One Night of Scandal

( 76 )

Overview

Proper decorum has never come easily to Carlotta Anne Fairleigh—not even tonight, when the lovely, impetuous miss is finally making her debut. As she waits to make her entrance, she can't help wondering about the darkened house next door, the supposedly abandoned home of Hayden St. Clair, the man society has dubbed the "Murderous Marquess." Certainly one small peek through his window before the festivities would be harmless . . .

And, naturally, this latest "adventure" ends in ...

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Overview

Proper decorum has never come easily to Carlotta Anne Fairleigh—not even tonight, when the lovely, impetuous miss is finally making her debut. As she waits to make her entrance, she can't help wondering about the darkened house next door, the supposedly abandoned home of Hayden St. Clair, the man society has dubbed the "Murderous Marquess." Certainly one small peek through his window before the festivities would be harmless . . .

And, naturally, this latest "adventure" ends in disaster, thoroughly compromising the budding debutante's reputation and leaving her suddenly, unthinkably . . . betrothed! Soon she's en route to the wilds of Cornwall in the company of the handsome, mysterious marquess whose name the ton whisper with fear and loathing.

Yet there is something thrilling—and surprisingly tender—about her dark, unreachable groom, and the desire in his eyes is undeniable. But before Lottie will surrender to the yearnings in her heart, she must unlock the secrets of Hayden's past, no matter how scandalous—or perilous—they may be.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The plot of Medeiros's newest Regency (after A Kiss to Remember) is far from new-a lively new wife turns her husband's household topsy-turvy but aligns everyone's hearts-but Medeiros brings a confidence and keen pacing to her story that lifts it above other such tales. Lottie Fairleigh, an aspiring Gothic novelist known as the Hertfordshire Hellion, finds herself in another scrape when she's discovered kissing Hayden St. Clair, the "Murderous Marquess," just before her coming-out ball. But for the first time, Lottie can't talk her way out of trouble, and she's swiftly married and packed off to Cornwall, where the ghost of the marquess's supposedly murdered first wife haunts the mansion. Faced with a bratty stepdaughter and deprived of the comfort of her new husband's arms-and bed-Lottie believes the ghost is the least of her problems... or perhaps the key to solving them. Lottie's damn-the-torpedoes spirit and flights of Northanger Abbey-like fancy form this romance's sparkling core. The marquess, while just as sympathetic, has only to be shown the errors of his ways by Lottie's adventurous example. In both humorous and sensual scenes, veteran writer Medeiros's talent touches every page, making this romance glisten like gold. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060513641
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/9/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 983,903
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros wrote her first novel at the age of twenty-one and has since gone on to win the hearts of both readers and critics. A two-time recipient of the Waldenbooks Award for bestselling fiction, Teresa makes her home in Kentucky with her husband and two cats.

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Read an Excerpt

One Night of Scandal


By Teresa Medeiros

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Teresa Medeiros All right reserved. ISBN: 0060513640

Chapter One

Gentle Reader, I'll never forget the moment I first laid eyes
on the man who planned to murder me ...

London, 1825

Carlotta Anne Fairleigh was coming out. Unfortunately, what she was coming out of at the moment was both her elaborate ball gown and the second-story window of her aunt Diana's May-fair mansion. She might have managed the latter without incident if the silk flounces adorning the bodice of her gown hadn't become entangled in a nailhead protruding from the inside of the windowsill.

"Harriet!" Lottie whispered frantically. "Harriet, where are you? I'm in dire need of your assistance!"

She craned her neck to peer into the cozy sitting room she'd inhabited quite comfortably until only a few minutes ago. A fluffy white cat drowsed on the hearth, but Harriet, like all of Lottie's good fortune, seemed to have vanished.

"Where has that silly goose of a girl gone?" she muttered.

As she struggled to work the ruffle free of the nail, the slick soles of her kid slippers danced and skidded along the tree branch that jutted out just below her, vainly seeking purchase.

She stole a reluctant glance over her shoulder, her arms aching from the effort. The flagstones of the terrace below,which had seemed so attainable only minutes before, now seemed leagues away. She considered bellowing for a footman, but feared it was her brother who would come running and discover her predicament. Although only two years her elder, George had recently returned from his first Grand Tour of the Continent and was only too eager to lord his newfound sophistication over his baby sister.

The discordant strains of a string quartet tuning their instruments wafted out of the French windows on the north side of the house. In a very short time, Lottie knew she would hear the clatter of carriage wheels and the murmur of voices and welcoming laughter as the cream of London aristocracy arrived to herald her debut into their society. They would have no way of knowing their guest of honor was hanging out of a window two stories above, having forfeited her one stab at respectability.

