It was great! It was a sweet romance that I enjoyed very much.
Scandal and the Duchess is another outstanding foray into the Highland Pleasures Series. Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite authors because she always does such a good job on her books. This one was no different than the rest that I've enjoyed. It was fun, sexy and romantic. While neither one of the protagonists are MacKenzies, several of them show up in the story, most notable are Ian and Beth. As well as the rest of the McBride clan, including Sinclair who will be getting the next book in the series. But enough of that, let me tell you why I liked this one so much.
As the story opens Rose Barclay is having a terrible time. Scandal seems to keep finding her and now she's literally been thrown out on the streets with nowhere to go. Until a drunken Steven McBride lands at her feet. It seems that the dedicated soldier likes to drink, gamble and womanize just a bit too much. It's his lucky night, however, because meeting Rose puts him on the path to redemption. She helps him out so he wants to return the favor. A fake engagement scheme draws them together and sparks the flame for both of them.
The book wasn't without conflict to keep things interesting. It had the white knight complex down quite well. Of course, they had to fall in love. It was a steamy affair that began rather quickly, and soon both wanted the engagement to be real. They did have a mystery to solve, a treasure hunt of sorts, and some ghosts to put to rest. A lot happened in a short time and it flew at a fast pace.
All in all, I enjoyed this one and do recommend it to others.
Scandal follows Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown, wherever she goes. It's never her fault, but newspapers love to write about the young woman from Scotland, and the much older duke she married, who died on their honeymoon. The duke left her with a large widow's portion, now contested by his younger brother, who kicks Rose out of the estate's dower house and uses it to kennel his dogs.
Rose does not need to be found with a large, handsome Scot passed out at her feet, fueling gossips and giving her brother-in-law more ammunition. The Scot is Steven McBride--a decorated soldier who is notorious for heavy gambling and womanizing during his leave time. Steven is happy to open his eyes and find the beautiful woman standing over him, and happy to help spirit her away. But the journalists get wind and start a campaign to couple Rose with the scandalous Steven McBride.
This is a fifteen-chapter, 47K word short book. Action occurs after A Mackenzie Family Christmas and before Rules for a Proper Governess.