AFTER THE SCANDAL by Elizabeth Essex

after the scandalPUBLISHING INFO: St. Martin's, 3/25/2014
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1800's (?)
SERIES: The Reckless Brides, #4

FROM PUBLISHER: When Lady Claire Jellicoe agreed to a walk in the moonlight, she never imagined her titled companion might have brutal motives. Nor could she have dreamed up such a brave rescue by the most unexpected savior of all: an inscrutable nobleman with a daring plan of escape—and a deliciously tempting embrace…

Timothy 'Tanner' Evans, the Duke of Fenmore, has palmed more treasures than he can count. Even for a man who grew up thieving in London’s stews, a stolen bride should be beyond the pale. But Fenmore won’t let scandal ruin the spirited beauty’s reputation. And now that she’s stolen his heart, how can he ever let her go…?

MY THOUGHTS: Not good, folks. The beautiful cover is the only good part. This story is a murder mystery with an unbelievable romance complete with the proverbial happily-ever-after thrown in because this is, after all, a romance. The entire story spans one day and they were 'in love' about 17 hours after meeting outside of a ball that was held at Tanner's grandmother's house.

Twenty-eight year old Tanner has 'loved' nineteen-year old Claire for several years, since she was seventeen. He's a bit of a stalker and was stalking Claire as she left the ball with known serial rapist, Lord Peter Rosing. They went outside and Rosing attempted to rape her from behind up against the boat house. Tanner foiled his attempt, beat him up, and the two of them made off in a boat to escape. Tanner lied about hearing people coming so that she'd go away with him. He purposely lied so he could take her out on the boat, unchaperoned, so that she'd be compromised and there'd be a scandal and he'd get to marry her. Well, he got his wish. That alone tells you he's no good. Not to mention that he once saw Rosing raping someone and didn't do anything about it. What a man, right? That was told near the end of the story and I honestly almost stopped reading.

The rest of the story is ridiculous. While in the boat they find a dead body in the river and the hunt is on to find her killer. The entire story is about that. They chit-chat as if there isn't a dead body in the boat with them and it's pure nonsense! Claire goes off with him, alone, for almost a full day to help him search. Respectable ladies do not go off with men, period, so it makes no sense for her to have done so.

This book was so disappointing. The one you'd suspect as being the killer is involved with her murder so there's no mystery, really, since he was the obvious suspect from the get go. So in that regard, I was sorely disappointed. Why make it so damn obvious? The way they went about getting the confession is laughable. That doesn't happen in real life. This novel was a travesty.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Same review here.

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