Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a dangerous man in search of a lost treasure she doesn’t possess, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary – which she was never meant to see – and the man who was her first and only love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last 10 years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her, no matter what, she can’t help but hope that things will be different for them this time.
James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and now he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe and to win her trust again. He’s confident that he can outwit the villain chasing Olivia. But being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart, even those that he swore would stay hidden forever.
Rating: Narration – A-; Content – B+
This final book in Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series– Six Degrees of Scandal – brings it to an extremely satisfying conclusion, tying up the loose ends deliberately left over from Love in the Time of Scandal, and also finally revealing the identity of the mysterious Lady Constance, author of the popular Fifty Ways to Sin series of erotic pamphlets.
The story opens some years earlier when young James Weston (brother of Penelope and Abigail, heroines of the previous two books) meets Olivia Herbert, who lives on the neighbouring estate. The Westons have recently purchased Haverstock House, Mr. Weston being a very successful businessman, and Jamie invites Olivia home to play with his sisters. Olivia’s father is a baronet, but the family finances are in dire straits, so even though the Westons are nouveau riche and will never be fully accepted into society, Lady Herbert allows the acquaintance. Over the years, Olivia and the Weston girls become firm friends, and she and Jamie fall in love. When she is seventeen and Jamie twenty, they pledge themselves to each other, making love one idyllic afternoon. Knowing how badly the Herberts need money, Jamie is confident that his suit will be accepted, but with the arrogance and over-confidence of youth, he fails to seek her father’s consent before going away to attend to some business on Mr. Weston’s behalf.
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