by Sari Robins

December 2002
ISBN: 0-06-050353-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Miss Charlotte Hastings is not young anymore and needs a husband; those are her aunt’s words. So when she completes her mourning for her father, Charlotte attends a house party. A social event at which she not only discovers clandestine meetings and a mysterious map and key, but is also attacked in her own room – and rescued by the handsome but secretive James Morgan, Duke of Girard.

Not that Charlotte had planned it that way, but she does return to London newly betrothed – to her savior. Drugged and strongly advised to follow through the charade of a fake engagement to the Duke, Charlotte is resourceful enough to negotiate an active involvement in the investigation of a conspiracy against the government. True, James might believe her to be involved, but he does need her to act the adoring fiancée for the success of the investigation and his plan of revenge.

I do like the fake engagement theme but I wish it could have been with a more interesting, more deserving heroine. Sure she is strong and feisty and intelligent - to a certain degree. I just didn’t really like her. I think she was just too nice? Working at a hospital for veterans, offering her assistance to complete strangers, constantly helping her siblings and her aunt… I felt forced to like her, but couldn’t as perfection is boring. Sure she has freckles and swears, but those - to a modern-day reader - are not the much-needed imperfections. How am I suppose to identify with her? I couldn’t.

I would have loved to though, as I did adore the hero. He is a bad boy, using Charlotte as bait to flash out the culprit. But of course he falls for her, admiring her intelligence and her strong will. Shame then that as soon as the attraction between the two starts to show, the whole story slows down. Especially when references to a probably previously written story get in the way. And there was just too much telling and musing instead of much needed action. Too much explaining and not enough delivered.

Her Scandalous Intentions has it flaws, slow moments and a heroine that doesn’t grow on me. Overall though, it’s not a bad read. Just don’t expect anything exceptional.

Reviewed in February 2003 by Kris Alice.

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