Fanciful Reader

a book blog about romance and more. . .

Seduction and Scandal by Charlotte Featherstone

Seduction and Scandal is the first in The Brethren Guardians series of Victorian-set historical romances with mild paranormal elements. The series is based on a secret society whose task is to protect three artifacts that were brought to England during the Crusades. While some readers complain about the overuse of secret societies involving ancient artifacts in historical romances, I can’t get enough of them.

The heroine, Isabella Fairmont, has been saved from a life of poverty that was brought on by her mother’s indiscretions. Living in comfort with the family of her cousin, Lucy, she has more freedom and luxury to write stories such as the one that opens the book–a gothic romance in which the heroine is being pursued by Death.

At a ball during her first season, Isabella dances with the enigmatic Earl of Black. He begins pursuing her and they are drawn together despite the fact that Isabella is being courted by another man–the staid archaeologist Wendell Knighton. Because marrying for love and passion led her mother to poverty, Isabella resists her feelings for the Earl of Black. Isabella and Lucy are drawn into a mystery involving Wendell Knighton, the Brethren Guardians, and another secret society, the House of Orpheus.

As the story unfolds, Isabella and the Earl of Black find out why they are drawn together and why the face of Death in Isabella’s book resembles him so much. The conclusion of the book left me eager to read the next in the series, Pride and Passion.

I received an eARC of Seduction of Scandal from Netgalley, and have also preordered a print copy to share with friends.