Scandal follows Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown, wherever she goes. It’s never her fault—honor bright—but newspapers love to write about the simple girl from Scotland and the much older duke, who died suddenly on their honeymoon. And now there is even more talk as the legitimacy of the marriage is being contested by the duke’s son and heir.
Steven McBride is a decorated soldier—and a notorious gambler and womanizer. The last thing he wants is marriage, but due to a series of unfortunate events, he and Rose’s names are linked in the papers, threatening the lovely lady with ruin. To save the day, Steven suggests they claim to be engaged. But as desire boils between them, Rose and Steven soon learn the difficulties of maintaining their deception, which might not be a lie after all …
First read 5/10/2015 Reread 8/31/2016 re reread 8/3/2020
What a cute little novella. I liked the story and the main couple. Steven McBride, the hero of the book is Ainsley's brother and a Soldier. I liked Steven he was charming and sweet, but he didn't really stand out when put in a series full of yummy lickable Mackenzie men! Rose the heroine of the book, is the widow of the much older Duke of Southdown that died on their honeymoon. I also liked Rose but again she didn't really stand out next to awesome leading ladies like Beth, and Isabella. The book was still really enjoyable and romantic. I just think it's going to be hard for Jennifer Ashley to come close to the greatest that is Ian Mackenzie! I know I am a crazy Ian Mackenzie fangirl but that is one high bar to be measured against.
For those of you who may not be familiar with this series, the first four novels portray the lives of four big, braw, hell-raising Scots brothers: Ian, Mac, Cameron, and their eldest brother, Hart, the powerful Duke of Kilmorgan. Volume 6 features Cameron's son Daniel, and 5.5 is a novella about Lloyd Fellowes, the illegitimate son of the late duke who is recognized and accepted by his half-brothers. As his second wife, Cameron MacKenzie married Ainsley McBride, and her big, braw, hell-raising brothers were introduced into the series. Thus, volumes 5, 6.5, and 7 tell the story of these brothers: Elliott, Steven, and Sinclair. (She actually has four brothers, but it appears that the eldest, Patrick, will not get his own book. He is a great deal older and seems a pretty dry stick, but still . . . he might have been young and reckless once.)
Steven McBride is an army captain on leave from from the Twenty-Second Fusiliers in Africa. Naturally, he is spending his time in London drinking and gambling to excess, and as he stumbles around one night wondering how to get home, and indeed wondering where home is, he literally bumps into a beautiful lady emerging from an elegant house. As she attempts to get in her carriage, she is besieged by a horde of reporters shouting rude questions and by Steven passing out and taking her down with him.
She is the young, newly-widowed dowager Duchess of Southdown and mistakenly thinking Steven is a down-on-his-luck veteran, she takes him in her carriage to keep him out of the constable's hands. He awakens the next morning to find himself in a garret with Rose bringing him tea. Yes, she is a duchess but she is temporarily staying at her former coachman's home because her nasty step-son has deprived her of all funds and thrown her out of the house. She has no family or friends, beyond her former servants, and her ineffectual solicitor has failed to offer much help. Moreover, because her much older husband died soon after their wedding, lurid gossip surrounds her name.
When Steven learns of her situation, and when his name is linked with hers in the next day's newspapers, his protective instincts switch into high gear. He will help Rose while at the same time putting off some unpleasant business that he must attend to. (Naturally, that business involves a lady.) It's a bit of a Cinderella story, and Rose is, at least at first, a bit more helpless than I like to see in a heroine. Nevertheless, their story is sweet, sexy, and satisfying. There are a mystery and cameo roles for Ian and Cameron Mackenzie and their wives. And yet another big, braw, hell-raising Scotsman finds his HEA.
Five stars because once again I'm trying to counter this yet-to-be-released book's one-star rating from the troll 'troypst.' I'll most likely give it five stars after I've read it, since the Mackenzie/McBride books are among my treasured favorites.
Goodreads should adopt the Amazon policy and not allow books to be rated until after they are released.
Oooh, How I love a Good Scandal!! *****3.0 Scandalous Stars *****
Rose Barclay is the beautiful, young widow of the Duke of Southdown. She's homeless because her evil stepson has kicked her out of the Duke's home. To make matters worse, she is followed by the press, which act like modern day paparazzi, and accused of scandalous liaisons.
