Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle

Title: Prelude to a Scandal
Author: Delilah Marvelle

Genre: Fiction (Historical/Romance)

Love/Hate?: Like -- a strong like.
Rating: 4/5
Did I finish?: Yes!

One-sentence summary: Naturalist's daughter marries for love but finds husband is more of a handful than anticipated.

Why did I get this book?: The set-up intrigued me!
Source: NetGalley

Do I like the cover?: Yes -- has a romance novel-y feel without being overly lurid.

First line from book: Lady Justine Fedora Palmer knew all too well that her dear, dear father, the sixth Earl of Marwood, had always been an intelligent and upstanding, moral citizen.

Did... I laugh a lot?: YES.  In a good way.  A great way.  This book is snappy and funny, perfect weekend reading.

Am... I totally over the predatory lesbian preying on married straight women?: YES.  It seemed especially out of left field in this book.

Did... I find the sex sexy?: YES, although there wasn't a ton but what occurred was in character and actually rather plot-necessary!

Review: As I said in my last Teaser Tuesday, this is an unusual pick for me -- I'm not a regular romance novel reader.  But I was really intrigued by the premise -- sexual addiction! -- and I wanted to see how it would shake out.   There was the fantasy element I was looking for (becoming a duchess! dreamy hot hubby!) but at the same time, everyone wasn't sort of preternaturally perfect or charming or whatever.  I rather liked our heroine, Justine -- she was feisty and fiery and all that but considering her upbringing, it felt real and grounded.

Overall, I wasn't disappointed; my big quibble was that the otherwise reasonable heroine allowed herself to get separated from her otherwise lovely husband on a rather flimsy premise.  Marvelle's writing style is straight-forward and very funny and I'm looking forward to the second book in the Scandal series -- this time, she refashions Cinderella with the hero as the penniless romantic.

ETA: Despite my quip above about the predatory lesbian, I wanted to add I actually found this book to be remarkably queer-friendly.  Refreshingly so.  And the sapphic twist actually made sense in the context of the character -- I just wish it had been developed a little more.  The book's overarching theme of sexual obsession makes the sapphic twist quite appropriate and intriguing -- historically homosexuality has been seen as a kind of obsession -- but it's also not a huge part of the plot.  I don't want to overemphasize it at the expense of the rest of the story.  But I also wanted to be fair about my gripe since I went there.

3 comments:

  1. Predatory lesbian preying on married women..ok, I must say that I have not come across that in Hr before..and no sex addicts either (but then aren't they all)

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  2. Blodeuedd -- the sex addict thing was kind of cool -- the author basically wondered if all these rakes wandering around maybe had a problem. That I liked.

    But this was the third book I've read this year that had a lesbian aggressively pursuing a married straight woman when said straight woman made no indication of her interest. Worse, these predatory lesbians weren't the villains!

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  3. interesting twist. have you watched Lost in Austen? if not, you must. you may get a kick out of how Caroline Bingley is present.

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