Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle

Having been raised in the jungles of South Africa assisting her father in the study of mammal copulation, Lady Justine Fedora Palmer sweeps back into London to embark upon her coming out.

When her father's observations are made public, proving buggery is natural in the animal kingdom, all of London is in a huffing outrage, including His Royal Majesty.  Her father is imprisoned and slapped with outrageous penalty fees they simply cannot pay. 
Lady Justine becomes more than willing to trade her good name and her place in London's gossip-hungry ton to secure her father's release.  There is only one person she knows she can trust: her father's patron, the Duke of Bradford.  A dashing libertine, yes, but one she passionately adores for his unwavering kindness, wit, humor, and willingness to support her father's studies even as everyone has laughed her father off. 
To her astonishment, the Duke of Bradford is not the same man.  His newly marred face hides a scandal that is about to test them both...
(I snagged this blurb from Ms. Marvelle's website.)

Ms. Marvelle is a new-to-me author but she's got two things in her favor straight out of the gate: (1) historical romance, and (2) series.

"...Well.  In case I didn't formally inform you of it, Your Grace, the sort of relationship I am seeking from my husband is going to include more than mere physicality.  I want what goes on inside your head and inside your heart before these legs will ever part."

Lady Justine is a kick.  She's been exposed to animal copulation in the course of her father's work, but thanks to a literary tome about how to avoid scandals, she's keeping it close and far away because the one man who can help her remove her father from prison is the one man she's been lusting after for two years.  What is funny about Justine is that she relates the male/female relationships of the ton to male/female relationships of the animal kingdom.  Not that different, I suppose...

Bradford is a scarred man, literally and figuratively.  He's got some serious issues, and it makes him want Justine all the more, despite what he keeps telling himself.  He and Justine trade barbs easily and equally; it made them seem all the more real to me.  And I especially like it when that happens. 

(A very special thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin, who provided me with an ARC of Prelude to a Scandal.)

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