In a one-woman war against scandal...Lord Oliver Stonenden gets whatever he wants-except the beautiful and headstrong Katharine Daltry. Katharine is the only woman who has ever denied him, and he cannot forget her. When he sees a chance to aid her cause by seducing a troublesome countess who is threatening Katharine's family, he rises to the occasion.Her heart is the battlIn a one-woman war against scandal...Lord Oliver Stonenden gets whatever he wants-except the beautiful and headstrong Katharine Daltry. Katharine is the only woman who has ever denied him, and he cannot forget her. When he sees a chance to aid her cause by seducing a troublesome countess who is threatening Katharine's family, he rises to the occasion.Her heart is the battlegroundKatharine Daltry concentrates on developing her skill at painting and avoids Polite Society, not least of all the handsome, heartless Lord Stonenden, whose proposal she flatly refused five years ago. But when her country cousin appeals to her for help, Katharine quickly finds herself at the very center of both scandal and controversy. And it seems a heartless rake is just the ally she needs......
|Title||:||The Marchington Scandal|
|Number of Pages||:||220 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Marchington Scandal Reviews
LAST BOOK OF 2014 and it left me with a smile on my face :')
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. If it hadn't been for the main character, I probably would have.There are two storylines in this book - the titular Marchington Scandal, and the Stonendon/Katharine entanglement. Elinor Marchington is Katharine's country cousin, and she and her husband, Tom, are in London to experience their very first Season. They are both very young - Elinor is 18, Tom is 20 - but neither were allowed to enter Town Society before they got married, so they've decided that, since they're adults now, they can do whatever they want. Elinor begs Katharine for entree, and though Katharine would rather eat ground glass, she gives in and takes the Marchingtons to a couple of parties, etc.Tom Marchington makes a complete fool of himself by instantly fawning over the Countess Standen, a beautiful widow in her 40s. He's openly ignoring his wife and following the countess around like a puppy dog, and when he comes up against a rival for the countess's affections, he challenges said man to a duel. In short, he acts like a total asshole, thereby creating the Society stir that becomes the Marchington scandal. Elinor is horrified by her husband's behavior and begs Katharine to intervene and bring Tom to heel. Katharine has no real idea on how to do this - she doesn't have many male friends, and Elinor refuses to bring Tom's father to town to talk to him. Her bright idea is instead to have her friend Tony Tillston pay flattery to Elinor in a bid to make Tom jealous. It makes him jealous, all right - it makes everything ten times worse than it was to begin with, as Tom doubles down on his pursuit of the countess.Meanwhile, Tony has discovered that Katharine paints in oils, quite unusual for a woman, and sneaks a couple of her pieces out of her studio when she's not looking. He then invites her to a meeting at Sir Thomas Lawrence's salon. Sir Thomas is a famous portrait artist and Katharine is intimidated by meeting him - and she is absolutely scandalized when Tony then produces the paintings he purloined from her studio and has Sir Thomas examine them right there, in front of everyone.Sir Thomas proclaims them good, for an amateur with no formal training, and has Oliver Stonenden back his opinion. It's created quite a stir, and Katharine is feeling quite good about herself, when a voice pops up claiming that there's no way she could've painted the pictures, because everyone knows women can't paint in oils. This interloper, Winstead, is given a proper setdown by Stonenden at the meeting, but he takes his revenge the next day when he writes a thinly-veiled rant in the Morning Post, basically calling out Katharine and calling her a liar, etc. She responds, very coolly and smartly, which only makes Winstead even angrier. He confronts her at the theater one evening and dares her to paint in public, to prove that she actually can. She accepts his dare, and Stonenden offers himself up as a subject. He wants a portrait to hang in his family's gallery and he is considered a well-known art critic whose word is gold. Everyone agrees that if he says Katharine painted the finished product, they will believe him.So Stoneneden comes to Katharine's studio, in the attic of her London home, several times over the course of the next few weeks. It's all very proper, as Katharine's companion, her cousin Mary, is in the room at all times. Nevertheless, Stonenden takes a great interest in Katharine, asking her about her work and how her interest in it developed while she was in India with her father and her fiance (who died in battle there).He is delighted by the final version of the painting and insists on throwing a huge ball to unveil it. Katharine demurs, not wanting to be in public when its revealed to one and all, so Stonenden offers a compromise - he will "hide" her behind a tapestry in his ballroom, so she can be there and see everything without being seen herself, and she can garner the full reaction