The last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while tracking his sworn enemy is the delectable, mysterious Kate. This beautiful servant girl rouses a longing the battle-scarred ex-solider had never hoped to feel again. But when she turns out to be the sister of the man he seeks, he's convinced he's been betrayed.
Kate knows her duty is to her family, yet how can she ignore Garrett's powerful pull on her heart? Or the heady temptation of his stolen – and sizzling -- kisses? Scandal has followed the duke since the war. Now the greatest shock of all is on its way – the one that can separate Garrett and Kate Forever.
From the opening paragraphs, I immediately knew I was in for a treat with A Touch of Scandal. Who wouldn't be excited about a Historical Romance with this as the second paragraph...?
Taking a deep breath, she forcefully slowed her step, squared her shoulders, and lowered her eyes. She was simply a servant, finished with her duties for the day, ready to take the 3 mile walk home. Not a flustered woman rushing out to a secret secluded spot to watch a strange man – no a god, more like – bathe in the nude.
Loving the role reversal of the heroine watching the hero bathe in the nude and being the first to harbor lust was a pleasant surprise and a fun way to start this book. What follows is a well-plotted and lushly written romance I can honestly highly recommend.
As the reader, I felt equally pulled into the story from both the hero and heroine's perspective and understood their motivations and conflicts. It's not every book that I want to equally follow both the main characters and didn't have any issues with either of them. In fact, I thought Kate and Garrett were pitch perfect and the story made it so you never waivered in believing them to be made for each other.
The one part of the book that I couldn't get behind was the character of Kate's mother. You find out very early in the story that Kate's mother does not show love toward her and that I didn't have an issue with. It worked perfectly with the story. The issue I had was with the character of the mother at the end of the story. I'm very against spoilers of any kind – even small ones – so I won't say much here except that the ending did not match what this reader had hoped would happen with the mother's part of the story.
I wasn't alone in this thinking. A friend who also read the book felt the same way and we spent some time discussing the mother figure. It just didn't seem to fulfill what the reader would have wanted or expected at the end of this story for the mother. It almost felt like this was not the way Jennifer originally intended for the mother, but was somehow changed along the editing process. Now, I don't know that for sure but it felt slightly disjointed to me. It was the only thing I found out of place in the entire book.
Besides the mother and her part of the ending, this was an absolutely perfect historical romance for me. You'll find no clichéd masque balls or members of the ton. What you will find is a story full of heart, expertly plotted, and with a hero and heroine you'll find equally lovable.