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The Wicked Quills of London #2

Scandal Takes the Stage

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Together they may create a scandal worthy of the stage, but can their love last after the final curtain falls…?

Successful playwright Maggie Delamere has no interest in the flirtations of noblemen like Cameron, Viscount Marwood. She once paid dearly for a moment of weakness…and vows to rebuff the wildly persistent—and irritatingly handsome—scoundrel at every turn. But when pressure to deliver a new play hampers her creativity, an invitation to use his country estate as a writer’s retreat is too tempting to resist....

For years, Cam has admired Maggie’s brilliant work and he can’t pass up the opportunity to discover if the beautiful, mysterious playwright is as passionate and clever as the words that flow from her quill. He’s never offered a lady his bed without being in it, but if it means loosening Maggie’s pen—and her inhibitions—he’ll do exactly that.

But soon Cam’s plans for seduction become a fight for Maggie’s heart. He’s more than the scandalous, carefree rake society believes him to be…and she’s the only woman who has ever noticed.

346 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 27, 2015

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About the author

Eva Leigh

33 books1,285 followers
Eva Leigh is a USA Today bestselling author who writes novels chock-full of determined women and men who are here for it. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoë Archer. As Alexis Stanton, she wrote the novel on which the top-rated Hallmark holiday movie "A Timeless Christmas" was based.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 223 reviews
Profile Image for daemyra, the realm's delight.
910 reviews37 followers
August 16, 2020
What a waste of a nice book cover. Sorry to be rude but this was so banal. Lifeless. Blah. Neutered. It's incredibly contrived - none of the characters are allowed to breathe, they are only allowed to do what The Powers That Be allow, which is nothing interesting.

The hero and heroine must fall in love straight away and be monogamous for the rest of the story because god forbid they flirt or even look at another person with interest. The hero must shout from the rooftops that he is not a rapist and would not even think of doing that to the heroine because he likes consensual fun and OMG if she accuses him of luring her to his country estate for any purpose other than to finish her play and recover from writer's block, she can get the hell out of his house!! The heroine must be independent and break off the relationship when she realizes there is no future (i.e. marriage) with the hero because class stations are TOO VAST.

I was really hoping for sparks to fly between Maggie and Cameron but I think Avon hates romance readers. It's like their whole M.O. is to write romances but without all that pesky, messy romance. Instead, here's some halfassed spiel about women and independence to cash in on the capitalist trend of feminism, and some nudge nudge humour about how hard it is to write a sequel (it's so clever, GET IT). Great. Now where's the romance?
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews843 followers
September 27, 2015
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Scandal Takes the Stage by Eva Leigh
Book Two of The Wicked Quills of London series
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 28, 2015
Rating: 2 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

Successful playwright Maggie Delamere has no interest in the flirtations of noblemen like Cameron, Viscount Marwood. She once paid dearly for a moment of weakness . . . and vows to rebuff the wildly persistent—and irritatingly handsome—scoundrel at every turn. But when pressure to deliver a new play hampers her creativity, an invitation to use his country estate as a writer’s retreat is too tempting to resist...

For years, Cam has admired Maggie’s brilliant work, and he can’t pass up the opportunity to discover if the beautiful, mysterious playwright is as passionate and clever as the words that flow from her quill. He’s never offered a lady his bed without being in it, but if it means loosening Maggie’s pen—and her inhibitions—he’ll do exactly that.

But soon Cam’s plans for seduction become a fight for Maggie’s heart. He’s more than the scandalous, carefree rake society believes him to be . . . and she’s the only woman who has ever noticed.

What I Liked:

Sadly, I was disappointed by this book. I'm not going to sugarcoat my feelings about this one. I just read Forever Your Earl, and liked it. It was smart, hot, and enjoyable. Modern yet totally historical, with a strong female lead and a naughty male lead. A great combination! This book had the same structure, but it felt off, and fell flat.

Maggie doesn't trust the aristocracy. Years ago, a nobleman ruined her life. She is now a successful, notorious writer of burlettas, and doesn't need any aristocrat in her life. But Lord Marwood, Cam, has taken interest in her. When she is in dire need of a favor, he bails her out of a bad situation, and doesn't want anything in return. As Cam and Maggie get to know each other with every encounter, they start to fall for each other. But Maggie can't trust him - can she?

I really liked Lord Marwood. Cameron Chalton, Lord Marwood, is a rake and a scoundrel who likes to party hard and entice women and avoid marriage. He makes no secret of his behavior, but his father hates that his heir is shirking his duty to the family and the name, by not getting married and having heirs. Cam is such an intelligent man, a lover of plays and the theater. But as a nobleman, he can't write his own plays or anything like that. Cam is naughty and wicked, yet thoughtful and clever. He's smarter than people give him credit, and he's a good guy. Easily the best part of this book.

Moving on, shall we?

