After the Scandal (Reckless Brides Series #4)

After the Scandal (Reckless Brides Series #4)

3.8 11
by Elizabeth Essex

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In English society, the rules of engagement have stood the test of time. Until a Reckless Bride falls in deeply, scandalously in love…


When Lady Claire Jellicoe agreed to a walk in the moonlight, she never imagined her titled companion might have brutal motives. Nor could she have dreamed up such a brave rescue


In English society, the rules of engagement have stood the test of time. Until a Reckless Bride falls in deeply, scandalously in love…


When Lady Claire Jellicoe agreed to a walk in the moonlight, she never imagined her titled companion might have brutal motives. Nor could she have dreamed up such a brave rescue by the most unexpected savior of all: an inscrutable nobleman with a daring plan of escape—and a deliciously tempting embrace…


Timothy Evans, the Duke of Fenmore, has palmed more treasures than he can count. Even for a man who grew up thieving in London's stews, a stolen bride should be beyond the pale. But Fenmore won't let scandal ruin the spirited beauty's reputation. And now that she's stolen his heart, how can he ever let her go…?

After the Scandal is a Reckless Brides novel from Elizabeth Essex

"A sophisticated blend of vivid historical detail, exquisite characterization, and delicious sexual tension." —USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Essex will have readers longing to set sail alongside her daring heroine and dashing hero. This wild ride of a high seas adventure/desire-in-disguise romance has it all: nonstop action, witty repartee, and deft plotting. From the bow to the mast, from battles to ballrooms, Essex delivers another reckless bride and another read to remember.” —RT Book Reviews on Almost A Scandal

“Elizabeth Essex will dazzle you with her sophisticated blend of vivid historical detail, exquisite characterization and delicious sexual tension. Almost a Scandal is a breathtaking tale of rapturous romance and awe-inspiring adventure!” —USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean on Almost A Scandal

“Elizabeth Essex writes the perfect blend of fast-paced adventure and deliciously sexy romance. I couldn't put this book down! Almost a Scandal gets a place on my keeper shelf--I will read anything Elizabeth Essex writes!” —New York Times bestselling author Celeste Bradley on Almost A Scandal

“The first book in the Reckless Brides Trilogy is a seafarer's delight. Col and Sally's high-stakes adventure is fast-paced and fraught with peril. Well-timed humor punctuates the action and the use of frigate-speak adds authenticity to the shipboard dialog. The love story teases the reader at first, as Col and Sally struggle to conceal their attraction on board the Audacious. Then things turn desperate when the circumstances of war seem intent on driving them apart. A smartly written, emotional tempest.” —Reader to Reader Reviews on Almost A Scandal

“Elizabeth Essex has created a fascinating world peopled with fascinating characters. I didn't want this story to end and with the promise of more books in this series, it doesn't have to. Almost a Scandal is a joy to read.” —Fresh Fiction on Almost A Scandal

“Ms. Essex delivers romance at its finest; adventure-packed, passion-filled and totally satisfying. Teeming with adventure, passion, sexual tension, secrets, scandal, witty banter, romance, and love, this story is a delight and a definite keeper.” —Romance Junkies on Almost A Scandal

