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Scandal    by Pamela Britton order for
by Pamela Britton
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

To fulfill the terms of his uncle's will and inherit the dukedom, Rein Montgomery has to spend one month in St. Giles, the meanest slum area of London, without benefit of name, connections or wealth. Luckily for Rein, he's soon felled by the new kite of intrepid inventor/market girl Anna Brooks and is taken into her small home.

While Anna's beauty, generosity and capability all bowl over Rein, she's not so sure about him. His manners reveal him to be a gentleman and yet his presence in the slums makes her wary. While she's mightily tempted by his obvious attraction, Anna knows she's got a lot to lose by embarking on an affair. Besides which, she's busy trying to get herself out of the slums by winning a competition with her invention. But when Rein's life and consequently her own are threatened, what will she do? Will the love slowly blossoming between the two be strong enough to overcome the vast disparity in their social positions?

Pamela Britton has shown herself a past master at crafting intriguing tales of historical romance and this is no exception. Leading lady Anna is spunky and unusual - a costermonger by profession, who dreams big. Rein's rakish charm is at odds with deep-rooted insecurities and low self-esteem. The attraction, and subsequent passion, between them feels as natural as the fears and doubts that plague them. Besides the demeaning treatment accorded intelligent women in those times, Britton also touches upon such topics as senility and learning disorders, which were little understood. Scandal is a treat to read.

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