to her work. She agrees to this, and basically sits around anxiously until the time comes for the party.The party happens, Stonenden unveils the portrait, and even Winstead has to admit that it is good. Stonenden brings Sir Thomas Lawrence right up to it so Katharine can hear his favorable opinion of the work loud and clear. She does, and she's quite happy about it until she hears a couple of snide remarks from known ton gossips, talking about how it's obvious from the way she painted Stonenden that she's hopelessly in love with him.She is, of course, but for some reason having the gossips, well, gossip about it makes her furious and sad. She thinks that Stonenden is also in love with Tom's Countess Standen, for he has been paying her very obvious suit in an attempt to scare Tom off. Countess Standen also believes that Stonenden is actually interested in her, and she takes every opportunity to rub Katharine's nose in it.The thing is, though, that Katharine should've realized what was going on, because it was quite obvious when it happened. Katharine was telling her friend Eliza Bunham about the Marchington problem, and being unable to think of a way to bring Tom's infatuation to an end. Eliza thinks about it, and when she leaves Katharine she goes straight to Stonenden and outlines her plan. Katharine even sees them talking, and somehow doesn't make the connection from her conversation to this one. I thought that was just an OOC moment in service to the plot, but oh no. It becomes quite obvious as the story goes on that Katharine is a complete and total moron.So things come to a head soon after Katharine's portrait is revealed. Tom challenges Stonenden to a duel over the Countess, and Katharine very dramatically tries to stop it (eyeroll). Stonenden fires into the air, but Tom shoots straight at him, grazing his arm with a bullet. That, plus the arrival of his parents in town, brings an end to his foolishness. His parents are incredibly overbearing, so its obvious why he rebelled as hard as he did. The elder Marchingtons drag Tom and Elinor back to the country, and Elinor begs Katharine to join them, which she does, after the Countess stops by to commission her for a matching portrait to Stonenden's.Katharine doesn't know it, but that is the Countess's revenge for Stonenden dumping her after she dumps Tom. Stonenden attempts to call on her, but Katharine flees with the Marchingtons because she can't bear to face him. Eventually he follows her, professes his love, and proposes marriage, which she accepts this time around.Everything about this book was delightful, save Katharine. Ashford's writing is tight and witty and her characters are well-drawn and interesting. Tony Tillston, cousin Mary, Elinor and Tom and all the Society naybobs are a lot of fun. Stonenden is not quite as well delineated, because the entire book is written from Katharine's POV, and most of the time she's angsting over him for basically no reason, so she doesn't really ruminate on any of his qualities other than those that make her jealous.Katharine is the reason I had such a low opinion of this book. She is a total twerp. She claims that she doesn't care about Society's opinion of her, but obviously she does, judging by her actions and reactions. I wanted to like her, because she's independent and different and confident in her art, but her jealousy makes her unreasonable to the extreme. Finding out that everyone thinks she's in love with Stonenden humiliates her (so much for not caring about Society's opinions). She stops painting altogether after the portrait reveal. She refuses to listen to reason, from any of her friends. She finds her cousin Elinor childish and irritating, even though Elinor acts more mature that Katharine herself does. After awhile, it grates on the nerves.At the end of the book, when Stonenden is listing all of the reasons why he loves Katharine, I wonder why he even bothers. If she's that obstinate and stubborn and untrusting (and he does get a bit short when she acts deliberately obtuse), then what's the point? I felt sorry for him, because he deserved better than a nitwit for a wife.As far as sensuality goes, this book is a true traditional Regency - there is no explicit sex or even innuendo (though there is one scene that does imply innuendo in service of the plot, but it is immediately thereafter explained as such so that doesn't really count IMO). There is only one kiss, at the very end after Katharine accepts Stonenden's proposal. Ms. Ashford's is emotionally fraught, though, so there isn't much missing as far as UST or angst goes.I formed the opinion while reading the book that this has to be one of this author's earlier efforts, because she actually gets several Regency era details wrong, most notably titles and honorifics. If this was the first book set in this era that I'd ever read, I wouldn't have noticed anything, but reading it back to back with one of her known later efforts gave me pause. All of her books have been reissued by Sourcebooks and since I didn't have this one in paperback I couldn't easily check the copyright stamp.Like I said - with a stronger heroine, this book would've been a true delight. As it is, it goes with The Bargain as one of those books that is incredibly well-written but nonetheless disappointing.
