Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
Scandal of the Year by Olivia Drake


Cover art: Scandal of the Year Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Scandal of the Year - 3rd in the Heiress of London series
Author: Olivia Drake
Publisher: St. Martin's
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-94347-9
Release Date: March 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: London, Late 1700s
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Olivia's Website/Blog: www.oliviadrake.com

Blythe Crompton wants to please her parents and marry high enough in the aristocracy to cement her family’s place in society. Since the Crompton’s are considered ‘nouveau riche’, they are scorned by the higher ranks in the ton—even though their lucrative business in India has garnered them more money than most members of the ton. Blythe’s sisters are both happily married and they want to see her marry for love, not money.

Blythe has set her sights on the Duke of Savoy. He’s a widow with a daughter not too much younger than Blythe. Somehow, she doesn’t see a problem with marrying a man who could be her father. She especially wants to make this match after both parents comment on how this match would make them happy. The only problem is the Duke’s daughter who will go to any lengths to keep Blythe from her father.

Blythe is determined to stay on this path when she begins to realize her thoughts are straying towards the new footman, James. He’s handsome, witty and he oozes sensuality that makes her heart pound. She learns he was raised as a companion to a gentleman and this is why he seems so articulate and knowledgeable. She cooks up a scheme to use James’ ability and sensuality to distract the Duke’s daughter.

Little does she know that James isn’t who he claims to be. He is really James Ryding and the true heir of the Crompton family. James poses as a servant to find proof of his claim to the fortune and prove his inheritance. He befriends Blythe to have a way to search for proof, but finds himself wanting to be with her. He can’t figure out how to claim what is his without destroying Blythe in the process.

Blythe shines like a gem in the plain tapestry of the ton. Her joy of life and quick wit make her a lovable person. James is such a wonderful man, but since he is trying to prove Blythe’s parents are liars, it took me a little longer to warm up to him. I was glad to see him conflicted as he used Blythe to further his ambitions to prove her parents false. He is quite the perfect match for Blythe and I was on edge as I tried to figure out if they could ever make this whole situation work.

For a Regency Romance, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself surrounded by mystery, intrigue and suspense. Olivia Drake winds subtle subplots of suspense throughout the whole book. This story stands alone for new readers to this series, but it is a perfect wrap-up to the sisters’ romances. Looking forward to reading what Olivia Drake comes up with next.


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