What I Did Not Like:

Unfortunately, Cam by himself is not the contents of this book, nor is the rest of the book up to his awesomeness. I wasn't the biggest fan of Maggie, the plot was boring, the romance was boring, the chemistry/steaminess of this book was slow and lacking, and something felt like it was missing.

Maggie - she's a strong woman, capable and determined, independent and cautious. In Forever Your Earl, we are introduced to her - she's Eleanor's best friend. She does not like aristocrats, so she is really rude to Cam in the beginning of the story. It's not even witty banter or cold sexy arguments. She's just rude. She apologizes eventually, which was good.

I just didn't really connect with Maggie. She felt like a flat character, even with her tragic backstory, even with how much Cam seemed to be fascinated by her. She's a playwright, and at the moment, she is struggling to write the sequel to her big success. That's how Cam did her a favor - he became a patron of the Imperial theater, so that she could continue writing while he paid for fees of the theater. I think I wasn't feeling an emotional connection to Maggie. Perhaps she was TOO detached.

The romance was very VERY detached. It seems like Cam is fascinated by her for no reason. She sees her and literally, time stops, stars fall from the sky, and so on. But there is nothing remarkable about her, not even her appearance. Yet he can't stop thinking about her. This bothered me, because it seemed like there was no sexual tension in their first encounter, no intellectual stimulation, nothing telling me that there is attraction of some sort flowing.

So, the relationship and romance fell flat for me. The chemistry was lacking, too. The first kiss is nearly halfway through the book, and the one sex scene is about three-fourths into the book. That, to me, is NOT okay, not in a historical romance novel. In any adult romance novel, there needs to be some serious sexual tension for like, a fourth of the book, and then something physical needs to be happening around a third of the way in? The first sex scene shouldn't be nearly at the end! And there shouldn't be only one?! Right? There are no rules to these things, but these are things I've come to expect in adult romance novels.

The romance was lacking, the chemistry was lacking, the female protagonist was meh. The story was also very meh. It seemed aimless, and solely romance-driven. Sure, there is the problem of Maggie's play needing to be written by a certain time. But the plot seemed lackluster, especially compared to that of Forever Your Earl. There was something missing, a layer of something.

Overall, I was bored, and unimpressed. Mostly bored. Cam is awesome, but him alone is not enough for me to recommend this book to anyone.

Would I Recommend It:

My last sentence sums it up. I wouldn't recommend this one. The first book was great, but this one was not. I've read better historical romance novels, and can totally recommend you others!


1.5 stars -> rounded up to 2 stars. That might be generosity, at this point. I was very excited to read this book, before starting it! Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I *might* read the third book - a vicar and a writer of sexy stories? What an intriguing pair!
Profile Image for Andrea.
933 reviews136 followers
October 8, 2016
More like 2.5 stars, but I did enjoy some parts of it and may have even had a tear in my eye at one point, so I'll round up.

Honestly, I can hardly believe that I didn't love this book. It has everything I could possibly ask from a romance: Cute banter, genuinely nice people, practically no drama (surprising for a story that revolves around a theater), a relationship that slowly builds over time while the characters get to know each other, a woman with trust issues who has to come to terms with the fact that the man who embodies everything she hates in a man is not only her inspiration (seriously, how adorable is it that he cures her writers block because she comes to think of him as her muse???) but might be what has been missing from her life all along... The list of this book's good qualities is endless really. So if you're looking for a romance with a bit more "substance", this series is a very good place to look!

But honestly? For the first half I was mostly bored and unimpressed. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but I couldn't connect with the characters. There was a lot of "I never wanted anyone this badly, but I can't have her/him" (which I get: she's a commoner who got seduced by a nobleman when she was 15 and who from then on out made her way as an actress and a playwright - while he's a Viscount. But given that this is a romance, we already know that in the end, ruin and ostracism will be ignored because, after all, the two of them are in love, so who cares what the rest of 18th-century society will think, so the tension just didn't really convince me for some reason). Once they do start a relationship, things really picked up, and I really enjoyed the second half of the book.

I also had some issues with the heroine's "literary genius". Basically every character remarks how utterly amazing her plays supposedly are. They come across as sublimely cathartic, with everyone gushing about how the words moved them to tears (seriously, everyone always cries when her plays are performed, even the hero). The main problem I had with this was that every chapter would start with a snippet from her most successful play, and those just seemed so clichéd to me, I burst out laughing at some of them. Again, I probably wasn't in the right mood, and I know there are a lot of people who found them really romantic and all. But honestly?

Lord Diabold: You could not hide from me forever!
Phoebe: Though I wish it were so. Base deceiver!

Lord Diabold: After her!
Phoebe: No. You have taken everything from me. I shall have my vengeance.
Phoebe pulls out a dagger. She stabs Lord Diabold.
Lord Diabold: I am killed! [dies]
Phoebe: And now, I must meet my justice.
Phoebe is taken away by the magistrate.

Ferdinand: Then shall I ever be your slave, if only to prove the authenticity of my affections. For, madam, you hold my soul in your palms, and if you are its captor, then I welcome my imprisonment.

