The Seduction of Scandal
by Cathy Maxwell
Stuck in the middle of Scotland and England is a small countryside known as Ferrish Parish. For the past couple hundred years the parish has been ruled by the Earl of Bossley. The Earls have been fair and just in their ruling. That is up until the last twenty years. The latest earl came back from Barbados and started ruling with an iron fist. One young man saw this happening, and knew he had to help, despite the fact that the Earl saved him from the streets of Barbados and gave him a new life. But, whatever he did to help had to be done covertly.
The latest plot of the Earl of Bossley is to buy the best bride to be had for his son. Lady Corrine is the catch of the season, and her father definitely likes the money coming his way. Corrine can't stand her betrothed, but even after she catches him with the maid she can't get her father to renege on the contract. When she sees a chance to escape, she takes it. Of course that chance lands her right in the hands of a highwayman. True, it was a highwayman with a higher purpose, but a highwayman nonetheless.
Yes, this story rang highly of Robin Hood, complete with the feudalistic society system. The feel of society threw me off for most of the book, it could have been 300 years before and it would have been just fine. Granted the villain would have been returning from somewhere besides the Caribbean, but that wouldn't have been hard to change.
Other than how out of place the book felt to me, I enjoyed the story. The highwayman is actually a rector with a talent for healing. His need to aid the community through stealing wars greatly with his piousness. It was an interesting character device.
The romance was believable. Since the majority of the conflict was outside the two main characters, they weren't made to face any insurmountable odds, which is nice sometimes - just two people that grow to love each other.
I've enjoyed several of Maxwell's books previously and she always provides a good, solid story. If you have enjoyed Ms. Maxwell before, I can promise you will enjoy this one - it is very much in the Maxwell mode.
“Robin Hood comes to Regency England.”
September 2011, 384 pages
Lady Corinne, rebellious daughter of the duke of Banfield, refuses to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin. Yes, he's the catch of the Season and the man her father chose for her. He's also the most despicable male of her acquaintance. With her wedding only weeks away, she flees and finds herself a prisoner of the notorious Thorn!
The rich and powerful tremble at the highwayman's name, while England's villagers rejoice in his bold exploits. His identity is a secret; his life a mystery— until Lady Corinne tumbles into his arms. If the Thorn wants her silence, he must hide her until her wedding day passes. It's a devil's bargain and one that can only lead to a hangman's noose. Corinne believes it the perfect plan—until her highwayman reveals a passionate lover's heart, and she realizes that in the seduction of scandal, she may have found the hero she's been waiting for her whole life.