Treason and treachery are afoot in the courts of England and Nathan Grey, the Earl of Lindsey, has come to London to claim his wife after three years of separation. Evelyn may be named in Princess Caroline’s infamous Book of Scandal and if she is, she could face being brought up on treasonous charges. Nathan needs to get his wife out of London.
Unfortunately, that is easier said than done as Evelyn has no desire to return to Eastchurch Abbey, the family home. She enjoys her life in London and does not want to be around her husband, known as the Libertine of Lindsey for his rather rakish ways with women, gambling, money, and hunting. And more than any other reason, Evelyn cannot face the memories of her son, Robbie.
Against her will, Nathan abducts Evelyn back to Eastchurch Abbey. But once there he realizes that there is much acrimony and ill will that they have to face down before moving forward in their marriage, something Nathan wants to happen, despite his rather rocky past. Before Robbie’s death, Evelyn and Nathan shared a passionate and mostly strong marriage. Can they ever work through the past enough to find a happy future together? Will the rumors surrounding Evelyn die away once she is out of London, or will the danger follow her back home?
Julia London’s The Book of Scandal is a fast, compelling read. Nathan and Evelyn are not perfect characters by any means. Their marriage is very rocky. In fact, Julia London does a great job of portraying what I expect is a very realistic marriage for the time period: they married because of family connections, they barely knew each other and since their separation, both have sought solace in other ways, with other people. What I truly enjoyed most about this book was watching them reconnect and work past the anger and sadness that Robbie’s death caused. Even at the end there is no easy solution for their grief; it is an ever present emotion throughout the entire story.
The Book of Scandal also focuses on the goings-on at court and while I found the gossip and rumors to be a necessary factor to bringing these characters back together, overall, I found the treason charges to be a rather forgettable part of the plot.
Once again, Julia London will sweep you away into a world of passion, sin, and the recognition that true happiness never comes easily.