by Christine Wells
In the vein of our beloved Traditional Regencies comes Scandal's Daughter a book that joins many of the sweet and lively aspects of Trad novels with the length of a historical.
Gemma has lived a quiet life on her grandfather's estate because her mother, who abandoned her as a small child, is notorious for the lovers she keeps and scandalous life she has lived. Gemma has come to terms with never marrying or being accepted into society because of her mother, but when her childhood chum Scovy, aka the Earl of Carleton, returns she learns that maybe scandal runs in her blood as well.
I liked this book. It was a fun and swift read. Wells has a wonderful voice and makes a predictable story and well-used plot seem fresh. Sebastian and Gemma may not have scorching hot chemistry, but their love is sweet and has the depth of an old friendship. The love scenes are softly passionate, while the longing for one another was quite poignant.
The secondary characters ultimately won me over. They didn't take up too much room in the novel, but watching Gemma and her mother come to terms with one another while Gemma realized how much like her mother she really was proved the most satisfying part of the book for me. Some people could say that this makes for a boring story, and in the hands of a less talented writer I would agree, but Wells has a firm grasp on the genre and her fleshed out characters hold everything together nicely.
Bottom Line: A fun, fresh, read that a reader of any genre will love.
“A scandalous parent might not be the best way to catch a husband...but when catching a rake it can only help!”
September 2007, 304 pages
Sebastian Laidley, the sixth Earl of Carleton, is solely committed to his hedonistic lifestyle, until he makes a promise to his dying godfather. He must find his childhood friend Gemma a husband in three months – or marry her himself. The daughter of a notorious seductress, Gemma Maitland has the body of a siren but a mind for more practical matters. Snubbed by Society, she has just one ambition: to run her grandfather's estate.
To find Gemma a husband, Sebastian lures her to his estate under the guise of helping with his sister's wedding. During the festivities, there is no shortage of men vying for Gemma's hand, much to Sebastian's dismay. Gemma has always been in his heart, but when she turns her wiles on him, she burns her way into his soul...