Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review - Scandal of the Season

Scandal of the Season
The Spinster Club – Book #4
By Christie Kelley
Publisher: Kensington – Zebra
Release Date: October 1, 2010







In the first three books of Kelley’s Spinster Club series, Anthony Westfield, Viscount Somerton has been the willing, if somewhat reluctant, assistant to Sophie's matchmaking schemes. At the end of the third book we discover why: Sophie is Somerton’s illegitimate half-sister and also holds the answer to the identity of the woman for whom he has spent the past ten years searching. Now, in Scandal of the Season, the time has come for Anthony to confront the guilt of his past and the sweet orange seller who touched his heart and whose innocence he believes he stole by force on the night of his eighteenth birthday.  He sought her out following the greatest betrayal and pain of his young life, in a drunken haze and looking only for comfort, and never saw her again after that night.  But he's never forgotten her gentle touch and lives with the guilt of what he believes he did to her. 

Orphaned at a young age and forced to work as a pickpocket and orange seller, Anne Smith was used to the lewd stares and comments from pompous lords but the young gentleman she knew only as Tony was different from the rest, treating her with kindness and respect. She knew she could never mean anything to someone of his stature but, when he came to her in obvious emotional pain, she chose to comfort him by giving him her innocence…and then she disappeared. Now, ten years later, with a new name and running a home for orphaned children, Victoria Seaton (formerly Anne Smith) finally re-enters Somerton’s life when, to get money to feed the orphans, she lifts a ruby necklace from his pocket at a christening party. Unfortunately, for Victoria, Somerton not only figures out who stole the necklace but also that she’s the woman from his past.

But Victoria isn’t the only one who’s hiding secrets. Somerton, it seems, has a secret life as well – working for the government. He blackmails Victoria into attending a rather disreputable house party as his mistress in order to help him uncover those behind a plot to assassinate the regent. In return he promises to not expose her as a thief and will give her 5,000 pounds to care for the orphans. Sounds like a sweet deal, right? But, of course, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. The longer Victoria and Somerton are together, the more their feelings for one another grow but secrets, misunderstandings and, especially, Somerton’s inability to trust, threaten to keep them apart…not to mention the villains who have set their sights on Victoria.

Kelley has penned another deeply emotional story with multi-layered characters and sub-plots layered within the main one.  There's quite a lot going on involving Somerton and Victoria, Sophie, Somerton’s family, occasional appearances by the couples from the previous books and, of course, the mystery/suspense plot.  It could easily become cluttered but the other characters, and their stories, are necessary to fully understand the motivations of both Somerton and Victoria and Kelley does a good job of keeping the story focused and the action moving forward. I have to admit that I figured out the villain pretty early on so I wasn’t surprised when the person was revealed. I was, however, surprised, and unsettled, by a scene near the end of the book, shortly after the reveal. Without giving away spoilers, I’ll just say that I understand the necessity of the encounter but I had a hard time handling the severity of it. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book, as I have the others in this series, and am looking forward to Sophie’s story next year.

~PJ 

17 comments:

  1. Great review, PJ! I'll have to check this book out along with the others in the series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loved the review and this is one book I can't wait to read

    have Fun
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome review, PJ. I really like this series a lot so I'm definitely looking forward to reading Victoria's book. I also can't wait to hear more about Sophie's upcoming book.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have waiting for this one too! It sounds like that is how I spend my life doesn't it? Waiting for the next book from a favorite author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Morning, Trisha! I think you'd like this series. It isn't absolutely necessary to read the books in order but I think you'll enjoy the series much more if you do.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Helen! Christie really makes Somerton and Victoria work for their HEA. Hope you enjoy the book!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jane, hope you enjoy the book. I've enjoyed this series a lot too and, like you, I'm eagerly anticipating Sophie's book. I can't wait to see who she's paired with. I have hopes that it's Ancroft (who you'll see more of in Scandal of the Season).

    ReplyDelete
  8. It sounds like that is how I spend my life doesn't it? Waiting for the next book from a favorite author.

    If that's how you spend your life, Dianna, you're certainly not alone. I think many of us here could say the same thing. I know I would! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another terrific review, PJ! It makes me want to start reading SOTS right away.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another terrific review, PJ! It makes me want to start reading SOTS right away.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the review, PJ. I understand your hesitancy with the severity of what happened. That scene really wrote itself and was harsher than I expected. Still weird how these things happen. The author would like to believe she's in control, but she's not.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this series. I have the book and am looking forward to reading it when I get these annoying little life chores out of the way.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Christie said, Still weird how these things happen. The author would like to believe she's in control, but she's not.

    That must be such a strange feeling!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nancy said, I love this series. I have the book and am looking forward to reading it when I get these annoying little life chores out of the way.

    So inconsiderate of those little life chores to get in the way of our reading, isn't it? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds pretty interesting, PJ. I need to check it out. Thanks for a great review!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great review, PJ! I have this one on my list....the list that won't stop growing! *g*

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great review, PJ! I will definitely be picking this one up!

    ReplyDelete