Prime Prelude to a ScandalAuthor Delilah Marvelle – Albawater.co

This was only my first read by Ms Marvelle and I m sorry to say it was a great disappointment The premise was interesting, but I just couldn t get into the story or connect with the characters.Desperate to have her father released from prison, where he s been thrown for publishing his observations on innate buggery in the Animal Kingdom and stating that homosexuality is allowed by God and therefore shouldn t be condemned, Lady Justine Palmer approaches his father s academic patron, the notorio This was only my first read by Ms Marvelle and I m sorry to say it was a great disappointment The premise was interesting, but I just couldn t get into the story or connect with the characters.Desperate to have her father released from prison, where he s been thrown for publishing his observations on innate buggery in the Animal Kingdom and stating that homosexuality is allowed by God and therefore shouldn t be condemned, Lady Justine Palmer approaches his father s academic patron, the notorious Duke of Bradford better known to the ton as The Rake Extraordinaire and offers herself up to him in exchange for his help releasing her father Braced for surrendering her virginity to a man who seemingly presents no wedding prospect, she s shocked when he refuses her offer and proposes marriage instead.Unbeknownst to Justine, Radcliff Morton, the Duke of Bradford, is as desperate as her Consumed by his addiction to sex, he s been in seclusion for the last eight months in an effort to reform himself Convinced that Justine is his last hope of salvation, Radcliff does his best to control the sexual urges that torment his body, knowing that he needs to become a better man for their marriage to work.That was the basic premise of this book, but there were so many other subjects crammed into the story that it lost its focus Besides his sex addiction, Radcliff and Justine also had to deal with his mommy issues , his villainous brother Carlton, his brother s abused mistress Matilda, a gay servant, and other minor problems It was too much, and I just couldn t make myself care for any of them.Radcliff had the potential to be a great tortured hero, but his character fizzled He was described as being a sex addict, but I never saw him acting as one I was told over and over again that he was a sex addict, but he was one of the most self controlled heroes I ve ever seen view spoiler He stopped himself from consummating his marriage with Justine on their wedding night because he was afraid of hurting her, even though he was fully aroused and hadn t had sex in eight months Oh, and she was willing and asking him to continue hide spoiler I m not an expert on the subject, but I don t think a sex addict would be able to control himself like that.As for Justine, she was a pain Assuming that Radcliff was indeed a sex addict, I thought she was very insensitive about it and did nothing to help him I don t know why he put up with her incongruous demands and let her steamroll him, because he got nothing out of it Not even sex Their relationship was so unbalanced and unhealthy that I found myself dreading the HEA Radcliff and Justine did not belong together As I mentioned above, this was my one and only read by Ms Marvelle so far I usually give new to me authors three chances to win me, and this one has been wasted I have the next two books in this series on my TBR so I ll be reading them soon I hope they re better than this onekeeps fingers crossed There are few authors out there with so few books under her belt that willingly test the boundries of their readers like DM I will admit to being a fangurl and loving her School of Gallentry series and hated the fact she didn t get to finish the series But that doesn t mean that I can t take a step back and be honest how I feel about a book So here we are with her Scandal series and here she is dragging us right up the precipice of our comfort zone and daring us to jump So we have Justine wh There are few authors out there with so few books under her belt that willingly test the boundries of their readers like DM I will admit to being a fangurl and loving her School of Gallentry series and hated the fact she didn t get to finish the series But that doesn t mean that I can t take a step back and be honest how I feel about a book So here we are with her Scandal series and here she is dragging us right up the precipice of our comfort zone and daring us to jump So we have Justine who has had a tendre for Radcliff, the Duke of Bradford forever So naturally when her dad gets put in prison for writing a book about how animals are not so very apart from man when it comes to the act of sex Justine offers herself as payment if Radcliff will help her dad Color her surprised when instead he wants to marry her in six weeks She agrees knowing that he is not the man she knew 8 months ago as she has heard that he now has a scar on his face When he refuses to see her up until the time of the wedding she grows evenalarmed But Justine doesn t really know the 1 2 of it Her husband has other deeper issues to contend with other than the loss of some of his prettiness Can she survive this addiction and can their marriage Is he strong enough to overcome the obsession It is a condition that we hear about all to often in today s times There are other things that are going to push your boundries in this book and I hope that you can get around them to see the picture of the entire