Queue My Review

July 16, 2008

Review: Scandalous by Night by Barbara Pierce

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — jjmachshev @ 5:57 pm
Scandalous by Night by Barbara Pierce

After an extended bout of reading erotica and paranormal titles, I was looking forward to taking a break and heading back in time with “Scandalous by Night” by Barbara Pierce, a historical romance from St. Martin’s Press. This is certainly a passionate novel for a historical, set in the early 1800s in England. It’s a tale of wickedness, villainy, and revenge. A young man seduced and betrayed by his own loved ones and a young woman, alone and easily deceived. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately for me, the ‘hero’ wasn’t very heroic and if I had been the heroine, I’d have kicked his butt from England to the Continent and never allowed his return.

Maura was a lonely girl. Her scientist parents were too wrapped up in their experiments and studies to raise her so they habitually dropped her off with her maternal aunt, a nasty, selfish piece of work as ever was! As we are let known that Maura’s mother was well-aware of her sister’s nature, why in the heck did they leave Maura with her? And if they had to, why not try to educate or warn Maura about her aunt’s nature? But they didn’t. So Maura becomes close to the only woman who pays attention to her—her wicked aunt who’s already gone through one husband, spent the fortune left her and bagged her second husband, an Earl with two sons. Her aunt proceeds to seduce the 15-yr old son and when caught, convinces 10-yr old Maura to lie for her to the Earl. The Earl then attacks his heir, almost kills him, and banishes him from his ancestral home. Fast forward twelve years.

The heir, Lord Everod, has become a first-class rake and scoundrel. When he learns of his family’s presence in London, he decides to take his revenge—through Maura. Okay, I’m supposed to feel sorry for a 15-yr old boy who has sex with his father’s wife? I’m supposed to admire a 27-yr old man who decides to wreak havoc on the life of a 22-yr old virgin because when she was 10, the only woman who paid attention to her convinced her she was blackmailed into sex? Um…sure. Even as Everod learns the truth of Maura’s innocence, he continues to plot her ruination. When push comes to shove and Maura really needs him, he ruins her publicly in front of the entire ton because he feels hurt. Now that’s a hero, eh? Sorry, but no.

Although I eventually came to at least admire Maura’s honesty and willingness to try and make up for her past wrongs, I never felt much admiration for her. To make matters worse, I never liked Everod even at the end. One quick apology and all’s forgiven? He was willing to chance leaving her in the hands of his despicable brother rather than send one of his many compatriots to save her? No, no, and no. There’s hot sex and plenty of it. Everod certainly knows plenty of sex tricks, but that’s just not enough to salvage my opinion of him. There’s more to a man than what he can accomplish between the sheets.

Other than not-very-likeable characters, the plot was also a little shaky. Several incidents seemed to lead to dead ends, there was a murder plot thrown in at the last minute, and secondary character development was mostly missing. Maybe those characters were developed in earlier novels, but if so, that wouldn’t do me or any other reader of “Scandalous by Night” any good unless we had read Barbara Pierce’s earlier works. I’ll just chalk this one up as a lesson learned and see what else I can come up with in my TBR mountain.

Until next time…




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