Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scandal And The Duchess (Highland Pleasures #6.5) by Jennifer Ashley

Scandal follows Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown, wherever she goes. It's never her fault - honor bright - but newspapers love to write about the young woman from Scotland, and the much older duke she married, who died on their honeymoon. The duke left her with a large widow's portion, now contested by his younger brother, who kicks Rose out of the estate's dower house and uses it to kennel his dogs.

Rose does *not* need to be found with a large, handsome Scot passed out at her feet, fueling gossips and giving her brother-in-law more ammunition. The Scot is Steven McBride - a decorated soldier who is notorious for heavy gambling and womanizing during his leave time. Steven is happy to open his eyes and find the beautiful woman standing over him, and happy to help spirit her away. But the journalists get wind and start a campaign to couple Rose with the scandalous Steven McBride.

Type: Historical Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon | All Romance | Goodreads

Oh that was lovely! I adore Ashley's Shifters Unbound series but had yet to make it to her historicals so Scandal and the Duchess was my first taste of her Highlanders and oh my yum!
"Are you certain you wish to be hampered by a fiancee?"

Steven's look softened, as it had earlier in his bedroom, the hard man becoming a gentle one. "No man could be hampered by you, Rose."

Yes. I was totally smitten with Steven who was home on leave to pay his respects to one of his men's widows--he's a Captain--and literally stumbles into a different widow while shoring up his courage and getting his drunk on. Hrm. Yes. It was quite the first meet and oh so scandalous since Rose was being followed by the media after her husband passed away and her stepson basically threw her out and now here she is getting felt up by a random Scot on the streets of London. ::snort::

These two were fantastic together. They ended up pretending to be engaged to stymie the media and it was so fun watching them quickly fall. They've both been lonely and needed someone just for them. They're each very caring people and always giving everything they have to others. They were just nice people and damn they were scorching hot too! There's some good loving and some fabulous chemistry between them as they help solve each others problems--keeping Steven offlimits to other women and making sure Rose gets the inheritance her first husband left her and that her stepson is trying to deny her. There's a slight mystery or rather puzzle left by her husband that they have to solve which was rather entertaining.

Scandal and the Duchess was a very quick read but it was so fun and sexy too! And very satisfying as well. Not an easy feat for a novella but Ashley did a fine job as always. I'm definitely hooked and can't wait to go back and read the rest of the series. The cameos from previous couples seriously caught my interest.

More Ashley on herding cats!

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