book Did I like some of what took place, no, but that doesn t mean that they shouldn t be wrote about This is also a darker book then what I am used to from her TSoG series had a lightheartness about it that this book doesn t have It was as good, just different, IMO I didn t give it 5 stars because after all the book pushed some of my boundries a little too hard, but that didn t mean I didn t enjoy it I must have as I read it in a matter of hours I do hope Carlton finds a deep dark privy to fall into and I hope that you give this new series a try As w her previous books, I hung my disbelief on the moon B4 clicking away, otherwise it wouldn t have been possible to enjoy the fluffiness implausible situations the H h find themselves in, cuz there were a few things that made my shaved eyebrows meet my receding hairline Let s just say that only in a parallel universe U d see the esteemed Wulfric Bedwyn line up against the wall drop his pants for the flimsy excuse of finding the host s missing pendant, but Radcliff, the Duke of McSlut i As w her previous books, I hung my disbelief on the moon B4 clicking away, otherwise it wouldn t have been possible to enjoy the fluffiness implausible situations the H h find themselves in, cuz there were a few things that made my shaved eyebrows meet my receding hairline Let s just say that only in a parallel universe U d see the esteemed Wulfric Bedwyn line up against the wall drop his pants for the flimsy excuse of finding the host s missing pendant, but Radcliff, the Duke of McSlut is game for anything his illegit bro cooks up cuz he s familiar w half bro s modus operandi Another eyebrow twitching moment 4 me Justine contemplating mating positions on wedding nite Say what It oozes the weird vibe a la Jessica Simpson s dad talking bout her infamous Xtra sized cans I guess I also need to broaden my horizons cuz what I ve read so far can fit into a stamp It s the 1st time evah that I read a book where a Duke of McRake can get away w employing a queer lady s man who just happens to be a fangurl of the Duchess s jailbait dad s observations , it s a bit tough to swallow that he lets another man see his wife s bangin body in all her glory, I don t care if Henri swings for the other team, it s still odd Whatevah salary he s paying those male servants to keep their traps shut must ve been ginormous cuz nobody raises a red flag And, whazzup w everyone in the household not just the H h inexplicably having a problem w shutting a door gently, every grand entrance exit is punctuated w a door slam Last but not least, my gaydar has utterly failed me, cuz I didn t pick up 1 plot twist all, I just didn t see it coming Even Radcliff, the poster boy for Viagra, didn t haha It s purrfectly N sync w the theme.I liked this imperfect book both H h I could relate to the hero his sense of worthlessness in the self control dept I thought DM did a pretty decent job in stirring the serious subject of Radcliff s uncontrollable obsession w sprinkles of humor It sure has a darker tone less hilarity than her SOG series, it may push some peeps buttons, but they re all part package of the book s charm SA is a serious disease but the conflict wasn t overcooked when threaded w the romance Radcliff may not be the most likeable hero in romancelandia, but he s sympathetic as opposed to pathetic He acknowledges that he s a slut to his physical needs wants to become a bettah man for Justine Just like most addicts, he has his ups downs in overcoming his obsession suffers relapses I did buy the reasoning of how his demons originated, evolved, projected onto his marriage, how the horrific consequences of his obsession shaped the way he is now, tho I didn t necessarily buy the resolution Even w the sweet HEA, I felt that the book ended too abruptly on that element, in the sense that it coulda been highlightedby showing not merely telling us that he has the willpower to beat his disease I wanted to see acompelling story arc, like it s still an ongoing process even tho Justine has instilled the belief that he can conquer it I appreciated himthat getting hitched wasn t an insta cure I luv DM s no neon sign style, but her luv scenes lost some smoke compared to previous ones, prolly cuz of the switch to HQN Justine was the purrfect match to his problematic self She s sassy, unorthodox in her thoughts actions due to her unusual upbringing, that s what made her so refreshing attractive to Radcliffe, who sees her as his salvation She gives as good as she takes, articulates her displeasure in letting him know how disrespectful he is berates him to lose the foul language He s trying to be on the right path strives to make Justine happy, sometimes ends up w disastrous results It s a holey road Justine helps steer him towards the end of a long dark tunnel, even if she s not always successful in her attempts to chip away his soul He breaks a sacred promise inadvertently hurts her times, but misguided as his intentions are, somehow I nevah doubted his luv for her, it just takes a while for him to connect the dots He s cynical thinks the value of luv is over rated cuz mommie dearest had been a constant liar a testament that actions speak louder than words I luved Justine She s fearless was not afraid to do the right thing when she provided shelter friendship to BIL s abused pin up mistress PTAS wasn t always a boatload of fun, but as w her previous page turners, I couldn t stay away once I started it Bonus point that Radcliff comes clean