Title: A Winter Scandal*
Author: Candace Camp
Series: Legend of St. Dwynwen Series #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: paperback, e-book
Date/Year: October 25, 2011
Reviewed by: ElaineReads
*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review,
Summary from the publisher:
When plain and proper Thea Bainbridge stumbles upon a baby in the manger of her church’s nativity, she is understandably shocked. Discovering a brooch bearing the insignia of Gabriel, Lord Morecombe, hidden among the child’s clothing, she is certain the dissolute rake is to blame. Incensed, Thea sets out to reproach the arrogant lord—only to find herself utterly swept away.
Gabriel is intrigued by the vivacity in Thea’s flashing gray eyes when she accuses him of fathering the orphan, even as he adamantly maintains his innocence. The brooch is one he remembers all too well, however, and Gabriel is determined to find the mother of the missing child. As the mystery around the baby deepens, Gabriel is continually thrown together with Thea—and finds himself growing more entranced every day.
Even with whispers of winter scandal swirling around them, they cannot deny the longing in their hearts. A longing which promises the best gift of all: a shelter from the storm . . . in each other’s arms.
Thea is the spinster sister of the local vicar. She is content with her life and knows that she will never have a family of her own. She is very conscious that her behavior must be above reproach because it will reflect on her brother. Her one secret is the kiss she received at a party when she was quite young.
Gabriel, Lord Morecombe, has recently purchased a manor house in the neighborhood and has invited some of his male friends to visit. The local people are scandalized by the “goings on” at the house and will not allow any of their daughters to work there. The gentlemen are however invited to the squires party because, after all, they are nobility and he has several daughters to marry off.
Needless to say, Thea is very disapproving and Gabriel hardly notices her. It is certainly not a case of love at first sight.
A few days later, Thea discovers an infant in the church and the only identifying item is a brooch with the Morecombe seal engraved on it. She storms to the manor house with the baby and confronts Gabriel with his misdeeds.
Gabriel certainly notices her now.
I am partial to any romance set in Regency England because it is one of my favorite genres. I have read dozens if not hundreds of Regency Romances and I am always looking for another author to add to my autobuy list. Candace Camp has definitely been added to that list.
Thea is the more well-developed character which is common in romances as most of them are written from the female’s point of few. We do get to see that Gabriel’s life is not just one party after another. He has had tragedies in his life that Thea has been spared.
My only “problem” with the book is that Thea seemed quick to risk her reputation for Gabriel and the baby after years of behavior beyond reproach. Of course, there wouldn’t have been much of a book otherwise.
I thought I had the bad guy figured out well before the end of the book. The author threw in a twist, however, that totally surprised me. It fit well within the story and I feel that I should have seen it coming.
The author did a wonderful job of showing how Thea’s and Gabriel’s feelings for each other develop. After all, sometimes it takes more than the first sight for love.
Overall: 4 stars
Sensuality level: 3