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Whisper of Scandal: Scandalous Women of the Ton Trilogy    by Nicola Cornick order for
Whisper of Scandal
by Nicola Cornick
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Lady Joanna Ware has absolutely no intention of marrying again. After her disastrous pairing with swashbuckling explorer David, a man who alternately hurt or abandoned her most of their married life, Joanna is determined to be her own woman now that she's a widow. This unfortunately does not stop the flock of suitors who come knocking on her door to offer marriage.

Alex, Lord Grant always considered David Ware his best friend. The two of them had had many adventures together. It was during these treks that Alex learned to dislike Joanna Ware, for David never had anything good to say about his scandalous wife. But when Alex finally meets the infamous woman, she's nothing like the selfish creature David had described. Indeed, she stirs in Alex a blazing attraction he cannot deny.

That attraction is sorely tested when he delivers the shocking news that David had fathered a child with a Russian woman and has decreed in his will that Joanna and David act as the child's ward. Now the unlikely pair must sail to the Arctic Circle to find the child, battling treacherous elements, a sinister plot - and their own growing feelings - along the way.

Cornick doesn't cover any new territory in the first part of her book with regard to characterizations and the Regency tone. The second half of the story however, offers a unique subplot, a harsh setting and rousing adventure as Joanna and Alex search for her dead husband's love child. The couple's romance is also well done as, thrust together in close quarters and unique circumstances, the pair discover that neither of them lives up to their bad press and that her husband's posthumous twist of the knife might just be the best thing that's ever happened to them.

Well-written, with well-wrought characters and a unique twist, Whisper of Scandal is a fine first instalment to Cornick's Scandalous Women of the Ton series.

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