She obviously seduced the older Duke into marrying her, and may have had something to do with his death. She is walking to her carriage one night when an drunk man literally falls upon her in front of reporters.
Steven McBride is a soldier that loves gambling, drinking, and womanizing. He's stumbling his way to his hotel when he stumbles into Rose. She is soft and beautiful and he is drunk as hell. The press are gonna have a field day with this!
This was a cute story. Not as yummy as the MacKenzie brothers, but Steven McBride is rich, sexy, and totally infatuated with Rose. These two embark upon an adventure and stumble upon a mystery. I'm glad this was a novella because the pace was fast and I wasn't emotionally invested in this couple. There was also a cameo from the MacKenzies, which are always welcome!
Scandal follows Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown, wherever she goes. It's never her fault--honor bright--but newspapers love to write about the young woman from Scotland, and the much older duke she married, who died on their honeymoon. The duke left her with a large widow's portion, now contested by his son, who kicks Rose out of the estate's dower house and uses it to kennel his dogs.
Rose does *not* need to be found with a large, handsome Scot passed out at her feet, fueling gossips and giving her son-in-law more ammunition. The Scot is Steven McBride--a decorated soldier who is notorious for heavy gambling and womanizing during his leave time. Steven is happy to open his eyes and find the beautiful woman standing over him, and happy to help spirit her away. He comes up with a ruse to foil the journalists, but Rose will have to go along with his very scandalous proposal.
I read this book as a part of the BOTM challenge for HRBC.
- It was a Jennifer Ashley, hence the writing was great. - The story was a smidge over the top, and I was unable to connect with it. - Very little character background was provided, and I kept wondering, - “What??” It needed more fleshing out, the plot as well as the characters. - The drama involving two pieces of furniture was fun, but the one with the ex-fiancée, not so much. - I personally am not a great fan of instalove, so I had trouble believing the alacrity of the romance. But that is just a novella issue and not this story per se. - On the plus side, I liked how kind Steven and Rose were to each other. - As always, Ian's cameo to help clear the matters was enjoyable. - After having read the Mackenzie stories, this one lacked the charm they had!
I’m not sure why this is a novella, considering the main character is a McBride. I’m glad it’s a novella because the story was okay. I liked that it focused on two new characters, but I found the storyline a little less whimsical. Maybe it’s because the two main characters aren’t rich or have no power. I guess I’m trying to say is that reading normal historical fictional characters is kind of dull.
It was a fast and easy read though.
Steven McBride is back for a few months from the army. He seems to be a drunken solider. Since this was a novella I didn’t want him to have too many vices, but if it was a full length novel, I would have liked to see him a little difficult.
Rose is a widow, she’s a young widow and everyone loves to read about her. What is more exciting than reading a young widow. Did she kill her husband? Why is she living so poor?
When Steven and Rose run into each other, they find that they can use each other to help each other out. Steven pretends to be engaged to Rose and she goes along with it.
They have a meet-cute. Steven runs into Rose drunk and the story starts from there. I do like that Rose is poor and she has a mean ex-step-son trying to take away any money that is entitled to her. I do question her character for marrying someone so old, but when you are poor.
I liked Steven, but would have I liked if he was rich with connections at least? Probably, as I said it would have made the story a little more whimsical. The mystery element of the story was good and kept me entertained. Overall, it gave you a glimpse the next brother (McBride) to be featured in the next book.
“Scandal and the Duchess” the 6.5 in the Mackenzies & McBrides series was quite the enjoyable novella. This series has proved quite the delight. In this novella, Captain Steven McBride is a soldier who likes imbibing as well as the women. When he literally falls into the bosom of the scandalous widow Duchess of Southdown, Rose Barclay, he is thrust into the many scandals that have followed her. Under the circumstances, Steven sees a beautiful creature in Rose and decides to help her by becoming her betrothed and help her gain what is due her from her nefarious son-in-law as well as with his own problem with a certain woman.
Rose is pretty much left penniless by her late husband’s heir and resides with her coachman, Miles, and his wife in the interim. Obtaining help from Steven, she learns that she is left with two pieces of furniture that she can receive based on the will. While in the throws of potential passion, they both uncover documents the first piece of furniture that sends them on a treasure hunt to find out why her late husband left her the items.
