A Scandalous Affair

A Scandalous Affair

3.8 8
by Karen Erickson

From the moment Daphne, Lady Pomeroy, meets the mysterious Marquess of Hartwell at a masquerade ball, she's determined to seduce him. The handsome, charming man cannot possibly be the cold, calculating lord who Society calls "Black Hart." Risking everything, the lonely widow invites the elusive Hartwell to her dinner party…for two.

Hartwell's arrogant


From the moment Daphne, Lady Pomeroy, meets the mysterious Marquess of Hartwell at a masquerade ball, she's determined to seduce him. The handsome, charming man cannot possibly be the cold, calculating lord who Society calls "Black Hart." Risking everything, the lonely widow invites the elusive Hartwell to her dinner party…for two.

Hartwell's arrogant reputation is built on a lie. For he has a shameful secret that keeps him in the shadows: a stutter—his downfall since childhood. He'd rather keep his mouth shut than look the fool. But he's shocked to discover that in Daphne's company—and in her bed—his stutter vanishes.

After one wanton evening together, Daphne is hurt when the lord lives up to his Black Hart name. Yet his reasons for leaving surprise even him. Now he must confess everything or risk losing Daphne forever…

22,000 words

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Carina Press
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Merry Widows Series
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"I think you should consider marriage."

The widowed Countess of Pomeroy paused, fork in hand and hovering over her breakfast plate as she stared at her older brother in shock. "Surely you jest," she said once she recovered her voice. "Do you not recall that I've been married once already?"

Hugh shrugged and sipped from his cup before speaking. "Can you not marry again? You're young. You have no children. Wouldn't it be smart to find a new husband?"

"Phrased as such, you make it sound like a purchase. 'I'll take that gown, the straw hat, the beautiful lace gloves and one husband, please.'" Daphne shook her head, worry filling her. "Have you grown weary of my staying with you?"

"You are always more than welcome," he assured, but she wondered.

Her brother was a confirmed and somewhat notorious bachelor. One of the most sought after in all of London, what with his dashing good looks and the vast fortune he'd grown since he'd inherited their father's title five years ago. Viscount Huxley fought off the eager debutantes with frightening regularity and she'd heard more than one whispered rumor about his various conquests and the trail of mistresses he left behind since her recent return to London.

Her residing with him these last few months must have put a terrible cramp in his style.

"Are you trying to be rid of me then?" She wasn't insulted, not in the least. At the ripe old age of thirty-three and a widow for the past two years, she was indeed a burden upon her brother.

Oh yes, she'd received enough funds from her husband's estate to keep a modest household if she so chose. She'd resided the last two years at the Pomeroy country home since her husband's death. The current Earl of Pomeroy—the eldest son of her dead husband and his first wife, long deceased now—was most kind in letting her reside there without squabble.

But she'd grown bored. As time went on and she mourned properly the loss of her husband after a long illness, she realized she longed for the excitement only a London Season could bring. Unfortunately, the various social gatherings she'd attended so far had been a vast disappointment. She was half-tempted to return to the country estate.

"I would never wish to be rid of you, sister dear." Hugh smiled, exuding all of the Huxley charm he was known for. Goodness, no wonder the ladies clamored after him. "Perhaps we should host a ball in your honor. A sort of re-coming out, so to speak."

Daphne's lips parted in horror. That sounded—awful. So much expected of her, enduring all the gossip and the attention of men both young and old she didn't want? "I could never do such a thing. That would be positively scandalous."

Hugh shrugged. Again. The man hadn't a care in the world, or so it seemed. "It wouldn't hurt to add some interest to the Season. So far, it's been dreadfully boring." He had that right. "We could certainly liven it up with a ball. Perhaps a masquerade, even."

Daphne was shocked. Her brother suggesting they host a masquerade ball together? It was unheard of. She knew he didn't mind attending such gatherings, but planning them? "Are you quite sure? Perhaps you're ill and not thinking clearly. Should you go back to bed and rest?"