w his li l secret right bout halfway thru hard to say w e book I hope H H will show up in the next installments It s a crime that SOG series were CX d I hope HX won t repeat itself this time around I vow to protect you from everything, Justine, he whispered Even from myself, if need be I sped through this in about 2 or 3 hours I wonder if the spacious margins, generous line spacing, and largish text were chosen to bulk out the book, so that a reader could feel the same familiar heft as when holding another, wordier romance paperback Caris wrote a very thoughtful review reaction and then offered to lend out the book I haven t met a bandwagon I didn t like so I jumped on His assessment is accurate, that this book is rape free High five, author I have to admit, as my foggy I sped through this in about 2 or 3 hours I wonder if the spacious margins, generous line spacing, and largish text were chosen to bulk out the book, so that a reader could feel the same familiar heft as when holding another, wordier romance paperback Caris wrote a very thoughtful review reaction and then offered to lend out the book I haven t met a bandwagon I didn t like so I jumped on His assessment is accurate, that this book is rape free High five, author I have to admit, as my foggy brain reads I don t pick out the rape from other violence against women so until the issue was discussed by others, I guess I didn t realize just how much rape did feature in romance novels I don t like that I found myself thinking this one was ridiculous because the main man didn t enact some violence upon the main woman when she was pert, defiant, and shut him out of her bedroomhave I come to expect force in these books The sexytimes They were pretty sexy of a time But not, I think, realistic Are they ever, in romance books The magical healing and all powerful ladybits make an appearance.I remember something that bothered me The main woman kept thinking how she was going to tame him and how he would be great once this or that changed about him What is it with needing to change someone, not accepting someone s flaws I guess in this case there were some flaws that needed addressing, but they way it s presented, change or else , I don t like.I ve, uh, already forgotten the plot It s light and pleasant I don t think these books are for me But I would do it again for the sweet picture it came with was expecting some bestiality and was disappointed But he added a lovely sketch of what he d hoped for, hah view spoiler hide spoiler The battle between the lady and the rake is almost about to beginLady Justine is willing to trade her good name, her reputation and her place in London s gossip hungry ton to secure her father s release from prison But when the notorious Duke of Bradford counters her offer with a proposal of marriage, the stakes grow higher still For while the smoldering lord is famous for his conquests, the man is oblivious to both her devotion and her charms And Justine is soon afraid she has wagered all for naught 20%, and my face got stuck in the what is that SMELL look people make when the dumpsters are ripe. My Review The Plot After Lady Justine s father publishes his offensive findings of the natural world s innate predilection for buggery, he s thrown into prison by the king for suggesting, even scientifically, that homosexuality is God s creation and therefore should not be condemned Desperate to have her father released, Justine offers up her body for one night to the powerfully influential Duke of Bradford in exchange for her father s release but is shocking offered marriage in response.Just My Review The Plot After Lady Justine s father publishes his offensive findings of the natural world s innate predilection for buggery, he s thrown into prison by the king for suggesting, even scientifically, that homosexuality is God s creation and therefore should not be condemned Desperate to have her father released, Justine offers up her body for one night to the powerfully influential Duke of Bradford in exchange for her father s release but is shocking offered marriage in response.Justine has long been enad with Bradford since her arrival in London two years ago after her father wrapped up his studies in Cape Town, Africa Knowing that Bradford sponsored her father s studies endeared him to her already but his smooth charm, kind eyes, and his fearlessness to talk to her despite her unconventional upbringing, instantly made him her friend When scandal erupts leaving Bradford ensconced in his home shunning all society, Justine takes pity on him and writes him weekly despite the fact that she never once receives a response Her letters, not flowery or painted with adoration, merely tell Bradford about her daily activities and the activities of the ton But the offering of Justine s virginity sure gets her a response, with marriage nonetheless, and while his strange stipulations demand that they not see each other until the day of their wedding, he ll make sure her father is released from prison in exchange.Justine represents Radcliff Morton s, the Duke of Bradford s, last hope of conquering his self degrading addiction to pleasure For eight months he s shunned all society, all females to beprecise, even going to the extent of dismissing all his female servants For eight months he s denied himself any physical pleasure hoping to squash the addiction that endlessly plagues his thoughts and body Knowing that he has a chance to be the man he wants to be with