This was a fun, witty and comical novella. At times I found myself smiling at times during the conversations held between the H/h. I thought this trope of fake marriage was a delight and Ms. Ashley know how to bring the steamy between her H/h’s intimate relationship. I so loved Ian and Beth and look forward to Sinclair’s story in Book 7.
3.5 to 4 stars. A cut above most novellas, with some decent character development and an interesting little plot. Kind of a treasure hunt along with the romance, and the treasure was most unexpected once it was found! It did finish in a bit of a rush, but, that's one of the common limitations of a novella I suppose. I did enjoy the read, though.
Captain Steven McBride is a soldier who has been serving in Africa, and (after the events of the book) will be returning there. But he is now going to take his new wife with him. In my imagination, I wonder how they will go in Africa, in what will probably be uncomfortable conditions for the new Mrs McBride. Hopefully Steven will cut back on the heavy drinking. I like to wonder sometimes about what happens to characters after a book has concluded. I guess if I'm wondering about that, then the author has succeeded in making the characters seem real :)
Steven McBride is an army captain on leave. He has a duty to perform that he’s been procrastinating, so of course, he is spending his time in London drinking and gambling.
In his incredibly drunken state, he can’t remember where he’s staying, so he sort of wanders around outside until he literally bumps into a beautiful lady.
Rose is being accosted by paparazzi, as usual, because although she’s a duchess, she’s a widowed duchess whose stepson is trying to have her title stripped, marriage to his (older) father annulled, and is tying up her inheritance and money in a horrible legal battle. And unfortunately that means she’s a gossip rag cash cow (or the Victorian equivalent).
Scandal follows Rose everywhere. And Steven makes it worse by drunkenly falling on top of her, and then being unable to untangle himself from her. Rose is able to smell the liquor on him, and she sees a disheveled soldier. So she tries to help him out by taking him in and giving him a meal.
But she has nowhere to stay, herself, and no money. But she’ll make do.
When Steven wakes up, Rose has brought him breakfast. They’re in her coachman’s home, and she is beside herself that the gossip has picked Steven as their latest target. As she’s apologizing, Steven realizes just how rare and sweet Rose is. So he tells her that in order to restore her reputation, they’ll tell the journalists that they’re engaged.
What follows is a sweet and super sexy story about their false engagement becoming a real one. With a visit from many of the Mackenzies that we already know and love, this novella was awesome! We see Steven’s brother, hero of the next book Rules For A Proper Governess, who helps Rose find a solicitor who will untangle the legal mess her stepson has tied her up in. We see a wonderful story with wonderful characters develop, and we see a wonderful happy ending.
Seriously, I loved it. It’s a long novella (like 160 pages!), and it’s wonderful from the first scene to the last. This book has all the magic and romance that you expect when you pick up a Jennifer Ashley book.
*I gave this Audiobook a C+ for the content and B- for the narration at AudioGals*
Scandals, games, and adventure abound in Scandal and the Duchess. I will say that, strangely for a book of its length, the underlying plot of this title started a bit slow. I did eventually warm up to it, especially towards the end, where some unexpected and intriguing suspense kicked in.
As tends to be the case in most novella length books (this one is only 4 hours and 40 minutes), the romance had a bit of an instalove feel to it. Still, I enjoyed the characters. Steven in particular is an admirable, strong alpha natured hero, who is always looking to protect a damsel in distress, and the heroine is also equally compelling with her independent spirit and courage to face the mounting negative public opinion against her and continue to march strong irrespective of it.
The H/h's meet-cute is comical. The H is drunk and falls on top of her. He tries to stand, but his legs gave way and he ends up landing on her again, against her carriage door, on the outside. lol. The heroine is a widowed duchess. Other women would probably be appalled that a man has landed on top of her, but Rose is calm and asks if he's feeling well. After realizing he's drunk, she instructs her coachman to put him in the coach with her before he gets trampled. What a kind lady!
The press believes he is her lover after that display the night before. It was a little odd to see the press act like modern-day paparazzi in this book, probably because I'm not used to reading Victorian-era romances. Scandal and gossip follow this duchess and so the hero decides to help her by suggesting a fake betrothal. This fake betrothal will also help him with his own (woman) problem. Her late husband left two pieces of furniture for her, so there's the mystery as to which two pieces of furniture she should take with her.
