It Takes A Scandal (2014)
It Takes a Scandal (2014)
3.73 of 5 Votes: 2
0062244906 (ISBN13: 9780062244901)
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Ah, love. If you’re lucky you’ll find it. If it’s true, it doesn’t run smoothly. And if you’re this novel, well, you’re not terribly convincing. Sorry. The story centers on Abigail Weston, an heiress. She’s pretty, kind and is a bit of an introvert. In other words, she’s a Mary Sue. She meets the hero, Sebastian, while tracking down her mother’s lapdog, which had gotten loose. Sebastian, an impoverished, war veteran with a shattered leg is her neighbor. He fetches the dog and brings it back to her house (Abigail is wearing a gown and the dog is dirty, he’s just being a good guy) and lo, a meet-cute was had. As far as meet-cutes go, this one is up there among my favorites. Abigail comes to find out that her gallant, sexy neighbor is the subject of many, many awful rumors. His father was a madman and Sebastian was accused of killing him, though his father’s body was never found. He’s accused of stealing money and some people think his giant dog is a witch’s familiar. Consequently, Sebastian is a bit of a recluse and rarely goes out to public events. Anyway, the two keep running into each other and a romance blossoms. But then Sebastian has to leave for about two weeks (or in romance novel terms “a fortnight”) and leaves Abigail behind and on ambiguous terms. He doesn’t call or write or anything during this time. Meanwhile, Abigail is upset and Sebastian’s old friend, Benedict, starts courting her. Benedict’s got everything Sebastian doesn’t, a title, money and a general lack of vicious rumors circling his name. This should have sparked a lot more tension and insanity in “It Takes a Scandal.” It doesn’t. The only consistent insanity comes from Abigail’s bratty sister, Penelope, who occasionally provides comic relief.My main criticism of this book is that the tension isn’t there. There’s no sense of urgency. There’s no sense of danger or that these characters might not achieve their goals. There were small moments of high tension, but the tension quickly went slack because these characters all, more or less, behave kindly and rationally. There was a similar problem in the first book of this series, except the tension fell away in the third act, but it was held together nicely until that point. This one is uneven and swerves into boring more than it should. Had there been more tension, more risk, more urgency this could have been a fantastic book. Linden is one of my favorite romance authors. “A View to Kiss” is stellar and one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read, but “It Takes a Scandal” didn’t work for me. I thought this book was rather sweet. Sebastian was not such a lost cause that he couldn't see the value of the woman before him, and was willing (eventually) to admit it and do the right thing in society's eyes. And Abigail was also remarkably clear sighted and strong-minded to think about the evidence in front of her rather than the gossip. All good. Penelope reacted in all the right ways for a sister, there was a loving (if occasionally misguided) family to support the girls and all turned out well in the end, even if the mystery element ended on a sad and a 'oh I wish he had been spared that' sort of note. It was a pleasant read and as long as the horrid Benedict gets his comeuppance at some point all will be well in the world...
This was quite adorable. I do so love Regency-era romances.
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