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Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After Series #4 & Spindle Cove Series #5)
     

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After Series #4 & Spindle Cove Series #5)

4.8 26
by Tessa Dare
 

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On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true

Overview

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/29/2016
Dare’s latest novel, which links her popular Spindle Cove and Castles Ever After series, opens in 1819 with a sizzling, scandalous encounter in a velvet-draped alcove at an English country estate. Charlotte Highwood and Piers Brandon, who have only just been introduced, hear—but don’t see—a pair of passionate lovers and inadvertently duck into the same niche in order to avoid them. Charlotte is shocked to find herself chest to chest with Piers, but her mortification truly sets in after the mysterious lovers leave and others who overheard them insinuate that Charlotte and Piers were the ones enjoying intimate pursuits. Piers and Charlotte hastily arrange a private engagement to salvage Charlotte’s reputation before word gets around, but Dare’s unconventional heroine is reluctant: she wants to marry for love, not honor. Charlotte tries to identify the mysterious lovers to clear her own name of scandal so she can get out of her engagement to Piers, a dashing yet cold marquess who’s also a spy for the Crown. But her intrepid sleuthing alarms Piers, who has his own secrets to hide. Artful diversions, a clever heroine, and intense passion are all brought together by Dare’s smart writing and spot-on matchmaking. There’s just the right amount of intrigue, and even the minor characters have layered personalities. The irresistibly provocative, classy love scenes set the bar high for other historical romance novels. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Oct.)
RT Book Reviews (top pick)
“With its free-spirited heroine and honorable hero, Dare’s latest is a riotous romance. Her signature humor sparkles (I’ll never look at a peach and cucumber the same way again) and when combined with a mystery that turns into a Regency game of Clue, readers are captivated.”
Smart Bitches
“Do You Want to Start a Scandal is good. It’s so, so good. [...] It worked perfectly for me. [...] This book is funny, it’s charming, and the romance works so beautifully.”
Library Journal
★ 10/15/2016
Scandal-prone Charlotte Highwood has no intention of marrying Piers Brandon, Marquess of Granville—she's not at all the wife he needs, and, in any case, she has more adventurous plans in mind. When they are caught in a compromising situation at a country house party, they are forced to agree to an "understanding"—one that Charlotte intends to get out of as soon as she can. But Piers has other ideas. He not only needs an heir, he's intrigued by the unconventional, exceptionally perceptive Charlotte. Clever badinage, an intricate plot, breathtaking sensuality, and carefully realized secondary characters make this another delightful page-turner from one of the genre's best. VERDICT An irrepressible, independent-minded heroine and a responsible hero who's leading two lives fall for each other in a rollicking and passionate romp that is just what Spindle Cove fans will relish. Dare (When a Scot Ties the Knot) lives in Southern California. [See "Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 9/1/16, ow.ly/wkvx304GnLc.]
Kirkus Reviews
2016-11-06
When she tries to warn a marquess to stay away from her at a house party where they'll be guests for the next two weeks—because she knows her mother will try to set them up in some embarrassing way—Charlotte Highwood winds up compromised. In trying to prove her innocence, she falls in love with the man, who's sworn he'll never love anyone.When Charlotte follows Piers Brandon, Lord Granville, into the Parkhurst library to warn him about her mother's schemes, the conversation is interrupted by another couple meeting for a tryst. Thinking quickly, Piers hides them behind a long curtain, where they endure listening to the assignation. They're discovered leaving their hiding place, leading people to think it was she and Piers making love. Piers quietly offers to marry Charlotte, who resists. She wants a marriage based on love and trust, not convenience. Convinced she can evade an engagement if she finds the "tuppers," Charlotte embarks on an investigation even as she gives her heart and body to Piers, who finds himself incredibly willing to share long-held secrets with his would-be fiancee—considering he's a spy who's spent a lifetime learning how to hide them—without realizing he's falling in love, too. Dare delivers another winning historical romance, with sparkling dialogue, an effervescent heroine, and an emotionally inhibited hero who falls for her even if he can't admit it to himself. There is much to love in this title—which entwines the author's popular Castles and Spindle Cove series—and Dare brings her typical combination of humor (with an extra dose of lightheartedness thanks to Charlotte's irrepressible spirit), unexpected yet spot-on matchmaking, and soul-satisfying romance. However, a few anachronisms and missteps mar the story. For example, wouldn't Charlotte still be compromised if she uncovered the trysting couple? A gratifying romance despite some flaws.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062349040
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/27/2016
Series:
Castles Ever After Series , #4
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
36,947
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Tessa Dare is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen historical romances. A librarian by training and a book-lover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she shares a cozy, cluttered bungalow with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kittens.

