Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Blog Tour: Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline Linden (Review + Giveaway)


Love Saves the World would like to welcome Caroline Linden and her latest book, Love in the Time of Scandal. Last March, I binge-read through the first two books in the series, so I'm really excited to be part of this blog tour for Benedict and Penelope's story.

Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway (Enter via Rafflecopter below)
Grand prize: A journal to keep track of all your own scandals, plus print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, Love and Other Scandals, and It Takes a Scandal.

Runner Up: print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, Love and Other Scandals, and It Takes a Scandal.

To follow the rest of Caroline's stops, click here.

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About the book:

Love in the Time of Scandal

Scandalous #3
By: Caroline Linden
Releasing May 26, 2015
Avon

Blurb
The third book in a deliciously sexy series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book -- Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era-- has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.

Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can’t forget how he abandoned a friend in need -- nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He’s the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn’t feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel ...

Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. But, though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father’s control, spirited Penelope just doesn’t suit his plans for a model marriage -- until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope’s. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful ... beguiling ... and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?


Goodreads Link


Goodreads Series Link

Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N
iTunes
Kobo

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My Review:

If we are to strictly follow the unspoken rules of courtship, Benedict should not even remotely consider Penelope as anything more than a friend, because she's the younger sister of a lady he proposed marriage to and was rejected. In the same vein, Penelope should not even remotely entertain the possibility of Benedict, because he was recently courting a friend of hers (Frances Lockwood). (Penelope's advice was also instrumental in Benedict's second rejection.)

But, as the series implies, Caroline Linden created these characters, paired them despite scandalous circumstances, and waited for love to do the rest.

Penelope didn't want to want Benedict, and really tried her best to hate him, and she did a very good job of showing scorn and indifference when she was around him. But Benedict proves to be a hard man to hate: he's handsome, well-mannered, patient, and loves his sisters very deeply. (And Penelope happens to really like Benedict's sisters.) His one fault is how he badly he handled his friendship with Sebastian, but even that had been forgiven and forgotten by everyone (except Penelope) (Read: It Takes a Scandal).

When our hero and heroine are caught in a compromising situation, a villain uses this opportunity to stir up trouble for Penelope, who has been meddling in his affairs. The rumors prove too damaging for Penelope and Benedict, and their only course of action is marriage. Marriages of (in)convenience usually have virtual strangers marrying, but Penelope and Benedict have the dubious distinction of being that rare couple who know, but hate each other before marrying.

Miss Lockwood was anxious to please, listening to his every word as if it had the gravity of Scripture. Miss Weston also seemed to regard his words as biblical, but rather more as she might view the hissing of the serpent in Eden.
- loc 395

I like how Caroline Linden explores the twin emotions of love and hate. There are a lot of sparks that fly between the two: both from the attraction and desire that they feel, and from the sharp exchanges between the two of them. (They could be Benedick and Beatrice from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.)

"Do you really hate me?" he interrupted.

She flushed again. "Have you really been in love with me all along?"

Neither said a word.
- loc 1356

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"Don't kiss me," she whispered even as she tipped her head to let him do just that.

"Only if you don't kiss me." His breath was hot on her skin.
- loc 2476

Love in the Time of Scandal is really about Olivia Townsend, Penelope's friend, a widow who is being hounded by her late husband's cohorts, Simon, Lord Clary. Penelope suffers the consequences of trying to help her friend out. This, perhaps, is the one point of the story that I wish the author had developed further. From the moment this conflict is introduced, I could sense the urgency and weight of the situation -- it's dire enough to have Olivia leave town and for Lord Clary to use very underhanded methods to get even with Penelope -- but, as the story continues and is eventually resolved, I still have some questions about what Lord Clary was really after ... and whether Olivia Townsend will really get her happy ending (There are hints that she might get it with Penelope's brother, Jamie? *fingers crossed*).

Linden's novel highlights a lot of points for reflection: family dynamics (Benedict's is very dysfunctional), friendship and loyalty, society's unforgiving standards, the cruelty of rumors, the limited choices that women have, etc. And, between Benedict and Penelope, we see how trust is tested and how intentions, no matter how good they are, can come into question.

It is not a secret that Benedict was hoping to marry into money to escape his father's control, and I was a bit concerned when sex came so quickly and easily to Benedict and Penelope -- but Caroline Linden does a good job of developing intimacy between our hero and heroine -- Penelope is not shy to ask the difficult questions. And it's very good that Benedict is willing to answer them.

"Must everything be a storm of passion and emotion with you?" He reached for his glass again. "I wouldn't have asked her if I didn't hope to be accepted." He paused thoughtfully, glass raised, then added, "And the same went for Miss Lockwood, if that was your next query." He tossed down the brandy.

Penelope's face burned. "You didn't love either of them."

"No," he readily agreed. "There are many reasons a man asks a woman to marry him. Love is only one possibility."
- loc 2389

There's so much honestly between Benedict and Penelope, that it leaves no doubt, in the end, that they are truly meant for each other.

Love in the Time of Scandal is book 3 in Caroline Linden's Scandalous series, and was released May 26, 2015.

Disclosure: I received this review copy via Edelweiss as part of the blog tour. Thank you to Avon and to Caroline Linden for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

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Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at www.carolinelinden.com.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.carolinelinden.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolineLinden
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Caro_Linden
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/115012.Caroline_Linden


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Giveaway!

Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway (Enter via Rafflecopter below)
Grand prize: A journal to keep track of all your own scandals, plus print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, Love and Other Scandals, and It Takes a Scandal.

Runner Up: print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, Love and Other Scandals, and It Takes a Scandal.

To follow the rest of Caroline's stops, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL!

    ReplyDelete

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