Childhood lovers separated by stupidity/the rash pride of a young man and a second chance at love -- to be honest, at first the way things were set up just didn't work for me.
I thought the reason behind James and Olivia's initial heartbreak to be extremely silly and not particularly believable considering the mores of the period. It seemed completely unbelievable that James would have taken Olivia's innocence and then thought it wouldn't result in tragedy if he didn't immediately show up to claim her as his bride. (All in the first chapter, rest assured, this is not going to spoil you for the rest of the book) Furthermore, I thought it inexplicable that his family seemed completely unaware of his intentions. Further furthermore, I was very unimpressed by Olivia's capitulation. Supposedly she was great friends with the Weston family, since they were all children - so why not seek refuge with them until James could be found?
The good news is that things do get much better. James and Olivia are a very sweet couple. They're both capable, strong-willed, and very graceful in their disappointment. That last being important because this isn't a story where people flail about like toddlers and act terribly to each other in the name of past hurts. At some point Olivia apologizes for her lack of gumption and for blaming James for everything that came before and things got much, much smoother after that.
There's some fun twists in the story, and I applaud Caroline Linden for the subtle and elegant ways in which she gives the women in her story agency and strength. James turns out to be a very forward thinking feminist in thought and action and it was lovely to see, especially as how his beliefs ripple out to touch those around him.
Six Degrees of Scandal proves Caroline Linden to be a mistress at her craft. Recommended for those who love a good second chance romance.
Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a dangerous man in search of a lost treasure she doesn’t possess, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see… and the man who was her first—and only—love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different for them this time.
James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and now he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe—and to win her trust again. He’s confident he can outwit the villain chasing Olivia. But being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart … even those that he swore would stay hidden forever.