Carlotta Fairleigh is the sister-in-law of a powerful duke (A Kiss to Remember) and has spent much of her life getting into mischief and being pampered by everyone in her family. One might expect that Lottie is spoiled and demanding; on the contrary, she is a sweet and generous person who takes one look at Hayden St. Clair, the Marquess of Oakleigh, and immediately sees a man consumed by his past. Of course that insight might have something to do with the fact that she is a budding gothic novelist and actively looks for anything she might include in her writing. Who better to feature than the man London’s elite refers to as the “Murderous Marquess?”
Four years ago, Hayden was involved in a deadly duel with a close friend, which established him as a dangerous man. When his wife died mysteriously at their home in Cornwall, society immediately condemned him as a murderer. He has spent the time since then living in isolation, but his one trip back to London will forever change his life. Catching Lottie spying on him through a window, he jerks her inside to confront her. Unfortunately, her brother-in-law and a busybody governess spot them and suddenly Lottie’s reputation is in tatters. Doing the gallant thing, Hayden marries her and drags her back to Cornwall to live with his more-than-merely-difficult daughter and the -- gulp -- ghost of his dead wife.
Teresa Medeiros is known for her romances about the spirited heroine and the tortured hero. One Night of Scandal is no different. Filled with light-hearted laughter and touching scenes that will jerk the tears right out of you, Hayden and Lottie’s love story will please readers of romance everywhere. It has all the right ingredients (passionate love scenes, a beautiful heroine, a gorgeous hero, drama, emotion, etcetera, etcetera) along with fantastic writing. Lottie has a lot of growing up to do, especially when she is suddenly expected to, at the tender age of twenty-one, fill the role of step-mother to a precocious, tragically alone ten year-old girl. Hayden must break the chains of his guilt over his past and accept that Lottie is the love of his life.
Although it is a sequel to A Kiss to Remember, One Night of Scandal can respectably stand alone. Some details of the first book are provided, but for anyone who hasn’t read the story of Lottie’s sister and brother-in-law, the secrets aren’t given away. If you haven’t read the first one, I also highly recommend that, if only because you will understand why Lottie is the way she is.