by Theresa Romain
Series: Holiday Pleasures #3
Genres: Historical Romance
Unladylike Risk- Jane Tindall has never had money of her own or exceptional beauty. Her gifts are more subtle: a mind like an abacus, a talent for play-acting—and a daring taste for gambling. But all the daring in the world can't help with the cards fixed against her. And when Edmund Ware, Baron Kirkpatrick, unwittingly spoils her chance to win a fortune, her reputation is ruined too. Or so she thinks, until he suggests a surprising mode of escape: a hasty marriage. To him. On the surface, their wedding would satisfy all the demands of proper society, but as the Yuletide approaches, secrets and scandals turn this proper marriage into a very improper affair.
Season for Scandal is the third book in Theresa Romain’s Holiday Pleasures series. The tale offers up a twist on the marriage of convenience trope with complicated and troubled characters. While this wasn’t my favorite, it was well paced with suspense and mystery that kept me engaged. Mini review: secrets, complicated characters and slow to build romance.
We meet Jane Tindall while in disguise playing a card game in which she gambles too much. Just as she plans to recoup her losses, Edmund Ware, the Baron Kirkpatrick accidentally exposes her costing her a fortune and ruining her reputation. In order to pay her mark, and save her reputation he proposes and surprisingly the head-strong, independent Jane says yes. The tale that unfolds was interesting, with secrets, a little love and danger.
Jane has always been in love with Edmund. She is a curious creature, a plain Jane, who lights up when talking about exotic places she would like to travel to. She is also impatient, stubborn and naïve. Edmund appears to the ton as a kind, noble and caring man. He dances with the wallflowers, helps little old ladies into their coach and has a pleasant ear for anyone who needs to talk. Edmund would tell you this is his atonement for a grave error. This marriage is not easy for them and we feel their struggle. Lack of communication, knowledge and emotions cause turbulence as they attempt to please and get to know each other. Turner is the villain in this tale, a man from Edmund’s past. He is here for revenge, and makes clear to Edmund exactly how he will do it. The man befriends Jane, and under a false identity moves throughout their social circle. Edmund and Jane frustrated me with their lack of communication as a lot of issues could have been resolved if they had confided in each other.
Season for Scandal is not your typical holiday read, and Romain turns the marriage trope upside down, giving us a heavier tale of self-discovery and growth while showing the complicated side of making a marriage work. This was not light and fluffy, but we did work towards our HEA, and the ride to get there was filled with frustration, witty banter and secrets. It is also not your typical swoon-worthy romance; instead it reflects ordinary people and martial problems. While I did not get emotional caught up in this tale, I did enjoy the complexities of the characters, and the message. Romain did a wonderful job of bringing these two together and helping them find their happy.
If you are looking for something a little different, a realistic romance then, Season for Scandal, might be the perfect read for you. While this didn’t wow me, I certainly look forward to reading more of Romain’s work.
Three cups of coffee out of five
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