Let’s jump back into my historical obsession as I present Scandal Takes the Stage by Eva Leigh, the second book in her Wicked Quills of London series. Please read on for my review and an excerpt, be sure to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a Print copy of FOREVER YOUR EARL and a $25 Gift Card to the eBook Retailer of choice.
The second book in Leigh’s Wicked Quills of London focuses on two secondary characters from Forever Your Earl, Cameron Chalton, Viscount Marwood and Maggie Delamere, a playwright and Eleanor’s best friend. And these two were SO guarded and fearful, so jaded, that getting to know them and connect to them was supremely difficult.
Cam has spent his entire life railing against convention: he has money and a title, and no interest in forgoing any pleasure available to him. His nights on the town have been increasingly frenetic and outrageous since Daniel’s involvement with Eleanor, highlighted with his frequent appearances in the Hawk’s Eye. What he is finding, however, is less patience and interest in the pursuits that intrigued him and those who participated. He’s bored, and searching for something to fill the holes in his life.
Maggie Delamere is a playwright, wholly independent and driven, she is unfailingly determined to forge her own life’s path, alone. While she genuinely is happy for Eleanor’s marriage to Daniel, she firmly believes that aristos, on the whole, are untrustworthy, deceptive and a dead end for anyone not of their class. She’s parlayed this deep seated anger into an archetype character familiar in all of her works: evil, callous, snobbish and perfidious men, used to dismissing and using people for their own purposes. Cam’s interest in her, and the lust he engenders are huge warnings to her, ones she runs from determined to ignore.
Because both characters in this story are so very guarded, getting to know them takes a bit of time: they don’t share easily with themselves or others. While it appeared, at first, that Cam’s interest was simply fueled by Maggie’s avoidance of him, he shares little pieces of his real admiration for her, and refuses to take no for an answer. While gifts and trinkets hold no interest for Maggie, he continues to find ways to show his esteem: his country house, his patronage of the theatre, his constant presence in the pit during rehearsals. Neither one sees that the attraction between them is more than simple lust: Maggie so consumed with the class differences and scandal, Cam so afraid that a marriage, a truly happy loving marriage like his parents, is unreachable. And how wrong they both are.
A wonderful follow-up to Forever Your Earl, with two characters that really can be frustrating and bullheaded, giving readers a chance to truly understand their concerns and fears as the layers peel slowly away. Beautifully developed, these two blossom before our eyes: the relationship is a delicate dance moving forward and back, almost without warning. While neither character is easy to know, by the end of the book you understand them, their fears and see just how truly in need of love, of each other, they both are. A slower pacing allows each character time to share themselves, in as much as they understand their own motivations, and gives readers several moments of “get it together already”. Invested in a happy ending for these two, readers will find the hard-won battles over personal fears for both Cam and Maggie feel plausible and possible, and are all the more worthwhile in the winning.
Title: Scandal Takes the Stage
Author: Eva Leigh
Series: The Wicked Quills of London #2
Also in this series: Forever Your Earl, Temptations of a Wallflower
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon
Published on: 27 October, 2015
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 53 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Eva Leigh’s smart and sexy Wicked Quills of London series continues, with a playwright and a Viscount . . . together they may create a scandal worthy of the stage, but can their love last after the final curtain falls?
Successful playwright Maggie Delamere has no interest in the flirtations of noblemen like Cameron, Viscount Marwood. She once paid dearly for a moment of weakness . . . and vows to rebuff the wildly persistent—and irritatingly handsome—scoundrel at every turn. But when pressure to deliver a new play hampers her creativity, an invitation to use his country estate as a writer’s retreat is too tempting to resist...
For years, Cam has admired Maggie’s brilliant work, and he can’t pass up the opportunity to discover if the beautiful, mysterious playwright is as passionate and clever as the words that flow from her quill. He’s never offered a lady his bed without being in it, but if it means loosening Maggie’s pen—and her inhibitions—he’ll do exactly that.
But soon Cam’s plans for seduction become a fight for Maggie’s heart. He’s more than the scandalous, carefree rake society believes him to be . . . and she’s the only woman who has ever noticed.
See the Wicked Quills of London 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.