I guess with this much of a set-up, it fell really short for me, and it didn't help me understand the hero's obsession with her plays one bit. I'm sorry, but those quotes are just a little too melodramatic for my taste.

I will say this for the books in this series though: their plots are always very unique. The first one featured a nobleman and a low-born woman who publishes a gossip sheet, the second one a nobleman and (again) a low-born woman who writes plays, and the third one will feature a vicar and a wallflower who writes romance novels (which everyone calls "filthy pornography" in this book, and the vicar seems to be intent on saving the poor woman's soul).
Profile Image for Jo.
957 reviews205 followers
April 13, 2016
“‘Then shall I ever be your slave, if only to prove the authenticity of my affections. For, madam, you hold my soul in your palms, and if you are its captor, then I welcome my imprisonment.’”

If I could give this book ten stars I would. I absolutely loved it!!!

Maggie Delamere is a successful playwright, one you disdains noblemen. Years ago she paid very dearly for her trust in a nobleman, and never will that happen again. Especially not with wickedly charming Cameron, Viscount Marwood, with his reputation as a rake.

Cameron loves the theatre, and he especially loves the plays by Maggie Delamere. And he can’t deny the pull her work and she herself has on him. But Maggie is immune to his charms, and no matter how hard he tries to get close to her, she rebuffs him at every turn.

Secretly Maggie has been suffering from writer’s block, and after a ultimatum to produce the next play, the only person she can turn to is the one man she has been trying to avoid. And so Cameron is given the opportunity to come to Maggie’s rescue, but can he convince her to give what they can have a chance, or has the hurt from Maggie’s past made her unable to put her trust in another nobleman?

Maggie has lost so much when she placed her trust in the wrong man, and her success and hard work just made me admire her even more. The loss she suffered was heartbreaking, and I could understand her disillusionment when it came to men of the peer. What I loved most about Maggie was her ability to see that there was more to Cameron than what he portrayed to everyone else.

Could she tell that every word she spoke set him higher and higher aflame? His true self, the one that longed for love and did, in fact, dream, had been buried by his role as the reprobate heir. But with her compassion and clear-sightedness she wore away at his veneer. The polished surface gave way to the rough rock beneath.

There is nothing better than having a rake and a scoundrel for a hero. Especially one that has hidden debts, that are slowly revealed as the story progresses. And Cameron was a wonderfully sexy hero. I just loved him. At first he comes across as a man who only lives for shallow pleasure and pursuits. But secretly he yearns for love, for that what makes life worthwhile. And he refuses to marry for anything less. I loved that after the first time he asked Maggie for dinner, and even though she refused him, there was no one else for him. And the fact that he admired her work, and supported her in every way he could, just made me love him even more.

“Without you,” he continued, “my life was like an empty stage. Hollow, silent. Devoid of meaning. But when you came onto the scene, everything changed. It became full of pageantry and light and life. I was enacting the role of the rake, but the most important part I could ever play is that of your lover and friend. And it wouldn’t be an act, Maggie,” he said with utter sincerity. “Every word from my lips would be true. As I would be true to you. Eternally.”

I love a historical romance where one of the main characters is not from the nobility, and where it goes against society’s rules to be together. There’s something deeply romantic about a romance that could damage their reputation and their standing, and that they still pursue it despite what it might cost them. I just loved the romance in this book. Maggie and Cameron was great as a couple. Their romance was sexy, sweet and just wonderful.

This is my second HR book of the year that I’ve read that starred around the stage, and coincidentally one that I loved just as much. I never knew how interesting and how much work the theatre was. I found the storyline about it very captivating and wonderfully written.

While I enjoyed this first book in this series, I can honestly say it didn’t blow me away. BUT this book….this book was fantastic. Everything a HR should be. I loved every second of it. Highly recommended.

Profile Image for Caz.
2,760 reviews1,033 followers
January 9, 2016
I've given this a C for narration and a B for content at AudioGals, so that's 3.5 stars. I'm not rounding up because the narration is distinctly average and really does the story no favours.

Scandal Takes the Stage is the second book in Eva Leigh’s Regency-set Wicked Quills of London series, so titled because the heroines are writers. I read the first book, Forever Your Earl, a few months back and loved it – it’s beautifully written, with plenty of sexually-charged, witty banter between the leads and has, at its heart, a well-developed, sensual romance that doesn’t completely ignore the difficulties created by the class difference between the protagonists. I was hoping for more of the same in Scandal Takes the Stage (which I haven’t read in print), but while the hero and heroine are just as engaging in this book, I nonetheless came away from it feeling rather disappointed. I’m not completely sure if that’s down to a lack in the story or in the narration, which is somewhat lacklustre.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

Profile Image for K..
3,796 reviews1,022 followers
October 1, 2022
Trigger warnings: death of a child (in the past), slut shaming (in the past). I think that's all???