Justine, he offers her marriage but in a slightly despicable and decidedly rakish manner by bribing her with her father s release Upon his marriage with Justine, he realizes immediately that he s picked the right woman for not only does she have the potential to make him a better man, but she s also dangerously close to stealing his heart Now if only he can keep from screwing up this one and final shot at happiness.The Heroine Lady Justine Palmer reminded me strongly of Lindsay Lohan s Mean Girls character After spending the entirety of her adolescence in Africa, Justine is wonderfully unconventional with a tantalizing combination of innocence and worldliness It s this combination that makes her ideal for Radcliff She s not some untried miss, she s seen real life, has lived by the rules of the animal kingdom Not only that, but her parents are open, caring, and encourage her independence while also wishing for her to make a happy match in society.Recognizing instantly that Radcliff suffers from a serious problem, Justine isn t deterred but determined to help him by teaching him not only respect for her and himself, but by teaching his broken heart how to love Sexually inhibited, Justine encompasses all the pleasure Radcliff could ever hope for while also showing him that sex isn t just about pleasure, but about connection and intimacy It s Justine s knowledge of love as well as her patience that gifts her with an almost magical ability to heal a man desperate to be whole.The Hero Radcliff is a man with the odds stacked up against him He suffers from an all consuming sex addiction, has a brother who loathes him, was shown by his mother that the words I love you are completely meaningless, and brutally castrates himself as worthless But what makes Radcliff special is his desire to be a good man and a good husband to Justine He wants to beat everything that s held him down and he knows from the first moment that he s lucky to have the one woman that has the very real potential to change him Justine gives him hope and while he makes numerous, sometimes heartbreaking mistakes, Radcliff never fails to pick himself up and try over and over again to better himself.My Final Thoughts PRELUDE TO A SCANDAL is as unconventional a historical as its wonderfully unconventional characters Exploring such taboo plot arcs as sodomy, pornography and sex addiction, its author Delilah Marvelle unveils a believable and heart rendering story that rings with a sublime truth Sex addiction was undoubtedly suffered by men and women of this time period and to boldly explore a sickness that is scoffed at even in today s society gives new meaning to the word courage.What baffled me but also made for a pleasurable reading experience, is that the subjects Marvelle explores could have easily saturated the novel in darkness Radcliff s suffering is profoundly felt and the sickness he s plagued with becomes detrimental time and again to his marriage with Justine Yet this darkness is wonderfully balanced with laugh out loud humor and scenes that had me in stitches Justine herself is quite hilarious She brings a much needed light to Radcliff s world as well as shining her light on the story, relieving the reader time and again of the burden we share with Radcliff.I must confess to being nervous of Marvelle using the horrid Big Misunderstanding with PRELUDE TO A SCANDAL There s many a moment that could have been misconstrued and made to further the plot but Marvelle never makes a mockery of her characters or their plight ensuring that the trust between Radcliff and Justine is strong but of course earned.Delilah Marvelle has definitely earned her place on my list of must read authors Her unconventional and thoroughly researched history makes for hours of simply good reading She challenges her readers to open their mind to a new brand of hero, one that makes you fall in love him for a whole new set of reasons Delivering a refreshing and inspiring read, Marvelle is much recommended by this blogger.For historical romance readers tired of tried and true and desperate for something that will blow your hair back in terms of intensity, humor, and romance, look no farther than Delilah Marvelle s, PRELUDE TO A SCANDAL Enjoy By reading the back cover blurb for this book you would expect the story to be about the battle between the lady and the rake is about to begin Which it is..Lady Justine is willing to become her friends I just can t think of a better word right now mistress in exchange for him helping to get her father out of prison for his book on his views on animals, sex, and how they are similar to humans Justine is very surprised when Radcliff, Duke of Bradford, makes a different offer to her inste By reading the back cover blurb for this book you would expect the story to be about the battle between the lady and the rake is about to begin Which it is..Lady Justine is willing to become her friends I just can t think of a better word right now mistress in exchange for him helping to get her father out of prison for his book on his views on animals, sex, and how they are similar to humans Justine is very surprised when Radcliff, Duke of Bradford, makes a different offer to her instead, he wants to marry her in six weeks time but they can not see each other, as he has gotten a terrible scar on his face due to hisproblem.That brings us to what else this book is about When you open the book and read the Dear Reader letter, you learn that Radcliff is dealing with