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Reckless Brides Series , #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Lady Claire Jellicoe hadn’t thought to protest. She hadn’t thought Lord Peter Rosing would ever do anything untoward. She hadn’t thought someone she’d just met on a ballroom floor could ever wish her irreparable harm.
She simply hadn’t thought.
She had smiled. She had smiled because she was Lady Claire Jellicoe, pretty, privileged daughter of the Earl Sanderson. She had smiled because she was polite and considerate, and did as she was asked—she had been asked to dance with the handsome, fair-haired heir of the Marquess of Hadleigh. She had been taught to smile, and say yes.
“No” was what she said now. “No. No. No.”
No, when Lord Rosing pushed her into the dark seclusion of the boathouse at the Dowager Duchess of Fenmore’s lovely riverside villa in Richmond. No, when he pulled Claire’s arm, and grabbed her by the neck. No, no, no, when he shoved her face-first against the rough brick wall.
The brick was hard, and hurt. Stone bit into her face. Sharp grit clawed and scratched against her skin and tasted like dust. But the chalky, bitter bile in her mouth was really fear.
Fear that for the first time in her life, she was powerless.
Powerless because she had been spoiled. Powerless because all her life, she had been pampered and cosseted and buffered and protected from all the truly ugly unpleasantness of the world. And she had never known it until that exact moment when she screamed, “No.”
Because her voice was too small—shadowed with the fear pouring like acid down her throat, filling her chest with the high suffocating heat of panic.
She bit the gloved hand choked across her mouth as instinctively as a wild animal caught in a trap. Her teeth tore through the thick fabric, and the taste of blood suffused her mouth with the metallic tang of hatred and shame.
But all she got for her desperation was a low profanity spewed hot into her ear, the shifting of his grip to grind her face into the brick, and the bloody glove shoved into her mouth and held there as a gag.
He was everywhere around her, covering her mouth, standing on the train of her gown, pinning her against the wall with his weight. Closing out everything else, every hope of help, every thought of action. There was nothing but his body and his breath and his smell and his power.
And she had none.
She couldn’t scream, and she couldn’t move, and she couldn’t stop Lord Rosing.
She could only hear the roar of her heartbeat filling her ears until she was drowning in it. She could only taste the bloody fabric clamped inside her mouth, suffocating out sense. She could only feel the wall cutting into her skin, and the grabbing and pushing and rending of her clothes as he exposed her body.
She could only think in the tiny, screaming part of her mind that was still capable of thought, no, no, no.
No, this could not be happening to her. No, he had to stop. No, someone had to stop him. Please. Please. Please.
And then someone did.
Rosing fell away from her for one suspended moment. Then his head cracked hard against the bricks two inches from her wide-open eyes. He stared back at her, his own eyes open and blank and uncomprehending for one agonizingly sick moment before they rolled back in his head, and he slid slowly down the wall, collapsing in an untidy half-clothed heap at her feet.
Claire clung to the wall, paralyzed and cold and shaking, until something inside her finally rattled free. She spat out the choking glove and scrambled back—away from him, away from the danger. But there was no room to go anywhere with the corner of wall at her back. And there was another threat.
A huge black shadow hung over Rosing’s inert form like a monstrous carrion crow.
And then, without saying a word or making a sound, the shadow reared back, and stomped viciously on Rosing’s splayed leg. A dull, sickening crack bounced up from the brick-paved floor, and lapped upward into the vaulted silence of the boathouse.
Everything else inside Claire wrenched into a single, tight knot of pain and misery that hollowed out her throat, and clutched its clammy way across the surface of her skin.
She shrank back into the corner, away from the looming specter.
And then the specter spoke. “Are you all right?” The voice was a dark, deep rumble she had never heard before.
“No.” Her own voice was nothing but a fracture of a whisper.
“Yes” was all he said, and Claire couldn’t tell if he was agreeing with, or contradicting her.
She couldn’t tell anything. “What have you done?” She looked from her rescuing specter to the heap of man and tailoring at her feet who had only moments ago been the duplicitous Lord Peter Rosing.
“Broken his leg, I should think. It’ll be a bloody long time—if he is lucky enough to heal well enough to even walk—before he rapes another girl.”
There it was. Spoken plainly and ruthlessly. Rape. She had almost been raped.
