Published by Avon on September 27th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.•Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?•Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?•Perhaps the butler did it.
All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.
But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.
Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?
¬¬Reviewed by AnnMarie¬¬
Do You Want To Start a Scandal is book 5 in the ‘Spindle Cove’ series by Tessa Dare. Although it’s part of a series it can easily be read as a stand alone story.
This is the story of Charlotte Highwood. Ever since she developed breasts, her mother has been scheming and plotting to make sure that Charlotte marries well. It’s been the bane of her life and has seen her humiliated on more than one occasion. She and her mother have been invited to a house party and she knows that her mother is going to try to push her onto Piers Brandon, Lord Granville. She doesn’t want any part of the scheme so during one of the balls, when she notices Piers leave, she follows him. He goes to the library, and Charlotte follows him. She has to tell him of her mother’s plans, and to make sure he knows that they have to avoid each other at all costs. She tells him she is there to save him. He is quite amused at her speech, but before they can discuss anything in detail they hear the library door opening. Piers grabs Charlotte and hides on a window seat behind the curtains before they are discovered.
What follows is the most embarrassing situation. A couple entered the room, and a very quick, sexual coupling happens. Piers and Charlotte, in their tiny hiding space, pushed against each other, have to endure hearing the grunts, groans, and sighs of the copulating couple. They have no idea who the couple could be, and can’t wait for them to finish up and leave the room. When they finally do leave, and Piers and Charlotte can move, all hell breaks loose thanks to the young lad of the house. He was in bed and heard what he thought was murder happening in the library. He rushed down there, slammed the door open and started screaming ‘murder’ at the top of his lungs. In no time a crowd gathered, and although no murder had happened, everybody saw that Piers and Charlotte were in the room alone together, and when the lad describes the noises he heard, the adults realised what it was that he actually heard and they believe that the copulating couple was Piers and Charlotte. So the very thing that Charlotte was trying not to happen, does indeed happen when Piers says that they intend to marry.
That’s where the mystery of the book begins. Charlotte is determined to find out who the couple was so that she can prove that she and Piers are innocent. She doesn’t want to trap any man into marriage, especially him. She neglects to realise that regardless of who the couple were, she was still alone in the library with Piers, and a marriage would still be necessary. She doesn’t understand why Piers is happy with society believing they were indeed the guilty party. Nor does she understand why he seems quite happy to offer marriage to her.
Everything becomes clear as the story continues. We see their relationship develop despite the fact that Piers has sworn he will never be able to love Charlotte. He also has a secret, and a past he isn’t proud of, so even if he wanted to marry her, he doesn’t think she would want to know him if she found out the truth. They have a healthy lust for each other though, and the passionate scenes between them are steamy. Will Charlotte settle for marrying a man who won’t love her, she has always wanted to marry for love, not for necessity, or title, as her mother has always wanted for her. Will she and Piers figure out who the couple in the library were, and if they do, will they own up to what they did.
This book was such a great read, there was suspense and mystery, and of course the lovely romance developing between Charlotte and Piers, but it was all done with such a light hearted feel and with some hysterically funny moments. It was a real pleasure to read and it had me smiling from beginning to end.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.