Caroline Linden~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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All's Fair in Love and Scandal
Caroline Linden
Avon Impulse
E-book
978-0062419071
****1/2
 
 
     For Douglas Bennet, it started with an idle wager, one he lost. Mysterious, reserved Mrs. Madeline Wilde refuses to dance with Douglas, just like she refuses to dance with everyone. He tries to get an extension on the original wager and ends up getting involved in a new one. If he can prove that Madeline is the author of “50 Ways to Sin,” he will be paid a portion of a generous bounty. But soon all he really wants is Madeline, and his wager might stand in the way.
     Caroline Linden’s latest is part of a series, but it is written to stand alone. The characters are strong enough to carry the plot, and readers will enjoy watching the tale unfold.
Heather Nordahl Files



Love in the Time of Scandal
Caroline Linden
Avon
Mass Market
978-0062244925
****1/2


     Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox. This heir to the Earl of Stratford has not behaved well in her estimation. He courted her own sister without feeling any love for her, and is now doing the same to Penelope’s friend. Frances should not have to live with a husband who does not love her, so Penelope does her best to make sure Frances asks the right questions in order to have a devoted husband.
     But Benedict fails the test, and he’s furious at Penelope’s interference. He wants a calm, agreeable heiress to be his bride, but they keep refusing him, and she bears some blame for the rejection. But the next time he finds her, she is being attacked by a cruel nobleman. He rescues her, but at great cost to her reputation. They hope the scandal will be small and blow over quickly, but instead it is huge and devastating. Much as Penelope resists, marriage to Benedict is her only option.
     Caroline Linden’s latest is part of a series, but can stand alone. The tale is loaded with passions of all sorts, including the crackling tension between Penelope and Benedict. A glorious pleasure!
Heather Nordahl Files


 
It Takes a Scandal
Caroline Linden
Avon
Mass Market
978‑0062244901
****1/2


     Sebastian Vane was once an eligible young man, but life dealt him some cruel blows. He came home from the war with a wounded leg, but that was not the worst thing to come from this time‑‑his father has gone mad, and one fateful night he disappears. Now Sebastian is suspected of his father's murder.
     Between this, his lack of funds and his father's madness, he is not accepted anywhere and becomes a recluse. Then a family moves in at the neighboring estate, and he is inspired to come out of his shell for the first time in a long while.
     Abigail Weston enjoys the relative quiet of the country though her sister bemoans the lack of entertainment. When she meets Sebastian she is immediately intrigued, but he is slow to state his intentions. However, his interest is clear, and she can't imagine being interested in anyone else. Can she find a way to get him to state his intentions, or will she be disappointed?
     Caroline Linden's latest is the second book in a series, but no one will be lost. Her main characters are wonderful and well-drawn, and the plot is absorbing. The tale slows down about two thirds of the way through, but is truly enjoyable on every page.
Heather Nordahl Files


 
Love and Other Scandals
Caroline Linden
Avon
Mass Market
978‑006244871
****1/2
 


     Joan Bennet is very nearly on the shelf. The fashions of the day do not flatter her height or body type, but she follows her mother's advice and strives to blend in. She met Tristan Burke when she was still a child. He is a friend of her somewhat dissolute brother and has a wild reputation of his own. They meet again when Joan goes to her brother's lodgings to obtain a promise. A bare‑chested Tristan answers the door and sparks begin to fly.
     At first Tristan sees Joan as a Fury in dreadfully unattractive clothing. But then her mother's sudden illness leads to her family's exodus from London. Even her brother must leave town to attend to family responsibilities, but when he does, he asks Tristan to keep an eye on Joan while he is gone. Meanwhile, Joan discovers flattering fashion, courtesy of her somewhat scandalous aunt, who stays with her while her family is away. Seeing Joan as a newly revealed vision of beauty combined with her fiery personality arouses Tristan's interest.  But her mother has made it clear that she does not approve of him.
     Caroline Linden launches a new series with this charming tale. Many readers will identify with Joan and her struggles to find her way. Tristan is a dream of a hero with a heart‑tugging past. And the family dynamics between Joan and her parents are particularly well drawn.
Heather Nordahl Files
 



The Way to a Duke’s Heart
Caroline Linden
Avon Mass Market
978-0062025340
****1/2

  


     Charles de Lacey was born to become the Duke of Durham some day, even though unlike his brothers, he had been a disappointment to his father in several ways. They had been estranged for years at the time of his father’s death. But then Charlie and his brothers learn that their father married another woman before their mother, and this woman may not be dead. Even worse, someone else knew of this and was blackmailing him. His brothers have each taken a turn at solving the twin mysteries, the missing wife and the blackmailer, but now it’s Charlie’s turn to save the dukedom as well as his family’s fortune andreputation.
     When a peer of the realm arrives at the hotel where Tessa Neville is staying, the staff forgets that she exists. In her pique, she mumbles a rude comment and Charlie, the peer in question, overhears. Now she wants nothing more than to avoid the arrogant noble, but he is more than eager to be around her, especially because she has a connection to the blackmailer.
     Caroline Linden’s latest ties up her delightful “The Truth About the Duke” trilogy, and because of this, is the strongest standalone tale and the best of the lot. Readers of the entire trilogy will appreciate seeing what makes Charlie tick, and readers new and seasoned alike will enjoy his chemistry with the delightfully complicated Tessa. 
Heather Nordahl Files


 
One Night in London
Caroline Linden
Avon
Mass Market
978‑0062025326
****1/2
 


     When their father, the Duke of Durham, dies, Edward de Lacey and his brothers get a rude shock: Their mother was their father's second wife‑‑and his first marriage was never dissolved. Their possible illegitimacy would disinherit them and change their lives completely. Though he's the middle child, Edward has always been the dutiful one, and he is going to do everything in his power to ensure that their inheritance is safe. So he hires the best solicitor in England to work for him.
     Francesca, Lady Gordon, needs a solicitor as well, and none she has found so far is willing to work for a woman. But once she finds a solicitor willing to take her case, he is whisked away by a powerful client with a crest on his carriage. Incensed, she follows the carriage and gives Edward a piece of her mind. Once tempers cool, he agrees to help her find a solicitor, but she fears that the precious niece meant to be in her care will disappear forever before she can find them. But both of them are soon distracted by an inconvenient attraction that is as unexpected as it is intense.
     Caroline Linden launches a new series with this scintillating tale. Her characters, including Edward's brothers, are clearly delineated, and the conflicts are real.  The loose threads hanging at the book's end will build up anticipation for the next tale.
Heather Nordahl Files