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Thursday, June 19, 2014

ARC Review: It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden

Sebastian Vane has a shattered knee from his military service. He comes home to England to find his father has gone mad and sold off most of his property for a pittance. His former best friend, Benedict Lennox, shows up in the middle of the night demanding to see his sister. Samantha has been in love with Sebastian since she was a girl. She’s not there and neither is Mr. Vane. Sebastian searches for his father to no avail. Rumors swirl that Sebastian killed his father, robbed Benedict’s father, and has gone mad too. Years later, the Westons move in to the estate, making them Sebastian’s new neighbors. Abigail and her sister Penelope are anxious to explore their new neighborhood. Abigail meets Sebastian out on a walk and is immediately intrigued and smitten with her dark brooding neighbor. She seeks him out and they begin to walk together. She learns of a mysterious grotto supposedly decorated for the King’s mistress. She asks Sebastian to take her there. It is a beautiful sanctuary and becomes their secret meeting place. Sebastian receives word his uncle has died and he travels to claim his small inheritance. Benedict comes home and decides to court Abigail, much to her parents’ delight. He proposes and she turns him down. Her father will not sanction a marriage between her and Sebastian. She doesn’t care and refuses to marry anyone but Sebastian. Mr. Weston refuses to let Sebastian court Abigail. He decides to find out what happened to his father and the missing money. The key to that evening’s events is Samantha. She was at the house and gave the money to Mr. Vane. Benedict joins Sebastian to find out the truth and start to heal their friendship.

Sebastian is a classic tortured hero. Wounded, poor, wrecked with guilt about his father’s disappearance, he’s unworthy of love. Wrongly accused of heinous crimes, he has no one to come to his aid. He keeps his dignity and carries on. He parts with a treasured book as a gift for Abigail. She sees it as a sweet gesture. He also gives her a cameo. A trinket, but worth so much to him. Abigail feels lucky and honored to have his attention.

The sisters’ relationship is real. They both read the scandalous book, Fifty Ways to Sin. Sebastian sees Abigail buy it and gets his own copy, just in case she wants a demonstration. Penelope is very defensive of her sister. Once she realizes Abigail is in love, she decides to befriend Sebastian and becomes his defender too. The two women stand together and make fun of each other and all around them. A Sense and Sensibility vibe is clear.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |


  1. I recall reading this book blurb during your last tour, Caroline. I'm still fascinated by the premise for your latest story. 50 Says/50 Shades...sounds wonderful. My sister and I are very close too...and if we were both single I can imagine us sharing such a scandalous book. :-) Two years ago my very own daughter shared her set of 50 Shades with me. I would love to read this story now. Thanks for the post.

  2. I am guessing Samantha doesn't get her man. Sounds like a lot of twists & turns! Thanks for the review!

  3. Sounds like a lot of good things going on. I'm adding this one to my wish list. Thanks!