And another girl. Claire’s pulse throttled against her throat, but she could think enough to understand exactly what those words must mean—she was just another girl to Lord Peter Rosing, not Lady Claire Jellicoe whom he had asked to walk with in the moonlight because he found her enchanting. No matter her name, or her rank, or her fortune, or her parents, she was just another girl for him to do with as he wished. Like a maid or a shopgirl, or anyone else who was as powerless to stop him. Anyone.
The wretched knot within her clenched violently, and she had to close her mouth down around an unbecoming sound very much like a moan. Her hand rose to her throat. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
“Try not to.” He leaned nearer—across Rosing’s prone form—as if he were trying to see her more clearly, and the dark, imposing shadow resolved itself into the tall, lean outline of a man she recognized instantly, though she did not really know him. “You haven’t got time. Breathe deeply through your nose. Can you move on your own? Or would you like me to help you? I’m Tanner Evans, by the way. We have not been introduced.”
It was a ridiculously enormous understatement. He spoke as if they were still within the ballroom, or in a shop, or at a musicale, or anywhere else upon the earth but standing across the unmoving form of her would-be rapist. “I know who you are.”
But he wasn’t some mere Tanner Evans. He was His Grace the Duke of Fenmore. The same impassive, impenetrable man she had seen at such events for years, hanging aloofly at the edges of ballrooms, and never being introduced so he might dance. She had thought him a strange, different sort of man, with a haunted, faraway look, like the men who had come back from the wars last summer with death stalking behind their eyes. Except that she knew the Duke of Fenmore hadn’t gone to war. He had never done anything that she knew of, except stand around ballrooms looking chilly and off-putting.
And he was still rather more than off-putting now, breaking people’s legs with such violent efficiency, though he also shook out an immaculate white handkerchief and held it carefully toward her. “You’ve blood,” he said quietly, “on your face. Scratches from the coarseness of the mortar between the bricks, I should think. You might also want to put a cut of beefsteak or a potato on them, when you get home. You are so fair you’re likely to bruise.”
Beefsteak? Was he mad? Or perhaps it was she who was mad. Perhaps being assaulted by a bastard of the first rank did that to a person—drove them toward Bedlam—judging by the way she flinched from the gloved hand His Grace had extended toward her.
But he wasn’t looking at her as if she were mad. He was nodding, as if he were reassuring and calming her, the way her father might do with a trembling gundog. “It’s all right,” he said. “I won’t hurt you.”
No, he didn’t look like he would, though he did look rather inscrutable, with those narrowed eyes she could not read staring at her so intently. But Lord Peter Rosing’s warm brown eyes had seemed charming not five minutes ago.
“Oh, God.” Clearly, she knew next to nothing about assessing the character of a man.
Claire calmed her battered breathing enough take the proffered square of precisely folded linen from his hand. But her hands shook, and the brick floor beneath her feet wobbled unevenly, as if she were standing upon a floating dock, and not on solid stone.
She leaned against the wall for balance, and pressed the starched handkerchief to the part of her face that stung the most. She immediately withdrew it to see the dark staining of her own blood. Her head began to ache as if someone were scratching at it with an out-of-tune violin. “How bad is it?”
He shook his head, a kind negation. “Not too bad,” he said, though the serious look in his dark eyes said the opposite. “But it were better if we removed ourselves immediately to a less dangerous, less illicit, and better-lit position. Especially before he comes to.” He ducked his head out the open door of the boathouse, before he closed it, and he looked back to her. “Can you move on your own?”
As if the Duke of Fenmore knew she would rather do anything than be touched. Claire stiffened her legs with several hundred years of inherited Jellicoe pride, and tried to push herself away from the wall. Only to find the bricks shifting precariously underfoot again. The enormity of it all—of what had just happened and what had yet to happen—rocked her back against the wall.
“No.” Heat built like a bonfire in her throat and behind her eyes, and her breath was seesawing in and out of her chest, but she pushed the tears away with the back of her shaking hand.
“Stay there a moment. So you might recover. I will stand here, and make sure he doesn’t move.” His Grace took a place on the other side of Rosing’s bleeding head, where he was at a more than respectful distance. If anyone should chance upon Claire and the Duke of Fenmore in the boathouse at the bottom of the garden, they would only be seen to be conversing politely. Albeit across the unconscious form of her would-be rapist.
Yet tongues would wag even if she were seen to be only conversing politely with the Duke of Fenmore. The Duke of Fenmore did not converse politely with young ladies. He had never conversed politely with any young lady in all the time that Claire had observed him looming around the edges of ballrooms. He looked and he brooded and he judged, but he never conversed.
