Scandal of the Year
Laura Lee Guhrke
Avon, Jan 25 2011, $7.99
In 1903 in a London court, Lord Yardley is suing for divorce from his wife Julie on the grounds of adultery. When asked whether she had sex with Aiden Carr, Julie says yes though she knows she hurt him as she took away his self-respect. The court grants Yardley his divorce.
As part of his Ducal responsibility, Aiden needs a wife and an heir. He has money and looks, but has been jilted twice. Trix left him for her archeologist and Rosalind due to Julie. When he and Julie see each other at a ball, she expects his scorn, but instead Aidan acknowledges her before he leaves. Julie feels guilty with what she did to him. Later Aidan accuses her of using him to obtain the divorce. Julie does not deny it and pleads with him to marry for love. Julie asks Aiden for advice on getting a job as she needs to pay her debts and he is successful in business. Aiden hires her as his social secretary to help him find a wife. As she begins to find him suitable women, he rejects all of them as only one woman ever mattered to him ever since they met as teens in 1891.
The sequel to Wedding of the Season stars key support characters from the first historical Abandoned at the Altar romance. The lead couple is a fun pairing of seemingly enemy combatant opposites who were attracted to one another from that first meeting when they were teens. The support cast is solid, but not as critical to the story line as in the first tale. The serious undertone of the lack of rights for married women is the critical element to a strong Edwardian tale although the climax feels a bit stretched.