Alternative title: How to Get Over Writer's Block by Fucking a Hot Nobleman by Maggie Delamere

I was slightly sceptical going into this because I didn't especially like the hero of this book when he showed up in the first book in the series. But the premise is DELIGHTFUL: A female playwright with writer's block and a pending deadline is essentially rescued by her patron, a nobleman she refuses to trust because of her past but to whom she has an undeniable attraction.

And honestly? I ended up really enjoying it. I like that this series features women with successful careers. I like that it's about rakes falling in love and realising that their libertine ways were full of emptiness. I like the writing and the characters. In short? This was a lot of fun and I'm glad I picked it up.

(I also really liked that there wasn't any kind of reunion with Maggie's family who abandoned her all those years ago because no thank you)
Profile Image for Amanda.
400 reviews100 followers
February 13, 2017
”He felt her presence beside him. She was small, but it was as though she was a much bigger person, more will and self, that had been concentrated into a red-hot coal of a woman. If he tried to clasp her close in his hands, he would surely be scorched. But he wanted that heat, that fire and burn. Everything else seemed cold in comparison.”

3.8 stars

I had a feeling Scandal Takes the Stage had ‘Amanda’s catnip’ written all over it and I was happy to see my instincts proved true. While the book wasn’t perfect, it did deliver the feels that I felt were missing in Forever Your Earl.

I loved the world Eva Leigh built around the Imperial Theater and its many colorful and entertaining characters. Both leads were likable and she managed to balance Maggie’s temperamental writer personality with Cam’s easy going rakish charms very well. I totally felt and believed in Maggie and Cam’s connection and chemistry. I especially loved how Cam was such a fanboy when it came to Maggie and her burlettas. The sincerity in his reverence and awe of her was something I don’t see often enough in HR heroes.

The scenes at Cam’s country home were probably my favorite. Maggie working through her writer’s block with supportive Cam at her side inspiring her and cheering her on, it was so lovely. Cam even gave Maggie her own writing room; was it any wonder why I fell hard for these two?

There were some blimps however. I felt the beginning was rather slow, with Maggie’s repetitious bemoaning of aristocrats particularly tedious. Cam’s reasons behind his fear of love and marriage were paper thin and way less believable than Maggie’s, so that made their separation at the end rather dumb. Surprisingly, none of this deterred my love of this book. I guess Maggie and Cam’s pull was just too strong to resist.
Profile Image for Audrey.
1,366 reviews101 followers
June 16, 2022
*Probably 2.8 stars

Omg, this book has been on my TBR since 2019. I remember reading the first book on a plane ride (I think I was going to Texas. Oh, and that I also threw up at the end of the flight). I didn't love the first book, but I was curious about Maggie and Cam, so I added it to my TBR shelf.

The first 50% of the book was three stars. You'd think when the romance finally got on (before it was more of a slow burn), I'd have enjoyed it more, but I didn't for some reason. There was nothing wrong with the book, the writing is good, but for some reason, I never fully connected with the romance.

I liked Cam (the name is also hot), Maggie was OK. Every time I felt like they were kissing or doing something intimate someone kept interrupting them, which was frustrating. Her inviting the actors to his country house kind of pissed me off. Also, the whole I wonder what my crush is doing right now...it just felt contrived and I've seen it in other romance novels...I don't know.

My favorite part was the public (marriage) proposal onstage. That was a nice touch, but at the same time, a proposal is something really intimate, and I'm not sure I'd want a whole audience when that happens to me.

When I had 40% of the book left, I was just ready for it to be over already. I wish this book left more of an impression on me, but I feel like I can barely remember the last 50%. It's just a book about a female playwright who has writer's block for the sequel of one of her plays and the viscount who is a huge fan of her plays & the theater. This book felt like a love letter, an ode, to the theater.

I'm curious about the next book (an anonymous romance writer writing what is known as smut these days & a vicar), but I'm not sure Eva Leigh is the author for me, so I'll probably pass.

I got this book from the library, but I don't really like how Avon does their paperbacks, so I also borrowed it via Prime Reading. I read most of it on my computer.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,416 reviews144 followers
August 16, 2017
4 Stars

The Wicked Quills of London series features heroines who are prominent writers in Regency England. The first book, Forever Your Earl, focused on the owner of a famous scandal sheet and I really enjoyed that so I had high expectations for the sequel, Scandal Takes the Stage, which features a female playwright. And I found it to be just as charming and thought-provoking as its predecessor.

Maggie Delamere's burlettas are the main attraction at the Imperial Theater and her biggest fan is Cameron, Viscount Marwood. Cam has been obsessed with Maggie's work for years and, after meeting her, decides that he wants to learn more about her. Despite his abundant charm, Maggie wants nothing to do with him and is trying to focus on her newest play which is giving her a bad case of writer's block. These two very different people end up in a battle of wits that could result in heartbreak or the love of a lifetime.

