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A Winter Scandal (Legend of St. Dwynwen) Mass Market Paperback – October 25, 2011
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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From the Author
A Winter Scandal gave me a chance to delve into the Regency era Christmas traditions. The popularity of things like the Christmas tree and Christmas cards really came afterwards in the Victorian period. But it was a joyous occasion for Regency folks, too, and I think you'll enjoy this glimpse into the Christmas season in the little Cotswolds town of Chesley.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"A Winter Scandal" is a sweet little holiday romance. The Christmas Season is fast approaching, and, the publishing houses will be releasing all those feel-good around Christmas romance novels - this is the first one of those novels I have read this year.
Set in a little village in England - precise year not given - this book is a tale centered around discovering the mother of a mysteriously abandoned, adorable child, and, of course, that search throws our protagonists together, enabling their attraction and feelings to form.
Althea Bainbridge is our female protagonist. She is the vicar's sister, and as such, she is encumbered by propriety and societal expectations. Thea is a tall, "plain" woman, who has, you guessed it, insecurities about her appearance; however, she possesses great intellect and a fondness for reading - but thank god Candace Camp let's go of that "book" thing early on in the novel; I positively hate it when an author goes on and on ad nauseum about a heroine's "superior intellect" just for show, never proving to the reader that the heroine is actually intelligent; Camp does not do that; Thea is clever!!! Anyhow, we, the readers, find Althea at twenty-seven, just as she realizes that she has no life of her own and is willing to step outside the boundaries of her deadly-dull existence, and who better to help her along than Gabriel Morecombe.Read more ›
This was a smooth read and kept me turning pages, interested in the story and the characters, all of whom had realistic faults and strengths. And the town of Chesley was a good backdrop to the story. I also liked that the heroine, Thea, is depicted with a simple and sincere faith and is an active and intelligent woman that a reader can relate to. The plot of the abandoned baby was a refreshing removal from the usual Hero-Has-Enemy or Heroine-Is-Knee-Deep-In-Trouble plot. However, there were several holes in this story as well:
1. Thea is working on a live Nativity for the first part of the book and yet, despite having a rehearsal for it and having it spoken of a number of times, the whole thing disappears as the story progresses and we never see this Nativity completed. This is a distracting omission and made little sense. Why even put it in the book?
2. That Thea and Gabriel, the hero, met ten years previously was unnecessary. I couldn't place it in the story at all. And though Thea remembers her first and only kiss (who wouldn't?) there is nothing special attached to it, she doesn't fall in love with him or pine for him for the next ten years, she went on with her life and that's that. And since Gabriel forgets or doesn't recognize Thea for a second time, the first time seems a pointless redundancy.
3. Gabriel is always just randomly kissing Thea with no build up. And this starts from the first moment they are alone together. A bit preemptive and hum-drum, I like more tension to develop first but there's not chance for that here.
4. There is a lack of information about Gabriel, the hero, who is never given a title or family background (except for the missing sister). Who IS he?
5. There is no scandal in this book.Read more ›
The story itself had positive and negative aspects. Camp writes well -- a definite plus. Her word choices were not jarringly 21st century. She delved nicely into the difficulties and expectations faced by vicars' children. And, the baby in the tale was about 6-7 months old--the same age as the baby in my house--so I can testify that Camp is right on target about the baby practicing sounds, attempting to crawl, and exhibiting coy, charming behavior.
The mystery is interesting, although the characters' continual circle of tossing up possible solutions and then repeating the reasons why those solutions couldn't work eventually became tiresome.
The romance aspect of the book worked less well. It was formulaic, and I felt I had read parts of it verbatim in several other books. I have noticed that in a great many romance novels, the characters finally make love in chapter 13. I've begun guessing at the start of a book whether it will follow the "Chapter 13 Rule." This one had "the scene" in chapter 12, but much of the action wound up in chapter 13. I wonder if publishers suggest guidelines to authors about identical pacing?
If my past self could consult my present self, I'd say go ahead and read the book for a bit of entertainment but don't expect to want to reread the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A spinster and a rap scallion Lord makes for an interesting couple, but throw in an abandoned baby, now sparks will truly fly. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Moy
If you like Regency era, with a twist, read this series. No spoilers here, just read it. You will be glad. Great and memorable characters.Published 4 months ago by Linda
This was such an amazing Christmas-time romance. Thea is a great heroine, a spinster and bit of a book nerd - she was just up my alley. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jasmyn9
I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to others. Jane Austin, watch out.Published 14 months ago by Edia E. Bedell
Camp is an excellent writer and I became a fan after reading the third book in this trilogy. What a juicy writer she is. Cannot wait to read this one!Published 17 months ago by I Love Books!!