A Winter Scandal

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A Winter Scandal

Legend of St. Dwynwen, #1

When you're the previous vicar's daughter and the current vicar's sister, you tend to live your life as dictated by the church and the parishioners. One would expect the vicar's relative to live above reproach and set an example. That is what Thea Bainbridge did for most of her 27 years. She would help when needed or else blend in. But when she finds a baby in the manger she had set out to use while decorating the church, Thea stops doing what everyone expects and instead what she wants. The first thing she's going to do is confront Lord Gabriel Morecomb, who she assumes is the baby's father (based on a broach found within the baby's clothing).

Gabriel Morecomb is in the country to celebrate the holidays with his friends. Those plans are turned upside down when Miss Bainbridge bursts into his house, with a baby in her arms, demanding to know what he is going to do with this baby left at the church. After trading insults back and forth, he demands to know why she thinks the baby is his. When she produces the broach, he's nearly brought to his knees. The broach was a gift he had given his younger sister, Jocelyn, who has been missing for the past year. It's with this discovery that we are taken on a journey as Thea and Gabriel search for who left the baby at the church and if that person was Gabriel's missing sister.

I enjoyed both main characters in this story. Thea, who always thought of herself as plain and resigned herself to remaining a spinster and alone, came into her own as soon as she held that baby in her arms. She suddenly realized that she deserved the happiness she saw everyone having. With the added attraction to Gabriel, she soon learned that she wasn't as plain and forgettable as she always thought.

Gabriel was the type of hero I'd love to see more of. Instead of fighting his attraction to Thea almost every moment, he acknowledged it and went with it. He knew that he missed her when he wasn't with her and didn't hide the fact that he needed to see her every day. It was refreshing.

This was an enjoyable story that has a few twists and turns in the storyline to keep you riveted until the last page.

Book Blurb for A Winter Scandal

New York Times bestselling author Candace Camp weaves a heartwarming tale, first in a thrilling new series, of Christmastime love, discovery, and scandal. . . .

When plain and proper Thea Bainbridge stumbles upon a baby in the manger of her church’s nativity, she is understandably shocked. Discovering a brooch bearing the insignia of Gabriel, Lord Morecombe, hidden among the child’s clothing, she is certain the dissolute rake is to blame. Incensed, Thea sets out to reproach the arrogant lord—only to find herself utterly swept away.

Gabriel is intrigued by the vivacity in Thea’s flashing gray eyes when she accuses him of fathering the orphan, even as he adamantly maintains his innocence. The brooch is one he remembers all too well, however, and Gabriel is determined to find the mother of the missing child. As the mystery around the baby deepens, Gabriel is continually thrown together with Thea—and finds himself growing more entranced every day.

Even with whispers of winter scandal swirling around them, they cannot deny the longing in their hearts. A longing which promises the best gift of all: a shelter from the storm . . . in each other’s arms.

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2011 4.25