Sunday, January 30, 2011

Once Upon a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle

This is the second in Marvelles Scandal series (love the cover!), though it is not necessary to read the first to enjoy this one. Marvelle poses this story as a 'darker Cinderella' but with the male lead as Cinderella, complete with evil stepmother. Our hero, Jonathan Pierce Thatcher, Viscount Remington, declares his love to Lady Victoria Jane Emerson at the tender age of nineteen. After a heated kiss before he must leave for Venice, Victoria agrees to carry his mothers ring and write to him. However, once Jonathan arrives in Venice to help prepare his beloved stepsister for marriage, he loses his small fortune and must accept the position that is equivalent to being a ladies maid, in more ways than just tending menial tasks for a countess.
Jonathan writes Victoria and tells her he can not return home for five years and to please not write him anymore as the count is a evil man and he fears for her safety. Victoria is very put out by this and continues to write him, but as he never replies, her heart slowly shatters. When the five years have passed, he returns home to find Victorias father dying and learns that he is to compete with three men to wed Victoria. She, naturally, wants nothing to do with him, but when she learns she must marry one of the men to secure her inheritance, the other men beg excuses and she is left with Jonathan.

The rest of the story unfolds with Jonathan and Victoria trying to forgive and rekindle their young love. When they return to Venice and a vile thing happens to Victoria, her true love for Jonathan pulls through and they work their way to a HEA. Marvelle has a way with taking unusual and thought provoking issues and working them into a very interesting story. While I did not love this one, it was once again intriguing and was a very fast read for me. If you love a rekindled love story that need to overcome a few obstacles with a bit of a darker undertone, this is a great book for you. 3 1/2 stars

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