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Do You Want to Start a Scandal 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tessa Dare has wonderful characters. I find myself pulled into their world and am sad when the story comes to an end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super cute and light read. Easy to like the characters and the little mystery is a fun plot device.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting hero, different plot, and excellent writing make this one not-to-miss.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Loved it.... Best in the series
Anonymous 12 months ago
I love Dare's books and this one didn't disappoint. Great characters. No drawn out huge misunderstandings you want to strangle the hero and heroine over. Fun dialogue. Everything I look for it good romp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of your books so much! I never thought I could have an absolute favorite, until now. Thank you so much for sharing your world with us.
gaele More than 1 year ago
So – it took me a bit to get TO this book (apologies) but I just couldn’t put it down. I want to BE Charlotte Highwood when I grow up. Completely her own person, smart, mouthy, innocent and completely hilarious simply because she is so blunt and spot on with her observations. But, when she’s feeling cornered by rumors that will require her to marry a man she doesn’t know (and doesn’t think a good match) her determination to lead her own life by her own terms is marvelous. Piers Brandon, Lord Granville, starts out as a very typical man of his station, reserved, a bit proper and stuffy, what isn’t known is that he is a spy for the crown. And, he can’t believe that this chit of a girl is ‘warning him’ of her mother’s intentions for them to marry. But, there’s something about Charlotte: her beauty, her obvious wit and the fact that she isn’t cowed by his title or presence is completely foreign territory, and one his career as spy and diplomat have not prepared him for. Oh the plot is thick and full of twists in this one: as Piers, egged on by Charlotte’s determination, decides to find out just who missed being caught en flagrante in the library during the ball by the hosts’ young son. The combination of Charlotte’s innocence combined with her honest desire to see the real Piers gives him the strength and courage to face his own demons and heal. Pretty heady stuff for a story that kept me smiling, had me loving both characters together and apart, and finishing this book in a single sitting. Now to get to the earlier titles in this series. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
judiOH 14 days ago
a wonderful historical romance. i couldn't put this story down!!
Anonymous 16 days ago
Always a great and humorous story....enjoy
Anonymous 7 months ago
Great characters and interesting plot.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
I read it in two Days! It's a great suspense that ends perfectly.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I absolutely loved Charlotte & Piers together! This book was a fun read, leaving you to wonder what else could go wrong! Great dialogue & steamy love scenes.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I love how the characters come together from Spindle Cove and the Castles Ever After!!! Its great to see Charlotte all grown up and, like her sisters, find her HEA. I love banter between her and Piers. But I also lovethe banter between charlotte and her mother, who may be worse than Austen's Mrs. Bennett. Tessa Dare is such a master in wit and humor in her books!!! I'm always laughing out loud and swooning at the same time over the couple's story. I have to be patient for Tessa Dare's next book and series.
LEH0644 12 months ago
Great book deserving more than 5 stars! A young lady plans to tour the continent with her best friend and doesn’t want to get married but her mother is determined to find her a husband. Charlotte Highwood knows her mother has selected Lord Granville and she confronts him in the library to warn him about her mother's plan. She thinks he is a cold, unfeeling man and tells him she will marry only for love. He tells her he can never love anyone. Thus, their relationship begins. Lots of funny situations where you find yourself laughing.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I really loved this one
Anonymous 12 months ago
I have always loved Tessa Dare's writing style. This book had me falling in love with Piers. And Charlotte was such a fun character. One of my favorite reads ever! Patiently (?)waiting for her next book. Looks like it's time to start rereading each of her series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tessa Dare once again shows an adorable romance that leaves my heart all melted. I loved it.
MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
This is a fun story that brings together characters from both the Spindle Cove series and the Castles Ever After series. Charlotte Highwood is the youngest of the Highwood sisters and the only one still unmarried. Her mother is driving her crazy trying to match her up with eligible gentlemen. The embarrassment has already made her an outcast among the ton. She only wants to warn Lord Granville that she has no intention of letting her mother force them together. However, her plan immediately goes awry when a most embarrassing incident occurs and Charlotte and Piers are blamed. As previously established in the Spindle Cove books, Charlotte loves to investigate a good mystery, so she sets out to find who is really responsible, clear her name, and get back to her plan to make a Grand Tour of Europe with her best friend. While Charlotte's methods are sound, bumblings and misunderstandings abound, providing many humorous episodes. Piers goes along with the investigation at first, although he's already decided that Charlotte will be a part of his life. He just doesn't think he can ever give her his heart. However, this man of action with a mysterious past may have just met his match!
regencyromantic1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Definitely worth the time & money.
ValerieStuckInBooks More than 1 year ago
