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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Seduction of Scandal by Cathy Maxwell

The Seduction of Scandal by Cathy Maxwell
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (194 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

It’s never wise to blackmail a highwayman.

Lady Corinne, rebellious daughter of the duke of Banfield, refuses to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin. Yes, he’s the catch of the Season and the man her father chose for her. He’s also the most despicable male of her acquaintance. With her wedding only weeks away, she flees and finds herself a prisoner of the notorious Thorn!

Who says the devil isn’t a woman?

The rich and powerful tremble at the highwayman’s name, while England’s villagers rejoice in his bold exploits. His identity is a secret; his life a mystery— until Lady Corinne tumbles into his arms. If the Thorn wants her silence, he must hide her until her wedding day passes. It’s a devil’s bargain and one that can only lead to a hangman’s noose.

Corinne believes it the perfect plan—until her highwayman reveals a passionate lover’s heart, and she realizes that in the seduction of scandal, she may have found the hero she’s been waiting for her whole life.

Much more than just a story of a girl who runs from an unwanted marriage, The Seduction of Scandal hums with secret treasonous deals, a one-man campaign for justice, and the blooming of love that brings a sense of belonging never before known to the hero and the heroine.

Corinne Rosemont wants a husband who loves her even when she is silly and obstinate, a husband who relishes her opinions and shares her passion. She just knows there must be more to life than parties, boredom, and a stale, unloving marriage like her parents’. However, she is expected to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin, whom Corinne caught cavorting in her bed with her maid. Her parents turn a deaf ear to her entreaties. To them, money, position, power, and prestige are more important than her happiness.

Freddie’s father, Earl of Bossley, is quite rich, but at the expense of his people. With political ambitions and secret connections, he is eager to have a duke for an in-law. Of course, Freddie, who is selfish, lazy, and loves feeling superior to others, is smug about getting the “Unattainable Ice Maiden” Lady Corinne Justine Rosemont, a duke’s daughter for his bride.

But wait!

With no plan, just desperation, Corinne hides in the boot of a coach that is leaving the Bossley’s party. When she ends up in the care of the Reverend Will Norwich, foster son of the earl of Bossley, the intrigues, conflicts and complications pile up. Life will never be the same again for the young Reverend or for Corinne. They meet and beat the odds until jealousy overrides common sense, then the twists and turns in the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster ride that seems to be racing down hill to bury Corinne in misery then it swoops up to a breathtaking climax. Ah!

Cathy Maxwell writes with an undercurrent of humor that makes the characters seem very real. Even in some of the tense and dangerous scenes, what is real and what is perceived as real brings a smile. However, her ability to reveal the oppression of the disenfranchised parishioners and the unconscionable acts of those with rank and privilege makes The Seduction of Scandal compelling. Her skill depicting the emerging of gentle, pure love that trusts and gives without reserve captivates.

This hero and heroine’s journey from feeling unloved to feeling much loved touches the heart and satisfies that deep-down desire for love to always find its way to a happy-ever-after. Good reading!