He chuckled. "Absolutely, I'm sure. We can invite a herd of titled gentlemen who are in dire need of a wife and line them up for your perusal."

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A Scandalous Affair 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
KittyKelly28 More than 1 year ago
As posted on The Smutty Kitty 4 out of 5 Licks You know it's funny I've never been a huge fan of historical romance but if it is sensual enough apparently I like them. lol I've really enjoyed all of the books in this series and A Scandalous Affair is no exception. I like the whole idea of ladies in waiting and balls and grad dresses and I especially like the masquerade ball in this one! :) The instant spark between Daphne and Hartwell is titillating (hehe I love that word) and really sucks you in. I find it fun how people can be so prim and proper in public and then get freaky in the bedroom always makes me smile. So if you like historicals or want to give one a try I highly recommend this series. Its Karen Erickson you can't go wrong! ;) This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Minnie_Medina More than 1 year ago
Okay this book was fast and furious but worth the read. You have to love a manly man who has faults. Specially in the times this book is written. But we have to appreciate a woman who looks beyond the surface to the reality below. One thing that I'm encountering lately and it just irks me a bit is that when you are reading this books you don't feel like you are in the time implied in the book. You don't feel like you are part of the century and the customs or any of that. But still it was a good read. You can't take that from it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sexy! This romance sizzles. Daphne is bold and playful. Camden, known as Black Hart, is aloof and seems untouchable. The much misunderstood marquess meets his perfect match in the vivacious widow. Together they bring out the best in each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
(A strong 3 1/2, so I rounded up) This was a quick, enjoyable read. The characters have a little bit of a past that is hinted at--well, at least the hero found the heroine attractive way back when, though she apparently didn't really notice him and he was too socially awkward to approach her due to his stutter--so even though everything moved fairly quickly in this novella it didn't feel too rushed to me. Of course a longer novel would have been more fulfilling for character development and plot, but for what it was I did enjoy it quite a bit and essentially read in a single sitting. There was a nice role reversal going on here--the heroine is the main pursuer, and the hero more reclusive and shy. I'm not sure how period authentic it was, but it was fun to read. I found it very sweet that Camden seemed to have less problems with his speech in her presence. Daphne only reverted to more typical romance-novel-girlishness once, when she was so sure that the "Black Hart" marquess was truly earning his title--a misapprehension neatly corrected soon after, as readers knew it would be. Altogether this story made for a pleasant morning's read, and I'll be looking for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok read, little disappointed, no excitement in this story. I was hoping for more.
TXBookloverNW More than 1 year ago
Daphne, Lady Pomeroy, recently relocated to London after being widowed for two years. Her brother thinks it’s time for her to find a new husband. However, he didn’t think she would take interest in the Marquess of Hartwell. “Black Hart” is what society whispers behind his back. They think he’s arrogant and cold. Camden Hartwell is neither. He suffers from a lifelong affliction. Ashamed of what society will think of him if they knew the truth; he keeps to himself until, Lady Pomeroy that is. A Scandalous Affair is a fast, fun read. Roles were a bit reversed here. Daphne was the alpha and Camden the vulnerable one. But, it was so sweet and endearing that it worked. Daphne is nothing like what I would think most ladies of her time period would be. She’s feisty and bold. Being a widow gives her that freedom of behavior. She was married off at a young age. She loved her deceased husband, but never felt passion before. Camden stirs those unknown feelings in her. She doesn’t believe the rumors. She thinks there’s more to him and she chases him to find out. Camden is timid at first, but he warms to Daphne. She brings out confidence in him that he’s never felt. My only complaint is that it was too short! The ending felt rushed. I actually got lost a bit in the end. That last chapter is more of an epilogue and really should have been labeled as such. That would have eliminated the rushed, lost feeling I had. I would have loved to see this made into a full length novel. Other than that it was an enjoyable read.