I loved everything about Maggie! She comes from humble beginnings and, when she ends up in a bit of trouble, she uses her intellect and considerable talents to pull herself out of it. There is a bit of mistrust of aristocrats in her which is understandable considering what she had gone through. Her writer's block is throwing her off, but she isn't letting that or Cam's attentions distract her from her goal. Cam is not as well-developed as Maggie, but he is easy to like and works as a partner for her. I especially enjoyed his passion for the theater and how much he wanted to help Maggie with her writing. The idea of a hero being the muse for the heroine was unique and a lot of fun!

The plot of Scandal Takes the Stage focuses on the slow-burn romance and the effort to get her latest play to the stage. I found the way that the author built up the relationship between Maggie and Cam to be a real highlight. They come from such different worlds that they developed a working relationship which moved to friendship which evolved into love. I appreciated the care that was given to their love story which has some social implications in this time period. It was also interesting to see the way the romance and the writing of the play developed simultaneously. I did think the ending was a little over-the top, but it did work pretty well for this couple.

I think this historical would appeal to anybody who likes capable heroines and the heroes who adore them. I am definitely anticipating the third Wicked Quills novel, which I believe will focus on Cam's snarky vicar of a cousin. I love seeing women make their way in time period where it wasn't easy to strike out on their own so this series just makes me want to stand up and applaud their ingenuity.

I received a free eARC of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Al George.
502 reviews319 followers
May 3, 2017
Theatre saves the day!

defy gravity

So this isn't theatre as we know it, but theatre it is and musical it is and I LOVE BOTH! Color me an easy mark.

Setting / Time / Genre: Regency.

Series: Oh yea, and I have one more book to complete the series (this is my new 2017 goal in case you were wondering.)

Sexy times: It's an Evah Leigh. So, of course. This lacked the spice level of the other two books I have read in the series but that still left plenty.

Plan on reading more by the author: Not even a question that needs answering.

Synopsis h is a playwright and H is in love with the theatre. h has serious writers block and H is a bit musish in that he helps her let it go and the words pour forth.

let it go

What I love about this series is that it's away from the ballroom. Something so different. Yet still so comfortable, for the most part. I say that because some of the character's stories and growth challenge my beliefs at times. But, I am digressing into the what I like part of the review. Oops.

Heroine She's another scrabbler. Life has done her no favors but damned if she hasn't found a way to survive and provide for herself. And when she's looking down the proverbial barrel and she almost gives up, she is willing to cede just enough control to let the H help her.

Hero H is the good guy in all of this. He's a rather likable character and I enjoyed his interactions with the h but he lacked something that connected me to him the way the two other H's in the series had (for me). It didn't detract, he just wasn't completely my dude, as it were. I think I am biased and expect a LOT from Ms. Leigh's characters and while this guy delivers it's just not with the same oomph.

Why it did or didn't work for me: a) we have a hero who never gives up his pursuit of love...he wants it and he will get it. b) I love the romance that develops between the two and how it gentles to quickly become loving, comfortable yet still hot hottie hotterson. c) that Cam risks it all for his heroine and takes on the challenge of loving someone outside of his class. You go boy and the fact that the heroine is ready to rise to that challenge. I expected nothing less of her.

practically perfect

This book had the best cast of secondary characters, fyi

Profile Image for Natalie.
527 reviews136 followers
January 2, 2016
So I wasn't really sold on the romance but I liked Maggie.

I really loved how much of a 'moody temperamental writer' Maggie was, and how the big obstacle in the book was her writing, and her writer's block was what brought her and Cam together. In general, I am really enjoying how Eva Leigh has been putting the heroine's professions at the forefront of the stories, and how GOOD all of them are at what they do, and how much they have poured into their writing and are appreciated and rewarded for it, because they deserve it! Basically I like how Eleanor and Maggie are both workaholics and how both Daniel and Cam appreciated and respected what they did.

What I think Cam had an edge over Daniel was that Cam was completely in awe of Maggie's work and talent. He respected and admired the hell out of her and how she worked her way up from nothing to where she is now. And how he realized he had everything handed to him.

So I just really enjoyed that Cam was there to basically appreciate the hell out of Maggie. So he was less fleshed out than he could be. I thought the romance it was too quickly paced and the angst was not as developed as it could have been.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book a lot, especially with the whole theatre world that was so richly developed. You can see Eva Leigh really researched the hell out of all the professions that these women had.

