PRELUDE TO A SCANDAL by Delilah Marvelle



by Delilah Marvelle


Lady Justine is willing to trade her good name, her reputation and her place in London’s gossip-hungry ton to secure her father’s release from prison. But when the notorious Duke of Bradford counters her offer with a proposal of marriage, the stakes grow higher still. For while the smoldering lord is famous for his conquests, the man is oblivious to both her devotion and her charms. And Justine is soon afraid she has wagered all for naught….

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Marvelle (Lord of Pleasure) tackles several heavy topics at once in this overstuffed Regency. While most ladies would swoon, Lady Justine Fedora Palmer grew up in Africa and handles everything with aplomb. When Justine’s father, the earl of Marwood, writes about homosexuality in the animal kingdom, he’s arrested for promoting indecency. Justine offers herself to Radcliff, the duke of Bradford, if he will secure the earl’s freedom. Radcliff suggests marriage instead, hoping it will save him from sex addiction. Even before Justine figures out the extent of his “obsession,” she makes him work, wanting his respect before his body. Radcliff and Justine are refreshingly honest with themselves and each other about what they do, think, and feel. Radcliff’s brother and his mistress make a mess of the story at times, but Henri, the gay servant, is a delight. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

When Lady Justine Palmer, raised in South Africa and now residing in Regency London, learns her father, an African naturalist, has landed in debtors’ prison, she realizes she must find someone rich to help him, and soon. She petitions her father’s only patron, Radcliff Morton, the Duke of Bradford. Although Radcliff, a hardened rake, has been in seclusion following an incident with his brother’s mistress in which his face was brutally scarred, he agrees to help Justine on the condition she marry him. He suspects he’s obsessed with sex and hopes marriage will cure him. However, considering he’s spent most of his 33 years wallowing in his decadent lifestyle, Justine wonders if he can change himself into a faithful husband. While occasionally melodramatic, Marvelle’s story of Radcliff coming to know himself, and Justine’s faith in him, is a quintessential romance. In this first of a series of three, Marvelle (Lord of Pleasure, 2009) adds glimpses of African tribal life and quips about animal behavior to leaven the Sturm und Drang of Radcliff’s much-needed makeover. –Pat Henshaw

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