Published by Avon on September 27, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
All Charlotte wanted was to avoid scandal. Instead, she was caught in the arms of a mysterious, handsome lord...and he's not letting go.
On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.
Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.
All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn't her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers' true identity, she'll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville--the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she's ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn't got a clue.
But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman's knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte's safety is the truth about his dark past.
Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte's feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who's sworn to never love?
Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove #5)
By Tessa Dare
I’d take the scandal.
I can honestly say there are not too many times that I find myself equally fond of the heroine as much as the hero. I admit, I pick and choose my reads based solely on the hero. He has to appeal to me in some way or form. So, I was excited to find that Do You Want to Start a Scandal has one of the best historical romance heroines I’ve read. Charlotte is quirky in a good way, smart and inquisitive, loyal and friendly and not overly vain. Don’t get me wrong, Piers is great, but Charlotte in some ways stole the show.
Do You Want to Start a Scandal starts with Charlotte leaving a ball and going to the study to give a gentleman a warning. This warning is a little unusual as she’s warning him to stay away from her. See, Charlotte’s mum is a shockingly devious matchmaker with her eye on this particular gentleman for her daughter. Not keen on the idea of a forced match or ruining her reputation even further (her mum’s previous escapades landed her in the mud), she states her reasons why he needs to stay clear.
Piers Brandon, Lord Granville, is shocked by this young woman. What shocks Piers, is Charlotte’s willingness to put her reputation at risk by approaching him, without introduction, in private. The fact that she’s strikingly pretty and quite humorous…and that he notices, is even more shocking. Piers is a man of control. His title of marquess and role as a spy for the government leaves little time to notice women unless it’s work related. When their private meeting is nearly compromised, Piers jumps into action.
What follows for Piers and Charlotte is a very awkward scene where another couple meets for an assignation. Afterwards, a discussion of whether Charlotte understood what was going on as they were hiding had me giggling. I loved her answer of – “I’m innocent, but not ignorant.” This was quite refreshing for me. It does become tedious when young lady’s in historical romance have no idea what happens between a man and a woman in the boudoir. Their discussion comes to an abrupt halt when thinking they’re in the clear but unfortunately are not. They are shocked when they are discovered by the eight-year-old son of the house.
What’s a decent Lord to do? Offer marriage of course.
Unfortunately, Charlotte isn’t jumping for joy (even though her mum is) because she had plans. She’s not ready to settle down and she definitely doesn’t want to marry unless it’s for love.
By mutual understanding, Piers and Charlotte agree to announce their betrothal at the end of the two-week house party. Charlotte comes up with the brilliant plan to try and clear her name to avoid the forced marriage.
I loved Do You Want to Start a Scandal. The characters were engaging, the storyline kept my interest from start to finish and the steamy scenes definitely had the heat I’ve come to expect from a Tessa Dare romance. I honestly couldn’t find fault with it. There was no time I was frustrated or bored and I definitely couldn’t turn the pages quick enough. I pretty much read the book from start to finish in one sitting.
If you’re looking for a funny, entertaining and riveting historical romance read, Do You Want to Start A Scandal may be perfect for you. Tessa Dare’s stories are all awesome. Even though I suggest you go back and read the rest of the books in this series, you could easily read this as a standalone. Yes, there are characters that pop up from other stories but I don’t think you’d be left scratching your head feeling like you’ve missed something.
I definitely recommend Do You Want to Start a Scandal.