Six Degrees of Scandal

Six Degrees of Scandal

4.4 9
by Caroline Linden
     
 

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Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a dangerous man in search of a lost treasure she doesn’t possess, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see… and the man who was her first—and only—love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been

Overview

Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a dangerous man in search of a lost treasure she doesn’t possess, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see… and the man who was her first—and only—love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different for them this time.

James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and now he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe—and to win her trust again. He’s confident he can outwit the villain chasing Olivia. But being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart … even those that he swore would stay hidden forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/21/2016
Linden's sensuous fourth Scandalous Regency (after Love in the Time of Scandal) pairs up an independent heroine and a dependable hero. Olivia Herbert and Jamie Weston meet as young children in Sussex and eventually pledge their love to one another, determined to marry. When Olivia's father forces her to wed another man for quick financial security, both Jamie and Olivia are devastated. Ten years later, Olivia is alone after the death of her husband, Henry Townsend, and is fleeing evil Viscount Clary, a man who wants her for his mistress and may have been involved in shady dealings with her deceased husband. Jamie steps in to save her from the attentions of the viscount, and their flame rekindles, but Olivia is determined to keep him at arm's length for fear of being hurt again. With Jamie's help, Olivia discovers that she is a capable woman who can accomplish a great deal on her own and is even stronger when she and Jamie are together. The gradual awakening of sensuality between Jamie and Olivia is expertly written, and the undercurrent of mystery surrounding Clary's pursuit of Olivia propels the novel swiftly forward to its stunning conclusion. (Mar.)
RT Magazine on SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL
“The care- fully developed characters, snappy dialogue and well-crafted plot add to the enchantment and enjoyment of the novel.”
Romance Junkies on SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL
“A captivating tale, SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL, the fourth and final book in award winning author Caroline Linden’s SCANDALOUS series, is a clever, sexy story that will keep readers glued to the pages. This story is one that fans of historical romance will not want to miss.”
From the Publisher
"The carefully developed characters, snappy dialogue and well-crafted plot add to the enchantment and enjoyment of the novel." —RT Book Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062389787
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/29/2016
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
154,122
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Twelve years, sixteen books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader's Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, the NJRW Golden Leaf Award, and RWA's RITA® Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one.

