This is one of the best books I've read in awhile. I'm putting it up and saving it for my ten mos. old daughter when she grows up. I cannot stress enought that you must by this book.
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on 21 August 1998
Wow, this is a great story about a sheltered spinster who sculpts the man she secretly admires--except that the nude, life-sized statue has a teeny-tiny fig leaf. And he's understandably furious! The way they finally get together is not to be missed. I highly recommend this book.
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on 29 September 2004
I had high hopes for this story, however I was bitterly disappointed from the start, the characters were not believeable, the story did not gel and some of the scenes were amusing, when it seemed they weren't meant to be. I only finished the book because I had paid for it. I usually read anything half decent more than once- not this. I have read much better from Christina Dodd - try the 'rules of' series instead, a much higher calibre of writing from this author.
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on 23 August 1999
I thought the book was ok. Really good in parts, dragged in others. I'm glad I read some of her other books though because they are really good.
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on 26 September 2016
I did not like this at all
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