Not Quite a Scandal

Romance - Historical
389 Pages
Reviewed on 04/25/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

Not Quite a Scandal is Book 2 in the Audacious Ladies of Audley Regency romance series by Bliss Bennet. Bathsheba Audley Honeychurch is a young Quaker known for being outspoken, especially about the anti-slavery movement. When Ash Griffin, her intended fiancé, learns that he has relatives he never knew about and is heir to wealth and a noble title, Bathsheba is determined to steer him away from the worldliness these bring. Equally determined to guide Ash is his newfound worldly cousin Noel Griffin. He wants to mentor Ash in his new role and separate him from Bathsheba and her non-conformist faith. As family secrets unfold, misunderstandings arise, truths are revealed, and scandals threaten them, Bathsheba and Noel discover that more than wealth and a title are at stake. An author’s commentary provides insight into the Quaker faith and the anti-slavery movement.

In Not Quite a Scandal, Bliss Bennet gives us a well-paced and engaging historical romance set against the social complexities of 1820s England. I enjoyed the skillful weaving of historical figures and events into the plot. At the heart of the story stands Bathsheba, dedicated to her principles if sometimes ill-advised in her blunt expression of them. She’s a wonderful heroine, blinded at times by her convictions yet humble enough to take herself to task when she oversteps them. But my favorite character is Noel, a man initially opposed to Bathsheba in the struggle over Ash but who comes to appreciate her intellect and strength of character as no other man has. I’ve not read Bliss Bennet’s romances before, but Not Quite a Scandal has made me eager to do so.