OMG! This books. It had me bursting into laughter and giggling as I turned the pages. Then there was the swooning. Historical romance has never been so appealing at when this author gets hold of it! I adore the characters. Charlotte doesn't want to be thrown at a man by her mother again. She's tired of the reputation it gives her and wants to marry for love. Impetuous maybe too tame for her. I love the "how" of how she tries to save Piers from her mother. I love her reactions to her mother's attempt to explain the "marriage requirements" to her complete with PROPS. The modern version of birds and bees has nothing on this version! I will NEVER look at peaches or aubergine quite the same way again. But as Charlotte endures her mother, she sells herself short. She considers what she has to offer lacking but she has the most important of all skills. She is a people person. And she is the perfect match for Piers with walls built firmly around his heart. Of course Piers will do the honorable thing by Charlotte. It works with his plans. He needs an rein. He can set her up at his estate, get her pregnant and go about his business. But his secrets and the ghosts from his past must stay hidden. What he didn't count on was being quite so intrigued by Charlotte. Yes she is pretty but when does he begin caring about her? It's a good question. I loved how he fell for her without even noticing, believing he was protecting her. Adorable. I don't remember the last book that had me laughing so much. The story was brilliant and so very enjoyable. And Piers has some major skills when it comes to "bedsports". Hehe. I've decided that I need to collect all of the books in this series and by this author. This was my first one and I NEED them all now! When you find an author that writes this well, you just want more. That's how I feel. I will have them ALL!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
2 good.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare Book Five of the Spindle Cove series/Book Four of the Castles Ever After series Publisher: Avon Publication Date: September 27, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. •Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? •Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? •Perhaps the butler did it. All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue. But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past. Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love? What I Liked: This book was LOVELY. I can't think of a better word to describe it. This is Tessa Dare at her best - with a funny, charming, sexy, heartwarming story. Charlotte is a kind yet busybody-type, and Piers is a seemingly cold yet haunted and brooding type, and the pair make for a bickering, opposing, passionate couple. I loved this story! At the Parkhurst ball, Charlotte Highwood goes to find Lord Granville. Her mother is determined to see Charlotte marry this marquess, but Charlotte wants to let him know that she has no intentions of doing so. Unfortunately, while Piers and Charlotte are talking, another couple comes in. Piers and Charlotte hide, but the couple have sex, making a lot of noise. They leave, and while Charlotte and Piers look to leave too, they are "discovered". Piers does the honorable thing in offering for Charlotte. But Charlotte thinks that finding out who the mysterious lovers were will set everything to rights, making it possible for her and Piers not to marry. But she slowly discovers that this seemingly cold, proper lord is quite charming, sexy, and has excellent instincts and skills. Charlotte wants to marry for love, and she's falling in love with Piers. But does Piers love her back? Tessa Dare sure knows how to create, craft, and develop characters. This sounds so basic, but Dare really has a talent for this. I've read many of her books, and I've found that all of her characters are so lifelike, and very likable. Often times I have issues with heroines in historical romance novels, but I didn't have any problems with Charlotte. Charlotte is adorable and kind, a bit of a busybody but in a well-meaning way. She's perceptive in her own way, and she definitely means well in everything she does. The problem is, much of what she does (and means well, in doing), ends badly. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Do You Want to Start a Scandal is book five in the Spindle Cove series. I adore this series so much and couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. If you've been wanting to try out this series but haven't read the other books yet, I'd say you can read these out of order but you'll miss out on knowing some of the past characters that do make appearances. We start off with our leading lady, Charlotte Highwood, wandering around at a ball until she spots Lord Granville, Piers Brandon. She just knows her matchmaking mother is going to try to persuade Piers to marry her, so she plans on warning him off before it even starts. They wind up getting caught in a situation where everyone thinks they are lovers and Piers is forced to either become engaged to Charlotte, or the scandal will ruin her chances of ever finding a husband. They tentatively make a plan that after two weeks time, they will become engaged, unless they are able to find the people behind the actual scandal. And so the investigation begins! During the two weeks, Charlotte and Piers wind up in the hands of Charlotte's matchmaking mother and they grew closer with each outing. I enjoyed seeing Charlotte investigate the mysterious lovers and try to track them down with each passing day. With everything against her I was wondering if she would be able to figure it out in time. Charlotte quickly became my favorite character, she knew what she wanted (to find the truth) and went after it. While most females in that time would love to wind up married to Piers in any way possible, she enjoyed his company but wants to marry for true love. You have to respect that. Piers has a tight control over his emotions and his character grew on me quickly. I could see more emotions from him with each page turned and it really was a delight to read. Do You Want to Start a Scandal will grab you from page one and not let go. I wound up reading this in one sitting because I had to know what would happen. I loved the little mystery added in, Tessa Dare is a master at all things Historical Romance. I have her books to thank my reignited passion for Historical Romance, I'm really loving the genre again. With well-rounded ladies that most can relate to, I feel this series is a must read. If you haven't read this series or this author before, I highly suggest it.