Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: A Little More Scandal (The Christies #1.5) by Carrie Lofty

Self-made industrialist Sir William Christie tempts the scorn of London society by attempting to seduce Catrin Jones, a modest but opinionated battlefield nurse who earned notoriety after surviving a naval shipwreck. His ambition to secure her exclusive story is part of his latest business plan, while her intention is to marry well before her moment of fame expires. With respectability, wealth, and security at stake, they must decide whether love is worth embracing just a little more scandal...
In a very short period of time Carrie Lofty has become a favorite historical romance writer and her books 'must reads' for me. Ms. Lofty has the touch when it comes to penning passionate romances that combine wonderful characters with those little historical details that I love.

A Little More Scandal is a 90 page novella that can be read as a stand alone or as a prequel to Carrie Lofty's The Christies historical romance series. As a prequel, this passionate romance gives the reader insight into Sir William Christie's character, the patriarch of the family, and adds depth to The Christies' series as a whole.

Sir William Christie is a self-made man who clawed his way from the bottom rungs of Glasgow's society's ladder and gained entrance, if not necessarily acceptance, to the very top of London's ton by using his gift for business and obsession for making money. At 31 years of age, he's a widower, an absentee father, and the head of a successful industrial empire. He is a ruthless businessman who is about to find his match in the most unlikely of women.

Catrin Jones is the Welsh daughter of a country pastor who served as a battlefield nurse for five years in the Crimean War. Her only claim to fame is that she was the only survivor when the HMS Honoria was wrecked while sailing home from the war and Catrin refuses to tell the real story. London is agog with speculation and William needs her story in order to further his latest business plans. William decides to seduce the story out of Catrin, but he doesn't expect that Catrin might have her own plans and might seduce more out of him.

This novella is character driven and as a result the focus is entirely on William and Catrin. There is a sense of urgency to William and Catrin's developing relationship, dictated by events taking place around them, that serves to push them into quick action. Catrin, more so than William, is an absolute gem of a character in this novella. She is forthright and just as ruthless in her own way as William when it comes to achieving her goal. I admired her for her determination. Together, they sizzle and burn. . . sizzle and burn. . .

As previously stated, A Little More Scandal can be read as a stand alone novella since this is a prequel and already known characters from this series do not make an appearance. However, if you've read Flawless, this short is a 'must' read. Lofty delivers all around in this passionate little novella and gives readers a detailed peek into what drove both William and Catrin to build not only an industrial empire, but a beautiful and rather unique family. Of course this novella is a delicious appetizer, but now I am eagerly waiting for the main course, the second book in the series, Starlight (The Christies, #2).

Category: Historical Romance
Series: The Christies
Publisher/Release Date: Pocket/May 29, 2012
Source: eARC from Novel Sidekick
Grade: B+

Visit Carrie Lofty here.

The Christies Series:
Flawless, Book #1
A Little More Scandal, Prequel Book #1.5
Starlight, Book #2 - Releasing June 26, 2012

11 comments:

  1. You're really making me want to read this and I'm always very iffy when it comes to authors I haven't tried before!!!
    *sigh*
    I guess I'll start with the Novella and go from there!
    :D
    Thanks fo r the awesome review.

    Plus, these covers are awesome.

    I recently read How to Dance with a Duke and the cover is kind of similar to the one of the novella, but this one works, the one for the other book didn't - it look like the girl had a stiff neck and like the guy had a beargut :D

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    1. Alex! A novella is the perfect way to 'discover' new authors... so this one might do it for you. Lofty has some excellent historical romances in her back list. Great writing! But, this series just started... there's only one book, and the second one is not coming out until June.

      RE: Covers. The cover for Flawless is gorgeous! And I love this one and the one for the upcoming book, Starlight. So yes... so far the series is batting 3/3 for beautiful covers. And lol! I have to check out that cover you mentioned! (beer gut/bear gut... same thing, *g*)

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  2. Yay, I'm definitively picking this up :)

    I have a question: this means Catrin was only the mother of the twins right? I don't know, reading this, I wonder why Vivienne felt so pressured to be so "good." ^_^;

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    1. Nath, you do! :D

      To answer your question: Yes, Catrin would be the twins' mother. :) And, I think Viviene's pressure was self-imposed. She had something to prove because of her mother, Georgette. If I recall correctly she really loved Catrin.

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  3. I loved the angle that Catrin was a nurse in the Crimea. I wish we'd see more of that in romances, although admittedly it would make for a lot of angsty books :)

    My concern going into this read was William, who isn't exactly painted as a sunshine and rainbows guy in Flawless. I was almost afraid that Lofty would have to morph him into a Care Bear to make the romance work. Blessedly she doesn't - and you're right, I think the fact that Catrin is ruthless in her own way is what really makes it all work. Could you picture William with some meek little thing that would jump every time he bellowed? Gah, neither could I.....

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    1. Wendy, I admit that I was a bit worried when I realized the novella was about William too, but Lofty used the right touch with him. He's rough, ruthless and not easy, but never goes over the line. Not a Care Bear at all, lol! And nooo... William didn't need a mouse, it's good he got Catrin instead. The man needed a ruthless/understanding woman like her. :)

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  4. I'm so reading this. And then maybe I'll go back and read Flawless. :)

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    1. Hi Mandy.

      Great idea! This novella is only 99cents and worth reading. :) It will definitely give you the background story to the rest of the series. I hope you enjoy this one AND Flawless! :)

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  5. I'm going to follow Mandi's plan with this one, too. 99 cents sells me pretty easily. ;)

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    1. Christine, you can't lose. It's a great, great story!

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