Love in the Time of Scandal is Linden’s third in her Scandalous series, each book tied together by it’s heroine’s interest in the notorious book 50 Ways to Sin (a very intentional allusion to Fifty Shades of Grey, Regency style).
This one follows Penelope Weston who finds herself compromised after going to the aid of a close friend. Rescued by Benedict Lennox, Penelope has no choice but to marry the very man that once wanted to marry her sister.
Benedict, like Penelope, is initially reluctant to marry Penelope; however, while she’s not exactly what he was looking for in a wife, she is an heiress, which is exactly what he needs if he ever wishes to be free of his father’s control. But it just might turn out that Penelope was what he was looking for all along.
Love in the Time of Scandal was an enjoyable read, but I did find that the last third of the book went off in an unexpected direction. The intrigue and familial conspiracy plot seemed a little out of place considering the beginning of the book. That said, I suspect this intrigue plot is important as a means to establish the premise of another installment of the series.
While I liked Love in the Time of Scandal, I can’t help but feel a bit blasé about it. I can’t pinpoint exactly what failed to capture my attention, but I was left feeling that this was not a book that’s going to stick with me. All the right elements were there, but I didn’t think the romance was all that deep.
I’m also not particularly found of how the series focuses on 50 Ways to Sin and it’s obvious allusion to Fifty Shades of Grey. I get that Fifty Shades is popular, but I haven’t read it, nor do I have any interest in reading it, so I found this aspect of the book to be uninteresting and kind of artificial. Admittedly, this connection to modernity just might be what I disliked about the book, so that certainly colours my own review of the book.
What I did like about Love in the Time of Scandal were the characters of Penelope and Benedict. They were fun characters and I liked the fact that Penelope hid her interest in Benedict by fervent disdain once he paid her no attention and courted her sister instead. And how can you dislike a proper hero like Benedict getting his comeuppance with an improper lady like Penelope? The dynamic between them was good and I think fans of the Scandalous series will enjoy this one.
Love in the Time of Scandal wasn’t my favourite romance, but there is a lot to like in this one.
*Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
If you liked the sense of fun and the more modern feel to Love in the Time of Scandal, then Maya Rodale’s The Wicked Wallflower is a great follow up. The hero and heroine don’t exactly like each other, but with a fake engagement, what could possibly go wrong?
For another compromised romance, try Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I. This one is an absolute delight and I think the dynamic between Simon and Daphne will appeal to fans of Love in the Time of Scandal.
For those that like the intrigue element in Love in the Time of Scandal more than me, follow up with Cathy Maxwell’s The Temptation of a Proper Governess. This one is another compromised romance with a strong intrigue plot that throws a wrench in the hero and heroine’s happily ever after.