05 July 2012

ARC Review: Carrie Lofty - A Little More Scandal

Format: ebook, 80 pages
Published: May 29th 2012 by Pocket Books
ISBN: 1451673655 (ISBN13: 9781451673654)
Series: The Christies #1.5
Era: Victorian
Characters: Catrin Jones, William Christie.
Received eARC for review.

Summary (author website):
Welsh minister's daughter Catrin Jones is the talk of Britain. Many women served as nurses in the Crimean War, skirting the edge of propriety to tend lonely soldiers' wounds, but only Catrin survived a shipwreck on her return voyage. Suddenly, like a circus curiosity, everyone wants a glimpse of the scandalous Miss Jones. Scarred, opinionated, and adjusting to a rush of fame so very different from far-away battlefields, she's not the sort of woman Scottish robber baron William Christie aspires to marry.

Following a decade of brilliant business maneuvers, William is on the verge of securing a key railroad contract. But his aristocratic wife's death during childbirth meant the loss of considerable influence. Few in Society have forgiven his up-from-the-gutters youth. With respectability, wealth, and his two-year-old son finally his to claim, William must decide whether an extraordinary nurse is worth embracing just a little more scandal....

For some reason when I find out a story is novella length I have this ‘hhhmmmm’ reaction. Even though the blurb intrigues me it is the knowledge that I crave a certain emotional, character and story depth that makes me careful about reading a novella. But then every now and then I come across a novella that I can’t ignore and has to be read. Only to be utterly surprised when I discover that it’s executed with such fantastic storytelling and character depth that I instantly fall in love. This is what happened with A Little More Scandal. An eighty plus page long, character-driven story and I almost OD-ed on romance.

William Christie is a self-made man battling his inner demons in the world of Victorian society. He is a driven man with a plan to buy a newspaper and he needs Miss Catrin Jones to accomplish that. He will seduce her and she will reveal all her deepest and darkest secrets to him, one in particular! William has it all planned but never took in to account the woman Catrin is. One who survived a horrendous ordeal and is now dealing with the sharks of the society. The moment they meet however a sensual synergy is created that made my spine tingle in anticipation.

I really liked the introduction of both characters. I was curious to the secret, to their backstories but the moment William and Catrin meet the story didn’t merely held my attention, I was sucked in to the scenes, absorbing every small nuance going on between this man and woman. The verbal sparring was an exhilirating foreplay to the emotional deepening of their attraction. The sensuality…omg, the sensuality is so good. The fact that its incorporated in the prelude of a mere kiss and then the kiss itself, I had to fan myself a time or two! How that erotic anticipation is build and then crescents on an office desk. My blood pressure went through the roof! Carrie Lofty not only gave me two wonderfully damaged characters but a sexiness I can’t get enough of!

The conflict revolved around a secret and Carrie Lofty gradually rises the anticipation of the reader when and where the confrontation would take place. However, when the revealing moment came, while it was heart rendering, wasn’t all that dramatic. I loved what the secret brought to the story; namely the reason for William and Catrin to meet. Also, William has issues and I fell very hard for him, his gruff attitude and his giant physique. There was a moment where he asked Catrin something and if I were in her place I would’ve swooned, swooned I tell you! The romance development is just exquisite. A dance between attraction, will power, self-protection, courage and a budding love. This couple are well developed characters I instantly cared about and swept my along for this intense emotional story. In the end the only thing that I was denied was to bask in the afterglow of the romantic culmination. The ending was pure romance but what I would not have given for Catrin and William to pick up Alex. That would have been my five star read!!

A Little More Scandal is emotionally riveting as the chemistry between William and Catrin burns up the pages. A dynamic pairing I will not likely forget soon and that will capture the heart of many readers! Unquestionably an engaging page-turner of a novella. I want more of the Christie’s, ASAP!

4.5 stars

1: Never had she seen, however, such a solid, towering wall of contradictions. William Christie had the build of a mythic giant, all muscle and silent intimidation. His suit was unaccountably fashionable for someone who wore it so poorly. He appeared half-strangled by his cravat, and hugged indecently by a slim-fitting coat that had been tailored, inexplicably, to diminish the breadth of his chest. His rich, golden-blond hair was neatly combed and his face cleanly shaven, but she could imagine him scruffy and wild atop some distant Scottish peak, his big-boned body meant for the freedom of a Highlander’s garb.

2: He wore a simple charcoal suit that had been perfectly tailored.
No more ill-fitting garments. This one permitted his shoulders the room to be broad and impressive and his legs the chance to show off their tight, strong bulk. His body had flexed atop hers. This suit did remarkable justice to his raw strength and long limbs. A plain, black satin half-mask covered most of his face, including his busted nose.
The effect was breathtaking. He had transformed into the handsomest man Catrin had ever beheld.
Again she thought of a wolf among sheep, only he was a strapping thief among preening aristocrats. She wanted to climb him, kiss him, strip that fine suit off his glorious body.

3; “So you will give me your secret, and I will give you mine.”
Her slanted brows lifted. “You have such a secret?”
“How I spent last year’s Season. In Paris.”
“Oh.” She inhaled through her nose. “Yes. That has been quite the mystery.”
“Our secrets laid bare, Catrin. We both deserve as much […]

(This quote made me swoon) 4: “I didn’t leave my son with his grandparents because I value how they’ll acclimate him to Society.” His whispered confession was easier now. Darkness. Catrin’s scent. Her gentle patter of kisses. They conspired to unlock the vault in his chest. “He’s there because I’m terrified. What does a gutter rat from Glasgow know about family?
How does a father guide a boy to manhood? And Jesus, any children we might have . . . ?”
They both stilled. Neither breathed.
He whispered against her skin, “Will you teach me how, Catrin?
Will you help me raise my boy?”

5: They rode one another with abandon. They were a wildfire across a summer-dry moor. She thrashed her head against the pillow until he caught her jaw. Claimed a kiss. Plunged his tongue with a firm, swift stroke that matched his cock. He clenched his eyes shut against the release that built and built. But he wanted Catrin’s release more.

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1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed it Leontine, I have this series on my wishlist.


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