Love in the Time of Scandal: Scandalous # 3 by Caroline Linden

Love in the Time of Scandal: Scandalous # 3 by Caroline Linden

Welcome Caroline Linden to the blog today with her new release,  the third novel of the Scandalous historic romance series.  Please read on for an excerpt, don’t forget to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought about the book and be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win a Grand prize: A journal to keep track of all your own scandals, plus print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, and IT TAKES A SCANDAL. Or for the Runner Up: print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, and IT TAKES A SCANDAL.

Love in the Time of Scandal

The second I’ve read in this series, I love Caroline Linden’s pacing: allowing the characters to reveal themselves and their intentions incrementally, and building their connections and the plot with careful pieces of action and insight.

In Love in the Time of Scandal, our focus is brought to Penelope and Benedict: acquaintances of long standing, and well-suited to one another but separated due to changes in circumstances and some bad behaviors from Benedict.  A failed courting of Penelope’s sister fell apart when she married his former best friend, and hard feelings still exist on Penelope’s behalf.

Benedict is in need of a bride with a healthy dowry: he wants to escape his father’s overbearing and cruel nature and he sees this as his only option.  Penelope is well provided for, but isn’t particularly interested in Benedict: in fact she loathes the man, and when her friend Frances mentions a man courting her, Penelope is full of advice about guarding oneself from fortune hunters. Until she realizes that Frances may be falling for Benedict, and that just won’t do. Outspoken and bold, Penelope isn’t worried overmuch about her future, but that will change.

Scandals run deep here, and some answers are forthcoming, but Benedict and Penelope are thrown together in a scandal when he is consoling her after a fortuitous impulse to follow her, interrupting a vicious attack and rape. As was the way of things, Penelope bears the brunt of the scandalous whispers, and Benedict, being a man of his day, feels it his duty to offer for her hand. And we are off and running.

The two are perfectly suited in temperament and personality: neither is slow to respond with a quip or wisecrack, both are deeply caring people, and both have the wrong end of the stick in their beliefs about each other.  While they dance about their attraction on the way to a happy ending, the backstory of Benedict’s life with his father and the resulting guilt that has driven many of his actions since provide an understanding of his actions, fears and motivations.

Bit by bit Linden weaves the tale that mixes the lives and fortunes of Penelope and Benedict into a solid form, with a few knots and holes that leave room for more action, adventure and love to come.  Working well as a standalone story, you’ll want to read the earlier books in this series to meet all of the wonderful characters that are introduced in the Scandals series.

Love in the Time of Scandal: Scandalous # 3 by Caroline Linden

Title: Love in the Time of Scandal
Author: Caroline Linden
Series: Scandalous #3
Also in this series: Six Degrees of Scandal
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon
ISBN: 0062244922
Published on: 26 May, 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 25 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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The third book in a deliciously sexy series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book--Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era-- has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.

Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can’t forget how he abandoned a friend in need-nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He’s the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn’t feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel…

Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. But, though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father’s control, spirited Penelope just doesn’t suit his plans for a model marriage -- until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope’s. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful…beguiling…and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?

See the Scandalous Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt


For a tense moment they seemed frozen there, Penelope biting her tongue, Frances looking troubled, and Atherton staring at her with a strange intensity. He shook it off first. “Miss Lockwood, I hope you’ve saved me a dance.”

Frances’s smile returned, although a little less brilliantly than before. “Of course, my lord. I am free the next two.”

“Excellent.” He gazed warmly at her, and Frances seemed to sway on her feet.

Penelope had to work hard to keep from rolling her eyes. How could she escape this? Thankfully she caught sight of a familiar face across the room, causing her to smile widely in relief. “You must excuse me, I see a dear friend just arriving. Miss Lockwood, Lord Atherton.” She bobbed a quick farewell and all but ran across the room.

Olivia Townsend was one of Penelope’s favorite people in the world. She was only a few years older than Abigail, and had been like an older sister to the two Weston girls for as long as Penelope could remember. Olivia’s family had lived near the Westons and all four children had been fast friends. But while Penelope’s family had prospered—greatly—since then, Oliva’s had not. At a fairly young age, she’d made a hasty marriage of dubious happiness to a charming but feckless fellow, Henry Townsend, who managed to run through his modest fortune with shocking speed before his death a few years ago. Since then, Olivia had lived very modestly. It was a surprise to see her here tonight, in fact, as she didn’t often attend balls.


Her friend was scanning the room and didn’t seem to have noticed her approach; she jumped at Penelope’s exclamation. “Oh,” she said in a constricted voice. “You startled me.”

She blinked. “I can see that. Whom were you expecting, an ogre?”

For a moment Olivia’s face froze, as if she had in fact been on guard, but then she smiled ruefully. With a shake of her head, she turned her back to the room and squeezed Penelope’s hand. “Forgive me; I was woolgathering. Are you enjoying the ball?”

“Well enough.” Penelope peered closely at her. “What’s wrong? You looked worried.”

Olivia waved one hand. “It was nothing. How kind of you to leave your friends and join me.”

Penelope barely kept back her snort. “I don’t know how I could have stayed. You’ll never guess who Miss Lockwood’s new suitor is.”


“Lord Atherton,” whispered Penelope, after a cautious glance backward. She’d already let her temper get the better of her once tonight, and wouldn’t put it past him to overhear every slighting word she spoke about him.

Olivia looked surprised. “Atherton? The gentleman who courted—?”

“The same,” said Penelope grimly. “And my sister felt so cruel to turn him down! I shall have to write to her at once and assure her that, far from suffering a malaise, he’s found a younger, sillier girl to marry.”

“Now, Pen, you don’t know that. He may be deeply attached to her.”

She couldn’t stop the snort this time. “She is certainly attached to him. He’s the perfect man, in her telling. I don’t know how I could have held my composure if I’d known who she was talking about. He sits and listens to her practice the pianoforte—can you imagine?”

“Perhaps he enjoys it.” Penelope widened her eyes in patent disbelief. “Perhaps he’s so smitten with her, he would be content just to sit and gaze at her,” Olivia added. “It could happen.”

“Huh.” Penelope made a face. Just the thought of Lord Atherton sitting and staring at her was enough to make her skin prickle.

“Well, it’s Miss Lockwood’s cross to bear,” said Olivia practically.

“But if he marries her, I’ll have to see him from time to time.” Frances might be young and naïve, but she was endearing all the same, and Penelope did like her.

Olivia laughed and tucked Penelope’s arm through hers. “Perhaps she’ll become disenchanted and change her mind about him.”

She caught sight of Lord Atherton, leading Frances about the floor in a quadrille. Frances was fairly radiating adoration as she gazed up at him. It took Penelope some effort to quell the urge to run over and warn Frances not to fall for his very handsome smile, or athletic figure, or disgustingly perfect face. “For her sake as well as mine,” she grumbled, “I hope so.”




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About Caroline Linden

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one.

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