Today, author Pamela Gibson is guesting. She’s here to talk about her latest release Scandal’s Redemption, book five in the Scandal series, a historical romance. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
I confess. I’ve never learned to fish. I’ve been around boats most of my life and I’ve known some wildly enthusiastic fishermen and women, but the sport never enticed me to bait a hook and throw in a line.
My heroine in Scandal’s Redemption loves to fish. She was taught by the hero when they were teens, sneaking off while Lady Jocelyn’s elderly governess napped, and when they began to renew their friendship, fishing plays an important part. So, was fishing a “thing” for ladies during the Regency period?
My research says it most likely was not, although there are paintings showing women in small boats fishing right along with gentlemen, holding their poles and angles (hooks). I would guess these might not have been upper-class women, but who knows? The sport of fishing was detailed in a book printed as early as 1653 called The Compleat Angler by Isaak Walton. It is still in print today.
In my book Lady Jocelyn is fishing for something else—and the hero just might be reeled in.
Blurb: Lady Jocelyn Stafford desperately needs a husband to repair her tarnished reputation. Her obvious choice is her neighbor James, a man who once fancied her. If only she hadn’t cruelly rejected his attentions when she found herself wooed by a scandalous rake with a better title.
James Margrave, Earl of Seaton, must have an heir to keep his estate from falling into the hands of his cousin, which means he has to marry. Lady Jocelyn, who still beguiles him, would be perfect if only he could forget old slights. Instead, James asks Jocelyn to help him find a suitable wife, a task she agrees to perform, hoping to redeem herself in his eyes.
When a series of attacks put James’s life in danger, an immediate marriage becomes critical. Jocelyn is willing and available. But can he trust a woman who once broke his heart and is it fair to wed her when she might become the next victim?
**DON’T MISS THE REST OF THE SCANDAL SERIES**
He didn’t kiss her. Not at first. He stroked her cheek with his knuckles, staring into her eyes as if he could discover all her secrets there. His palm opened and moved down to the back of her neck, raising goose bumps. When he traced the rise of her breasts above her neckline with his forefinger—his gaze never leaving hers—she tingled all the way to her toes.
Parting her lips slightly, she inched so close she imagined his mouth on hers, even though they weren’t touching. When his lips did settle over hers, she closed her eyes and pressed her body against his. The hard ridge of his erection nudged her core, bringing a delicious ache that swept over her until she was a maelstrom of need. She wanted his lips on her face, her neck, her breasts. She wanted to feel his skin beneath her palms, not the fabric of his coat.
But they were in a formal receiving room with the door open, fully clothed, close to a night footman stationed in the hall.
Footsteps echoed down the hall. They jumped apart at the same time, and Jocelyn stifled nervous laughter behind her palm.
James grinned. “I won’t say I’m sorry. I thoroughly enjoyed that kiss and look forward to more.” His eyes danced with mischief. “But not in such a public place.”
“At least Roberts wasn’t sitting in the corner with her embroidery.”
He chuckled, enfolded her once again in his arms, and rested his chin on the top of her head, as if reluctant to let her go. “I am happy we aren’t waiting until summer to be wed. I might try to persuade you to anticipate the wedding night otherwise.”
She laughed against his shoulder, still clinging to him. His observation did not make her blush. She was beyond maidenly embarrassment. She wanted him. Her body was desperate for him. When had she become so wanton?
Reluctantly, she shifted back to gaze at his face, not wanting to miss a single expression. “Perhaps you should consider a special license.”
He tilted his head in amusement. “Your mother will be disappointed because we are not going to have a big London wedding. She would be devastated if our wedding was a simple service in front of our vicar. As it is, the chapel at the castle is quite a comedown from St. George’s.”
“You’re right. I suppose I shall have to tamp down my ardor and comport myself with patience and dignity.”
Oh, if only she could.
The blurb grabbed me, and I always enjoy a good story about redemption. Plus, there’s a mystery to solve—who wants the Earl of Seaton dead?
James Margrave, the Earl of Seaton, a doctor in the war, and now home, must marry after the death of his brother, and he also does not want his irresponsible cousin to inherit the title. I must say I enjoyed the character of James. He suffers from PTSD after what he saw in the war, but there is quiet strength to him. Being a doctor, he is not a man of violence or murder. He is a man of peace, a lover of books. Having such a different type of hero to read about was a refreshing change, I must say.
As for Lady Jocelyn Stafford, her immaturity caused her to become involved in a terrible scandal with the wrong kind of man for her, even if he is a duke. At the beginning of the novel, Jocelyn is all about appearances. I wouldn’t call her shallow. She’s simply a young woman enjoying her season and wanting excitement, like most young women, hence her picking the wrong man over someone who truly cares about her.
Jocelyn has a strong character arc of redemption to make and I enjoyed reading about her as she slowly changes and matures. The same could be said for James, who begins to find his own strength to get what he wants, instead of stepping aside and moping about his decision after the fact.
There is even a secondary romance happening between Matilda (Jocelyn’s maid) and Baird (James’ manservant).
Because this is a series, there were too many scenes involving Jocelyn’s sister and the sister’s husband from a previous book (I’m assuming). I know some readers enjoy seeing how the previous couple are fairing in the next novel, but for me, I’m all about the main characters and want the novel centred on them with no interruptions, unless secondary characters are necessary for the plot.
Still, it’s a wonderful read that I enjoyed. The only disappointment was the big mystery for me. I wish the author would’ve put more effort into coming up with something better, the same for the ending that every reader will see coming.
The writing is strong. The descriptions aren’t overdone and give the readers enough to immerse themselves in the Regency time period. As for the dialogue, the author excels here. Well done.
The novel does move at a slow pace from time to time, while other times the author keeps readers straight on the plot.
This is a sweet and romantic romance I recommend. While the hero and heroine aren’t leaping off the page with sizzling chemistry, they share a wonderful friendship that makes the reader feel confident these two are meant for each other.
Author of eight books on California history and eighteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who lives in the Nevada desert. Having spent the last few years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, the Rescue Cat. She loves dry red wine, all kinds of chocolate, old Jimmy Buffet sailing songs, and curling up with a good book.
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