In every installment of Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, the naughty 50 Ways to Sin stories have captured the attention and imagination of the more daring ladies of the ton. Everyone is talking about them and no one knows the identity of the woman behind the bold serial. Now a wager has Douglas Bennet tasked with unmasking her. His target: the aloof widow, Madeline Wilde.
Douglas didn’t even know Madeline existed until a friend threw down the gauntlet, daring him to turn her head. But despite his title and charm, she remains unmoved. That, of course, only serves to intrigue him more. And once he learns she could be the author of those salacious stories, he’s only drawn in deeper.
I enjoyed this novella, largely because of the things it didn’t do. It didn’t take overly long to clue the readers in on Madeline’s big secret. It didn’t make Douglas into an opportunist. It was never about the money for him, and was barely even about the bet. It didn’t hang the secrets of the wager over his head and it didn’t serve as the catalyst for big drama in a reveal to shock the heroine at the end of the book. All those things could have easily happened in a story by another author. But that isn’t Linden’s style and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy her books. They don’t trod the obvious path.
I liked Madeline and the fact that she didn’t fight Douglas past a point that was realistic. I liked Douglas and the fact that he was willing to protect her secrets even when he didn’t really know what they were. And I liked that this story wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be.
Would recommend for historical romance readers looking for a short romantic read.
*ARC provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
All’s Fair in Love and Scandal
by Caroline Linden
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Avon Impulse