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Prelude to a Scandal (The Scandal Series) Mass Market Paperback – December 21, 2010

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Frequently Bought Together

Prelude to a Scandal (The Scandal Series) + Once Upon a Scandal (The Scandal Series) + The Perfect Scandal (The Scandal Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Scandal Series
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books; Original edition (December 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373775377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373775378
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Marvelle (Lord of Pleasure) tackles several heavy topics at once in this overstuffed Regency. While most ladies would swoon, Lady Justine Fedora Palmer grew up in Africa and handles everything with aplomb. When Justine's father, the earl of Marwood, writes about homosexuality in the animal kingdom, he's arrested for promoting indecency. Justine offers herself to Radcliff, the duke of Bradford, if he will secure the earl's freedom. Radcliff suggests marriage instead, hoping it will save him from sex addiction. Even before Justine figures out the extent of his "obsession," she makes him work, wanting his respect before his body. Radcliff and Justine are refreshingly honest with themselves and each other about what they do, think, and feel. Radcliff's brother and his mistress make a mess of the story at times, but Henri, the gay servant, is a delight. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When Lady Justine Palmer, raised in South Africa and now residing in Regency London, learns her father, an African naturalist, has landed in debtors’ prison, she realizes she must find someone rich to help him, and soon. She petitions her father’s only patron, Radcliff Morton, the Duke of Bradford. Although Radcliff, a hardened rake, has been in seclusion following an incident with his brother’s mistress in which his face was brutally scarred, he agrees to help Justine on the condition she marry him. He suspects he’s obsessed with sex and hopes marriage will cure him. However, considering he’s spent most of his 33 years wallowing in his decadent lifestyle, Justine wonders if he can change himself into a faithful husband. While occasionally melodramatic, Marvelle’s story of Radcliff coming to know himself, and Justine’s faith in him, is a quintessential romance. In this first of a series of three, Marvelle (Lord of Pleasure, 2009) adds glimpses of African tribal life and quips about animal behavior to leaven the Sturm und Drang of Radcliff’s much-needed makeover. --Pat Henshaw

More About the Author

Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer's Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance 'Forever and a Day' one of the TOP 10 Romances of the year.

When she isn't writing, she's digging through inappropriate research books that include anything in history having to do with courtesans, brothels, sexual contraptions that were never properly used and other fascinating forms of dirty history that didn't make it into college textbooks. She includes all of her research in her books to ensure countless hours of entertainment and continues to take pride in knowing more about dirty history than most people feel comfortable with.

****Sign up for Delilah's New Release Alert! Every new release will be offered to her loyal readers for an exclusive .99 cents for the first few days of digital release. Always. To sign up, visit her website at and click on Delilah's New Release Alert sign up box.******

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Michelle R on January 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I selected this book based on an ad on a popular blog. The ad contained a close-up of the cover and the mock warning that the book is not for prudes and to read responsibly. The book description mentions the hero as a sex addict and implies this is the main issue to be dealt with as the couple forge a relationship. I rather thought from all of this that there would be a fair amount of AHEM and that the hero would learn to marry emotional intimacy with sex. Did I mention the expectation of a lot of AHEM?

This is the book I felt I was buying, particularly since the description also implied the heroine, Justine, might be more open or worldly for a woman of that time. Instead, the book was very much geared toward his abstinence even in marriage unless he restrained his desires - which seems counterintuitive since he wasn't allowed to, um, be alone either. The heroine came across as more of a dominatrix than a wife, but that seems utterly unintentional -- because I could have settled for that. ::grin:: Since they went to the opera, I'm thinking of the aria from Turandot, Nessun Dorma, meaning "none shall sleep" and wondering how you say, "none get laid." (Okay, rarely.)

I'd like to say that the writer made a valid choice to make it truly about sexual addiction as a bad thing with psychological roots, but that's not the way it was marketed and not particularly what I wanted to read at the moment I selected this. That would have been rather interestingly subversive however if it had been marketed that way and even more fully embraced. Instead, it was as if the book were torn between the steamy romance it was marketed as and something new - a breaking away from romance novel expectations. Of course, then the last portion was traditional again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By akb--bookworm VINE VOICE on March 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
PRELUDE TO A SCANCAL is book 1 in Delilah Marvelle's Scandal Series. The series doesn't follow a family or a group of friends, but is tied together by a book of etiquette titled "How to Avoid a Scandal" which offers young ladies of the Ton how to properly conduct themselves. Each chapter is prefaced with a snippet from the etiquette book. Then we read how the hero and heroine proceed to completely ignore the advice and barge head first into certain scandal.

I'm rather new to Regency Romance novels. Some I've liked ok and some are complete misses for me. This story was a mixed bag for me.

Lady Justine Palmer seeks help from her father's only patron, Radcliff Morton, the Duke of Bradford, to free her father from prison after her father publishes his scandalous research. Justine offers a tryst for his help, but Radcliff insists on marriage. He suspects he's obsessed with sex and hopes marriage will cure him.

I liked Lady Justine. She was raised outside of England in Africa with her scientist father and mother. She knows the society rules that govern English woman and courting, but she doesn't like to strictly adhere to them. I loved how she didn't shy away from emotions or delicate discussions.

But the sexual addiction? I didn't buy it, only because I have close family and friends who have dealt with sexual addiction in their lives, either personally or married to an addict. Marriage doesn't cure it. Telling your wife about it and then promising to stop will not cure it. And, I got tired of hearing Radcliff thinking about sex.

I did like how Radcliff was forced to sweat it out and actually work toward a relationship with Justine. Even though her parents interference was annoying, it was completely plausible, believable, and understood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nook2kindle on July 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The chemistry between the hero and heroine wasn't enough for me, I never fully bought their attraction or love. I gave it a few points because it started off very promising (I really liked how the story began), it was well written, and it attempted to cover subjects and themes not usually present in historical romances. That being said, the story seemed pointless at times and the subjects and themes were introduced in ways that didn't engage me. I won't spoil anything, but the thing between Radcliff and the portrait AFTER he was married just made Justine and Radcliff's story lose intensity and it seemed out of place. The story dragged on a bit with characters and situations that didn't add anything to the story, imo. I CAN see how many people would like the story, though, for the reasons mentioned above, so don't let me review deter you if you are curious! I normally don't post anything below 3 stars, but this book has some great reviews out there and I don't think it will hurt to let my feelings be known because I'm not ranting or raving.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 28, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I did like it. I liked the way hero and heroine had to take one step a time and sometimes

one step back as where hero goes to his bedroom and pleasures himself in front of the portrait (mistress if his brother, he had once wanted and hi brother had send the portrait do torture him.

Spoiler ended.

He was not perfect but neither was she. She never questions her trip towards the end of the story and even I found his excuses difficult to believe and requesting her not to read his letter until 2 weeks later???? Anyone with sense (a little at least) would have smelled a rat.

There are far too many romance novels with absolute perfect heroes and heroines.
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