A Scandal To Remember
by Linda Needham, historical (2004)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-06-051412-4
Andrew Chase, another nobleman of England who is also a secret agent, is assigned to protect Princess Caroline Marguerite Marie Isabella. She is returning to her kingdom of Boratania after being exiled (don't ask - quite a long story, that one) and someone is out to assassinate her even before she gets to seat her pert behind onto the royal throne. How rude. Andrew expects to find a spoiled ninny but instead he finds a beautiful woman determined to restore Boratania to its former glory while ferreting out as many lost Boratanian treasures as she can get her hands on. There are also a motley crew of children, old people, and former-criminals turned cuddly-bears. With her being so well-guarded by such clichés, surely Caroline won't get done in by that bad, bad killer?
From the characters' first encounter in a ballroom to the final happy epilogue, A Scandal To Remember is mired in clichés. Also, the author isn't above trying to be cute when it comes to the heroine, the old people, and the waifs that always pop up in every other book by her. Because this book has so many familiar elements in it, I have a hard time remembering this book after I'm done with it because apart from some typical cutesy scenes from the author, there is very little here to distinguish this book from any generic historicals out there. This book is set in the Victorian era but really, barring the appearances of some historical figures that don't serve any purpose to the story, this book could easily be set in the Regency era. Come to think of it, change the hero to some hulking Viking and this book could be set in some medieval time period as well.
The hero and the heroine are quite recognizable stereotypes although Caroline is thankfully a little less bird-brained than a typical romance heroine (she can make decisions and think for herself, for a start). But their story is so unimpressively predictable and soon their actions become so familiar and played-out that their interesting personalities are soon flattened like pancakes by the clichés in the story. All in all, a readable book that will go down well with readers with high threshold for the familiar and predictable. After all, this is a typical "read it or not, the world still turns, ho hum" type of book.
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