REVIEWED BY DEBS CARR
Whisper of Scandal begins in May 1811, eighteen months after the death of Lady Joanna Ware's celebrated explorer husband David. His best friend Alex, Lord Grant, already believing what he's been told by David about his cold-hearted wife, arrives at her house to overhear her rebuffing her latest suitor's proposal. In order to persuade the older man that she isn't available to accept his proposal, or anyone else's, she greets Alex by kissing him passionately and he unexpectedly takes matters further by insinuating their affair to the surprised man.
Soon London's high society are all gossiping about her being his mistress. Joanna is not impressed with Alex's amusement at her expense and he is offended to find that she is not the grieving widow he feels David deserves.
If Joanna ever thought she'd had to face more than enough scandal when her philandering husband was alive, nothing can prepare her for the discovery that David has bequeathed his illegitimate child to her and Lord Grant and she now shares joint custody with someone she loathes. Neither ever want to marry again, Joanna because of the abuse at the hands of her husband and Alex because of the guilt he feels towards his dead wife, Amelia.
This book takes the reader on a journey to the Arctic to the monastery where David has left his illegitimate daughter. Joanna is childless and although stunned by David's unexpected cruelty giving her this bequest, she is also brave and determined and keeps her private pain hidden from view. Alex, sexy, brave and loyal, slowly discovers that she's not the person he's been lead to believe, and as they travel together their mutual dislike and distrust begins to change dramatically. This beautifully written, fast-paced love story is difficult to put down.
Whisper of Scandal is published by Mira tomorrow, 17 June.