And he looked so intent now, she felt the need to explain how she had gotten herself into such a god-awful predicament. “His father asked me to dance a couple of country dances with Lord Peter Rosing. That’s who he is, Lord Peter Rosing.” Her voice sounded thin and small. So unlike the girl she had been until three minutes ago. “His father said he’d be obliged if I would make myself agreeable by dancing with his son. So I did. And then he asked—Rosing—if I’d like to take a turn on the terrace.” To cool the roses in those beautiful cheeks, he had said with just the right amount of warm feeling when he had offered Claire his arm. “I thought he might try to steal a kiss.”
The duke made an exceptionally unducal, rude sound of disgust. “Steal a kiss.” Fenmore’s gaze dropped to the inert man heaped on the floor. “Rosing was obviously intent upon larceny of an altogether grander design. As is his habit.”
The duke’s tone was strangely vehement. As if it were some sort of a personal affront to the dukedom that Rosing had tried to rape her on Fenmore’s family’s property.
There it was again, the awful, horrible, brutal word.
“I said no to him. I said—” She could hear her voice try to scale the icy cold that was just now seeping into her bones.
“I know,” he said shortly, though he did not look at her. “I heard you. And now, I reckon, so will he have done. And past bloody time. He has grown altogether too brazen.”
In the strange fitful light that came from the wavering reflection of the moon off the water beneath the boathouse docks she took a closer look at the duke’s face. At the rage which was only barely concealed behind the off-putting veneer. “Why are you so angry?”
“Ah.” His dark gaze flicked to hers only momentarily, before he looked away again. “I am not angry. I am outraged. Contrary to popular opinion, I happen to be a nice man. Rosing is not.” He snapped the word off as if he could break it as easily as he had Rosing’s leg. “And you needed help.”
Another ridiculous understatement. But she could only be grateful. “Yes. Yes, I did. Thank you.”
He waved off her thanks with an elegant, economical gesture of his hand. “And you still need it. Your hair is coming down from its pins. You’ll want to restore yourself a bit before you return to the house. Or would you rather I brought your parents down here? I would have done—brought them, or sent them to find you—but I reckoned time was of the essence.”
It had been. A few moments more and—
The realization hit Claire like a shovel to the back of her head. Sick pain snaked its way around the dark edges of her skull—sharp pinpricks of light stabbed at the soft sides of her vision.
Fenmore must have anticipated what had almost happened.
“Did you know he was going to—” She stumbled over the detestable word—it was like an anchor, dragging her down, down, down. Drowning her in the doubt and shame.
“To rape you? Yes. I did. Rosing is a rapist, Lady Claire. Behind those angelic looks lies a dark, twisted heart of rapine. He has made a rather execrable habit of it.”
A habit. A hideous hive of an itch that had to be scratched.
Lord Peter Rosing might have picked anyone, anyone else in the ballroom, but she had been foolish—and maybe even, if she were honest with herself, desperate—enough to smile at him and consent to the dance. Even on the ballroom floor, Lord Peter Rosing must have been thinking and planning what he would do to her.
“Were he not the son of a peer, Rosing would have twisted at Tyburn long before now.” Fenmore brought his dark gaze back to hers before he went on relentlessly, nearly spitting out the words, as if they left a bad taste in his mouth. “I do not know if it will comfort or disgust you to know that you are not the first young woman Lord Peter Rosing has raped, or attempted to rape. But I do mean you to be the last.”
The calm surety with which he spoke sucked the last of the air from her lungs. “You mean to kill him.”
Again that obsidian gaze came back to hers, so sharp it was nearly cutting. “I meant to cripple him. I mean that in the future, if he isn’t hanged, he should find it so difficult to walk that he will find it utterly impossible to shove young ladies up against brick walls.”
The same feeling of powerless shame, of helpless, hopeless, choking despair, tightened around her chest.
But she fought it back. It had not happened. Lord Peter Rosing had not raped her. But only because His Grace, the chilly Duke of Fenmore, had come in time.
She meant to thank him again, not only for herself, but also for the greater population of London’s women, it seemed. But she could not. The words were stuck tight in her throat, trapped there by the casual violence of both men’s actions.
Within her skull, her head began to ring like a church bell.
“You are not yet recovered.”
Again, she could not tell if the strange, dry ordinariness of his observation was an attempt at humor or censure. But pride was the last refuge of the weak. And Claire felt desperately weak.
So she put up her chin. “Yes. Thank you, Your Grace. You do have a penchant for the obvious.”
