Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love and Scandal by Donna Lea Simpson

I received a galley of this novel from NetGalley for review. This in no way affected my opinions.

It's 1850s London. A new scandalous novel called The Last Days of a Rake has become a sensation. The author, a Colin Jenkins, is a mystery; no one knows who this fella is. Until a story breaks one day that the author is in fact infamous rake Charles Jameson.

This doesn't sit well with Collette Jardiniere, a young woman from a small seaside town, because she is the mysterious Colin Jenkins and does not appreciate someone else taking credit for her work. She hops a train to London where she unknowingly become familiar with Jameson before she realizes who the scoundrel is.

In London, Collette butts heads with her publisher, who refuses to out her as Colin Jenkins, seeing how it wouldn't be fit for the public to know that a novel such as The Last Days of a Rake was written by a woman! Collette is absolutely frustrated with the invisible roadblocks set for women during the time. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, she sets out to convince Jameson to announce that he is not the author.

Things don't go as planned as she finds herself constantly drawn to Jameson. Being her first time on her own away from home, Collette experiences a new found freedom and the desire to do things that she never would have done before. And this soon leads her to being involved in her own real life scandal.

To those that like to know about the level of sensuality in a romance novel, well, the romance scenes in Love and Scandal are majorly hot and heavy. Not for the prudish!

Some random things that I liked: Collette arguing with Jameson at the beginning of the book about Women's Suffrage. Also, some famous Victorian authors show up, such as Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollope and Marian Evans (George Eliot), which I found pleasantly surprising.

I enjoyed this overall. There were some very good side characters. I love how Collette was aways writing in her head when an experience she was having inspired her. However while I found Collette to be a very strong heroine, she began to change a bit, as most heroines do when they fall in love in these types of books. She redeemed herself in the last chapter, though, to which I say: Brava.

The author of Love and Scandal, Donna Lea Simpson, also wrote a companion book, The Last Days of a Rake, which was written by Collette in the main book. What a great idea! I read The Last Days of a Rake first, which made me enjoy Love and Scandal all the more.

You can download The Last Days of a Rake for free from the Carina Press website here. And you can read the first chapter of Love and Scandal here.


Portia Da Costa said...

I just finished reading this book too, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's well written and thoughtful, and has a great plot, and the hot scenes are appropriate for the story. I also loved the appearances by famous Victorian literary figures.

Have yet to read The Last Days of a Rake, but have it on my Sony in readiness.