Review: It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden

it takes a scandalReviewed by Jen

This book reminded me how much I enjoy reading Caroline Linden books. It hit all my happy buttons, with minimal internal conflicts, a somewhat tortured hero, and a romance that kept me invested from beginning to end.

Sebastian is a pariah in his small country town.  He came back from war with a broken body, only to find that his father had lost his mind.  If that weren’t bad enough, his dad sold off almost all of their land for a small fraction of its worth, so they are now destitute. 

Things only got worse, though, when the old man disappeared.  The community convinced itself he was responsible, and soon he stood accused of a litany of false crimes, from theft to witchery. He now tries to live a quiet life with his dog, paying what he can of his father’s debts.

Abigail knows nothing about Sebastian’s history when her family buys the house next door to him.  In fact, when she meets him in the woods, she is quite taken with him.  The feeling is mutual, but Sebastian never dreams he could have a woman like Abigail.  What could he offer her?  He has no money.  He walks with a limp.  He is shunned by society. Yet she looks at him like the man he was before his life fell apart.  She keeps showing up in his orbit and it only gets harder and harder to deny what is happening between them.

Sebastian isn’t nearly as broken as he thinks he is.  And I absolutely loved watching him realize this, as began to see himself through Abigail’s eyes.  Don’t get me wrong… he makes some mistakes.  So does Abigail.  He is so afraid to overreach with her that he doesn’t always reach enough.  And at times, she lets her faith in their relationship falter.  But neither goes so far in their missteps that I didn’t understand why they were making the choices they were making.  Neither crosses the line into something unforgivable.  I could empathize with them both and felt so invested in their HEA.

This isn’t a teeth gnashing story. I was never tempted to cry or throw my nook.  But I still cared about the characters and I believed in their love story. It was understated, but very satisfying.

P.S. I totally smell a story brewing for Abigail’s sister and Sebastian’s nemesis/ ex-best friend.  That one will be good, y’all.

Rating: B+/A-

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

It Takes a Scandal
by Caroline Linden
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Avon


  1. Sounds really good! I’ve never read a Linden book. What’s your favorite?

  2. Possibly this one. But I also really liked The Way to a Duke’s Heart.

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