The book also introduces us to the heroine and hero of the next book, Lady Sarah Frampton, the Duke of Wakefield's daughter and Jeremy, Cam's cousin who's a vicar. Lady Sarah is the shy wallflower who also happens to be the author of The Lady of Dubious Quality books... so that should make for a very interesting book...
Profile Image for Bree Hill.
822 reviews578 followers
January 7, 2020
Time stopping touches and dizzying kisses. Scandal Takes the Stage is slow (very slow) burn romance between Maggie and Cam. I'll have a full review on my blog soon, but I will say, I don't think this is everyones cup of tea for the simple fact that it Is slow. At one point I was conflicted as to..when is slow burn just Slow? But it's beautiful and when the ending comes and the curtain falls, it is absolutely worth it!
Profile Image for Mariana.
692 reviews76 followers
June 30, 2016
3.5 stars

I enjoyed the first book better. Although both heroes were rakes, it was harder for me to warm up to Cam. The last chapter was the best and earned the extra half star.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,235 reviews445 followers
July 28, 2020
In Scandal Takes the Stage, notorious rake, Cameron Chalton, Viscount Marwood, shows his softer, more caring side, when it comes to the theatre. Since a child, he's always loved going to see plays performed, of any kind, and none more so than those put on at the Imperial, written by the mysterious Mrs Delamere. Maggie has suffered a lot in her life, but through her writing and her shows, she's managed to find a place in the world where she is comfortable. She still is wary around nobles, even considering her best friend, Eleanor, is the new Countess of Ashford, but the theatre set are her family. When Cam appears at the Imperial again and again, Maggie is apprehensive about his intentions, but her writer's block over the highly anticipated sequel of her biggest hit has pushed her to spend more time with him, especially when he offers her his country estate as a writer's retreat. When the attraction soon develops into love with Cam and Maggie be able to push the boundaries of society and marry, like the Ashford's have, or will their differing social status be too much to overcome?

To say this book was fabulous would be an understatement. As soon as I finished Forever Your Earl, I started this one, because Maggie and Cam had so intrigued me in that book, I needed to see their love story for myself! Both of them were perfect for their roles and the time period. Cam has always felt different to the rest of his very serious family, and never expected to marry, at least not marry well like his parents had, and fall in love with his wife. His younger brother was married, and had a son, so there was an heir, so no rush. Meeting Maggie though, turned his head to be more serious himself, stop all the carousing and womanising, and settle himself to better pursuits. Becoming a patron is one step on the right track, but when he is with Maggie, especially alone, the true Marwood appears, and we understand him so much more. Just like with Cam, when Maggie's history comes out, and we see her more vulnerable side, we definitely understand that these two were made for each other, and can bolster the other, and help them to be their very best self. They were perfect together, and their love story is one of the best I've read recently. I can't wait for book 3!
Profile Image for snowplum.
161 reviews28 followers
October 8, 2016
As I headed in NaNoWriMo, I was hoping for a fun book about a lady writer who gets herself a muse who is in love with her at least as much because of her talent as any other reason, and they have fun together and make art and live happily ever after. I didn't really have any strong feelings about whether I needed this book to be super sexy or reasonably tame in that regard -- either way could have been fine. For a while in the middle of the book, I thought that perhaps Ms. Leigh was going to split the difference and end up with a disappointingly bland book, but then she seemed to get where she had intended to go all along, and the latter half of the book was a really nice balance of genuine moments between people I liked and some sexy bits that were artfully done without being coy or trashy.

I dunno, I guess we all have our own calibrations, but words like "scandal" and "wicked" tend to make me think a book is going to be a little more adventurous, and overall I would not call this book adventurous. Cam was a rake before he fell in love with Maggie, you know. How do you know this? Because he and a few other characters tell you that he was. With language that makes me think more of a Brady Bunch episode than... anything sexy. ("Gosh, Cam! You sure are a rake!" "Aw, Maggie, don't worry about that. That was before you said you'd go steady with me.")

And Maggie's plays are supposedly very good -- moving people to both laughter and true catharsis. How do you know? Because characters say so. Yet every time you see a quote from one of her plays, it seems an awful lot like an uninspired cliche to me. That is the most disappointing things about this book, by far. Maggie, as written, isn't even as good a writer as Ms. Leigh, who is writing her!

The only other thing I'd mention not liking so much about this book is actually a reflection of historical reality, so it's not Ms. Leigh's fault, exactly... I just don't know if I'd have chosen to write (or read) a book that really hinges on this one fact -- that a female writer known to be having an affair would not be able to have her work performed because it would be too tainted with scandal. So, Maggie resists having an affair with Cam because it could ruin her career -- which, of course, is a dilemma that in essence I find sympathetic. Yet I can't help but think it's reasonably easily solved by publishing under a pen name. Yeah, society's not perfect and you deserve to get credit and acclaim for your work if you want it. But we're talking about the past as it actually existed, so there's no point in fighting about it. But if you want to have an affair and have your plays performed, it's not exactly an unsolvable dilemma.

But I really ought to say that if you want a happy ending romantic book about a writer who does get to have it all in the end -- love and passion and creative fulfillment being 'all' -- this one does fit the bill. It really does, and rather sweetly. Not so scandalously and wickedly... but, that's not so terrible as long as you know what to expect. :)
Profile Image for Pam  Bereznak.
1,116 reviews57 followers
July 12, 2022
I am writing a lot of nothing just to get to my point but I wanted it out there. So for about 2 months now, I've been trying to work on reading books that have been sitting on my Kindle fire and that I needed to read. I really wanted to clean them out of my Kindle. Some had been sitting there for several years and I just wanted them gone. I also wanted to review authors again I thought I wanted to read to really see if I actually wanted to read them. Basically spring cleaning my Kindle.