She might not have found herself in such a predicament if Sterling Harlow, her brother-in-law and guardian, had hosted her debut at Devonbrooke House, his sprawling West End mansion. But his cousin Diana had cajoled him into conceding the honor to her.

It took no great leap of Lottie's overactive imagination to envision her aunt's guests gathered around her broken body as it lay sprawled on the flagstones. The women would press their scented kerchiefs to their lips to muffle their sobs while the men "tsked" and "tutted" beneath their breath, murmuring what a terrible pity it was that they would be forever deprived of her vivacious company. She gave the rich violet poplin of her skirt a rueful glance. If the gown didn't suffer too much wear on the way down, perhaps her family could bury her in it.

It was only too easy to imagine their reaction as well. Her sister, Laura, would hide her tear-blotched face in her husband's lapels, her tender heart broken for the last time by Lottie's foolhardiness. But most damning of all would be the bitter disappointment etched on her brother-in-law's handsome features. Sterling had spent considerable time, care, patience, and money to mold her into a lady. Tonight had been her last chance to prove to him that all of his efforts had not been in vain.

Lottie might have still been sitting in front of the dressing table in the sitting room had her best friend Harriet not come trotting into the room just as her aunt's abigail was putting the finishing touches on Lottie's hair.

Recognizing the hectic patches of color staining Harriet's cheeks, Lottie had quickly risen from the dressing table. "Thank you, Celeste. That will be all."

As soon as the maid had departed, Lottie had rushed to her friend's side. "Whatever is the matter, Harriet? You look as if you've swallowed a cat."

Although Harriet Dimwinkle wasn't overly plump, everything about her gave the impression of roundness - her dimpled cheeks, the wire-rimmed spectacles shielding her fawn-colored eyes, the shoulders that remained slightly stooped despite hours of being forced to march around the parlor of Mrs. Lyttelton's School of Deportment for Fine Young Ladies with a heavy atlas upon her head. Her name alone had earned her merciless teasing from her fellow students. It hadn't helped that the girl was a tad bit ... well, dim.

Never one to tolerate injustice, Lottie had appointed herself Harriet's champion. She was loathe to admit, even to herself, that it was the very thickness of Harriet's wits that allowed the good-natured girl to go along with most of Lottie's schemes without worrying about the consequences.

Harriet clutched at Lottie's arm. "I just overheard two of the maids whispering. You'll never guess who's been living right next door practically under your aunt's nose for the past fortnight."

Lottie glanced out the window. The darkened house that shared the square was barely visible through the falling shadows of dusk. "No one, would be my guess. The place is as quiet as a tomb. We've been here since Tuesday and I've yet to see a living soul."

Harriet opened her mouth.

"Wait!" Lottie backed away from her friend, holding up a warning hand. "Never mind. I don't wish to know. The last thing I need tonight is Laura chiding me for being such an incorrigible busybody."

"But you're not a busybody," Harriet said, blinking like an owl behind her spectacles. "You're a writer. You've always said your sister lacked the imagination to make the distinction. Which is why I simply must tell you - "

(Continues...)


Excerpted from One Night of Scandal by Teresa Medeiros
Copyright © 2003 by Teresa Medeiros
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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First Chapter

Chapter One

Gentle Reader, I'll never forget the moment I first laid eyes
on the man who planned to murder me ...

London, 1825

Carlotta Anne Fairleigh was coming out. Unfortunately, what she was coming out of at the moment was both her elaborate ball gown and the second-story window of her aunt Diana's May-fair mansion. She might have managed the latter without incident if the silk flounces adorning the bodice of her gown hadn't become entangled in a nailhead protruding from the inside of the windowsill.

"Harriet!" Lottie whispered frantically. "Harriet, where are you? I'm in dire need of your assistance!"

She craned her neck to peer into the cozy sitting room she'd inhabited quite comfortably until only a few minutes ago. A fluffy white cat drowsed on the hearth, but Harriet, like all of Lottie's good fortune, seemed to have vanished.

"Where has that silly goose of a girl gone?" she muttered.

As she struggled to work the ruffle free of the nail, the slick soles of her kid slippers danced and skidded along the tree branch that jutted out just below her, vainly seeking purchase.

She stole a reluctant glance over her shoulder, her arms aching from the effort. The flagstones of the terrace below, which had seemed so attainable only minutes before, now seemed leagues away. She considered bellowing for a footman, but feared it was her brother who would come running and discover her predicament. Although only two years her elder, George had recently returned from his first Grand Tour of the Continent and was only too eager to lord his newfound sophistication over his baby sister.