“And you have a penchant for the dangerous,” he shot back. Some of that vehemence had leapt back into his tone. “Planning to let a man like Rosing steal kisses.”
That was condemnation in his low voice. Claire felt the thoughtlessness of her action burn a trail of heat down her face. She swallowed down the hot embers of her shame. “Yes. Stupid. But I think Lord Peter Rosing has cured me of stupidity.”
“Good.” Fenmore took an audibly deep breath, as if he were as fraught as she. “Though I suppose you could not be expected to know what he is.”
“No.” The admission gave her some small measure—a very small measure—of comfort. “Though if you did know what he is, why did you not tell anyone? Why is he still allowed to show his face in polite company? Why was he invited to your grandmother’s ball?”
“A mistake.” The vehemence was back. “One for which I will never forgive myself. Nor ever make again. And he was not invited.” He spoke with such low, savage heat, she was taken aback. But his anger was all for himself.
“It wasn’t your fault.” The words came out of their own volition—a forgiveness she could not grant to herself.
“Wasn’t it?” He seemed unconvinced. “I should have anticipated that they would come, even uninvited.”
It gave her another small measure of comfort to see him doubt himself. “They?”
“Rosing and his father. Hadleigh.”
“I don’t see how you could have anticipated that.” She was happy to find she could take a rather more normal breath. “My parents would never dream of going someplace they weren’t invited.”
“Yes, parents. We ought to be getting you back to your mother, so she can take you home.”
Yes. She wanted her mother. She wanted to be safe in her arms, and forget this had ever happened. But it had. “We’re not meant to go home. We’re meant to stay the night, as guests.” The worry and doubt and shame and anger wrapped itself ever tighter and tighter. “Oh, God. I don’t think I can bear the questions.”
“No one will question you. I’ll make sure of that.”
“Will you?” It was probably not the wisest thing, to allow herself the relief and sanctuary of hope. But she already had.
“Yes.” This time the vehemence sounded more like surety. More like a promise.
For which she could only be grateful. “Thank you.” Another small measure of comforting relief tiptoed its careful way into her lungs. And she took the opportunity to take a long look at him, this vehement man she had thought so aloof. “Contrary to popular opinion, you are a nice man.”
A nice man who had crippled Rosing, still splayed upon the pavers.
For her. This time the heat in her chest was something more comforting than mere relief.
But there was still a man on the ground. “We can’t just leave him here, can we?”
“Yes. We can. I’m not that nice. Someone will find him. In fact—” He came to an alertness, livid with stillness, rather like one of her father’s hunting dogs scenting the air. And then he swore. “God’s balls. Someone is coming. Now.” He turned that implacable gaze upon her. “Lady Claire, you have approximately three seconds to decide what comes next. Stay here and be discovered with Rosing—and bear all the possible and different consequences of that. Or you can come with me.”
“What?” Her heart started pounding in her ears again.
Claire pushed off the wall, and found she needed to move. To get air back into her lungs. To get away from Rosing. But not back to the house and the ball. Not with her face like this, still scratched and blotted with blood.
Fenmore had crossed to the narrow wooden decking that projected out over the water, and unwound a line to one of the boats from its cleat. “I can take you away in the skiff. We can slip away, out onto the river, with no one the wiser.”
The idea was astonishing.
And she was truly astonished. Astonished to find the events and words and feelings of the past few minutes swirling and twisting through her head, trying to sort themselves out into something approaching logic.
Going in a boat with His Grace the Duke of Fenmore would undoubtedly be just as rash and stupid as walking into the garden with Lord Peter had been.
But the Duke of Fenmore was not Lord Peter Rosing. He looked across the narrow dock at her, and he understood. He reached behind his back, under the tail of his beautifully tailored coat, and pulled out an elegant, well-polished pistol. The shifting moonlight glanced off the slick metal barrel as he held it out to her, handle first. “So you’ll feel safe. But choose. Now.”
Astonishment was too tame a word for the rush of alarm and something else—something unfamiliar and altogether off-kilter—that gripped her, once more stealing the air from her lungs. “Is it loaded?”
“Yes. Do you know how to use it properly?”
Claire didn’t answer. But she did take the gun. Because it gave her her answer.
“Yes.” She scrambled into the narrow boat. “Let us go then and escape. Just for a little while, at least. Until I’m ready to come back.”
“Yes.” The Duke of Fenmore gave her an oddly boyish smile that crinkled up the corners of his eyes, and softened his narrow face, and made him appear young and almost vulnerable. As if he were taking as big a chance as she. “Yes. Just for a little while.”

Copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Essex

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Essex is the critically acclaimed author of historical novels including The Pursuit of Pleasure, A Sense of Sin and the RITA Award nominated The Danger of Desire. When not re-reading Jane Austen, sipping tea or mucking about her garden, Elizabeth can be found writing, making up wonderful stories about people who live far more interesting lives than she. It wasn't always so. Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classical Studies and Art History, and then earned her MA from Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeology, also known as the archaeology of shipwrecks.

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After the Scandal 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
Sweet romance, thrilling mystery, and an absolutely lovely story. After the Scandal was a fantastic historical romance. I loved this book! From beginning to end, it was just perfect. Claire was a lovely heroine. After falling prey to a would-be rapist, she decided that she wasn't going to allow herself to be a victim of her own ignorance anymore. So, what better way to learn about the dark side of the world than investigating a murder mystery? She definitely proved herself as a strong character as the book went on. She might be a pampered society lady, but don't let that fool you. She was a force to be reckoned with. I really liked her. I thought she was wonderful. Fenmore was amazing. He was so delightfully sweet and adorable. He spent is youth in the streets, stealing to survive, only to be plucked out of the squalor and given a dukedom. It definitely made him an interesting character. He had his own code of honor that he stood by, no matter what, and he was very protective of those he cared about. I absolutely adored him. The romance was wonderful. Claire and Fenmore were so sweet together. I really liked how Fenmore was already so in love with Claire and he spent the book trying to win her over in between investigating a murder. He certainly had his own way of wooing that I thought was adorable. And, the chemistry between them was hot. It wasn't the main point of their relationship, but there was definitely some steaminess with these two. I thought they were a perfect couple. The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. The murder mystery of very well done. It added so many thrills and kept me on the edge of my seat. I suspected partially who was behind the murder, but I definitely didn't expect the full extent of it. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was perfect. After the Scandal was a fantastic historical romance. I absolutely loved this book! From the romance, to the mystery, it was brilliant. Romance lovers, this is a book you'll definitely want to read. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
onlyminordetails More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts: What I thought going into this story was different than where it went. It was alright, but not as gripping and intriguing as I anticipated. However, I still enjoyed it enough that I kept reading, and that says something. When I read these books, I'm all about the romance. It was there to some degree, but not that spectacular. Claire and Tanner's romance has its moments, don't get me wrong, but it took awhile. Because of the whole murder mystery going on, the whole plot had me more bored than swooning. Once it started getting interesting for me, there wasn't much left to go. After the Scandal is an interesting enough read to check out sometime if you like a mix of romance and mystery. It may not have been everything I look for in a book, but it was a nice story. It was different, which was a good change of pace for me. My Rating: Pretty Good
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Book Four of the Reckless Brides series. Tanner grew up stealing to live and now he must steal something infinitely more important - the woman he loves.  Claire can't even imagine the depths that the human soul can sink to until a villainous man leads her out of the ballroom.  Tanner saves her and takes her away from scandal, only to find the body of a young maid in the river.  One thing leads to another and she learns that the world is so much bigger than she ever dreamed. If you're looking for an historical murder-mystery with love and scandal thrown in, this is the book for you!
D-B1 More than 1 year ago