With all that being said, I decided there were a lot of authors I didn't really want to read anymore and could mark off my list and finally get to those books sitting on my kindle and get them read.

Well to say I have been disappointed is not a strong enough word. I can't tell you how many books I've returned to Kindle Unlimited or asked for a refund. Even though I had some really good reads from my established authors in between, I felt like I wasted 2 months but finally at a good place with books cleaned out, removed or read.

Since my favorite authors new releases have been slowly trickling into 2022 and since I read almost a book a day or more, I had to find something to read. So I went through my huge word doc of all the authors I've read and my notes on them and found old authors I had previously read and forgotten.

One of those authors is Eva Leigh. I had bought Book 1 in this series back in October, 2019 but didn't actually read it until February, 2020. I made no notes about it, nor did I say anything on Goodreads so don't remember if I liked it or not. So after researching Eva Leigh again, I decided to pick up this book 2 and give her another go. (I know! All that "talk" just to get to this)

I am so glad I did. Even though this isn't my usual style of read in Regency and it took me a bit to "get into it" it was really good. Eva Leigh writes very well. I found there was no confusion on who was who and what was what. I really liked this book. A Lot. I loved Maggie and Cam. Their chemistry was hot and the sex was hotter. I love the comfort and ease they came to have with each other. I love how they fed off each other. I loved the angst, the uncertainty, the suspense, the excitement. Just such a great read. I loved it.

I've already downloaded book 3 and book 1 of another series of hers.
I would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Fae.
944 reviews23 followers
June 19, 2022
2019 read: 5 stars
2020 read: 3.5 stars
2022 read: 2 stars

2020 review
okay i just would like to say that i enjoyed Forever Your Earl more than this mainly because the banter in this book is not as good as in Forever Your Earl and i did not like Maggie as much as I liked Eleanor. Maggie was pretty cold and not very nice to Cam for the first quarter of the book because of her assumption that most aristocrats are not good people and I did not like that she judged Cam in the same way when he's only ever been nice to her.

this was a slow build relationship and i liked how they became gradually closer. however, it would have been nice to see maggie resolve her issues with her family and more bonding time spent between maggie and cam. i did not like the part where cam was in london and maggie was in the countryside as they realized some things about one another. would have preferred for them to speak more about themselves to each other.

despite my issues with the book, i really enjoyed reading this one.

2022 review
This one bored the heck out of me. So many inner thoughts and descriptions and yet so little interactions between Maggie and cam. The first half of the book was fine but I lost my patience soon after. Started skimming the rest of the book after chapter 18. It was really boring. The romance plot moved too slow. I also couldn’t find much about the hero and heroine that I could love.

The chemistry between cam and Maggie was questionable, the conversations between them was boring the heck out of my mind, and I was seriously asking myself if I should continue reading on. Alas, I did finish the book, which disappointed me anyway.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Britt Marczak.
488 reviews32 followers
November 8, 2015

Wow! I really, really enjoyed book one, Forever Your Earl, but this book impressed me more! I found myself loving it even more than book one, but they're both simply fantastic.

Again, this is very smart, feminist historical romance with everything in it. There's a delightfully slow burning heat between the hero and heroine, wity banter, and enticing story. I read it all in one sitting because I simply couldn't put the book down!

Book three can't come fast enough!
Profile Image for Carole.
1,359 reviews14 followers
May 17, 2016
I enjoyed parts of the story, but did not enjoy it as much as the first book in the Wicked Quills of London series. While I found the writing in Book 1 to be fresh and new and not full of hackneyed historical romance dialogue and metaphors, this book had more of the cliched dialogue and I was a bit disappointed in comparison.

I found their internal dialogue 'we can't be together because Society won't let us" (particularly on the part of the Heroine) was repeated so many times I found it a bit tedious and annoying - alright already I get it. Towards the end of the book I found the Heroine to be overly melodramatic and I came to like her character less and less as the book developed.

Disappointed due to expectations based on reading Book One: Forever Your Earl. Final: 3 Stars
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for herdys.
569 reviews36 followers
November 1, 2015
I'm sad to say I didn't love this one as much. Maggie was a great heroine and Cam was charming, but there wasn't much happening in this book. The angst also felt a little flat. I get that Cam had issues, but to see them suffering both just because he thought he didn't want to marry, was a little anticlimatic.

It was by no means a bad book, but compared to the first one it wasn't as exciting, though Eva's witty style of writting was still present, thankfully! ^^
Profile Image for The_Book_Queen.
1,531 reviews250 followers
June 3, 2017
Story: It was okay. To be quite honest, I was bored and zoning out throughout, so it didn't truly hold my attention. There were moments that I liked, and I liked the idea of a woman playwright and a lord who loves all things theater -- but the execution fell a bit flat for me. And the romance is a very, very slow burn, leaving me a bit disappointed by that, too. Didn't hate the story/romance, but didn't OMG LOVE IT, either.

