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In Pursuit of a Scandalous Lady Mass Market Paperback – April 27, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Scandalous Lady Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran historical romance writer Callen (Never Marry a Stranger) begins this 1840s romance with a painting depicting two items of interest to Julian Delane, earl of Parkhurst: a gorgeous naked woman, rumored to be one of the ton, and her diamond necklace, stolen from Julian's father a decade earlier. Demure debutante Rebecca Leland was recently seen sporting the diamond, but when Julian catches her and her sister and cousin trying to steal the painting, all three young ladies claim to be the model. Threats from another gem seeker send Rebecca off on a wild journey across the countryside; lustful, curious Julian soon catches up, and they're quick to take advantage of their unchaperoned solitude. Though the tale sports only the thinnest veneer of historical verisimilitude, the hero and heroine are engaging, making this a pleasantly spicy early beach read. (May)
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From Booklist

Julian Delane, the Earl of Parkhurst, is searching for a scandalous lady. Well, two scandalous ladies if truth be told. One is the fabulous red diamond, dubbed the “Scandalous Lady,” which had been stolen from Julian’s family more than a decade before and whose loss had precipitated his father’s suicide. The other is the one whose scandalous portrait graces the wall of his London gentlemen’s club. Once Julian discovers that Miss Rebecca Leland was seen wearing the “Scandalous Lady” at a recent ball, it doesn’t take long for him to put the pieces together and realize that if Rebecca has the diamond, she is more than likely the woman wearing it in the painting. In the first in a new Victorian-set series, Callen neatly matches up a sharp-witted heroine with an irresistibly sexy hero to create a romance composed of equal measures of lively intrigue and potent passion. --John Charles
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Product Details

  • Series: Scandalous Lady (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061783412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061783418
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Julian Delane, The Earl of Parkhurst, has an agenda and it includes finding and ruining the woman featured in a painting hanging in one of London's most popular clubs. The object of his obsession is more than just the woman - she is wearing a diamond necklace that was stolen from his father more than ten years ago. With the necklace's loss, Julian's father's demise, and everything his family has had to endure since, Julian is bound and determined to get to the bottom of the scandal once and for all so he can clear his father's and his family's reputation. Now all he has to do is convince the model, Rebecca Leland, to cooperate.

During this time frame in history, scandal surrounding someone's family was like an instant death sentence and it is with this such knowledge that Gayle Callen weaves an enticing story - one that kept me guessing the entire time I was reading it. I LOVE when that happens because I know that a lot of thought was put into the plot. Besides having a great plot, In Pursuit of a Scandalous Lady has all the right elements to keep readers engaged and enjoying this wonderful start to what I am sure is going to be a highly successful trilogy! Gayle Callen rocks the historical romance!

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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Three young ladies are caught by three gentlemen trying to steal a painting. The gentlemen make a wager and a trilogy starts. This first book is the story of Rebecca and Julian. The premise had some promise, but in the end the whole thing ended up being rather unremarkable. The characters are fairly boring, and the whole thing suffered from a bit of telling not showing. The characters are products of their less than ideal childhoods. We know this because the characters (especially Rebecca) tell us over and over again. This was incredibly annoying because we are ALL a product of our childhoods, so why mention it repeatedly? Why not just tell the story and then let the characters display that behavior? Very frustrating.

In addition, the resolution of the mystery of the Scandalous Lady (the jewel, not Rebecca) seemed tacked on. I won't spoil it for you, but it made very little sense.

I only finished the book because it was there. I was able to walk away from it for days, which is not generally the case for me. As a whole, it was unsatisfying.
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By MMaru on October 9, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To begin with, I am not a romance reader. This is probably the first romance I have ever read cover to cover (tried to read a P.C. Cast romance from the Goddess series but got so bored with it that I never finished it, not to mention that the mermaid sex was so ridiculous that I burst out laughing) and to be honest, the only reason I even wanted to read it is because the author was doing a book signing at my store, and I wanted to be able to discuss one of her books with her and show some support. So I picked this book up expecting to TRUDGE through it, just hoping that I could force my way to the end and wear a nice smile when I talked about it later.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to find myself utterly captivated within the first ten pages! The book dove right into the plot without flowery introductions like I expected. And what a great plot it was! This book wasn't just about the budding romance between two members of Society (though that was heavily in there as well.) There was an intriguing and exciting story of theft, betrayal, scandal... all told at a great pace that never left me bored. There were some steamy scenes but nothing over-the-top and not so much of it that I got tired of hearing about it. I ended up reading the whole book in three days, and closed it with a smile on my face. The ending was satisfying and sweet, and I really loved getting to romp through this adventure with two protagonists that I equally liked despite them being so different from one another. My only disappointment was not finding out what happened with Susanna and Elizabeth, but fortunately, Gayle has provided their stories in the two sequels. Can't wait to get my hands on those!
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By A Customer on April 29, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1846 London, everyone wonders who posed nude for artist Roger Eastland when he painted the Scandalous Lady portrait hanging in a gentleman's club. Julian Delane has a personal interest in locating the model as she stole a gem from his family ten years ago leading to his father's disgrace and death.

The Leland sisters, Rebecca and Susanna, and their cousin Elizabeth Cabot hope to keep their family from another disgraceful scandal that even having a duke to help would not stop the disaster. When Julian and his two friends Leo Wade and Peter Derby meet the three females, each claims to be the model. The three men bet they can prove who the real Scandalous Lady is. Julian believes Rebecca is the one and pursues her as brazenly wears his family's gem in public.

The first tale of a Victorian romantic trilogy is a wonderful story starring two strong protagonists and a solid support cast. Fast-paced throughout, sub-genre fans will relish the battling to love antics of Rebecca and Julian; and look forward to how well Leo and Peter do when they go up against the formidable Susana and equally kick butt Elizabeth.

Harriet Klausner
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