I received a wonderfully well-written historical novel filled with romance and mystery After the Scandal by Elizabeth Essex free from Goodreads. The Duke of Fenmore, Tanner Evans, stands against the wall watching Lady Claire Jellicoe dance and then leave with Lord Peter Rosing. Tanner saves Lady Claire Jellicoe from being raped by Peter Rosing, leaves the dance with her, & finds the dead body of a young maid. As Tanner and Claire work together investigating the murder, they find themselves scandalously falling in love. Read the awesome, thrilling, romantic, well-written love story. After the Scandal by Elizabeth Essex.
DComfort More than 1 year ago
4 Stars! Historical Romance Release date: March 25, 2014 ABOUT THE BOOK: In English society, the rules of engagement have stood the test of time. Until a Reckless Bride falls deeply, scandalously in love… CAN AN INDECENT PROPOSAL When Lady Claire Jellicoe agreed to a walk in the moonlight, she never imagined her titled companion might have brutal motives. Nor could she have dreamed up such a brave rescue by the most unexpected savior of all: an inscrutable nobleman with a daring plan of escape—and a deliciously tempting embrace… LEAD TO EVERLASTING LOVE? Timothy Evans, the Duke of Fenmore, has palmed more treasures than he can count. Even for a man who grew up thieving in London’s stews, a stolen bride should be beyond the pale. But Fenmore won’t let scandal ruin the spirited beauty’s reputation. And now that she’s stolen his heart, how can he ever let her go…? MY REVIEW: This is the fourth book in Ms. Essex’s Reckless Brides series, and it shows no signs of letting up. This book was full of so much suspense that it kept me on the edge of my seat! If Ms. Essex wants to change genres and write mysteries, I think she’ll have her hand on the bar for good! The writing, as always, was phenomenal. The chemistry was off the charts. And the plot thickened as time went on. Lady Jellicoe finds herself in a dire situation, and the only one who can come to the rescue—and does so with initial ill-intentions—is no other than The Duke of Fenmore. It was a gripping and very realistic approach to putting the heroine in danger, and Ms. Essex did such fabulously. The two must work together after such in order to figure out why there was a threat against her, and why they found her lady’s maid floating face down in the river. Gripping enough? I think so. The chemistry between the two builds as they work their way through the investigation and it’s enough to where both have you gripping the seat. If you want a highly enjoyable read, one where the author leads you on one hell of a case, pick this up today!
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Essex has written a wonderful romance that will captivate the reader. Claire, Lady Jellicoe, is an innocent who foolishly trusts her escort. He takes advantage and attempts to rape her. She is rescued by Tanner, the Duke of Fenmore. He wants to protect her and keep her safe but that might be hard to do. They discover the body of the Lady's maid, Maisy Carter. Who killed her? and why? This story is fast paced and compelling. The romance of Claire and Tanner is very romantic. It is interesting to watch how these two change and grow as the story progresses. Tanner is a worthy hero. He has flaws but he also has depth and strength of character. Claire seems delicate and fragile but you see her inner strength and determination emerge. The action is non-stop and the identity of the murderer keeps you guessing. The author skillfully manages the dual storylines. After the Scandal is filled with well-written characters and great dialogue. I could not put this book down. It's a keeper.
celticmaggie More than 1 year ago
This was a very intriguing book from Elizabeth Essex. This is the first book I have read from her but I will keep looking for more from her. She writes "out of their comfort zone" characters.   Tanned, the Duke of Fenmore, has had an industrially odd youth along with his sister. Lady Claire Jellicoe, daughter of the Earl Sanderson, is the absolute complete opposite. They fit together like a glove. I won't write spoilers so all I have to say is that Tanner saves Claire from trouble and tries to save her from scandal. In the process they find a dead body and try to solve a murder. Along with this comes running through the slums, lock picking, fake coins, parents worried to death and murder charges. No rest for the weary in this book. This is one read you don't want to miss. Enjoy!  
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the worst book out of all of the author books i have ever read. Who ever told her to change the format did not do her a good turn, two thumbs down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stop! Do not pay money for this book. If I received it for free, I too would have rated it with 5 stars. This was just not good. Very silly, poor writing and poor plot.