Queue My Review

August 13, 2008

Review: Before the Scandal by Suzanne Enoch

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , — jjmachshev @ 9:00 am
Before the Scandal by Suzanne Enoch

I recently read and reviewed “After the Kiss” so I was excited to have the chance to continue Suzanne Enoch’s Notorious Gentlemen series by reading and reviewing book two. After all the enjoyment of the first book, “Before the Scandal” was a disappointing second effort starring our second Gentleman, Phineas.

Phineas is estranged from his family. He ran off to join the army 10 years ago after a horrible accident and his only link with his family has been his sister’s letters to him while he’s fighting on the peninsula. When her latest letter leads him to believe his older brother is on his death bed he hurries home. After arriving, he’s surprised and pleased to find out his brother is fine but shocked and worried when he realizes the family estate is on the brink of bankruptcy. After only two days back home, he’s pretty sure of two things: first, the estate’s troubles are being orchestrated by somebody and second, the girl he left behind appears to have become the woman he can’t live without.

Alyse is shocked when Phineas arrives home while she and her remaining relatives are dining with his brother and sister. He’s just as handsome as always, if not more so, in his dashing uniform. But Phineas has always been a troublemaker since they played together as children and Alyse has already been burned by a man once. That’s why she’s living as a companion to her crotchety aunt, little more than an unpaid servant. She can’t deny her growing feelings for Phineas, but will she risk her heart and the roof over her head when she knows it’s just a matter of time before he leaves her again?

The romance between Alyse and Phineas is beautiful and sexy as Enoch’s always are. But, for me, the rest of the book wasn’t up to the author’s normally high standards. I didn’t think the mystery was very mysterious. Phineas’ decision to become a highwayman seemed to come out of nowhere. It seemed that the majority of relationship problems among the family members and hero/heroine could have been cleared up with a bit of simple communication. There just didn’t seem to be a reason for the lack of it as these characters were portrayed as smart and sharp and this is such a basic issue.

Enoch’s trademark wealth of regency trimmings was present as always but that just wasn’t enough to make up for the rest of the book’s shortfalls. While it was neat to revisit some of the characters from the last book, and I’m still excited about Bram’s upcoming book, Suzanne Enoch’s “Before the Scandal” just didn’t hit the right notes for me and isn’t headed for my keeper shelf.

Until next time…




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