- Series: The Reckless Brides (Book 5)
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (August 26, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250044588
- ISBN-13: 978-1250044587
- Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,837,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Scandal to Remember: A Reckless Brides Novel (The Reckless Brides) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2014
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“Set sail with Essex as she cleverly pits a bluestocking against a stiff-upper-lipped British naval officer and lets the sparks fly. Essex spices her fast-paced tale with fascinating details of ships and sailing and adds plenty of sexual tension, high-seas adventures, danger and desire. Readers will be on the edges of their seats reading this latest Reckless Brides tale.” ―RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!)
About the Author
Elizabeth Essex is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Reckless Brides historical romance series. When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden or simply messing about with boats, Elizabeth can be always be found with her laptop, making up stories about heroes and heroines who live far more exciting lives than she. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, and RWA's prestigious RITA Award, and have made Top-Ten lists from Romantic Times, The Romance Reviews and Affaire de Coeur Magazine. Her fifth book, A BREATH OF SCANDAL, was awarded Best Historical in the Reader's Crown 2013. Elizabeth lives in Texas with her husband, the indispensable Mr. Essex, and her active and exuberant family in an old house filled to the brim with books. You can sign up for her newsletter at: eepurl.com/bQgwk9
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Top customer reviews
We have a sweet, little bluestocking - one of my favorite heroine types in our darling little Jane Eliza Burke, or J.E. Burke as she named herself in order to be able to go along on the Royal Philosophical Society's expedition to the south seas. Jane is a conchologist (I love this word) - an experienced knowledgeable naturalist with her expertise being in the study of mollusc shells. The Society assumed J.E. Burke was a man when they accepted her application - but "he" is actually Jane.
Our to-die-for hero is Lieutenant Charles Dance who arrives for his assignment on board the Royal Navy Frigate - the H.M.S. Tenacious to find a drunken captain, a good-for-nothing crew, a vessel that is sadly in need of repair and a sure-to-be enemy in the person of the bosun, Mr. Ransome. Now, here's where you can separate the gifted from the not-so-gifted writer. The manner in which Ms. Essex uses the character of Charles Dance to deal with his hellish circumstances throughout the story is a fine example of a truly gifted writer. In my opinion, Dance's daily struggles and the way he dealt with them - well, mostly, is what makes the story come alive and remain "real" in the mind of the reader.
Is there a romance? You betcha - can't you tell by the cover on the book? I strongly dislike these types of covers. They tend to deceive the reader in some cases and IMO can even hinder sales - now I'm off the subject. The cover is no indication of the story contained within the pages of this book. Is there a time on a deserted beach? I won't answer that, but I don't think you will be disappointed in the romance which builds over the course of time. This isn't a story where the captain takes the lady under his protection, stashes her in his cabin where they make hard and fast sex. No, but it is a deeper kind of story and I loved the managing ways Jane had in her dealings with people including Dance - not one of manipulation but one based on past personal difficulties where she had to manage and do the best she could and in fact, became somewhat of a master in taking care of stuff. Again, this part of Jane's persona was developed by a skilled writer.
One caveat: I did have one dislike - Dance used a naughty word beginning with the letter "F" more times than I can count and way more than in any historical romance novel I have ever read and which didn't exactly fit - at least to me. As I mentioned there were some gaps I would have enjoyed seeing filled, but when compared to so many other books out there, written by more well known authors, this one will be remembered by this reader long after some of those have left my mind.
In the peace following the Napoleonic Wars, much of the British Navy has become redundant, including Lt. Charles Dance. He's relieved when an old shipmate pulls strings to get him assigned to the Tenacious, a ship with orders to take a group of naturalists to the South Pacific on a scientific expedition. Yet as soon as Dance comes aboard, he finds the Tenacious in sorry shape. The Captain is a drunkard who won't leave his cabin, the bosun is an untrustworthy bully, the purser deserts with the ship's accounts before they even set sail, the crew is lazy and untrained, and the ship itself is so badly maintained as to be barely seaworthy. And then the scientists show up, and one of them is a woman. Although Dance is attracted to Jane from the start, she is yet one more complication he doesn't need on this ill-fated voyage. Most of the crew is too superstitious to tolerate a woman's presence on board, and as things go wrong -- and there is a lot that goes wrong -- the crew's resentment focuses on Jane. When Dance acts as her defender, and without able leadership from the captain, the crew mutinies against Dance, who has all the responsibility of the voyage with none of the authority.
Shipboard romances make up their own subsection of the romance genre, but this isn't the swashbuckler-themed wallpaper historical you may be expecting. Elizabeth Essex is a nautical historian by academic training, so she knows her stuff, and the difference is obvious and so satisfying: you get a real sense of the adventures and tensions and indignities and excitement of life at sea, not only technical details about sailing, but also the "office politics" of negotiating the relationships among men (and one woman) living in very, very close quarters.
The romance between Jane and Dance was satisfying if a little slow-burning for my tastes, and there's plenty of intrigue and adventure to hold the interest of even the most jaded reader.
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ABOUT THE BOOK:
For too long, Miss Jane Burke’s father has taken advantage of her painstaking research.Read more