This is an Official Review by an Eye On Romance Official Reviewer
for Prelude to a Scandal
Date of Review: 11/29/10
Regency romances are often tried and true stories. We all know basically what to expect and the characters are familiar to us. At least, that’s what I thought. Delilah Marvelle has proven me wrong as she takes what we know about Regency England and infuses it with the struggle to overcome a sexual addiction. Who knew such a thing existed? Who wondered what people would have done to cope with such an addiction? Ms. Marvelle certainly has and the story that she created around this premise is a delightful tale that will be enjoyed by so many readers.
Radcliff Edwin Morton, Duke of Bradford, finds himself in an untenable position. He is obsessed with sex and will do almost anything to have it. He thinks about it constantly and no woman, not even his brother’s mistress, is beyond his touch. When he finds himself severely injured in the pursuit of sex, Radcliff knows that he must do something to end his obsession or at least to gain control over it. He tries to have only male servants and finds that it just isn’t enough. Then a letter arrives that offers a solution to his problem.
Lady Justine Fedora Palmer is the daughter of the Earl of Marwood. Her father has spent years studying the mating habits of African animals. When he returns to England and publishes his rather unorthodox and unconventional beliefs about buggering and sodomy, the Earl quickly finds himself in jail. Justine decides to write to her father’s sponsor, Duke of Bradford, and offer a few nights of pleasure if he will simply help her father to pay off the debt he owes and get him out of prison. Radcliff has other ideas and offers a new proposal. He will help Justine’s father out if she marries him.
And thus begins quite the adventure between these two people. Radcliff doesn’t believe in love. His mother cheated on his father and he doubts that anyone who says they love someone is really telling the truth. Despite all that she saw in Africa and her own unconventional ideas about sex, Justine believes in love and hopes that one day her husband will be able to love her.
I loved the dynamic between these two people. They are so different, but they each want someone to understand them and to help them find a place to belong. Justine’s years in Africa lends her a frankness about sex that she needs when dealing with her husband. She is no shrinking violet and will give as good as she gets. Justine knows how to stand up for herself and isn’t afraid to demand that her husband respect her.
This story takes a topic which isn’t found in regency romances and mixes it with unconventional characters to provide readers with a delightful romance. Everyone will fall in love with this story and appreciate its unique aspects.