The Book of Scandal (The Scandalous Series #1)
by Julia London
The Princess of Wales has cataloged the shocking exploits of the outrageous Princes Regent and many of his noble friends in a book that has all of London aflutter...
Nathan Grey, the Earl of Lindsey, is infamously known as the Libertine of Lindsey for his scandalous ways with women. But when he hears gossip that his estranged wife, Evelyn, is about to be named in The Book of Scandal, he has no choice but to remove her from London to protect her and himself from charges of treason—even if it calls for abduction!
While Evelyn has no legal recourse against the man who broke her heart years ago but is still considered her lord and master, she is no longer the immature girl Nathan married. Her enforced homecoming quickly turns into a battle of wills that tears down her husband's defenses and lays bare the passion that still burns between them. Before it is too late, Nathan must confront powerful adversaries as he convinces Evelyn that she is not only his wife, but the one woman he will love for all time.
Book of Scandal is the first in a series revolving around the scandalous marriage of Prince George of Wales and Princess of Caroline and the delicate investigation undergone during their time. Set in England during the early 1800s, the scandal revolving around Princess Caroline and Prince George has begun to spill over into the “friends’ that they surround themselves with. Worried about the scandal causing him to lose his lands, Nathan, Earl of Lindsey, travels from his estate into London to bring home his wayward wife, and so the chaos begins.
After the death of their son, Evelyn escaped to London, attempting to bury the grief in the bustle of the Haute Ton. Serving as a Lady of the Bedchamber to Princess Mary, Evelyn has been hiding her grief and thriving in the world she has chosen in London. Away from Nathan and leaving him on his own to sink into the life of debauchery that everyone in England knows he leads as the Libertine of Lindsey. Evelyn has even begun to have feelings for another, and is considering asking for a divorce so she might start a new life with him.
When Nathan suddenly appears at a ball Evelyn is attending, she is surprised and appalled to see him. When Nathan explains why he’s come to London, to bring Evelyn back to their estate, she become livid inciting an argument and causing great speculation among the Ton. Evelyn continues to defy Nathan, refusing to return home or to even really give him the time of day. During an outing to see her new beau, Nathan snatches her right off the street, paying no mind to her desire to stay in London, and secrets her away, taking her home. Back where she belongs.
Evelyn is furious to be stuck traveling to their estate with her long deserted husband and is extremely vocal in her arguments. Nathan, on the other hand, is slowly remembering why he once loved Evelyn so much. Still full of fire and passion, Evelyn fights his decrees at every turn, only making him want her more. Faced with the sudden change in his feelings, Nathan is left floundering as the one woman he’s ever loved denies any feelings between them and sinks deeper into her sorrow as she’s faced with memories of their lost child.
Evelyn and Nathan battle back and forth as she works to pay him back in subtle ways for his “kidnapping” her and beginning her to the one place she never again wanted to be. But there is a dark shadow over their reunion. As Evelyn works to improve the grubby house her formerly pristine home has become, strange accidents start happening. Evelyn is almost killed in a fire that takes down the Orangery she is refurbishing, and though she swear it couldn’t have been, Nathan believes that it in fact and accident, but decides to investigate further.
With Nathan back in London investigating the threats against his family, Evelyn starts to see a new side of her husband as she learns that the rake the rest of the world sees might not be the truth of Nathan’s heart. As she explores the changes of her husband and home, the grief Evelyn has been dealing with is slowly stating to fade as she accepts the loss of her son.
Even being set in Georgian Era England, there is plenty of passion and heat between Nathan and Evelyn. Nathan is definitely a very sensual man and he pulls out the sexual side of Evelyn as well. There are lots of fun scenes where Nathan corners Evelyn and forces her to embrace the passion they share. There is some doubt in Evelyn’s mind about Nathan’s desire being truly for her or just any available woman, but his tenacity and hope finally convinces Evelyn that his love is real and that she can trust him and their love once again.
I really enjoyed this story with all the fun little plot twists, even though there were some very melancholy moments as we learn how their marriage fell apart in the first place. It’s always interesting to me to see the lives of the Ton in historical England and this was no exception. I really loved seeing the way Nathan and Evelyn were able to overcome their grief and finally see each other as they once were: a happily mated couple. I was thrilled that Nathan finally convinced Evelyn that his love never faltered and never will. I'm looking forward to seeing the next book in the series to find out if Jack was able to escape the scandal that chase him out of England.