Sunday, May 24, 2009

Carolyn Jewel: do you think I'm a sucker?

Great Moments from Last Night's Reading
Book: Scandal by Carolyn Jewel
The view from halfway through

Yes, you read that right, do you think I'm a sucker? Do you think I will fall for your little trick of making your heroine Sophie a writer and lover of trashy books? The poor girl, nearly ruined by her no good husband, scribbling away at night, publishing under a secret name, having to hide her unladylike pursuit from from society? Yes, apparently you think I will be easily enchanted by all of this.

And you are right! I'm totally enjoying it. I'm eating it up. I love reading about lady authors.

And Banallt, what a great hero. It's not enough that you give him such a cool name, or make him the reformed rake--no, you make him a fan of Sophie's trashy novels. How can I resist?

Scandal toggles between two time periods: 1812, when Banallt was still a rake and first met Sophie, and 1815, when they meet again and Banallt's reformed but Sophie doesn't believe it.

The fun writer scene
There's this great scene that takes place in 1812 when Banallt is staying in Sophie's home as a guest of her drunkard, soon-to-die husband and Banallt discovers this manuscript Sophie's been working on and she discovers him reading it, and she's horrified he'll realize she's this authoress. They have this wonderful exchange where all she wants is for him to put down her manuscript and leave her, but he won't let go of it.

When she finally confesses her pen name, it turns out he has read and loved nearly all her books.
Lord Banallt sat up. He was still holding her pages, drat the man. "Not The Murder of Gilling Fell?"

"You've read it?" Her heart leaped.

He brought in his legs and leaned toward her. "Can this be so? The authoress of The Desert Corsair and The Orphan of Hopewell Moor sits beside me?

"I'm astonished," she said. Despite herself, she was immensely flattered. "You've read my books?
They go back and forth a bit until slowly, she realizes what a dreadful mistake she'd made putting her secret in the hands of a man like Banallt. She begs him not to tell her husband or anybody. There's this little power dance, and a kind of insinuation creeps in that perhaps he'll be silent in exchange for certain sexual favors, but then he assures her, "Your secret is safe with me, Mrs. Evans."
She stepped back and hit the chair. He caught her upper arm, steadying her. He leaned closer. "Lovely, sad little Sophie Mercer Evans," he said in the voice of Satan himself. "When I take you to bed, I assure you, it won't be because I've coerced you. It will be because you want to be there."
Oh, what a proper thing for a rake to say!

How to tell if your other suitor is WORTHLESS
Then, as if this isn't enough, in the 1815 timeline when Sophie is a widow, there's this quite suitable Duke by the name of Vedaelin vying for her affections. Here is all you need to know about him--when he and Sophie discuss the fate of a young heiress being duped by a gold digging cad, Vedaelin says:
This, Ma'am, is what comes of a girl whose reading is not strictly regulated."

She [Sophie] turned to a path less crowded. Vedaelin followed. "How so?" she asked.

"Horrid novels, Mrs. Evans." His expression of revulsion told her everything she needed to know about his opinion of such works.
Yeah. Say no more, Vedaelin. It's not like the novel thing takes central stage here, but I love how it's used. Half through, Scandal is completely and totally delivering on a lot of the reasons I love Regencies - the world of clothes and carriages and rules, and the nobility of the heroes. All so very delicious.

Proper reviews: Isn't It Romance, Renee's Book Addiction, Book Binge, Dear Author; Paintings from Wikipedia commons: portrait of Queen Caroline of Naples by Giuseppe Cammarano; portrait of Adam Mickiewicz by Walenty Wańkowicz.


Mandi said...

I loved Scandal! It introduced me to Carolyn Jewel. I want Indiscreet now:)

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

There are really no words to explain what an incredible book Scandal is. Banallt!

orannia said...

Ohhh, this is sitting by my bed at the moment calling to me! And with lines like this:

"When I take you to bed, I assure you, it won't be because I've coerced you. It will be because you want to be there." is VERY hard to be restrained :)

Anonymous said...

I have this one in my tbr! I may just have to bump it up!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, Carolyn.

azteclady said...

I've resisted, so far, I've resisted... and then you have to post this!



I give in, already.

Carolyn said...

Um, no. I would never think someone with such an outstanding first name could ever be a sucker.

Did it work?I hope you continue to enjoy Scandal.

Renee said...

There's some amazingly beautiful prose in this one! Glad you're enjoying it so far.

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds like a great book :)
I need to read some Jewel

Ana said...

*sigh* this is so far,my favorite romance novel of 2009. I thought the writing was tremendoulst evocative and how she starts the story with an ALREADY reformed rake made all the difference. Banallt, gotta love the guy.

Lea said...

Hey Carolyn:

I read this book at the um, urgings of one of my blogger buddies.

I did enjoy it, there was a small pet peeve, but other than that, it was a good read.

Happy you are enjoying it. :)


Carolyn Crane (aka Carolyn Jean) said...

Mandi & KB: Yes, I am SO enjoying it!

Or: Isn't that a great line?

Barbara & AZ: Get reading, you two!

Carolyn: Oh, it's working. I'm hugely enjoying this.

Renee: You are so right, lots of lovely prose.

Bldd: This is my first Jewel, and I really like it.

Ana: Wow, your top! I didn't realize!

Lea: Ooh, curious.

lbgregg said...

I think I have this one on my shelf!!

Hey. Not to totally derail you, but CJ did you read the new Sookie?

Carolyn Crane (aka Carolyn Jean) said...

Hardback. No.

Tumperkin said...

I didn't adore it but it was very good, yes. Silver eyes. Nice. (Though perhaps mentioned a couple of times too often)

orannia said...

Silver eyes.As in the hero of Scandal has silver eyes? If he has black hair as well then I am a completely gonner *grin* What can I say, it's my favourite colour combination :)

naida said...

Scandal sounds great, glad youre enjoying it!
fun post!

Ladytink_534 said...

Simply scandalous! Yet, still sounds yummy! I hope you love it!

Sarai said...

This is one I am trying to get to in the library pile I am hoping I can read it this week. Thanks to all of you!!!