Delilah Marvelle: Once Upon a Scandal & The Perfect Scandal

Back to back, I finished new (for me) author Delilah Marvelle’s Scandal series. I really enjoyed the first book, so was a bit disappointed by the middle of the series. I think the writing is really top notch, the plot just relied too much on confusion and misunderstanding for an old salty dog like me.

Its a separated lovers story with some insanely selfish relatives and devious villians thrown in the mix. I think some will enjoy it’s non-vanilla (read EXPLICIT) twists and turns and devoted hero character. The heroine was one of those people I didn’t really relate to, not my favorite archetype of the feisty and unfashionable high flyer. I mean, she kind of was, but then again she was also kind of shallow.

My final word is its probably worth a read if you are going to breeze through the series. As a one-off, I would only pick it up if that plot line appeals to you.

The Perfect Scandal is the book of author Marvelle’s heart.  Not only can I tell this from her foreward note to the readers, but also by the way she invests time and energy into fully developing her characters.

This book is also very sherbert orange (EXPLICIT) so if you are a vanilla or clean hist ro lover…not for you.  But those of us who can handle a steamier and more non-traditional intimacy will enjoy the breath of fresh air.

Our heroine is delightfully outspoken in a funny way.  Although she is drop dead gorguese, an accident has left her less than perfect.  A Polish gentlewoman sent to England to find a husband she eventually meets up with our hero, the deliciously dark Lord Moreland.

Lord Moreland is tortured but in a very restrained polite-face-to-the-world kind of way.  He is incredibly intelligent about people and their true motivations which I found to be a nice change from the more devil may care characters.  I am a sucker for those priggish face heros who hide their dark secrets (because I think that is really true).

The action/conflict is really well thought out and I think furthermore speaks to the fact that this is a heart book.  We see some real character arcs and a choice between two men that a lot of us women have to face at one point or another.  I think Marvelle is speaking from experience with these passages and the action our characters take as a result of circumstance.

I also love the agoraphobic grandmother character.  Again, I like the layers authors provide that are not only realistic but interesting. 

It reminds me of something interesting I heard the other day about history (an interview about the new Upstairs Downstairs) and how as historical writers (or audience members) it is the ability to place ourselves in history without knowing the future.  Today, agoraphobia would be diagnosed and treated.  But in the 19th century how a character deals with something not yet named is fascinating. 

Essentially, it is why I have so whole-heartedly embraced the genre and why I love to explore new worlds with new authors like Delilah Marvelle.

And if you are anything like me, The Perfect Scandal will speak to your heart…because its written from the heart.

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