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Six Degrees of Scandal 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
I’ve read (now) three of the six books (two novellas, 4 full length) in this series, and the others await me on that ever-growing to be read list. In Six Degrees of Scandal, Linden manages to neatly wrap up the series with moments to visit previous characters and never once loses the plot or interest in the current coupling of Olivia and James. When you add in a mystery and threats all due to a ‘hidden treasure’, as our couple comes face to face with the lingering effects of decisions made with the arrogance and innocence of youth, this story just grips your attention and demands to be read. James and Olivia have been tied to one another for years, even though their youthful relationship ended rather tragically for both. Neither is holding a grudge, both look on that time with fondness, if in a bittersweet way, but both are guarded with regards to love. Olivia is now widowed, and struggling to discover what her late husband had done, unbeknownst to her, that would leave her in the midst of such danger. James, brother to Abagail and Penelope (books 2 & 3) knows he let Olivia down in many ways years ago, and now is determined to not allow that to happen again. Determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past, both characters are faced with their own mistakes from years ago: naiveté, a touch of youthful arrogance, overly romanticized dreams and, in James’ case, a strong streak of invincibility. Their intentions toward one another and redeeming the past failures, discounting the potential for a relationship as both claim to not be interested, is the crux of their interactions, and there are some wonderful moments that demonstrate their growth as the barriers between them start to crack and true feelings and regard shows. And then, we have the mystery (and the unveiling) of the villain, one that has played each of our couples like a fiddle: yes they always seem to emerge out of the tunnel with a new lease on life, and new love and hope BUT the threat is still there, now focused on Olivia’s knowledge to claim the final prize. Twists and clues dropped like crumbs from Linden’s hand, and while I always had a clue about the mastermind behind the threats, I never would have arrived at the correct answer, and no – I won’t share. I need to set aside a day to start from the beginning of the series and catch up on what I missed, although this did read alone quite neatly, and shouldn’t pose much difficulty for readers unfamiliar with earlier installments. 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.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Olivia Herbert and James Weston had always been friends, even though Olivia’s mother looked down on the Westons, who albeit being quite wealthy are not the nobles Lady Herbert wishes for her daughter’s company. When James came back from university, he pledged his love to Olivia, who accepted his marriage proposal, but he’d rather they wait a year until James was financially established. However, Olivia had never mentioned to him how dire her family’s financial situation was, and partly because of James’ distraction, a disaster of epic proportion ensued. Ten years later, Olivia is widowed, but her late husband had kept many secrets from her; she is nearly penniless, and has been left what resembles a diary. Olivia has also been pestered by Viscount Clary for some time. Even if James and Olivia had had little contact during that time, Olivia had remained on friendly terms with James’ sisters, especially Penelope. It’s the latter who confided in James that Olivia needed his help, and James rushed to Olivia’s rescue, hoping that maybe he could recapture what had once been… SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL drew me in right from the start; the story is positively riveting, and so meticulously constructed that I couldn’t stop reading to see how James and Olivia could solve the puzzle they’re faced with, as well as needing to know if it would lead to more. This book is wonderfully paced, James and Olivia and extremely appealing characters, and the story is totally captivating. Ms. Linden’s writing is a marvel in itself: her prose is eloquent, elegant and flows superbly. SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL is as much a mystery as it is a romance, in all the right proportions. SIX DEGREES OF SCANDAL is another marvellous read from the fabulously talented Caroline Linden. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
TeatimeandBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden is a 5 Star historical, romance, and mystery all in one amazing tale! This is not your typical historical romance with ballrooms and frilly gowns and the Ton at every turn of the pages. No, this is a thrill ride filled with intrigue and suspense and yes, tons of passion. First we see the Herbert family in church and their daughter, Olivia is taken by a young boy, James Weston. However, according to Olivia’s parents, the Weston’s are not good enough for her, because they do not come from money. That soon changes when the Herbert’s learn of the Weston’s having recently bought the largest manor house in the area. Now Olivia and her sister are permitted to play and visit the Weston’s. Upon her visits, she becomes fast friends with James’ (Jamie as he’s known to friends and family) sisters and James himself. Jamie is often away on trips with his father and upon his return from one particular trip, he meets with Olivia at their spot by the creek. They are both now grown some years and they go for a swim and soon end up in each other’s arms. They make love for the first time and both declare their love for one another and he asks her to marry him. However, he wishes to wait one year in order to save some money. Olivia is over-joyed and is awaiting for Jamie to make the announcement to his family, however, Jamie does not make this announcement and instead heads off on a business venture with his father. Olivia is doubting his love for her and if he ever truly meant to marry her. The Herbert family have come into debt and much of their belongings have had to be sold. Olivia’s father is desperate for some money, and after having learned of Olivia’s love-making with Jamie, matches her up with a Henry Townsend. Much to Olivia’s reluctance and dismay, she marries Henry and when Jamie returns, he’s shocked that Olivia has taken a husband. He wanted her for himself, however, she didn’t think he wanted her and therefore breaks ties with him, she knows she