All's Fair in Love and ScandalTitle:  All’s Fair in Love and Scandal
Series:  Scandalous 2.5
Author:  Caroline Linden
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  April 21, 2015
Publisher:  Avon
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  Owned, Personal Collection
Synopsis:

Nothing wagered…

Douglas Bennet can’t resist a good wager, especially not one that involves a beautiful woman. When a friend proposes an audacious plan to expose the most notorious woman in England, Douglas agrees at once. After all, it would be quite a coup to discover the true identity of Lady Constance, author of the infamous erotic serial scandalizing the ton, 50 Ways to Sin.

Nothing won…

Madeline Wilde is used to being pursued. For years she’s cultivated a reputation for being unattainable and mysterious, and for good reason: her livelihood depends on discretion. When Douglas turns his legendary charm on her, she dismisses him as just another rake. But he surprises her—instead of merely trying to seduce her, he becomes her friend…her confidant…and her lover. But can it really lead to happily-ever-after…or are they about to become the biggest scandal London has ever seen?

Read on for my thoughts on All’s Fair in Love and Scandal.  No true spoilers, promise.

There is a scandalous pamphlet making the rounds of the proper Ladies of the ton.  50 Ways to Sin.  No one knows who the authoress is, but it is obvious that the “Lady” enjoys the intimate company of many gentlemen, married and unmarried.  She must be of the ton, how else would she know all the gossip, the details of the gentlemen’s *ahem* attributes so well.  It is obvious to everyone that it must be a Lady, yet no one knows exactly who is writing this delightfully sinful ongoing series of encounters.  There are wagers being made and a bounty has been offered for the name of the author of 50 Ways to Sin.

It is under these circumstances that we meet Douglas Bennet.  Oh, he loves a wager.  He’d probably wager on the chances of it raining on one side of the street and not the other.  So, when he is approached at a ball by a so called friend with a lighthearted wager, Douglas is immediately intrigued and willing to take part.  The wager involves Mrs. Wilde, a beautiful widow who is in attendance at this particular ball.  She never dances, she does engage in light conversations but usually simply mingles about without an escort.  Douglas accepts a wager that he can get the lovely Mrs. Wilde on the dance floor and perhaps more.

Madeline is aware of the whispers about her.  She is aware of Douglas standing slightly behind her, entering the quiet corner where she has taken shelter from the crush.  As he speaks and tries to engage her in conversation with the goal a dance with the lovely lady, Madeline deflects his every attempt at flirtation with practiced ease.  As she walks away with a smile, after a very sweetly delivered set down, Douglas watches her leave.  His friend saunters over expecting to be paid his wager and… Douglas being the man he is continues the wager and is drawn into one even more involved.  Unmasking the authoress of 50 Ways to Sin – as Mrs. Wilde.

Oh, this is a delightful romp, an engaging story and a lovely romance.  These two people are perfect for each other.  And we are along for the ride as Douglas pursues Madeline, more clues as to the possible authoress of 50 Ways to Sin and hearts become involved.

This was an excellent novella, one that packed the feeling of a full story.  While this is a part of a series, it could easily be read as a stand alone without any problems at all.

Available for the Kindle