Welcome to a Tasty Virtual Tour for LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL, book 3 in the Scandalous Series by Caroline Linden, releasing with Avon on May 26, 2015!!!
Avon will host a tour wide giveaway of:
Grand prize: A journal to keep track of all your own scandals, plus print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, and IT TAKES A SCANDAL.
Runner Up: print copies of the first two books in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, and IT TAKES A SCANDAL.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL
by Caroline Linden
Release Date: May 26, 2015
The third book in a deliciously sexy series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book–Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era– has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.
Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can’t forget how he abandoned a friend in need-nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He’s the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn’t feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel…
Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. But, though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father’s control, spirited Penelope just doesn’t suit his plans for a model marriage — until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope’s. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful…beguiling…and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match , too?
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A fine sweat broke out on his brow. Boys at school told of lying to deny their misdeeds, but how did one lie to claim a crime? He would have to ask, next term. Not that it would help him now.
His breath shuddered. “It was a cricket ball, sir. I was tossing it and—and it got away from me so I lunged to catch it—” His stomach heaved. He’d be whipped hard for this. “I apologize, sir.”
For a long moment Stratford stared at him in the narrow-eyed flinty way he had. Like a hawk, he seemed not to need to blink. “When did this carelessness occur?”
“Not long ago, Father.” His heart was pounding painfully hard, but he made himself continue. Elizabeth looked like she would cry, and that would help neither of them. “I was trying to find a maid to fetch a broom so I could sweep it up.”
The blow on the back of his head made him flinch. “Viscounts do not sweep,” snapped the earl. “Fetch a broom, indeed!”
“No, Father,” he whispered.
“Nor do they lie!” The second blow was harder, but he was ready for that one. The earl paced around him, his coat tails swinging. “Elizabeth, where is your nursemaid?”
“In the garden, Father.” Her thin voice quavered.
“Return to her with your sister, and do not wander off again.” He turned back to Benedict. “Come with me.”
Elizabeth shot him an anguished glance as she took Samantha’s hand. He saw her stoop and grab a doll, lying almost out of sight one step down, as they hurried down the stairs. It was her favorite doll, with the blue silk dress and the painted wooden head with real hair. He hoped she shook the broken glass out of the doll’s clothing.
It was a long walk to the earl’s study. Benedict counted every step to keep his mind from what was to come, his gaze fixed on his father’s heels striding in front of him. Twenty-two steps down to the ground floor. Forty steps to the north. Eleven to the west. Six to cross his father’s study and stand before the wide, polished desk with the ornate pen and inkstand.
“I cannot abide liars, Benedict.” The earl walked around his desk to the wide windows that looked out toward the river. “You should know that by now.”
Benedict stole a glance out the windows. The river glittered placidly, invitingly. It was a beautiful summer day and he’d finished his lessons early, planning to take the punt across the river to the wilder bank. His friend Sebastian was probably sitting up in the old oak tree right now, dangling his feet over the water and waiting for him to come. They’d recently begun a determined search for a long-lost legendary grotto. Everyone said it had been filled in years ago but Lady Burton, who owned the estate where the grotto had been—and hopefully still was—had granted them permission to look for it. Benedict was secretly sure that grotto would prove the perfect spot to hide when his father was in a fury. If he knew where it was, he’d run from the room right now, call to his sisters to follow him, and row them all across the river. They could stay in the grotto indefinitely; Sebastian would smuggle them food from his house, and they would never return to Stratford Court again. After a while they would send a note to their mother, and then she, too, would run away and join them in the woods. The four of them could live there forever, climbing trees and washing in the river, and never facing another thrashing over a broken statue or anything else.
The earl lifted the thin rod that stood against the window frame, bursting the moment of wishful thinking. “Not only a liar, but a careless one as well. That statue is irreplaceable. And yet you didn’t come to confess at once. I must have been remiss, if you thought that would escape my notice.” He circled the desk. “Nothing escapes my notice.”
“Well?” The rod slashed down and made a loud crack against His Lordship’s boot. “What are you waiting for?”
He cast one more longing glance at the river and the distant woods before closing his eyes. It would be at least a week before he could escape to them now. Gingerly he laid his hands flat on the desk and braced himself.
“I grow tired of this, Benedict. I expect more from you.”
“I know, sir,” he whispered, ashamed that his voice shook. His father despised weak, fearful people.
“No,” said the earl quietly. “I don’t think you do—yet.” He raised the rod and began.
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About the Author:
Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one.
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