Joan isn’t very good at being fashionable. She’s too tall, too curvy, yet she tries to wear the clothes, the hats, and the hairstyles popular for her more dainty peers. As a result, she isn’t very popular with gentlemen. Her frankness and independent spirit don’t help either. She yearns for some freedom and a chance at romance, but neither looks especially forthcoming.
Tristan is her brother’s best friend. He is also a notorious rake and hellraiser who has no intention of being shackled by marriage. He has met Joan a few times growing up, but it isn’t until the morning he sees her barging into her brother’s home and forcing him into a promise, that she really gets his attention. At first, he is appalled by her, but then becomes intrigued by her, and eventually that morphs into attraction. He tries to distance himself from Joan, but that goes out the window when her brother is called out of town and asks Tristan to watch over her.
Joan is confused by Tristan’s attention. He clearly has no idea how to speak to a woman. He insults her at one moment and makes her swoon the next. Once her parents take a trip, leaving her with a progressive aunt, Joan’s entire world begins changing for the better. Gone is her mother’s influence with awful clothes; gone are the restrictions from having her brother in her life. She is finally free to discover who she is and what she wants. And it turns out, what she wants is Tristan.
I am a fan of Caroline Linden, but this one wasn’t my favorite of her books. I liked it, but my feelings weren’t strong. I felt like Tristan’s emotional evolution was a little too easy, especially his attitude about marriage. While one of the things I generally like best about Linden’s work is that there are no contrived obstacles, I felt the whole thing was a little too easy. I never saw any real hindrance to these two getting together, and the minor issues all just seemed to melt away. There also weren’t any surprises. The story was sweet and pleasant, but nothing to make my heart race or my emotions to really flare up.
It is a nice afternoon read. It moves quickly and follows a familiar and satisfying path to happiness.
*ARC Provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
Love and Other Scandals
by Caroline Linden
Release Date: July 30, 2013