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by Jenna Petersen

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Katherine Fleming has lived her life without even a hint of indiscretion. So she is devastated to discover the nobleman she's engaged to has a secret he's kept from her: a wife! Suddenly Katherine's enmeshed in a scandal that has the ton buzzing—and forced to accept a most unconventional proposal from the notorious seducer Dominic Mallory, her faithless


Katherine Fleming has lived her life without even a hint of indiscretion. So she is devastated to discover the nobleman she's engaged to has a secret he's kept from her: a wife! Suddenly Katherine's enmeshed in a scandal that has the ton buzzing—and forced to accept a most unconventional proposal from the notorious seducer Dominic Mallory, her faithless fiancé's brother… and precisely the sort of rake she has sworn to avoid!

Charming and dangerously sensual, Dominic has desired the stunning beauty from the first moment he spied her. Now, with Katherine's reputation in tatters, it's the ideal opportunity to bed her—though it will take wedding vows to do so. But can a rogue be reformed by the unleashed passion of a normally reserved lady? And can a marriage made for all the wrong reasons flame into the love match of the season?

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Avon Romance Series
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

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By Jenna Petersen

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006

Jenna Petersen

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060798599

Chatper One

Dominic Mallory had never been one to debauch virgins, but he was beginning to think he should make an exception for this beauty. He took a quick glance around the wide stone terrace before he stepped farther back into the shadows. Good, they were alone. He ground out his cigar as he blew a last circle of smoke into the cold air. If he had it his way, nothing would disturb this moment. Rushing a seduction took all the anticipation out of it.

Seduction hadn't been his plan when he arrived at his family's estate. In fact, he'd come straight to the terrace in order to avoid the celebration inside. Now he knew he'd made the right choice. He could have a much more interesting party alone with this young woman.

She leaned on the terrace wall, completely oblivious to his presence. He had been more than aware of hers from the moment she slipped from the crowded ballroom into the frosty night. Now she stared up at the stars, giving him the impression that her heart and mind were leagues away. Her jet black hair matched the inky sky. Somehow during the evening, a few long, curly strands had come down from the elaborate pile on her head, leaving a tantalizing trail down the middle of her back. A trail he longed to follow with his lips.

He sighed softly. But, if she was a guest at his brother's wedding soiree, she was surely a virginalmiss who would only be interested in a marriage proposal. If he revealed himself to offer her a night of pleasure, she'd probably swoon.

But then again, if she swooned, hecould catch her.

Dominic grinned as he took a few quiet steps out of the shadows. He had the benefit of a thin dusting of snow on the stones, which muffled his approach. Even when he was right at her side, she didn't glance his way.


"Good evening," he whispered, just a touch too close to her ear to be proper.

She turned toward him with a blush and he finally had the pleasure of seeing the color of her eyes. Jade green. Magnificent. Even if this woman proved to be an unattainable challenge, he'd certainly chosen well.

"G-Goodevening," she stammered as she straightened up to smooth the front of the gown that matched those jade eyes perfectly. She pulled a darker emerald shawl tighter around her shoulders as she smiled. "I'm sorry, sir, I didn't see you there."

He shrugged one shoulder and gave her his most dashing wink. Insincere, but always effective. "You were wishing on the stars. I wondered what you might have wished for."

He was being completely and inappropriately forward and he knew it. Judging from the wary surprise in her eyes that accompanied his impertinent question, she recognized it, too. Yet instead of hurrying away or calling for her chaperone, her face slowly relaxed and she said, "I didn't wish for anything. I have everything I've ever wanted."

Dominic frowned, all his lustful thoughts pushed aside, at least for the time being. How was that possible? No one ever obtained everything they wanted. There was always something lacking. At least, there always had been in his life.

"My, how lucky you are," he drawled, then shut his eyes in exasperation. His voice was brittle and forced. Not the way to talk to a lady he wished to seduce. With effort, he softened his tone. "But perhaps I'm not enough of a romantic to believe in wishes, after all."

