Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal continues Grace Burrowes' series of the Windham siblings, children - both legitimate and not - of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland. Maggie is of the "not" side of things, but was adopted and raised with the family when a child.
Maggie has always been quiet, self-contained and independent. Now a 30 year old spinster, she lives her life pretty much as she wishes, except for, of course, the burden of The Secret. Things come to a head for her when the reticule in which she keeps mysterious letters goes missing - letters with which she is being blackmailed - and she hires Benjamin Hazlit, private investigator to the ton, to find it for her. Benjamin has done some odd investigative jobs for the family before and he and Maggie have rubbed each other the wrong way in previous meetings. But there has always been an undercurrent of attraction and fascination between them, and now it cannot be ignored.
Once all the secrets are bared toward the end, it made some sense to me why Maggie kept it all to herself and marched along in her "I am a rock, I am an island" fashion. But until I knew everything, I was getting pretty frustrated with her and her refusal to allow anyone to help her with her problems, especially after she and Ben acknowledge their love. Maggie had "MARTYR" written all over her. It's hard not to make that kind of character seem weak, and I was really torn about the character of Maggie. Ben was adorbs, however, so that helped.
I enjoy Burrowes' writing style. To me, it is slightly reminiscent of Carla Kelly, in that Burrowes has an earthy quality to her writing, and I like how she portrays the casual intimacy of family and friends - the holding of hands, a kiss on the brow. It is both comfortable and comforting to read. The storytelling itself is not always on an equal footing with the writing however, and, unfortunately, that was the case with Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal.
Reviewed by Cheryl Sneed, April 23, 2012