This book is well-written, but is not terribly engaging. Rose and Steven are both approachable characters. Neither was harboring any dark secrets or painful past. They were thrown together by some accidents and Steven quickly decided that he would help Rose, suggested that they became betrothed for appearance. Normal drills follow, sex, other incidents and of course solving Rose's problem with her late husband's bequest.
I knew this book is a novella so I expected fast-forward in the relationship development. I thought Rose and Steven were sweet together but their relationship kind of was ungrounded. They met and all of a sudden became betrothed and hot for each other. As a reader, I just was not ready for the relationship. So it became difficult for me to become invested in the story.
It is written well but I could not stay interested. So I finished the book with a "whatever" feeling.
Escaping from a group of journalists who have been writing vicious stories about her and the fact that her husband died on their honeymoon, Rose Barclay crashes right into dashing Steven McBride. Assuming he is a homeless man in need of help, Rose takes him home and offers him shelter for the night. In the morning, when Steven learns that Rose has been ordered from her home by the new Duke, he decides to help her gain the inheritance her husband left her in his will.
This was a cute novella in the Highland Pleasures series. It moves along quickly and we get to see several of the past characters from the series. My rating: 3.5 Stars.
Another good edition. Sweet and fun. Stephen was a great hero. Although a potential alcoholic. While I liked Rose I got sick of hearing about her dead ex. They were barely married! And he was MUCH older.
This was a great addition to Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies and McBrides series. I just wish it were a full-length novel instead of a novella simply because the H, Captain Steven McBride, was so yummy, so very sexy, such a good man, that selfish me wanted more of him!
I loved that this was low on the angst and very focused on the relationship between Steven and Rose. They were perfect for each other.
It was such a nice treat to see Ian Mackenzie again ❤️
And the opening scene, where the H and h meet? OMG I was laughing so hard I was crying 😂
I adored this fake engagement novella in the MacKenzies & McBrides series. Steven McBride is a decorated soldier, not to mention notorious gambler and womanizer. After a drunken night and a series of unfortunate events leads to his name being linked to Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown, life gets complicated for them both. Rose’s already shaky reputation is threatened with ruin and to save her, Steven suggests they claim they’re engaged.
Newspapers and gossip columnists love to talk about Rose, the young widow from Scotland and her much-older husband (the Duke) who died suddenly while away on their honeymoon. There is even more scandal and gossip surrounding Rose with the legitimacy of her marriage being contested by the late Duke’s son and heir. Steven and Rose form a bond pretty quickly and I loved seeing their tender, sweet relationship unfold. Together they take on the gossip columns and her late husband’s son’s claims of her illegitimate marriage.
I really enjoyed both of these characters. I liked that Rose had a good, comforting relationship with her late husband. Rose and Steven just really completed one another and I enjoyed seeing them together in this novella. We also get to see some familiar characters make appearances in this novella, including Steven’s sister Ainsley and her husband Cam MacKenzie, Ian and Beth MacKenzie, Cam and Ainsley, and Steven’s brother Sinclair.
Rose the Ex-Duchess and Steven the Soldier Captain. Steven stumbles drunkenly into the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, just as she is cornered by journalists. While escaping she takes him with so he doesn't get trampled. And so begins their relationship. Steven comes across a little cold at first, but he's actually a knight in shining armor kinda guy. Determined to right the wrongs in Rose's life. He is Ainsley's (The Many Sins of Lord Cameron) younger brother. Rose is sweet and amiable and rather feisty. There are a couple mysteries. One is who the lady is that Steven must visit now that he's in London. The other is Rose's strange inheritance from her first husband, the Duke. It's a novella, so the pace is faster but I didn't feel short changed in the story or romance. Both characters are open to romance with each other, so really it was just them getting to know each other as they solve the problem of Rose's obnoxious step son, the new Duke. I listened to this on audio and the reader, Angela Dawe does a fantastic job!
Oh that was lovely! I adore Ashley's Shifters Unbound series but this was my first tast of her Highlanders and oh my yum! Very fun and sexy. A little mystery puzzle to uncover. Delicious chemistry and a set up of fake mates. Fabulous little time and a satisfying read. Not an easy feat for a novella but Ashley did a fine job.
