A Christmas Scandal
By Jane Goodger
Release Date: October 6, 2009
In the second book of her Christmas trilogy, Jane Goodger tells the story of Maggie Pierce, a young American whose life has suddenly taken on all the drama of a Shakespearean tragedy. Her father has been imprisoned for embezzlement, their home and all of their belongings have been sold, and her fiance has called off their engagement. She and her mother are faced with prospects as bleak as the coming winter, when salvation arrives in the form of a letter from the Duke of Bellingham. Maggie's dearest friend, Elizabeth (the heroine of Goodger's, Marry Christmas), is the Duchess of Bellingham and she is expecting her first child at Christmas. The duke wants to surprise his wife, so he asks Maggie to come to England to be with Elizabeth for the birth of the baby.
Lord Edward Hollings had all of Newport society abuzz, especially when he paid particular attention to Miss Maggie Pierce. Could another match between an English aristocrat and an American be in the making? Apparently not. Edward returned to England, no proposal or declaration in sight. Maggie lost her heart to the handsome earl, but knew that she must forget him and move ahead. A year later, her life in shambles, Maggie arrives in England to spend time with her friend, Elizabeth and comes face to face with the man she thought she'd never see again.
Marriage is not high on Edward's list of priorities, but Maggie makes him question that. Now she's here in England, staying with his closest friends and he is more attracted to her than ever. Her beauty, charm and wit are impossible to resist and when she snubs him repeatedly, he is determined to win her over, no matter what the cost. Maggie, despite her cool attitude, is still in love with Edward, but she knows the dark, shameful secret that she harbors will keep them apart. Will she find the courage to open up to Edward and will he love and accept her when he discovers what she has been hiding?
Normally, I'm not a fan of the "big secret" plot that keeps the hero and heroine apart. I usually find myself yelling, "just say it, for Pete's sake!" I have to say, though, that this really is a terrible secret, and I could understand why Maggie would never want to share it with anyone. But as in any good romance, love conquers all!
I enjoyed both books in the Christmas trilogy and I'm really looking forward to the final book in the trilogy. It features Lord Hollings' sister, Amelia, who falls for a Wild West Show cowboy and decides to follow him to Texas. It will be released October 2010. In the meantime, pick up a copy of A Christmas Scandal and enjoy!