Monday, January 19, 2009

Her Scandalous Affair - Candice Hern

When Richard, Major Lord Mallory returns home from the wars, his grandmother sends him on a quest to find and retrieve the Mallory Heart, a long-lost family heirloom. Imagine his surprise when he spots the exquisite heart-shaped ruby brooch on the bosom of the equally exquisite Lady Isabel Weymouth! Could this popular young socialite actually be a jewel thief?

Richard is determined that the brooch be returned to his family, so when an opportunity presents itself, he pilfers the jewel from the lady's bedroom. He is stunned when she steals it back the very next day! Clearly the enchanting Isabel is a more formibable opponent than he imagined, and the former soldier finds himself battling wits and wills with the captivating temptress. Passion ignites between them as the competition heats up, and suddenly there is more than a ruby brooch at stake in this game of hearts.

I’ve had this one in the TBR pile for quite a while so I decided it was time to give it a try.

Richard, Viscount Mallory, is ordered by his grandmother to search and recover a missing family heirloom, a brooch that has last been seen on a young woman in London. Luckily for him as soon as he arrives in London he spots it and manages to steal it. What follows is a comedy where both Richard and Isabel, the young lady in question, try to outwit each other and steal the jewel from one another not once but several times. It might have lead to a ridiculous plot but in fact I thought this was the best part of the book. The witty dialog that develops between them, their attraction to one another and their determination to not let go of the jewel was fun to read about.

The problem for me was that the rest of the story was not as engaging as this part. There are two mysteries that determine Richard’s actions, one referring to his grandmother and the brooch and the other to his brother’s death and I felt that there could have been more suspense there, more intrigue connected to them to make it all more interesting. And Isabel’s indecision on whether to marry for money or follow her heart makes her a bit unsympathetic instead of appealing.

It became more interesting again when we find out the story behind the brooch and how it connects both families but I think the whole thing could have been better if we had had more character development. It was an entertaining read but in the end I was left with a “too light” feeling.

Grade: 3.5/5

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