Χαριτωμένη νουβέλα για το είδος, με αρκετά συμπαθητικούς χαρακτήρες με ωραία χημεία μεταξύ τους, ισορροπημένο ανάμεσα σε χιουμοριστικές και ρομαντικές στιγμές, μα και με ένα σκάνδαλο από εκείνα που απολαμβάνεις να... κουτσομπολεύεις.
This is a sweet, sexy novella featuring the youngest McBride brother, Steven.
Steven was a very likeable hero with a delicious dash of wickedness. I loved him for championing Rose and doing whatever was required to ensure she received everything she was entitled to. He cares deeply but hides it behind “joking, self-deprecation, and drink.”
Rose is a lovely heroine…so kind, patient and caring. It is something Steven has never experienced before.
No woman in Steven’s history of women —and that history was a full one— had ever told him, concern in her eyes, to wrap up warm. Not one had mentioned the slightest concern for Steven’s well-being.
Despite her diminished situation, she is generous and her natural warmth has gained her the loyalty of her servants. I like how with Steven’s encouragement she regains the vibrancy and willingness to flout convention that her late husband so admired. I was pleased that Rose’s relationship with her older, late husband, Charles, had been a loving one.
I enjoyed the tender, sweet, passionate romance. Steven and Rose are so perfectly matched. Both are lonely and have no real home or roots. Steven has never met any woman he could fall in love with but was also willing to share his tough army life. Rose is just that person.
She imagined herself roving the world with this man, both of them free and laughing, sleeping rough, snuggled together.
The mystery surrounding Rose’s legacy from Charles was entertaining although, at one point, things did become a little too whimsical.
There were welcome cameos from the Mackenzies particularly Ian and Beth. As always, Ian stole every scene he appeared in and, with his unique way at looking at the world, proved invaluable in solving the final piece of the mystery puzzle.
But perhaps love knew no seasons— it simply came when it was time.
This was another satisfying addition to the wonderful world of the Mackenzies & McBrides.
I delayed reading this book for months if not a year, since from the discribtion I didn't think it was ecourageable.
I honestly thought that since in the discribtion it said the she was a young widow and they were seen in a scandalous moment, that she wouldn't get along with him at first because he would ruin her reputation or something. And how wrong I was.
- The heroine was very sweet and kind, personally I wouldn't be ok with a drunken guy stumbling across me and landing on me in the night and be ok with it when he hugs me, personally I will be freaking out since he's a stranger, he's a guy, and he's a drunk. But no the heroine was very calm and kind to him and even took him with her in the carriage to take care of him and even brought him breakfast in the morning.
- Steven our hero, since the beginning was very infatuated with the heroine, and all what was happening gave him to excuse to stick close to her XD
- I liked the parts where the other members of the family were included especially Ian, since even here his love for Beth was very evident, I really like their appearances in other books because it gives us a glimpse of how others view Ian and even to them it shows how he loves Beth and his family and how smart he is XD
- I liked how Steven took care of Rose and stuck with her throughout the whole thing.
Scandal and the Duchess is a quick read with a fairy tale feel. The love is the “insta” variety. The black hatted villains (Albert and the reporters) are one dimensional, and the solution to Rose’s problems is just short of magical—no spoilers. It is almost too sweet, but somehow Ms. Ashley makes it work. I enjoyed the novella, and it makes for a nice, light escapist read. Enjoy.
A short but sweet romp with the McBrides. Steven is charming and chivalrous, Rose is a refreshing heroine who isn't constantly slapping Steven or pouting or pretending. I genuinely liked both of them, and this got me primed for Sinclair's story.
3.5* This was really good. I'm not really in the mood to write a review. So...
Steven drunkenly bumps into Rose who takes him home. Her husband Duke Charles had died & the new Duke his son is an ass. They go on a search for the pieces she wants. They also decided to have a fake Betrothal.
My favorite part was when all the MacKenzies and McBrides got together.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
4.5/5 A lovely little morsel. I'm not usually a fan of novellas but in this case, it was just perfect. Just enough to bridge together another member of the MacKenzies & McBrides tribe. Starts out strong, and because of the last 15%, I knocked-off 1/2 a star. I love series, and this one is a good one. I'll miss this cast of characters when I'm finished.