Love Saves the World would like to welcome Caroline Linden and her latest book, Six Degrees of Scandal.
Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a Scandalous Series Print Bundle (Books 1-3) (U.S. Only). Enter via Rafflecopter below.
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About the book:
By: Caroline Linden
Releasing March 29, 2016
Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a desperate man in search of a lost treasure, which she doesn’t have, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see ... and the man who was her first -- and only -- love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her this time, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different this time.
James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and he will not do it again. Fortunately, his unusual life has equipped him well to outsmart the villain chasing Olivia. Unfortunately, being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart…even those that should stay hidden forever.
To Olivia’s mingled delight and surprise, Mother herself brought up the Westons that evening. “Haverstock House!” she exclaimed. “They’ve bought Haverstock House! Everyone in town is speaking of it. What is the neighborhood coming to, Sir Alfred?”
Father grunted. “I hear Weston paid a very pretty sum for it. Lord Malke’s steward mentioned wagons of new furnishings from London.”
That gave Mother pause. “Indeed!”
“I told you: well-heeled.” Father glanced at her, sitting quietly in the corner stitching her sampler. “Their boy seemed to like our Olivia.”
Instead of protesting that she was only a child, Mother turned to look at her as if struck by a new thought. “Did he ...?” But although Olivia was curious to hear what her mother thought, that was the last of the conversation.
Within days, true to Jamie’s prediction, Mrs. Weston came to call on Lady Herbert. Olivia only saw her leaving, but the next day Jamie himself came to Kellan Hall. He greeted her mother very politely, even charmingly, and then glanced at Olivia. “I’ve come to escort Miss Herbert to Haverstock House.”
Olivia barely managed not to goggle at him like a fool, but her mother was beaming. “Yes, of course. Olivia, fetch your bonnet. Mrs. Weston has invited you to visit her daughters, and I consented. Good society is so important to raising young people with manners and decorum!”
“Yes, ma’am,” she managed to say, even as her heart jumped. She ran for her bonnet and pelisse.
Jamie grinned as they left her house. “I told you my mother would call.”
Olivia couldn’t keep back an excited laugh. “I just didn’t know it would result in this!”
From then on she was permitted to visit the Westons almost at will. Daphne was also invited, but she went only a few times, and stopped entirely after getting into an argument with Penelope Weston over whether ladies should be allowed to drive carriages. But Olivia was soon fast friends with both Abigail and Penelope, who became as dear as sisters to her as the years went by.
Jamie was there as well, although less frequently as they all grew older. He wasn’t sent away to school as most boys were but had a series of tutors and instructors. Mr. Weston traveled frequently on business and often he took his son with him. Olivia thought that sounded dull, but Jamie said he enjoyed it immensely.
“It’s far better than sitting at home learning Latin verbs,” he told her. “I’d much rather visit shipyards and manufactories and see how things are really done. Even visiting the bankers is more intriguing than any mathematics exercise.”
She had to smile. “When you put it that way, perhaps I agree.”
He laughed. “It’s all in the way I put it! You’re much too easy to persuade, Livie. You’d let yourself be tempted into all kinds of bad behavior, wouldn’t you?”
Only by you, she thought. He’d been able to lead her astray since that first morning in church. “I don’t know what you mean,” she told him. “I’m a very respectable girl.”
“And yet I like you anyway,” he replied gravely.
She put out her tongue at him and he pulled one of her loose curls, just like any brother and sister.
For more information about the book, visit Goodreads.
Click here for more information about the Scandalous series.
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After Olivia's problem is presented in Penelope's book, I am so happy to finally read about what happens to her after she quietly leaves town to escape Lord Clary, but Olivia's story begins 16 years earlier, when she was just a young girl meeting James Weston for the first time. It was certainly fascination at first sight, and, as they grew older, Olivia's relationship with James, and his sisters deepened. Falling in love with each other was inevitable, and marriage was the obvious next step -- and it would have made such a wonderful and happy story to see how childhood friends grow and blossom in love, and have a family, and live happily ever after. But James and Olivia's path takes a 10-year detour, when Olivia's father arranges a marriage between Olivia and Henry Townsend -- and James Weston takes his broken heart and self away from Sussex.
There are two elements that will compel readers to read it: the unfinished business between Olivia and James, and the unresolved mystery of Lord Clary, his involvement with Henry Townsend, and his interest in Olivia. After Penelope gets embroiled in (and is eventually rescued from) Olivia's problems, James has no choice but to step in and try to help out an old friend. It's a bittersweet reunion for these former lovers, and one can see James struggle to keep his emotions separate from the task on hand.
Olivia's circumstances haven't really given her the luxury to reminisce -- but it's obvious that she has never forgotten James. Ever since her marriage, Olivia's been on her own -- estranged from her parents and sister. I did wish Caroline Linden took time to explore and, maybe, resolve this thread in the story, but I also appreciate her decision to focus on the Lord Clary issue, because it is a bit complicated. What fans of the series know so far is that Olivia's late husband was involved in some shady business with Lord Clary, but nothing was ever specific or concrete -- but, now, one of Henry Townsend's notebooks had been accidentally sent to Olivia, and it becomes the key to answering all of Olivia and James's questions.
How James and Olivia handle the Lord Clary issue is very "creative" (can't really talk about it without spoiling it) -- and not only does it showcase how James and Olivia are both strong characters, capable of striking it out on their own, but also how they are much, much stronger together as a team.
Have they learned from the mistakes in the past? But I was really more interested in how our hero and heroine would pick up the pieces of their previous relationship. This is what makes James and Olivia's story stand out from the couples in the previous series: love was never a question between James and Olivia, but they've had ten years of growing while apart, so they are still the same two people, but also a bit different. Now that they've reunited, it's interesting how the past ten years have shaped their personalities.
What's wonderful is how Caroline Linden has expanded on her Scandalous world, but how she continues to connect all of them with the core characters (Weston sisters) -- which leaves me to wonder if this is the last book in the series (I hope not), or if Linden will continue to write about the other characters. (David or his sister, Bathsheba, please!)
Disclosure: I received this ARC as part of the blog tour. Thank you to Avon Books, Caroline Linden, and Tasty Book Tours for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.
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About the author:
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