Published by Caroline Linden on February 16th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
After a youthful infatuation went terribly wrong, Lady Samantha Lennox gave up all thought of suitors and happily-ever-after. But when she angers her strict and demanding father, the Earl of Stratford, he retaliates by arranging a marriage for her to a man she could never admire, much less love. In a panic, Samantha flees to London, only to find herself lost, alone, and nearly kidnapped—until an unlikely hero saves her.
Lord George Churchill-Gray is an artist, not a knight in shining armor, but he doesn’t hesitate to rescue Samantha from disaster and offer her temporary sanctuary. He wouldn’t mind if she repaid him by modeling for his latest painting. He’s enchanted by her face… her smile… all of her, really. But with every study he sketches, he falls a little more in love with her, and Samantha begins to suspect her scandalous actions might lead to the sort of love she never thought to find…
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
A STUDY IN SCANDAL is absolutely wonderful, full of suspense, exquisitely written, and features some of the most engaging characters I have ever read. Seven years ago, when she was barely sixteen, Lady Samantha Lennox made a grave mistake, and she has kept quiet since then, even though the guilt has been eating at her all this time. None of this would have happened were her father not such a terrifying man. Now, Sebastian Vane, the man she thought she loved at the time is getting married, and Samantha needs to rectify the situation. The whole family is scared of her father, the Earl of Stratford, and when Samantha confesses her mistake, the Earl reacts in a most surprising manner. But the worse was yet to come: as a punishment, the Earl is arranging a marriage for Samantha to a man who sounds even more horrid than her father, and the wedding is to happen within the month. What’s a girl to do? While on her way to see a friend, Samantha sees a coach going to London, and she hops in.
Caroline Linden accomplished what I thought impossible: right from the start, she describes the setting so precisely and the characters are so meticulously defined, that I immediately cared about Lady Samantha Lennox’s fate. What Samantha had done was wrong, it was done in good faith, but Sebastian’s life was ruined in the process. However had Samantha’s father not been such a tyrant, none of it would have happened. Seldom have I felt more for a fictional character; Ms. Linden conveys the emotions, the actions of the characters in such a way, that you cannot help but become involved, and to this extent, it is rare. Samantha’s disastrous outing and subsequent rescue by Lord George Churchill-Gray are clever, entirely believable and absolutely brilliant. The writing is smooth and elegant, the dialogues are perfectly in tune with the times, and the descriptions are so crisp and clear, I felt I was in London; the attention to historical detail is breathtaking. Ms. Linden’s understanding of artists and painting is also remarkable, and the romance is simply sublime. I adored Samantha and George, separately and together; they’re wonderfully complex characters, they feel genuine; and George is the type of hero I always hope for in a book, but seldom see. A STUDY IN SCANDAL is a work of art in itself; this is a book that spoke to my heart.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.