The discordant strains of a string quartet tuning their instruments wafted out of the French windows on the north side of the house. In a very short time, Lottie knew she would hear the clatter of carriage wheels and the murmur of voices and welcoming laughter as the cream of London aristocracy arrived to herald her debut into their society. They would have no way of knowing their guest of honor was hanging out of a window two stories above, having forfeited her one stab at respectability.

She might not have found herself in such a predicament if Sterling Harlow, her brother-in-law and guardian, had hosted her debut at Devonbrooke House, his sprawling West End mansion. But his cousin Diana had cajoled him into conceding the honor to her.

It took no great leap of Lottie's overactive imagination to envision her aunt's guests gathered around her broken body as it lay sprawled on the flagstones. The women would press their scented kerchiefs to their lips to muffle their sobs while the men "tsked" and "tutted" beneath their breath, murmuring what a terrible pity it was that they would be forever deprived of her vivacious company. She gave the rich violet poplin of her skirt a rueful glance. If the gown didn't suffer too much wear on the way down, perhaps her family could bury her in it.

It was only too easy to imagine their reaction as well. Her sister, Laura, would hide her tear-blotched face in her husband's lapels, her tender heart broken for the last time by Lottie's foolhardiness. But most damning of all would be the bitter disappointment etched on her brother-in-law's handsome features. Sterling had spent considerable time, care, patience, and money to mold her into a lady. Tonight had been her last chance to prove to him that all of his efforts had not been in vain.

Lottie might have still been sitting in front of the dressing table in the sitting room had her best friend Harriet not come trotting into the room just as her aunt's abigail was putting the finishing touches on Lottie's hair.

Recognizing the hectic patches of color staining Harriet's cheeks, Lottie had quickly risen from the dressing table. "Thank you, Celeste. That will be all."

As soon as the maid had departed, Lottie had rushed to her friend's side. "Whatever is the matter, Harriet? You look as if you've swallowed a cat."

Although Harriet Dimwinkle wasn't overly plump, everything about her gave the impression of roundness -- her dimpled cheeks, the wire-rimmed spectacles shielding her fawn-colored eyes, the shoulders that remained slightly stooped despite hours of being forced to march around the parlor of Mrs. Lyttelton's School of Deportment for Fine Young Ladies with a heavy atlas upon her head. Her name alone had earned her merciless teasing from her fellow students. It hadn't helped that the girl was a tad bit ... well, dim.

Never one to tolerate injustice, Lottie had appointed herself Harriet's champion. She was loathe to admit, even to herself, that it was the very thickness of Harriet's wits that allowed the good-natured girl to go along with most of Lottie's schemes without worrying about the consequences.

Harriet clutched at Lottie's arm. "I just overheard two of the maids whispering. You'll never guess who's been living right next door practically under your aunt's nose for the past fortnight."

Lottie glanced out the window. The darkened house that shared the square was barely visible through the falling shadows of dusk. "No one, would be my guess. The place is as quiet as a tomb. We've been here since Tuesday and I've yet to see a living soul."

Harriet opened her mouth.

"Wait!" Lottie backed away from her friend, holding up a warning hand. "Never mind. I don't wish to know. The last thing I need tonight is Laura chiding me for being such an incorrigible busybody."

"But you're not a busybody," Harriet said, blinking like an owl behind her spectacles. "You're a writer. You've always said your sister lacked the imagination to make the distinction. Which is why I simply must tell you -- "

One Night of Scandal. Copyright © by Teresa Medeiros. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 76 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Cute

    It was a bit predictable and a bit sappy but I still would reccomend it as a lighthearted read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Ok

    I love this author but not one of her best books but still a good read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Enjoyable, would recommend!!!!

    I enjoyed this read, though some parts dragged a little. I felt so sorry for the heroine when she was ignored by her husband, when he didn't want to ride with her, when she was treated like she was unwanted in her new home, when she realized he was still in love with his first wife and when he sent her away!!!! But Lottie was a very strong young women and made the best of every situation!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Loved it

    Great book

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    enchanting

    Had a hard time putting this book down. Funny and enchanting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    Awesome!

    As always the book is entertaining from beginning to end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2006

    An awesome book!!!!

