Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FAMILY SCANDALS by Denise Patrick

Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date published: 8/28/12
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via Publisher

Amy Houghton was just fourteen when, acting on her brother Douglas’s advice, she married Marcus Waring. Then Douglas and Marcus went off to war in India, Amy’s life became even more complicated as her step-siblings’ hatred of her grew ever more obvious. After her parents’ and Douglas’s deaths, Amy is forced to flee her home. Her husband has never contacted her. Maybe he’s forgotten her.

Marcus is saddened when informed of his wife’s death, but he’s happy enough in India until circumstances demand he returns home. There are so many scandals and hidden things in both their families, Marcus may never be able to separate truth from lies. When he meets his brother’s children and their governess, he’s as attracted to Corinna as she is to him. And just when they start to know each other again, someone wants Corinna dead.

The historical aspects are well done, providing an intriguing backdrop to much of the action, apart from one character’s tendency to say “You’re welcome” which didn’t come into vogue for about another 35 years.

This is a complicated story of families with second marriages, step siblings, name changes, titles added and deleted, and tangled relationships, but then again, that’s quite true to real life. The family scandals are all mighty fascinating, as are so many of the characters, each with their idiosyncrasies and their secrets. There’s a very large cast of characters, and so many of them are a delight to meet.

Corinna’s bedroom moves twice, the first time by mistake. It starts off near the stairs to the nursery, and ends up off the nursery. Later, she gets a much nicer bedroom. I also noticed a couple of clanging dangling modifiers, but for such a long and complicated book, it’s really handled well, and the characters and story shine through. Marcus is a wonderful hero, trying to do the right thing by everyone, confused about the past, concerned about the future, yet through it all a tower of strength and a joy to follow. Corinna also is a sparkling gem of a person, with insecurities and worries, but great inner strength, vitality and a sense of humor.

I do wish they’d photo-shopped the cover model’s eyes to make them the right color, though.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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