Scandal and the Duchess by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #6.5
Publication Date: September 16th 2014
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A WOMAN’S REPUTATION
Scandal follows Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown, wherever she goes. It’s never her fault—honor bright—but newspapers love to write about the simple girl from Scotland and the much older duke, who died suddenly on their honeymoon. And now there is even more talk as the legitimacy of the marriage is being contested by the duke’s son and heir.
Steven McBride is a decorated soldier—and a notorious gambler and womanizer. The last thing he wants is marriage, but due to a series of unfortunate events, he and Rose’s names are linked in the papers, threatening the lovely lady with ruin. To save the day, Steven suggests they claim to be engaged. But as desire boils between them, Rose and Steven soon learn the difficulties of maintaining their deception, which might not be a lie after all …
Includes a preview for RULES FOR A PROPER GOVERNESS
Steven McBride is seriously falling down drunk and trying to find his way to his lodgings in the middle of London when he literally falls into Rose. She is leaving a home and trying to get into a carriage. He’s so drunk that he doesn’t care who owns the carriage, he needs to get out of the rain and get some sleep. He manages to pass out instead and Rose takes pity on him and takes him with her.
When Steven awakens he finds himself in the carriage house of a duke. You see Rose was married to a duke but he died while they were on their honeymoon. The new heir is contesting Rose’s settlement and she has nothing. On top of that reporters are constantly following her trying to make everything she does scandalous.
Steven decides to tell one and all that he and Rose are engaged. This will hopefully curtail more scandal for Rose and it helps him as well as he’s in London to see the wife of a friend who had died. Steven decides to also help Rose get her inheritance that was left to her in her husbands will – which is not easy as the new heir is fighting her tooth and nail. While that is all happening Steven soon realizes that he has feelings for Rose that go beyond friendship and lust and he wants to make the betrothal real.
This was a very cute novella in the MacKenzie/McBride series. I really loved Steven and Rose separately and together they were even better. I loved how open the pair were with each other and the fact that the entire novella had a minimum of angst. Sometimes I just need something to read that makes me smile throughout and this definitely did that.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5