Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline Linden

June 8, 2015
Secondary Character-o-sis strikes again!

I believe it must have been time for authors to drink at the same watering hole again. Once more we have characters who were secondary characters in previous books and now it's their turn and they don't live up to the promise that was shown in the previous book. Not only do they not quite live up to what I was expecting, but one of them, Penelope, is a really immature fishwife who I wanted to reach into the book and bop a few times. I often found myself feeling quite sorry for poor ol' Atherton. By the way, Atherton made medical history - he is one of the few heroes who has a wet noodle for a backbone.

Now, it isn't his fault he has a wet noodle instead of bone. He has a horrible horrible horrible father. This father abuses his entire family - wife - daughters - son. Not just physical abuse, but psychological abuse as well. So, our hero is a pretty damaged guy. For the most part the wet-noodlism isn't because he's a coward. No, he does a lot of backing down and kissing of feet to protect those who cannot protect themselves. He actually could have been a decent hero if his harpy of a heroine hadn't made him look so bad. 'Cause we can't have our heroes ripping into our heroines anymore - that was old school romance. But if Atherton had attended the Steve Morgan School for Romance Heroes he would have smacked Penelope, then vamoosed to the arms of his mistress. But, twas not to be. Sigh.

Penelope. What a stubborn, blinders-on type of woman. She is the kind of person who sticks their fingers in their ears and sings la la la la just so she cannot hear what someone is saying. She does that to Atherton over and over and over. When he explains things to her, she doesn't accept what he's saying, she always wants more. When he tells her why he did some of the things he did in the past - la la la la. When he tells her about his father - la la la la. My mother is this way because - la la la la. My sister did this because - la la la la. For once we have a hero who talks, tells secrets, tells what is making him tick - la la la la. It doesn't matter what he says - it's just never enough for this sullen, cranky, griping, petulant Penelope. There was one moment when she finally stood up for the hero. The scene between her and his father was great, but it was not soon enough. There wasn't any point in this story that I ever felt Penelope was going to ever stop haranguing Atherton. Oh sure, they confessed their love for each other, but all I could see for ol' Atherton was a future with a tyrannical wife.

Dissolution of villains. Spoilers! Nothing like a surprise heart attack to solve everyone's problem. One moment you're there blackmailing, threatening, abusing and the next moment someone else says you had a heart attack and you are dead. And, we the readers don't even get to see you keel over - no we get to find out the same way the hero and heroine do - a servant tells all of us. But, there are two villains in this book and the other one disappears. I'm assuming he will show up in the next book. Hopefully, we get to see his demise.

I was disappoint with Love in the Time of Scandal. I loved the other two books in the series and was expecting the same with this - twas not to be. Maybe next time. Maybe next time I'll like the heroine - la la la la.

Time/Place: 1822 England
Sensuality: Hot/Warm

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