She laughed and his eyes flew open at the light, melodic sound. Her pale face flushed, but this time it was with mirth, and her eyes shone like precious jewels in the moonlight. He wouldn't have believed it possible, but she was even lovelier when amused.

"Well, if you cannot be a romantic at a wedding celebration, perhaps you're a lost cause, sir," she teased.

He had often thought that himself.

With a shrug, he said, "Yes, well the wedding isn't for another three days. Maybe I'll find a little romance in me during that time."

He tilted his head to lock gazes with her. Now that he'd talked to her for a few moments, he was sure she was an unmarried, eligible lady. Still, he felt an inordinate amount of heat coming from her. Like there was something a bit wild hidden beneath all the pretty clothes and small talk. Something well worth exploring.

She broke their stare with a startled flash in her eyes, as if she remembered where they were and that they were alone. Her spine stiffened as she leaned away.

"I don't think this is a very appropriate conversation to be having with a stranger on a terrace." Her voice was breathy.

He stifled a laugh. There were the maidenly refusals. The wild thing was stuffed back under a layer of propriety. But oh, the challenge of coaxing her out again.

"So you're telling me we could continue to talk about things a little more interesting than the weather if we weren't strangers?" he asked with a cocked eyebrow.

Slowly, she allowed her gaze to flit to his face, but gave no answer.

He laughed. "Very well, my lady. Why don't you tell me who you are first?"

She backed away a long step and her eyes darkened. "D-Don't you know? I thought for sure you must. I'm--"

Before she could finish, the terrace door opened behind them and she spun around to face the intruder. Dominic stepped into the shadows instinctively. No use causing a scene with some fawning mama.


Excerpted from Scandalous
by Jenna Petersen
Copyright © 2006 by Jenna Petersen.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Two of Jenna Petersen's childhood dreams wereto be a ballerina and a baseball player. Those didn't work out,but she's pleased to be following another childhood dream,writing books for a living. And what better than romance,where dreams come true on every page? Jenna lives in centralIllinois with her high school sweetheart husband andtwo taskmaster cats. She loves to hear from readers.

