Series: Scandalous #3
Published by Avon Books
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
The third book in a deliciously sexy series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book–Ffty Shades of Grey for the Regency era– has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.
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. But, 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?
Penelope Weston got along well with Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton once upon a time. At least until his ill-treatment of his friend. Now she does not care much for him but when he begins to court her young and impressionable friend, she’s forced to be polite to him. When she finds herself on the brink of ruin due to scandalous lies being spread about her, Benedict steps in to save her by offering for her hand in marriage.
Benedict Lennox has had a painful upbringing, growing up under the thumb of a brutish father who delighted in verbally and physically abusing his children and manipulating his heir by controlling his finances. He has an urgent need to marry a heiress with a large dowry which would give him freedom from his father’s control and he’s settled on a sweet and biddable young woman, very unlike the fiery and outspoken beauty, Penelope. The constant strife between Penelope and Benedict actually hides a deep attraction and when forced by circumstances to marry, they decide to make their marriage work.
Penelope is outspoken, witty, bold, adventurous and very loyal, but a bit reckless and immature, and some of these qualities lead her into trouble several times over the course of the story. However, she in the end, she shows remarkable growth and maturity.
Benedict did not start out as a great guy and it’s quite difficult to see him as a hero when he’s under his father’s control, but as his past is revealed we understand, empathize and root for him as he matures into a worthy hero.
The story started out slow but once it picked up, I found myself completely drawn into it. There is a lot of emotion to experience as the story unfolds – impatience at the contentious relationship between Penelope and Benedict; helplessness at Penelope’s predicament; empathy for Benedict and his painful past, satisfaction at the resolution of their relationship; and the list goes on. The danger subplot also adds to the story, even though it remains unresolved for the most part.
Ms. Linden writes characters who start out as immature and hard to like but ultimately have us rooting for them as they grow through all their experiences. LOVE IN TIME OF SCANDAL is a very enjoyable and drama-filled read and I look forward to having unresolved issues taken care of in the next book.
Find the series online: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo