Love and Other Scandals
by Caroline Linden
(Avon, $5.99, PG-13) 978-0-06-224487-1
****
Douglas Bennett and Tristan Burke have been best friends since the beginning of school. They are both notorious for being rakes. Joan Bennett, Douglasís sister, has only met Tristan twice, but knows heís a man that it would not be acceptable to be around Ė ever!

When Joan shows up at Douglasís house to deliver a message and Tristan answers the door half dressed, Joan is mesmerized. She tries to tell herself that itís wrong and indecent to have such thoughts, but she is failing at truly believing herself.

In the midst of trying to avoid him, Joan finds herself under Tristanís watch. Joanís mother has fallen ill and her parents have left for the country. Aunt Evangeline has come to chaperone her, but Douglas, who has also left for business, has asked Tristan to spend time with Joan to make sure she is entertained.

Tristan had a hard life. His parent died when he was young and his aunt and uncle became his guardians. When they were unable to produce an heir, Tristan fell in line to inherit the viscountship, for which his aunt despised him. His home life was unbearable so he resorted to being a vagabond, staying wherever someone would take him.

Now that Tristan is grown up, his past is still with him, but heís ready to move on and have a normal life. Heís hoping he can overcome his past and find peace and an ordinary life. When he meets Joan as a grown woman heís drawn to her. Her spirit and feistiness are exactly what he needs. With the bit of freedom Joan is given while her parents are away and Tristan spending time with her, as her brother requested, they both easily and immediately have feelings for each other.

Love and Other Scandals is a fast-paced and enjoyable story. Joan is energetic and lively. Her spirit is impertinent, as Tristan describes it, which adds to the entertainment. The love story is believable and the passion they share is just right. Tristan is also a great character, though he is very in tuned to fashion and recommending to Joan what colors and silhouettes would look good on her figure which is odd for a gentleman. Though perhaps its inclusion supports his rakishness and notoriousness with women in general.

Love and Other Scandals is short book and can easily be read in a day. Its pace keeps the reader engaged.

--Nichole Howell


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