Narrator: NOPE. I really didn't like this narrator. She spoke way too slow (yes, I know you can increase an audio's speed but I don't like how that sounds, regardless of narrator), and dropped in and out of random, partial accents from scene to scene, I swear. Honestly, I won't listen to her again. And yes, her narrator definitely added to my "bored/zoning out" that I mentioned about the story itself, but even if there had been a different narrator, or I had read this book, I'm still pretty sure the story itself would have still been a 3 for me. The narrator? Barely a 2.
Profile Image for Rose Blue.
644 reviews26 followers
October 25, 2015
3.5 Stars
Reviewed at Roses Are Blue http://wp.me/p3QRh4-f7

Cameron Chalton, Viscount Marwood is enjoying his privileged life, indulging his passions for fun, beautiful women, and the theatre. His ego takes a slight beating when he finally meets noted playwright, Margaret “Maggie” Delamere, and she can’t get away from him quickly enough. Used to women who long to be in his company, Cameron is all the more determined to win Maggie over. Not only is she very attractive, but she’s penned some marvelous plays, and Cam is a serious fan of her work. What Cam doesn’t know is that Maggie had a very painful experience with another aristocrat when she was younger, and is determined to avoid them at all costs.

Maggie has another issue – for the first time, she has writer’s block. The pressure is on, as the theatre’s sponsors need to have her new work in a matter of weeks. If she can’t produce, the theatre will have to close, putting herself and her actor friends out of work. In a weak moment, Maggie confesses her problem to Cam. To her surprise, Cam decides to support the theatre financially, and also offers Maggie access to his country estate, where she can write without all the distractions happening in the city.

Initially, Maggie came off as prickly and not very likeable. Instead of confessing that she was having trouble writing, she let everyone believe that things were fine. Her treatment of Cam, without even knowing him, was rude and abrupt. For his part, Cam originally acted the part of the frivolous, shallow rake. As we learn later, the injury Maggie suffered at the hands of another aristocratic lord when she was still in her teens was great indeed, and sheds light on her behavior. Once Cam allows his real self to emerge, he’s quite a different person. He has a serious love for the theatre, and respects Maggie and her work. When he comes to visit the country estate, his company actually feeds Maggie’s muse, and she begins writing ferociously.

Away from the city and other distractions, Maggie and Cam begin to see each other in a new light. They begin an affair, knowing that it’s doomed to be of short duration. Once they’re back in the city, each must return to his own world. This was a very original story, with an atypical heroine. For their love to survive past this idyllic interlude, they will both have to be willing to spend part of their lives in the other’s world, and face the prejudice of those who scorn an aristocrat and a working class woman. Eva Leigh’s Scandal Takes the Stage is an entertaining and compelling read. I recommend it, and look forward to future books from her.
Profile Image for Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥ .
205 reviews133 followers
April 10, 2016
The good and bad about reading reviews prior to reading a book. Yes, I believe that you can get a hint of what to expect in the book, but I try not to venture too far so not to learn the end before i have even started at the beginning. The bad, we as readers have different opinions, what I like may not be to their likings. So if you rely or focus on a readers opinion you might possibly miss out on a great read because it was not to someones liking.
My thoughts: Scandal Takes the Stage is again yet another great reading adventure by Eva Leigh. I was anticipating Maggie's story and her hidden secret. And what a perfect romantic partner: Cam. He himself has some hidden desires. Cam comes to the rescue when Maggie finds herself in a situation that may jeopardize everything that she grounds her. Once Maggie agrees to Cam's help, she finds her "voice" again. The cat and mouse game between Cam and Maggie is what adds spice to the storyline. It was a pleasant read, one that I couldn't put down for very long. I like the writing style of Ms. Leigh, she provides a solid background of the characters, allowing you to see them as a dimensional person and not just flat character. She brings the characters to life with her words and spins a tale that grabs you as she takes you on a romantic and sometimes quirky journey.
Profile Image for Phoenix77.
347 reviews42 followers
November 6, 2015
All the world may be a stage but very rarely do things happen according to script. It is these deviations from the expected that create compelling stories and entertaining characters for us to enjoy. Author Eva Leigh directs her characters through the pitfalls of duty, love and classism with a backdrop of the London theater scene in her newest book Scandal Takes the Stage.

Please read the full review at Romantic Historical Reviews
Profile Image for WTF Are You Reading?.
1,306 reviews91 followers
July 14, 2015
It is now 1:15AM. I have just finished Cam and Maggie's story, and my eyes are brimming with happy tears. This is truly an awesome romance. I can't wait to release my full review closer to publication.
Wow! Just wow!
Great series!
Profile Image for victoria.p.
963 reviews26 followers
February 21, 2018
I liked this okay, though I found it very repetitive in terms of the heroine's thoughts about why she couldn't be with the hero. I was also a little disappointed she never brought up his childhood writing efforts once they were together.
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