The Christmas Carrolls

Lord Heartless

Miss Lockhart's Letters

Miss Treadwell's Talent

A Worthy Wife

Saved by Scandal
by Barbara Metzger
(Signet, $4.99, G) ISBN 0-451-20038-1
Barbara Metzger has legions of fans who enjoy her humorous Regency romances. They will not be disappointed with her latest novel. Saved by Scandal is vintage Metzger with a cast of entertaining characters, a nicely developed plot, and plenty of laughs, most provided by the depredations of a dog named Rufus.

Galen, Viscount Woodbridge and heir to the Duke of Woburton, had been pledged to marry Lady Floria Cleary since childhood. Two years earlier, she had called off their planned wedding a week before the event was to take place; she wanted more time to enjoy her single state. But that was nothing compared to her latest escapade. She literally left Galen standing at the altar in front of hundreds of guests to fly to the border with a dashing fortune hunter.

Slinking home to lick his wounds, Galen realizes that his heart is not broken. But his pride has taken a terrible beating. The only solution is to create a greater scandal so that his embarrassment at being jilted will be overshadowed. He decides that his best course is to offer marriage to the latest sensation of the London stage, the lovely singer Margot Montclaire.

Unlike most performers, Margot has refused to supplement her income by becoming one of her many admirers mistress. But when Galen appears on her doorstep and offers to marry her, she is sorely tempted. Although Margot’s mother was an actress, her father was Baron Penrose and the two, contrary to gossip, were legally married. Both her parents are dead and her brother is the new baron. But their nasty uncle, who has designs on the title and the estate, drove Margot from her home and she is very worried about her beloved brother Ansel. When Galen agrees to rescue Ansel from his wicked uncle, Margot agrees to his suit.

The ploy succeeds marvelously. Suddenly Galen is a figure of romance rather than fun. Marrying the lovely Margot is no burden, though maintaining their agreement to postpone intimacy until they get to know each other better does become increasingly difficult.

Providing a plot synopsis of a Metzger story is not always easy, because so much happens. Before Margot and Galen can find time for their developing romance, they have to deal with saving her brother, trying to control his hoyden of a sister, and coming to terms with Lady Floria who, abandoned by her lover, decides that Galen owes her. And then there are the upsets caused by a dog named Rufus who has developed thievery to a high art.

Saved by Scandal is a most enjoyable “marriage of convenience” story. There is action, adventure, comedy and romance. And there is both a likable hero and heroine and sexual tension galore. Metzger is one of the stars of the Regency genre and this book can only add to her reputation.

--Jean Mason

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