A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Friday, February 13, 2009

SCANDAL by Carolyn Jewel

Scandal by Carolyn Jewel

Imagine my surprise as I reached the end of this book to realize that I met Ms. Jewel last year at RWA, not at a book signing. Oh no. I met her in the Lobby of the hotel. It's so odd to see an author's picture and know you had a conversation with them. I did wonder a time or two while reading this if Ms. Jewel had already written it, was writing it or editing it during RWA.

My daydreams aside, I've finished the book. I'm sitting here looking at the cover, touching it and reabsorbing it into my psyche.

First thoughts? Good book. You should read it. How's that for a review?

SCANDAL is character driven, deeply so. It is also a gentle book, which I say with some reluctance because I don't want anyone to misinterpret what I mean by that. Sometimes when I want to read something crisp and quick or *ahem* sexy, if 'gentle' is used to describe it I often take it to mean the book is dull or sweet. While I've read books that I would characterize as sweet, I don't generally go chasing down the book aisles to find them.

That is not what I mean by 'gentle' when describing this book. I'm really telling you what the book isn't. It is not an action packed book. It's not loud or particularly colorful. It manages to be quiet, but stirring. You feel this book as you read it. At least I did, quite a lot.

The former rake, the Earl of Banallt shows up at the home of Sophie Evans, who is widowed and living with her brother. Sophie and Banallt were previously acquainted through Banallt's friendship with Sophie's dissolute husband.

Is it possible for a rake to truly reform? Banallt's previous behaviors are not sugar coated or characterized in such a way that one understands or empathizes about why he was such a wastrel. While the book does provide his back story it doesn't apologize for what he did in the past. He was unrepentant and even boastful of his vices.

Is it possible for a disillusioned widow to trust and love again? A young and impressionable Sophie was swept off her feet and into a scandalous marriage at a very young age. Now only in her twenties she is nonetheless convinced she will live out her days a widow.

Ms. Jewel does a wonderful job of making you 'feel' these characters. While reading it I found myself immersed in the thoughts and conflicts of the characters. I love when that happens. The tension is carefully built and so taut and teeming between Sophie and Banallt that I could hardly take a deep breath a couple of times.

My conclusion? This is a wonderful story. The language and dialogue have a texture of the time period which made the story all the richer for it. If you like Regency period historicals, you'll like this one.

My Grade = B+

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Blogger nath said...

Sounds great :D I think I might buy it later today :) thanks for the review, Rosie!

6:26 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Nath, I totally bought this one due to online buzz and am so glad I did. Now to look for her back list because, you know, I hardly have anything to read. Heehehee.

6:35 AM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

I was late arriving to the So. Cal. blogger get-together, so when I finally made it to Borders I discovered the rest of y'all had already cleaned out their stock of Scandal. Damn you! LOL

I haven't had a chance to get to my local Borders yet. Hopefully today....

8:47 AM PST  
Blogger Tracy said...

Sorry Wendy, I was one of the culprits who bought it. I'm a little more that halfway through and I really like it so far. Gentle is a perfect word Rosie. Very stirring.

11:00 AM PST  
Blogger Renee said...

Still waiting for the library copy, dang it. I also tracked it down because of the online buzz.

Sounds like it's worth the wait, tho'. :-)

I worry when a book is talked up so much, that my expectations might be too high, but it sounds like it's living up to them. Thanks for the review, Rosie!

12:26 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendala, I was fortunate to be standing next to Nikki when she nabbed her copy and said, "oh I want one of those!" she handed me the last one. Man, am I glad I got it.

BTW, do you remember when Carrie Lofty (I think it was she) that introduced us to Carolyn Jewel in the lobby? How cool is that?

Tracy! Just been looking at the rain and snow this evening and thinking our weather last weekend wasn't so bad. Let's talk when you finish the book. K?

Renee, I worry about too high expectations all the time too. Don't think of this one so much as fabu-fantastic you've never read anything like it before. This is just a book you curl up with and enjoy because it's well written. Hope that helps.

6:03 PM PST  
Blogger Lori said...

Oooh, I can't wait to start it! I think as soon as I finish Kill For Me, I'll be in the mood for a gentle book, LOL

6:24 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Lori, it's a sweetheart of a book and with the crummy weather in SoCal, a good one to curl up with.

6:37 PM PST  
Blogger sula said...

oh wait, I think I vaguely recall meeting her with Carrie at RWA. If it's the same person I'm thinking of....damn, my brain is fuzzy.

Anyways, this looks like a book I would enjoy. When I have some mad money, I shall try to buy it. Or hope that my library will get it (unlikely).

6:42 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

sula, Carrie Lofty was promoting her new release,WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS a romance with Will Scarlet of Robin Hood lore. Anyway, I think Carolyn Jewel was with her. Ummm...I think.

Send me your address wench. RnG1180@aol.com.

6:49 PM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

I can't remember meeting her with Carrie - but I know for a fact I met her with Megan Frampton.....

6:55 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

SL, this is why you wear a cape my oh, so special savant friend. Yes! It was Megan Frampton. They were so nice weren't they? I'm so glad I read this book.

7:00 PM PST  

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