The Scandal of It All by Sophie Jordan

The Scandal of It All by Sophie Jordan
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (384 Pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Bluet

It takes two to make a scandal…

What kind of woman ventures into London’s most notorious pleasure club? An outsider like Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, snubbed time and time again by society because of her Spanish roots. Ela longs to take a lover for a single, wild night, and within the walls of Sodom there are gentlemen to suit every forbidden taste. If only she were not so drawn to the smoldering Lord Strickland…a dangerous man who sees beyond her mask, and could ruin her reputation with a mere whisper.

Lord Strickland never permitted himself to fantasize about the sultry, off-limits lady, but then he never expected to find Ela in a place so wicked, looking for what he’s more than too happy to give. She may not be to the ton’s taste, but she suits him perfectly. First, however, he must convince her to trust in this dangerous desire—and in the promise of forever unleashed by one wild, scandalous night.

Thirty-five years of exemplary living are about to go down the drain, as Graciela, the widowed Duchess Autenberry is about to be busted. After being a devoted wife to a less than deserving husband, raising and loving three children and step children, and living chastely for ten years as a widow, “Ela” has decided to take a walk on the wild side. A friend has convinced Ela that a visit to Club Sodom will let her explore her sexuality with no strings, and perhaps find the fulfillment she never reached while married.

As luck would have it, Ela is about to come face to face with her stepson, Marcus, at the club. As a frantic Ela tries to leave or hide, she falls into the arms of Colin, her stepson’s best friend, who hides her from Marcus by embracing her. This embrace is something that Colin has fantasized about for years, and he begins a pursuit of Ela to truly begin an affair. I liked Ela, while at the same time became somewhat exasperated with her. I found her to be an admirable woman, who endured a loveless, physically unfulfilling marriage to a philandering husband, while letting his children believe he was a good man and husband. She retained her outward dignity while enduring snubs for her un-English heritage. Yet, though she endured these things, she’s terrified of exploring passion with a man who’s younger than she is, fearful of society’s censure and her family’s reaction. Colin is a dream – he doesn’t see Ela as an older woman, just a woman that he desires. I love his treatment of her and his fearlessness about other’s reactions if they are found out. I was somewhat disappointed at the plot device used which ultimately brought them together, but the fabulous conclusion remedied that.

The Scandal of It All is a hot and steamy read, which deals with the taboo of an older woman and a younger man in a time when it truly was shocking. I enjoyed the hero’s persistence and devotion, and eventually the heroine’s awakening to her own self worth on the way to their happy ever after.

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