Love in the Time of Scandal is the third book in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series. I had already read book two, so I was eager to see this follow up.
I must say I found Penelope, the heroine of this one, more appealing than Benedict, the hero. He has been bullied all his life by a really nasty father. It takes Penny’s gumption to rub off on him to make him finally stand up for himself. He’s looking for an heiress to support him so he doesn’t have to be beholden to dear old dad. Why couldn’t he strike out on his own and find a way to support himself?
Penny, on the other hand, is a delight. She is still avidly reading the naughty pamphlets that were also described in book two. But she also has a nice depth of character. She is resolute about not betraying a friend and really tries to understand what makes Benedict tick.
The book did hold my attention although the ending felt a bit too deus ex machina. I hope there will be a fourth book to let us know what became of Olivia, the troubled friend.
The title of Caroline Linden’s book is somewhat misleading. The scandal she writes about in It Takes a Scandal is not the direct means of bringing the hero Sebastian and the heroine Abigail together. Oh, there was a scandal all right, but it occurred almost a decade in the past. What leads the twosome to meet is merely a misbehaving pup.
Abby and her sister Penelope do have some scandalous tendencies if we can judge by their favorite reading material 50 Ways to Sin (sort of a Regency version of Fifty Shades of Grey). Their relationship is nicely portrayed. They squabble but have each other’s backs when it counts.
Poor Sebastian took a bullet in the knee in the service of his country only to come home to a father who inexplicably has gone mad. The nobleman next door was happy to take advantage of the situation and buy up the infirm man’s land for a pittance. Instead of being outraged on behalf of Sebastian, the townspeople believe the worst of him with no evidence whatsoever. He has given up the fight and wants only to be left alone. Can you blame him?
Fortunately for Sebastian, Abby is not only pretty and rich, she is apparently the only one in the vicinity who believes in being innocent until proven guilty.
Fortunately for readers, there are several more books in this Scandals series.