Friday, February 6, 2015

Silence of Scandal by Jackie Williams

A Regency Romance. 

The war is over for the nation but not for the new Duke of Ormond. With death and debt stalking his every waking moment, caught between blackmailers and his brother’s deepest secret, Alexander’s dreams lie in tatters but he never surrendered on the battlefields of the Peninsular and he’s not about to admit defeat now. Even if that means marrying a woman he has never laid eyes on before. 

With her father’s warnings still fresh in her mind and her imperfections obvious to any who know her, Elizabeth’s options for freedom are diminishing with every trembling step. Available suitors are few and far between. Marriage to a debt ridden, aging fortune hunter will not be easy but with no other alternatives and destitution threatening she cannot escape her fate. 

Falling in love hadn't been a possibility Alexander ever considered but one glance at his beautiful bride’s tear filled onyx eyes has his blood surging through his veins, his heart pounding in his chest and he can no longer hide his emotions behind a facade of polite indifference. 

Elizabeth hadn’t expected him to be handsome. She hadn’t expected him to greet her with a sparkling sapphire gaze. She hadn’t expected gentle fingertips on her skin or her heart to break at the tender words on his lips. 

With Ormond and the family jewels at stake, Alexander’s resolve to defeat his enemies is soon put to the test as rumour, intrigue and scandal threaten his and Elizabeth’s blossoming affections. There is clearly another plan. There had always been another plan. A plan of greed and vengeance devised to ruin Ormond and its descendants for all time. 

Silence of Scandal is a light-hearted, easy read suitable for age 16 and upwards. (Contains some swearing and sensual love scenes) 

Published & Release Date: Self Published, August 13, 2014

Time and setting: Regency England  

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

I downloaded this book back in November through the Kindle Unlimited program. It has some great reviews, so I thought I would give it a read. I have mixed feelings and struggled on the rating, vacillating between three and four Gold Crowns, ultimately I decided on four. I found Silence of Scandal compelling and liked the characters from the beginning.

This story starts with a prologue with twelve-year-old Alexander Currurgh and his fourteen-year-old brother performing an experiment involving steam locomotion. Needless to say, the experiment causes a horrific explosion, injuring both boys and killing the little seven-year-old Lilly. This causes Alexander much guilt because while he found Lilly annoying, tagging along everywhere he went, he certainly did not want her killed. This is important to the story, but I will not say why because I do not want to give anything away.

Fifteen years later, the story picks up with Alexander returning from the wars to the news that his father, the Duke of Ormond and his brother, the heir, is dead. He is now the duke to a debt ridden dukedom and must come up with a plan to salvage it. The man holding his brother’s markers tells him he will cancel out all the debt if he marries his daughter Elizabeth Carlton Hardacre.

With no recourse left to him, he agrees and soon finds himself married to the woman. On the drive from the church, Elizabeth never utters a sound. When they arrive at his estate, his young bride begins to sob uncontrollably. After she manages to gain control, he escorts her into the ballroom for their wedding dance. Later when he escorts her to her room, Elizabeth speaks, and he is unable to understand much of what she says since it garbled to the point that he wonders if it is a foreign language. He flees and then spends the next three day drowning his sorrows at the local tavern.

When he returns to his estate, he soon learns that his new wife is deaf when a rabid dog appears, and she does not hear him when he warns her. He saves her and realizes that as much as he might wish for something different, he must accept Elizabeth as his wife and pray that he can learn to love her.

This emotionally-charged story abounds with secrets, keeping me reading as fast as I could flip the pages on my Kindle. Ms. Williams weaves an enthralling tale of a couple learning to love as they discover what these secrets are. The premise for the book is outstanding and very entertaining, and I am so glad I read it.

Now, as mentioned earlier, I did have a few problems with the book, nothing to do with the plot or character development. Unfortunately, the story needs editing badly. It is riddled with missing words, duplicate words and many grammatical errors. It lacks much of the punctuation needed for the writing to flow smoothly. All this is easily corrected by hiring a good editor and learning more about the mechanics of writing. These changes will make Ms. Williams’s stories shine.

If you can overlook the writing mistakes, you will find a great love story of a young woman who has to overcome great difficulty and a man willing to learn to adapt to her needs, plus an intriguing mystery to solve. Happy reading!  

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