Release: Feb 1, 2011
Lady Victoria Jane Emerson left behind her girlish notions of romance when Jonathan deserted her without a backward glance. Now the time has come when she must finally choose a husband, and she has vowed to marry someone who will never break her heart.
Jonathan Pierce Thatcher, Viscount Remington, has returned home, free of all his family’s debts. Only to discover that by some miracle he has been chosen to vie for the hand of his beloved Victoria. To convince his only love to once again believe in the magic of love and the promise of desire will be his greatest challenge yet. And one he cannot fail!
Once Upon a Scandal is the first book I have read by Ms. Marvelle. It is the story about Jonathan, Viscount Remington and Lady Victoria Linford. Victoria is only 17 years old and not yet presented to society. The beginning of the story finds Jonathan about to leave for Venice in a few days, but determined to get a commitment from Victoria before he leaves. Victoria is aware that she has many potential suitors when she makes her come out and doesn’t want to go against her father’s wishes. Jonathan is determined and in a delightful passage tries to get Victoria to indirectly state her wishes.
‘Take the plate if you love me.’ … ‘I want assurance of your devotion.’ She giggled. ‘By offering me a plate?’ By offering your my life. He gestured toward the china still in his hand. ‘This plate is but a metaphor representing all that I am. Polished. Clean. Able to present, hold and endure whatever you place upon it, whilst allowing you to feast for both substance and pleasure, though surprisingly, it is also incredibly fragile. If dropped, it will shatter and become nothing but a worthless mess. I would say more, but we have an audience and this is about as forward as I can get without altogether grabbing you.’
She starred up at him for an abashed moment and dropped her voice a whole octave. ‘So by taking the plate I would in fact be taking your heart? Is that what you are informing me of, my lord?’ He drew in a ragged breath. ‘Yes. Exactly.’
The above an example of the wonderful, lyrical quality to Ms. Marvelle’s writing style. This book is a joy to read, it seems to flow along seamlessly!
The characters are supposed to be modeled after a reverse Cinderella with Jonathan playing the role of the Cinderella character. He even has a step-sister, but she isn’t evil and nasty, but is very attached to him. Jonathan’s character follows the model of the fairy tale, with him encountering all sorts of misfortunes, no matter how hard he tries. Victoria has had a bit of a difficult life with the loss of her mother and beloved twin brother as well as her father’s illness, all under the watchful gaze of strict society.
This book is a true HEA in fairy tale fashion. Well written and full of interesting characters. Being set partially in Venice, it adds an interesting dimension to the traditional English historical romances. The only thing that I would have changed is the length. At 378 pages, it runs a bit long for my tastes. Once Upon a Scandal is the second book in a series of three from the “Scandal” series. The first book, Prelude to a Scandal, was released January 1 of this year. Once Upon a Scandal is due out Feb 1 of this year, and the third book, The Perfect Scandal, is due out on March 1st of this year. Pick up one or all of these books and enjoy!