This book was published in 1982 and clearly falls into the category of a "traditional " Regency romance. There is just one kiss at the end of the book, for example. The H/h form a bond through conversation in a traditional Regency; although here there is not much of that, and instead a brief and unsatisfactory courtship from several years before creates the foundation for the story. Family members act up to propel the plot forward and also help clear up misunderstandings, as is common in the genre. I would think that readers of Georgette Heyer, Candice Hern, Joan Smith or possibly M.C. Beaton would enjoy this, especially because I don't think anyone writes books like this now! The heroine is likable, and the description of her work in painting is well done. The hero is less well developed. There is not as much humor as in a Heyer book. The fact that the heroine spent four years in India seems underutilized, other than the idea that she developed her interest in painting there because she had the privacy and time to do so in India, which she probably would not have done if she had continued as a English debutant There is one character named Elinor and another named Elise, which I found confusing -- characters with similar names are just a pet peeve of mine. I accessed the book through the OverDrive library app.
When I started this book I expected more I found that it was predictable and really boring. I felt the main character should have had more spunk to pull this book off and the secondary characters were too whiny for my taste. I thought there would be more humor to this book and there was not I just wanted it to be over I did finish the book, however, I would have liked for Katharine to be outspoken and strong willed. The cousins drove me nuts I would have tossed the lot out if I was Katharine.
The Marchington Scandal was pleasant, but increasingly anti-climactic. Each plot element fell flat, from the quarrel with Mr Winstead to the titular scandal. It took an unnecessarily long time for Katharine and Stonenden to admit their feelings for one another and the book ended almost immediately after they did. That said, I liked Katharine, Stonenden, Tony, and Mary. Ashford doesn't move far beyond the archetypes they represent, but they're nicely drawn and there are a few details that add texture to each of the four characters. Katharine has a more interesting past than most heroines and for once, her late fiancé is no great obstacle in her life, while Stonenden's plan (view spoiler)[for Katharine to observe the exhibition (hide spoiler)] is particularly original. The relationship between Katharine and Stonenden became far more interesting when they started to talk and not simply tease one another. Though Ashford doesn't linger on their conversations too much, I got a sense of their shared interests and their growing respect for one another's opinions as they spoke. I became more invested in their relationship; (view spoiler)[I only wish Tony didn't have to suffer as a result of it. I can't blame Katharine for the fact that she didn't notice that he felt more for her than mere friendship, but I empathized with his position and I wanted better for him. (hide spoiler)] Other than that, I didn't find anyone else more than tolerable. Elinor had her cute moments as she matured, but Tom, Lady Agnes, and Sir Lionel drove me nuts. I suppose they were supposed to, but I would've preferred to spend less time with them and more time with, say, Tony Tillston or Mary Daltry.Overall, The Marchington Scandal was a nice book for a lazy day, but nothing terribly special.
There was very little romance in this book and almost zero passion other than a very brief love scene thrown in there towards the end. The author might as well have salvaged the book as a "clean read" for those who are the kind of audience for that kind of book. Because it is wholly unsatisfying to a reader like me who would actually like to see read some steam between a romantic pair. Honestly, this book barely qualifies as a romance. I think it was attempting to be a witty comedy of manners type of book. But it just came across as a frenetic, repetitive screeching of badly behaved people.
The book's plot was interesting, but the heroine was so whiny at the end!
Enjoyable but the characters felt a little distant.
I could only give this book three stars, because Katherine got whinny at the end instead of being the strong woman she was throughout the book