Six Degrees of Scandal: Scandalous #4 by Caroline Linden with Giveaway

Six Degrees of Scandal: Scandalous #4 by Caroline Linden with Giveaway

The fourth book in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series is available now! I’ve read earlier titles in this series and enjoyed them, and this is no different. Please read on for my review and excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where a US winner will receive a Scandalous Series Print Bundle (Bks 1-3). But first,

Six Degrees of Scandal

I’ve read (now) three of the six books (two novellas, 4 full length) in this series, and the others await me on that ever-growing to be read list. In Six Degrees of Scandal, Linden manages to neatly wrap up the series with moments to visit previous characters and never once loses the plot or interest in the current coupling of Olivia and James.  When you add in a mystery and threats all due to a ‘hidden treasure’, as our couple comes face to face with the lingering effects of decisions made with the arrogance and innocence of youth, this story just grips your attention and demands to be read.

James and Olivia have been tied to one another for years, even though their youthful relationship ended rather tragically for both.  Neither is holding a grudge, both look on that time with fondness, if in a bittersweet way, but both are guarded with regards to love.  Olivia is now widowed, and struggling to discover what her late husband had done, unbeknownst to her, that would leave her in the midst of such danger.  James, brother to Abagail and Penelope (books 2 & 3) knows he let Olivia down in many ways years ago, and now is determined to not allow that to happen again. Determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past, both characters are faced with their own mistakes from years ago: naiveté, a touch of youthful arrogance, overly romanticized dreams and, in James’ case, a strong streak of invincibility. Their intentions toward one another and redeeming the past failures, discounting the potential for a relationship as both claim to not be interested, is the crux of their interactions, and there are some wonderful moments that demonstrate their growth as the barriers between them start to crack and true feelings and regard shows.

And then, we have the mystery (and the unveiling) of the villain, one that has played each of our couples like a fiddle: yes they always seem to emerge out of the tunnel with a new lease on life, and new love and hope BUT the threat is still there, now focused on Olivia’s knowledge to claim the final prize.  Twists and clues dropped like crumbs from Linden’s hand, and while I always had a clue about the mastermind behind the threats, I never would have arrived at the correct answer, and no – I won’t share.  I need to set aside a day to start from the beginning of the series and catch up on what I missed, although this did read alone quite neatly, and shouldn’t pose much difficulty for readers unfamiliar with earlier installments.

Six Degrees of Scandal: Scandalous #4 by Caroline Linden with Giveaway

Title: Six Degrees of Scandal
Author: Caroline Linden
Series: Scandalous #4
Also in this series: Love in the Time of Scandal
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon
ISBN: 0062389785
Published on: 29 March 2016
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 7 Hours
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a desperate man in search of a lost treasure, which she doesn’t have, 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 this time, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different this time.

James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and he will not do it again. Fortunately, his unusual life has equipped him well to outsmart the villain chasing Olivia. Unfortunately, being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart…even those that should stay hidden forever.

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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.

 

Header - Excerpt - Tasty

A tapping beside her broke into her thoughts. She glanced out the window and saw the boy who had lured her into trouble, grinning as he crouched out of sight next to the carriage. “Do you walk in the woods?” he whispered.

Alarmed, she shook her head, even though she did walk in the woods every chance she got. Telling him that would only cause her more trouble.

Disappointment flickered over his face. “Oh well.” He stepped back. “Good-bye, then.” He walked back to his family. Olivia eyed them curiously. The father was tall and lean, and his wife was very pretty, with a gloriously beautiful gown. Two girls about Daphne’s age stood beside her, although the blond girl was fidgeting in boredom and ran up to her brother as he approached them. He laughed at whatever she said, the carefree sound floating back to Olivia’s ears. Neither of his parents reproved him for laughing on Sunday.

The Herbert coachman finally snapped his whip and set the horses in motion. Olivia watched the Westons as the coach drove away. Upstarts they might be, but they looked like happy ones.

She had almost forgotten the impudent boy several days later, when she finished her lessons and was able to slip out of the house. Mother wouldn’t approve, but Mother had gone into town to the dressmaker, and Miss Willets, the governess, was fond of sneaking a glass of sherry and having an afternoon nap when Mother was away. This suited the girls quite well. Daphne retreated to the nursery with her dolls, where she fashioned new dresses for them out of scraps of Mother’s discarded gowns, and Olivia stole a book from the library and headed for the woods. Mother said Shakespeare was vulgar and too exciting for ladies, which made Olivia eager to read his plays, even though she was forced to hide away to do so.

There was a quiet little glen not too far from Kellan Hall, the Herbert home, with a fallen tree and enough sun to be pleasant without being hot. Settled on the tree, with her feet propped on a nearby stone, Olivia had just reached the magnificent scene where Romeo revealed himself to Juliet and professed his love in words that would rend the heart of any sentient being . . . when someone spoke behind her.

“I thought you didn’t walk in the woods.”

She gave a little scream and dropped her book. “You—you,” she spluttered. “I am not walking!” It was a stupid thing to say, but he had interrupted at a very inopportune moment. Would Juliet return Romeo’s love?

“Oh, did you come into the woods by carriage?” He jumped over the tree trunk and scooped up the book. “Romeo, eh? Do you like it?”

She glared at him and reached for the book. “Yes.”

He handed it back. “It wasn’t one of my favorites. My sisters wanted to act it out, but Penelope kept giggling when she was supposed to be dying.”

Olivia’s eyes widened. Dying? Which character died? She hoped it wasn’t Juliet. “Don’t tell me any more!”

“I liked that Henry V, though,” he went on. “Smashing good battle. I’m James, by the way. James Weston.”

She gave him a reproachful look. It wasn’t proper for a gentleman to introduce himself to a lady, and he ought to know that, even if he wasn’t a gentleman. “I know.”

He grinned. In the sunlight his brown hair had an auburn hue, and his eyes were sharp and lively. He couldn’t be much more than thirteen or fourteen, but he was already tall in Olivia’s view. “And you’re Miss Olivia Herbert of Kellan Hall.”

“Yes.” She lowered her gaze to her book, hoping he would go away.

“So,” he said after a moment, “if you only walk in the woods to find a place to read, you must know about the waterfall.”

Her eyes stopped taking in the words on the page. “Waterfall?” she asked, intrigued in spite of herself.

He tilted his head and gave her a sly smile. “I can show you.”

Slowly she closed the book. “Is it far?”

“No.”

And before she knew it, she was following him along a winding track through the trees, to where a small stream splashed over a fall of rocks. It was no taller than Olivia herself, but it brought a smile to her face. She’d lived at Kellan Hall all her life and never discovered it.

 

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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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