    She marries a suspected killer to avoid a scandal. He then wisks her off to a land that's completely foreign to her. There she encounters an extremely spoiled little girl who tries to make her life a living hell. The child just wasn't expecting her. Meanwhile, her new husband won't even spend a mere five minutes with her. They love, they fight, and end up losing themselves in the end. This is an awesome book and I would recommend it to anyone who loves historical romance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    Not what I hoped for

    I love Teresa Medeiros' novels. But this one was disappointing. I expected it to be a great read because it continues from Medeiros' A Kiss to Remember. Now that novel was an excellent read. The heroine in One Night of Scandal was a willful and courageous character, but I found the storyline lacking in excitement and sensuality. The middle sort of dragged on a bit too. It was okay, but it could have been better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2005

    Delightful!!

    While rather new to this particular genre of books, this was my third novel by Teresa Medeiros and it did not disappoint. The story was an absolute delight to read, reminding me something of Jane Eyre, intricate and not at all what I was expecting. Faced with two characters who's nature are so different from each other they were a perfect balance making it an interesting and amusing tale, while the supporting characters help to add a depth lacking in other book that share a similar plot. Medeiros does a good job of giving the reader a good dose of humor, magic and fun. A wonderful read with plenty of romance that will keep you from putting this book down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2004

    It was just OK

    I gave it only 3 stars because I felt like something was missing in this story. The magic from other books didn't make its appearence in this one. First of all, the main characters where never together until the end. This is a romance novel, where was the romance? At some point I hated the guy,( I even forgot the name of the MM) he was mean to Lottie, and still she loved him???? It was weird. I finished reading it because I hate to leave my books unfinished.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    It was ok

    I own all Ms.Medeiros books and I enjoy reading them over & over again. When I bought 'One Night of Scandal' I couldn't wait to read it but was disappointed by the characters. They lacked the magic of other characters Ms.Medeiros has created. If I'd never read anything by Ms.Medeiros then I'd be satisfied with this book. But I've read her books so I know that it could be better. I hope Ms. Medeiros graces us with other books because I anxiously await for other magical tales.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2003

    BEST BOOK EVER

    This is one of the best books I have ever read YOU MUST READ it for anyone who likes historical romance you will love this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2003

    One night of Reading

    It only took about one full day for me to finish this book. With her usual talent for story telling Ms. Medeiros has captured again what i love best in romance novels; characters with flaws and real emotion running through them. I highly recommend this book. It made me laugh and definately made me choke up as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2003

    Read this Book

    This is an awsome book! I recomend it to anyone who loves romance. Teresa is a wonderful writter and very discriptive. The story is dazzling and thrilling!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2003

    Not Medeiros's Best

    I've read a good dozen of Teresa Medeiros's books and I feel that if I were to rank them, this would fall somewhere towards the bottom. It lacks some of the humor that I look forward to in the author's books and I feel that it doesn't even compare to Touch of Enchantment or Fairest of Them All.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2003

    fabulous fiction

    i would have to say i could not put this book down. it was filled with many hilarious moments, angst ridden emotions and romantic overtures. i thought the whole package was absolutely wonderful. one of the best i have read in a long time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2003

    Fabulous!

    This is by far my favorite Teresa Medeiros novel. The heroine is absolutely hilarious! I was cracking up throughout the entire book! I definitely recommend this book, but beware, you won't be able to put it down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2003

    Good book

    I just finished and and I cant believe how good it is!~!! This is the first book I read by her and not the last. Im going to enjoying reading more of her books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2003

    I ADORE THIS BOOK!

    I picked this up yesterday and I started reading it but then I just couldn't stop -- I even read while I was getting my hair done. Not very polite, but it was such a great story that I just had to. I loved Lottie. You know those heroines you'd really like to be friends with? That's Lottie. I have all Ms. Medeiros's books, and this one is one of my top favorites.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful storytelling

    Carlotta ¿Hertforshire Hellion¿ Fairleigh has earned her reputation with only her family prestige keeping her from being banned from polite society. However, in 1825 Lottie returns to London to make her latest previously delayed debut, vowing to behave. However, being Lottie she cannot resist sneaking into the home of Hayden ¿Murderous Marquess¿ St. Clair, infamous for killing his best friend in a duel over his wife's honor and not long afterward, his spouse vanished.<P> Hayden vowed to never marry again, but Lottie has compromised herself. Honor refuses to allow him to ignore this situation so he reluctantly marries her. The newlyweds journey to his remote Cornwell home in Cornwell where the apparent ghost of his first wife haunts the halls. However, it is the ugly recollections of his first marriage that prevent Hayden from falling in love with Lottie as she has done with him.<P> This engaging otherworldly gothic romance will provide plenty of joy to readers as the courageous Lottie battles a ghostly rival and her dark beloved¿s reticence. The story line is action-packed and filled with a few neat twists as Teresa Medeiros provides a fun tale that will give pleasure to her Regency era fans.<P> Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews

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