a sex addiction problem Which really leads to some, um, interesting happenings in the book that definitely pushed my comfort zone area and left me shaking my head a bit But Ms Marvelle does make the request to set aside what we think of 1829 and allow her to give us her version of 1829 So, I did try to do that and with saying that, this actually was a very interesting book to read I did not love it but I did not feel like I was wasting my time reading it It definitely makes you think that this probably really did happen during this time and I thought the author did a fairly good job handling it.Overall, I give this book 3 1 2 stars What dragged it down a bit for me was how Radcliff suddenly had an aha moment as to why he acted the way he did and I didn t quite feel that Also, he had quite a few mood swings and with his problem, even though the romance between Justine and Radcliff seemed very genuine and true, I m just not sure if it is deep enough to outlast everything And then there is his rotten brothers pregnant mistress, Miranda who is part of the book I didn t really like her and I thought her twist she added was a bit too much and not needed There are twobooks in this trilogy, Once Upon a Scandal and The Perfect Scandal which I am looking forward to reading But this book reminds me to always check for that Dear Reader letter so you know what you are getting yourself into because the back blurb may not always define it so clearly Prelude to a Scandal was just so unexpected Tangling with an addiction during any time period is a difficult subject, let alone in a historical romance where addiction is not even an acknowledged medical issue A sex addiction, no less, leads to a very difficult path to a HEA Justine knows that Bradford s dropped off the face of her planet, but she doesn t know why And with her father in prison, she needs his money and societal position to get him out, and she s willing to give him herself Prelude to a Scandal was just so unexpected Tangling with an addiction during any time period is a difficult subject, let alone in a historical romance where addiction is not even an acknowledged medical issue A sex addiction, no less, leads to a very difficult path to a HEA Justine knows that Bradford s dropped off the face of her planet, but she doesn t know why And with her father in prison, she needs his money and societal position to get him out, and she s willing to give him herself in return But he doesn t want just her body, he wants her as his wife I think her African background is a good way to make her less naive an innocent miss would not serve the purpose in book, so while she s innocent in body, she s knowledgable in mind He s terrified that he can t control himself, and so he went into seclusion to prove that he can be a good husband only she forces his hand and the wedding comes early I loved Bradford s perspective he is fighting so hard to stay true and prove that he s not guided by his sexual drive Justine sometimes comes off as a bit stuffy, particularly the lady s guide I just didn t feel that it added much to the story, and I m not sure that even in that situation that it really meshed well with his problem I do think that her firmness with him was what he needed to force him into line It was nice to see them both work hard at being better people I also liked the secondary plot with his brother it gave this a bitgrittiness than the usual Harlequin historical romance, and this is an author I d definitely return to, for my personal or library collection So the fluff binge reading train keeps rolling on, no matter how hard I keep trying to buckle down and hit up someserious reads again.There were just a couple of weird scenes near the front of the book comparing human mating with animals that threw me off, and this author uses a few bedroom terms that are so 1980 s every time I see a word like member I have flashbacks of reading Cosmo in high school, and that wasn t even the worst of it.What made me really fall into the story though wa So the fluff binge reading train keeps rolling on, no matter how hard I keep trying to buckle down and hit up someserious reads again.There were just a couple of weird scenes near the front of the book comparing human mating with animals that threw me off, and this author uses a few bedroom terms that are so 1980 s every time I see a word like member I have flashbacks of reading Cosmo in high school, and that wasn t even the worst of it.What made me really fall into the story though was the author s ability to write interesting characters and witty banter I never get tired of a couple s back and forth sparring if it s done well It was very cute that instead of chapters, each section was labeled scandal one, two, etc There really wasn t any scandal at all to be honest The female lead was reading from a book throughout the story about how to avoid a scandal, so that much was sort of misleading Justine is a great character, determined to break the sexual deviant that s taken over her man He s a self proclaimed sex addict and insists to his new betrothed that he can not be around other women including female housekeepers, hah ever or he will break down and do something to regret She, of course, does the only thing that makes sense to her deny him what he wants every step of the way Yes, she s a bit of the optimist, but her stubborn nature eventually manages to overcome his pride It s a basic HR, so you know what s coming, but I still enjoyed the outcome