by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #3
Genres: Historical Romance
Third in the Bedwyn Saga historical-romance series revolving around the Bedwyn family.The couple focus is on Lady Freyja Bedwyn and Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallmere.
Bathians??? Lady Potford introducing her grandson by his first name? Going down to the kitchen herself to see how dinner preparations are coming?? Balogh seems to be slipping on both her research and her segues.
I’m missing something here. Balogh has been going on and on about Bedwyns marrying only for love so why is it that Lady Freyja believes she has to take what’s offered? Then there’s the nonsense of the fake betrothal. Sure, she’s a duke’s daughter and sister so the normal rules of chaperonage can be somewhat ignored but sex before marriage is not one of those rules that can be ignored no matter one’s station. So just how does Freyja justify making love with Joshua while having no intention of staying with him??
In spite of this anomalies, this has definitely been a lively romance with a strong-willed heroine and a hero whose sense of humor I very much enjoyed. The cheeky boy! I did enjoy Joshua’s compassion for his cousins.
A chance encounter in the middle of the night when a strange gentleman invades her room is followed up in Bath with a second chance encounter in Sydney Gardens that results in two punches to Hallmere’s nose by Lady Freyja. She has threatened to expose him, and so she does, at full volume, the very next morning when she meets him at the Pump Room. Whereupon the tables are turned, and it is Freyja’s turn to be embarrassed.
Hallmere and Freyja share too much in intelligence, humor, and a low threshold for boredom, and when Hallmere jokingly requests Freyja’s aid in thwarting his aunt, she leaps into the spirit of the thing and consents to a faux betrothal. A betrothal that is always going to end tomorrow, only tomorrow never seems to come. And the more Freyja sees of Hallmere’s true nature, the less she wants to lose him.
Lady Freyja Bedwyn is the eldest of the old duke’s daughters and close to being on the shelf. Wulf Bedwyn, the Duke of Bewcastle, is seen as a cold, aloof man. Her brothers, Lords Aidan and Rannulf have just married this past year and are very happy in their brides, Eve (Slightly Married, 1) and Judith (Slightly Wicked, 2). Lord Alleyne is still single, and the baby, Lady Morgan, is to have her come-out next Season.
Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallmere, inherited his title when his uncle died. And he’s accused of murder. The Dowager Lady Potford is Joshua’s grandmother who lives in Bath. Joshua’s cousins all like him and include Lady Constance, the eldest daughter. Lady Chastity has some nasty secrets she’s hiding while Lady Prudence is 18 and will always be much younger. The Rev. Calvin Moore is Joshua’s heir. The Dowager Marchioness of Hallmere, Joshua’s aunt, is a frail-appearing bitch while Mrs. Lumbard was his aunt’s bosom bow and neighbor in Penhallow, Cornwall, and hated Joshua. Petunia is her daughter.
Miss Martin’s School for Girls…
…on Sutton Street in Bath is led by Miss Martin, the one governess who walked away from the Bedwyn employment and refused any aid from the duke. Miss Anne Jewell is one of the teachers there, recommended by Lady Freyja.
Miss Charlotte Holt-Barron invites Lady Freyja to spend some time with them in Bath. The Earl of Willet is interested in Freyja, poor thing.
Kit Butler, angry over Freyja’s rejection, brought home his own bride, Lauren Edgeworth, who has just given birth to a baby boy (A Summer to Remember, 0.6).
The Cover and Title
The cover is a bit dull really in spite of its bright royal blue background. The title is somewhat inaccurate for if society ever found out, it would be a great deal more than Slightly Scandalous!