must bury the love she feels for him. Two years later, Henry dies and leaves Olivia penniless. She has a journal of his that is filled with mysterious and nonsense markings. So she heads to London to seek out his solicitor and gather his remaining papers. An acquaintance of Henry’s a Lord Clary was after her and harassing her and she knew the mystery behind the wasted money and Clary lied in those papers. She leaves the solicitors and is walking the long distance back to the fishing cabin she’s rented, when someone comes upon her from behind and in her haste and fear she slams him in the arm with a shovel. To her dismay and shock, it’s Jamie and he’s come to help her. Olivia explains everything to Jamie and shows him Henry’s Journal. So James and Olivia venture off to get Clary and find the answers to Henry’s financial mysteries. An amazing adventure and journey awaits them and with each turn of the pages. Surprises abound throughout the story and the mystery just thickens. Truly a wonderful story that will leave you on the edge of your seat awaiting what comes next. This is my first book of Caroline Linden’s and I must say I was expecting your typical historical romance, but I was pleasantly surprised and taken on quite the journey as she weaves her tale of mystery and suspense. **I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review**
zeeba More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written tale of passion, dangers and secrets! Six Degrees of Scandal is the fourth book in the Scandalous series by Caroline Linden. I absolutely enjoyed reading this adventures and sizzling historical romance. As Caroline Linden introduced us to Olivia Townsend in the previous book, we know that she is in trouble, without any funds and Pursued by a villain lord. She has no idea what is the lost treasure and how to find it, but when James Weston, the only man she has ever loved comes to her rescue, she can’t help to be hopeful….. James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and he will do anything in his power to protect her. Can Olivia forgive him and give him second chance……. Caroline Linden has created another thrilling romance with adventures and secrets. Olivia and James are great characters, the plot is wonderful and everything about this book is perfect. Thank you Caroline Linden!
mlorio More than 1 year ago
It is unusual for a couple that share a scandalous past together to not have bitter feelings and ridiculous misunderstandings between them. This couple doesn't and it makes them even more likable. So while, of course, you know they will get together in the end the reader is left feeling quite pleased that they have earned their Happy Ever After.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Jamie and Olivia were absolutely adorable for their first--six? seven?--years together, from the time that he got her in trouble in church when she was ten. So. Freaking. Cute! For the first few chapters I sat there thinking, They're so cute together! I love them! What could possibly go wrong here? which you know is always when things go completely to...well, you know where. Just like in life. Sigh. But it's okay, because of course fate brings them back together, and now there's danger and suspense and uncertainty and all kinds of frustrated longing...which naturally isn't going to stay frustrated for long! and the story gets even better from there :) And they're still wonderful together, I'm happy to report. I hadn't realized that this was the 4th book in the series when I started, and for much of the book it isn't a big deal. Toward the end, though, it would have been helpful to know more of the story behind it. I won't go so far as to say don't start with this one, because I'm not sorry I did, but if you have a chance to read the others first, definitely do. I know I'm going to go back as soon as I can, because now I really want to see what goes before and if there are any clues to the big reveal that's in this one. Plus, I have a feeling I'll like those couples *almost* as much as I liked Jamie and Olivia :) Rating: 4 stars / A- I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden Book Four of the Scandalous series Publisher: Avon Publication Date: March 29, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a desperate man in search of a lost treasure, which she doesn’t have, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see … and the man who was her first-and-only-love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her this time, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different this time. James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and he will not do it again. Fortunately, his unusual life has equipped him well to outsmart the villain chasing Olivia. Unfortunately, being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart…even those that should stay hidden forever. What I Liked: Caroline Linden has never disappointed me! This Scandalous series is easily one of my favorite historical romance series of all time. I don't think I've rated a single one of the books (novel or novella) less than four stars. Generally I enjoy historical romance novels - I'm pretty easy to please, when it comes to this genre - but I LOVE Linden's books especially! This is James and Olivia's story. Ten years ago, a twenty-year-old James promised a seventeen-year-old Olivia that would get married. But Olivia's family was under dire circumstances, and despite James' family being extremely rich, Olivia's father needed Olivia to be married as soon as possible. So Olivia was forced to marry Henry Townsend. Ten years later, Henry's been dead for two years. But with his death came strange happenings; a viscount Clary has been hounding Olivia, claiming that she has something valuable that Henry left behind. Olivia has been hiding from Clary, but James finds her. Determined to help Olivia and hunt down Clary, James abandons everything and he and Olivia begin the search for the treasure. But the pair discover that Henry's dealings were a lot shadier and dangerous than they thought. I'm pretty sure this is the last novel in the series, and this makes me immensely sad! However, if it is the last novel, then I must say, the series ended on a beautiful note. I love second-chance romances! Usually I don't like romances with a female widow and male rake, but the backstory was so well-written, and the circumstances were terrible but not heartbreaking. Olivia never wanted to marry Henry, and even while married to him, neither he nor she wanted to be married. When he died of sudden health causes, Olivia is left penniless, and Lord Clary starts to hunt her for whatever Henry left behind. But James has great timing, and starts to help Olivia. I like that Olivia accepts help from him, as well as stands on her own two feet. It's admirable to defend yourself and fight for yourself, but I think it's equally admirable to accept help when you need it. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