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Scandalous 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How delighted I was with the pleasurable erotic historical romance anthology 'Parlor Games' and one of the stories by the author Jess Michaels aka Jenna Petersen. So it is no wonder why the historical romance debut of 'Scandalous' has wonderful sensual shades of Jess Michaels' erotic touch. On a terrace in the moonlight the handsome and sensual Dominic Mallory sees the beautiful Katherine Fleming enjoying the snow and the stars. Immediately he thinks of this beauty in his bed, but later when he discovers that she is the fiance of his estranged brother Colden, he must back away. But in a strange twist Dominic finds himself quickly engaged and married to the sensual beauty, when his brother's dead wife returns from the dead. Colden insists that Dominic marry Katherine in order to avoid scandal, as Colden has already spent her dowry and in turn he will give Dominic the family lands he has always wanted. As Dominic and Katherine begin their life on his new estate, the passion and desire builds to love, but little does Katherine realize the treachery and lies that she has married into with the Mallory family. When Dominic's identity is revealed to her and she discovers he married her only for access to the lands so he can discover his father's identity, and that Colden, his wife Sarah and other family members were involved in the lies, she is devastated. When Dominic realizes that in his lifelong quest for truth about his paternity, he may lose Katherine, he makes a decision to keep Katherine, but is it too late? The story is sensual and mysterious with underlying treachery that culiminates to an intense conclusion making the reader realize that no matter how scandalous, true love conquers all. Jenna also writes erotic romance under the name of Jess Michaels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ok...this book fell a little flat for me . .the love scene's were not good ..they needed more passion ...not jenna's/ jess micheals best...it was lacking to say the least..there really easy no scandal or action or anything ....just plain...not a stand out book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked the story and the characters .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good read. Parts just dragged when they would not share their secrets, I thought enough already.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't want this book to end. I am so happy I found this author. She is amazing and this is her second book that I have read and I plan on buying ALL of them!!! So, please, do yourself a favor.....no give yourself a TREAT.....and purchase this book. (FRG)
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Kimberly Person More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! A wonderful storyline even though you could guess the ending!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought SCANDALOUS was an extremely enthralling and compelling story, as well as, an excellent debut novel¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿. The story¿s hero Dominic Mallory, is a handsome, sexy, charismatic rake and an intelligent self made man of means. Unfortunately, he¿s also the Mallory family secret ~ an illegitimate son, who was hated by his supposed father, the late Lord Harborough and who taught Dominic¿s older brother Cole to hate and despise him as well. Being treated like a pariah has left Dominic cynical, secretive and because of the many issues he has yet to come to terms with, completely disillusioned with the idea of falling in love¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿.......... To all outward appearances Katherine Fleming is a soft-spoken, caring and virtuous woman but her seemingly gentle temperament hides a tenacious strong-will and an intensely passionate nature. She has a clearly defined idea of the type of husband who would suit her needs and has spent the last 3 years looking for a man to meet those requirements. She wants a husband with a fortune of his own and because she¿d been a lonely only child, someone who would provide companionship and hopefully friendship. Unlike most women, she¿s not looking for someone to fall passionately in love with ~ she doesn¿t want the heartache and suffering that she feels will inevitably follow when lust, desire and novelty of love wares off¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿................ Her fiancé Colden Mallory, Lord Harborough, seems the to be the perfect match, until just days before their wedding he shockingly announces that his late wife is ~ miraculously alive. In order to save Katherine from being ruined by the scandal that will surely follow this news, and because Dominic wants the house that he thinks hold the answer to his parentage, they both allow Cole to manipulate them into a marriage of convenience¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿.......... The story¿s hero and heroine, Dominic and Katherine, were warm, likable and compassionate, and both had a remarkably poignant and riveting story to tell. These were in my opinion, fully fleshed out and completely convincing lifelike characters that were caught up, initially against their will, in a tempestuous, deeply emotional, and yet, hopeful and surprisingly tender romance. Although I believe a traditional historical romance novel is primarily about the journey the hero and heroine take to find their way to love and their happily ever after ending ~ there was plenty of sexual tension between the characters and the story contained enough steamy sex scenes to satisfy most readers. I also enjoyed the secondary cast of characters ~ the good and the bad ones ~ all were interesting and intriguing. They heightened and enhanced the storyline precisely as secondary characters are intended to do¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿................. I felt author¿s style of writing was both smooth and refined. Her ardent, rousing and sensuous descriptions admirably expressed the undeniable attraction felt by Dominic and Kat and her illustrative prose conveyed vivid and stirring imagery that immediately pulled me into the story and kept me turning the pages. This was a thoroughly satisfying story ~ Brava, Ms. Petersen!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story was written very well. My heart went out to the charaters who were developed very well. The storyline was believable, and moved at the right speed. Looking forward to her next book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
At his brother¿s engagement party, Dominic Mallory desires Katherine Fleming, fiancée of his step-brother Cole, who learns that his wife thought dead in a ship wreck two years ago lives. As his family and her guardians struggle with limiting the scandal, Dominic enjoys the mess. Cole takes his despised brother aside and offers Lansing Square to Dominic if he weds Katherine Cole would receive Katherine¿s dowry and property as he explains that he lost them gambling. Reluctantly Dominic agrees to Cole¿s terms though he hates his sibling. Katherine does not want to marry Dominic, but knows she does not love Cole. Dominic explains her choices and she reluctantly agrees to marry him. Dominic and Katherine marry and leave for Lansing Square. They make love every night until she decides to make this home perfect for her spouse. Meanwhile during the day, Dominic searches for something, but refuses to tell Kat what he looks for instead he shakes her by saying they will leave soon and live in London. Kat loves her spouse, but now pregnant plans to leave him as unrequited love is not good for a child as she knows first hand. The growing love between the lead couple is deftly handled making the tale fun and the love at first sight between Katherine and Dominic set the tone of the plot. However his step-brother is too pompous, snooty and nasty and Cole¿s wife is even worse. Still in spite of neither showing any redeeming quality, fans will appreciate this fine nineteenth century romance starring two protagonists who begin to heal due to love. --- Harriet Klausner