Sunday, March 6, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: The Perfect Scandal by Delilah Marvelle
HQN Romance March 2011
382 pages By Delilah Marvelle
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
SCANDAL WAS THE LAST THING ON THEIR MINDS...
If there is anything Tristan Adam Hargrove, fourth Marquis of Moreland, has learned to avoid, it's scandal. For the dark and dashing lord is an honorable gentleman who would never seduce a woman for his own gain.
When a raven-haired beauty arrives as his new neighbor, he knows better than to succumb to the desire he feels. He knows little about her -- only that she is high born, a protege of the Crown and completely unsuitable for the base passions he hides from the world. If only he had never glimpsed the vulnerable beauty one fateful night. If only her lips were not so ravishingly red. If only it were not already too late to save her and himself from the untamed passion he is about to unleash in the name of love.
A little red book by an Unknown Author.
Three unlikely couples...and scandal galore!
Look for the rest of the Scandal Series!
ARE YOU READY TO BE SCANDALIZED?
Of the three books in this scandal series, I enjoyed this the most. Delilah Marvelle gives us another romantic, sensual pot boiler that is over the top in drama and tortured, damaged characters.
Tristan Adam Hargrove, the Marquis of Moreland leads a very ordered life, the very outward picture of respectability. So he is quite shaken when on his way home, a woman calls out to him from a window above, trying to engage him in conversation.
The woman turns out to be rather forward, suggesting a possible marriage while she scandalously hangs the the window revealing quite the lush body. Moreland is intrigued enough to meet this beauty the following day.
Like all of Marvelle's heroes, Moreland is far from perfect, he has a certain proclivity that may raise an eyebrow, he likes a little pain with his nightcap, preferably of the self-inflicted cutting variety. I also liked his prickly relationship with his grandmother, a formidable woman indeed. Moreland also possesses a rye, sly sense of humor, and in this strange mix is also incredibly sexy.
But it is the budding relationship between Moreland and the woman in the window, the Countess Zosia Urszula Kwiatkowska, exile from Poleland, that fuels this story. She is indeed a beauty, but also crippled, missing a leg from a tragic accident. The English king wants her married to a titled Englishman, Zosia has her eye firmly fixed on Moreland. He is quite the stunning specimen, but she is also fascinated with his brutal honesty. He tells Zosia right up front about his certain proclivity, and instead of running screaming from him, she is curious, inquisitive. I like Zosia is so forward, something Moreland needs in his life. She is a very strong heroine, maybe overshadowing Moreland at times.
Zosia's family tree is truly muddled, in fact, my mind started to wander with all the various layers of her family and the reasons why the Russians are looking for her. Her back-story was fascinating enough, but at the end of the book the explanation of the history of Russia and Poland's tangled history went on a bit too long, though I did find it interesting enough. I agree with some other reviewers that the ending seemed a bit rushed.
This is a complicated read, with complicated characters, but I liked that aspect. Well written and plotted. Also liked the rough draft manuscripts at the beginning of each chapter, penned none other than Moreland himself, the anonymous author of that 'little red book of scandal.'
Sensual and raw in its emotions, Each book of this series was different, unique and very readable. I enjoyed this book the most of the three in the series. I think it was Moreland. Loved him, flaws and all.
RATING: 3.5 stars out of 4 for the book
KOVER KUDOS: Another lush, colorful cover, and very much how I would picture Moreland and Zosia. For some reason, I adore those lace cuffs on my Regency Rakes!
3 out of 4 stars for the cover