RWBrock More than 1 year ago
As the ending of this series, this was a very satisfying tying-up of loose ends. I had been anxiously awaiting the story of Olivia and Jamie, and Ms. Linden did not disappoint! Some of my all-time personal favorite books involve stories of second-chances at love. And as this one begins with the childhood meeting of the hero and heroine, we are allowed a special glimpse into how these two grew, both personally and in their relationship with each other. I always feel more connected to characters/stories portraying a time-span of growth and development. I loved the humor as I do with all of Ms. Linden's novels. But most importantly, I enjoyed the fact that these two do not profess to be "perfect" and both make mistakes along the way to their happily ever after....which makes that HEA especially poignant and well-deserved. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
greekgoddess422 More than 1 year ago
Regency historical last of a series . Hero is James . Heroine is Olivia . Olivia and James meet in a church service when they were 10 yrs old . James knew at that age that Olivia was the woman for him. Olivia's parents didn't want her and her siblings to get to comfortable with James family . James family was not nobility meanwhile Olivia's father was a Sir . One day Olivia and James meet in the woods and went for a swim. After the swim Olivia and James gave in to their body's urges . After the closeness James asked Olivia to become his wife even though they were still young . Olivia said yes !!! James said to give him a year . The next day Olivia finds out the James was called away on business . James didn't call on Olivia's father for her hand . Olivia's family is desolate. Her father was counting on James father for the dowery . Olivia's father didn't wait he betrothed her to another man named Henry . Olivia and Henry were married when James next sees her . Years later Olivia's husband was dead and again she's poor . Not only that but Olivia's husband was a smuggler . Henry's last smuggling work is hidden with no clues . A viscount is after the product and he not only wants the hidden artifact but Olivia also . James needs and wants to help her . James wants her back in his life . Grab it and see who is after Olivia and what is hidden . How do they catch the middleman
def618 More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a great book to end this series. You won't want to put it down. Mysteries to solve, love, a villain, art and the unveiling of Lady Constance's (author of "50 Ways to Sin") identity. Olivia has loved James Weston since childhood. As teenagers they planned to wed when James was more established in business. However, her father needed money and forced her to marry Henry Townsend for the money his father would pay her family. The plot really kicks in when widowed Olivia is being threatened by Lord Clary. She flees London hoping to discover her late husband's secrets from his solicitor. James, at his sister Penelope's request, follows Olivia. They search for the unknown item, though suspect it may be a piece of art. Lord Clary is on their trail. For the rest - read this book - no plot spoilers from me! My favorite quotes from this book are by Joan and Abigail speaking to Penelope. If you read, you will understand their comments. J-"Don't tell me you don't feel a true connection to the characters in your favorite books". A-"That is true, Pen. Just because they aren't real people doesn't make characters less...real".
PolishedBookworm More than 1 year ago
Author Caroline Linden treats readers to a true gift with her latest novel Six Degrees of Scandal. There’s action, adventure, friendship, and mystery. We get villains, unlikely heroes, and damsels who can take care of themselves. All wrapped up in an evocative and sensual bow of genuine intimacy. James “Jamie” Weston and Olivia Townsend, née Herbert, are made to love one another. From the ages of 13 and 10, respectively, neither could imagine a future without the other. Unfortunately her family was unwilling to wait for Jamie to claim Olivia’s hand, breaking both their hearts. Years later, the now widowed Olivia finds herself at the mercy of the sinister machinations of her late husband’s “friend” and associate, Viscount Clary. Olivia knows little about her husband’s intrigues, other than they have left her destitute. Clary makes his desire for Olivia dangerously clear. In addition to wanting to possess her body, he is also after a “treasure” her husband left behind. Olivia’s only clue to what Clary is after is the coded ledger found among her husband’s papers. On the run, Olivia is at her wit’s end; enter Jamie. Rather than running roughshod over Olivia’s agency, Jamie works as the perfect partner and confidant in discovering her late husband’s secrets. Although the 4th novel in Linden’s Scandalous series (plus two novellas), Six Degrees of Scandal works extremely well as a standalone novel. There’s more than enough exposition to inform readers new to the series without alienating veteran Scandalous readers with repetitive information dumping. Recurring and secondary characters are given dimension rather than simply appearing as background scenery. It’s always nice to read familiar characters who still seem like themselves. Caroline Linden perfectly balances the action and romance portions of Six Degrees of Scandal. The underlying mystery is original and well-developed, with twists and unforeseen turns. The addition of Jamie’s own secret activities not only moves the plot forward, but serves to further cement his connection with Olivia. The longtime friendship at the root of Jamie and Olivia’s relationship is given equal weight as the scorching attraction between them, giving the core of the novel more depth. And when I say scorching, I mean SCORCHING! *fans self at the memory of their bedroom antics* Olivia is a woman in need of assistance but never a damsel in distress; Jamie will do anything to help Olivia yet never strays into overbearing Alpha male territory. Olivia and Jamie’s refreshing dynamic builds on the excellently paced plot, elevating Six Degrees of Scandal from a good read to a great book. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.