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.


  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)

  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!

  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.