by Carole Matthews

December 2004
ISBN: 0-06-059563-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Trade
Trade Paperback

Carole Matthews newest book, A Whiff of Scandal, is set in the small village of Great Brayford. As many of us who have ever lived in a small town know that sometimes itís hard to be the newcomer or to feel welcome.

Rose Stevens is now experiencing being the newcomer to Great Brayford. How easy will that be? If Anise, a nosy next door neighbor, has anything to say about it Rose will find it a very difficult time indeed. Anise will go to every end possible to spy on Rose, and quite possibly ruin her reputation before she has a chance to establish herself in her new neighbor's eyes.

Rose has moved to Great Brayford to escape London and the memories of her grand passion. Roseís grand passion might have lasted a lifetime if not for one small problem. Hugh, the man of her dreams, was living a double life. He has a wife and children on the other side of the ocean.

What happens when Rose moves to Great Brayford is not what she expects. The rumors she can handle. Itís the quirky characters she encounters and comes to like that are a surprise to her. She discovers that not only does she have some skeletons in her closet, but so do many of her village neighbors.

As she tries to settle into village life she becomes friends with Melissa, Angelica, and Dan. Itís the friendship with Dan that is most troublesome to her. Dan is involved in a long-term relationship of his own. How is it that when Rose simply wants to love and be loved in return she only manages to find a man who has another attachment?

Life in the village is finally somewhat settling into a routine for Rose when several incidents conspire to make her uproot herself yet again. She flees back to London. Will that prove to be the right decision, or yet another wrong one in a long line of decisions gone awry?

Ms. Matthews has written a book with a heroine for whom one can feel compassion. Dan is a bit too wishy-washy a hero for many, but underneath that wackiness is a heart of gold. The other villagers provide interesting fodder and background and you find yourself rooting for them and their lives with every bit the enthusiasm youíre using in wishing for Dan and Rose to finally get together as well.

As you settle into the winter season, throw a log on the fire, grab your favorite hot drink, your comfy blanket and settle down to read A Whiff of Scandal by Carole Matthews.

Reviewed in November 2004 by Sandi.

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