With the dazzling blend of romance, humor, and poignant storytelling that has made her one of the world's best-loved authors, Johanna Lindsey presents the passionate Regency-era tale of an earl's daughter who dares to pose as the wife of a deadly mercenary in order to save her former guardian.
Lady Margaret Landor first met Sebastian Townshend as a child, when he caught her peeking into her older sister's engagement ball. Tall, dashing, and charming, Sebastian was one of the most sought-after bachelors in Kent and cut a romantic figure she would not soon forget. Never did she dream that one day she would be living at his family's magnificent estate with Sebastian's father, the eighth Earl of Edgewood, as her guardian--while Sebastian is banished from his family due to the tragic results of a duel.
When life at Edgewood takes a sinister turn with the earl suffering a suspicious number of life-threatening accidents, Margaret wonders if Sebastian's younger brother and his wife have grown impatient to inherit the earldom. Setting out to find the one man she believes can set the situation to rights, she discovers that Sebastian Townshend has forged a new identity for himself on the continent.
Now known as The Raven, a deadly mercenary, notorious for accomplishing any mission no matter how seemingly impossible, he has vowed never to return to England. Not until Margaret meets his outrageous monetary demands does Sebastian agree to return home, reluctantly posing as her husband in order to facilitate his return to society. When he learns she cannot afford to pay his fee, he suggests a scandalous trade.
As Margaret and Sebastian work to uncover the intrigue at his father's estate, a fierce passion blooms that neither of them anticipated and neither can resist. But can Margaret persuade Sebastian to abandon the dark path he believes is his fate and claim the life--and love--he deserves? Breathtaking in scope and wondrously passionate, Marriage Most Scandalous is Johanna Lindsey at her finest.
Plot twists abound in this melodramatic tale of revenge, families torn asunder and (of course) true love. Set in Regency England, the story opens as Sebastian Townshend, the heir to an earldom, reluctantly takes part in a duel with his best friend. After unintentionally killing the man, Sebastian, now disinherited by his father, leaves England and adopts a new identity as a brooding mercenary called the Raven. Sebastian's Raven persona is so over the top that it's almost laughable (at one point, he fells two burly bodyguards merely by knocking their heads together), but Lindsey (A Loving Scoundrel, etc.) gives her hero enough magnetism, sexual appeal and human flaws to make his romance with 23-year-old bluestocking Margaret Landor believable. Margaret has hired Sebastian to investigate the truth behind the numerous "accidents" that have befallen his father, who also served as Margaret's guardian. To carry out this assignment, Sebastian returns to England, pretending to be Margaret's husband. When they arrive, a series of clues keep the young couple hopping, while their passions lead them to consummate their pretend marriage. One might quibble that the story's final twist comes out of nowhere and that the protagonists are really modern characters in Regency guise, but Lindsey writes with such gusto and warmth that her legions of readers are unlikely to object.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Really good read
I love this author and this book was particularly well written. I am annoyingly good at predicting endings. This book surprised me. Yes, it starts out slow but the preliminaries are important to the story line. Great characters, funny dialogue.
A great read
What a wonderful, funny and delightful book. The characters were perfect for each other and the story itself was well done. Was sad to see it end, but worth a re-read. One of her better books.
Good book but...
Takes a bit longer to get to the meat of the story than necessary. Great ending makes up for the slow start.