Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Touch of Scandal

The last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while tracking his sworn enemy is the delectable, mysterious Kate. This beautiful servant girl rouses a longing the battle-scarred ex-soldier had never hoped to feel again. But when she turns out to be the sister of the man he seeks, he's convinced he's been betrayed.

Kate knows her duty to her family, yet how can she ignore Garrett's powerful pull on her heart? Or the heady temptation of his stolen-and sizzling-kisses? Scandal has followed the duke since the war. Now the greatest shock of all is on its way-the one that can separate Garrett and Kate forever.

Great follow up to A Hint of Wicked!

I will be honest here... I think I would have had a hard time enjoying this book had I not read A Hint of Wicked first. Or rather, I would have been disappointed that I hadn't read A Hint of Wicked first, so a word to the wise... read these books in order! I'm a big fan of reading books in order anyway, but in this case, the first book gives you a LOT of background on Garrett, William Fisk, Tristan and Sophie. And once armed with their histories, I think A Touch of Scandal will be a much more enjoyable read. Plus, isn't it always fun when your "friends" show up in another book?

A Touch of Scandal starts with us meeting Katherine (Kate), a sweet, outspoken young woman whose loyalty to her family is met with little regard and returned affection since she has lived in the shadows of her two older brothers all her life. Working as a servant in her brother's own home by day and caring for her ailing younger brother by night, Kate daydreams about the man she spied bathing at the pond near her home and rushes there each evening hoping to catch another glimpse of him. Garrett is clearly smitten with the servant girl he finds spying on him but his mission is simple... to find and kill William Fisk. But Garrett and Kate's mutual attraction is electric so he puts his quest on momentary hold to enjoy Kate's company before completing his mission and leaving the area for good. Little do they realize that their worlds are about to collide with monumental force, leaving Kate to question her loyalty in what becomes a war of vengeance between Garrett and her brother.

This story has a lot of colorful twists and tight hairpin turns that keep the reader engaged throughout and Ms. Haymore definitely has a knack for creating situations that make the reader wonder how on earth are they going to get out of this? and then they do! And just when you think things are about to settle down, a big twist comes, and in Garrett’s case, lands literally on his doorstep, leaving Kate to decide if she is ready to fight for what she wants!

I really enjoyed this book. Garrett is a strong man who has been through an emotional battlefield after already having served in the war, and of course the drama from A Hint of Wicked. Kate is strong girl, but she's also compassionate and loyal. Garrett recognizes Kate's inner beauty beyond the servant garb but obstacles litter his path to happiness, including his divorce which is being finalized and a lover he was on his way to reunite with. But my one big gripe with this story was the fact that after one short conversation with this "god sent from Olympus" - Garrett and Kate's initial meeting, mind you - Kate decides to give herself to Garrett the next day. Whoa! That is way too quick for me, even in romance world! She doesn't even know this man's last name, let alone anything else about him! And I found absolutely no justification in the fact that she knew she would probably never see him again. Nope.  Did not work for me.  However, I am willing to suspend belief for a scene and enjoy the rest of the story, which does flow well and keep the pages turning.

In addition to catching up with Sophie, Tristan and Miranda (from A Hint of Wicked), we also meet Garrett's sister Rebecca - and she plays a big supporting character in this story. She also becomes the focus of the last book in this three book series, A Season of Seduction, coming out in October.

All in all, a great read and a great series! I can't wait for the next book!

My rating: 8 – Definitely on my keeper shelf

Here is the 3 book series in order:


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