In Search of Scandal

London Explorers, #1

I simply adored Susanne Lord’s IN SEARCH OF SCANDAL. To say her writing is fresh feels like too trite a description. Her voice is more than fresh. Lord’s characters come alive on the page. They are funny, complicated, flawed, and utterly charming. This story is a true romance, with all other plot elements relegated to the background, allowing the relationship between Will Repton, famous explorer, and vivacious Charlotte Baker to take center stage. In a genre glutted with dukes, it was especially pleasurable to encounter a hero who is simply an extraordinary man, one who’s seen and experienced more than most. Will is a delicious hero—wounded, haunted, resistant to emotion, and yet open to experience enough to find the overly exuberant Charlotte Baker absolutely fascinating.

Rather than a relationship full of antagonism, I tend to prefer romances in which the couple cannot resist each other and yet do and must, either because of circumstance or emotional hang-ups. Despite Charlotte’s initial hopes, this hero and heroine do not rush into love. Their awkward moments, their tentative flirtation, their stops and starts, and the challenges they face together comprise one of the most enjoyable journeys I’ve taken as a romance reader in a very long while.

Lord does an excellent job creating a cast of lovable secondary characters and a sufficiently menacing antagonist, providing both moments of humor and a believable conflict for Will and Charlotte to tackle. The most important tensions in the story, however, are emotional, and emotion is where Lord’s writing truly shines. From the very first page, I felt Will’s awkwardness and Charlotte’s youthful energy. In every scene, Lord lays her characters’ emotions bare, and it made IN SEARCH OF SCANDAL compulsively readable and one of my favorite romances I’ve read this year.

IN SEARCH OF SCANDAL took me on an emotional adventure, with moments ranging from sweet to sexy, funny to heart wrenching. I wholeheartedly recommend this debut Victorian historical romance, and I can’t wait for more from Susanne Lord.


Book Blurb for In Search of Scandal

A DARING EXPLORER

All of London is abuzz with the tale of Will Repton. The lone survivor of a massacre in Tibet has returned to England a hero, but the traumatized explorer has no time for glory. Another dangerous expedition awaits. Nothing will deter him from his quest, and no one will unearth his secret-until Will meets Charlotte Baker.

IS NO MATCH FOR AN ADVENTUROUS HEART

Vivacious Charlotte Baker also has a mission-to find a man whose bold spirit matches her own. When she meets Will Repton, she immediately recognizes him as her soul mate, and she's naively willing to turn her back on the rules of propriety to ensnare him. Will is torn between his fascination with Charlotte and his vow to finish his quest. He knows what it is to risk life and limb-but what if his most perilous adventure doesn't lie across an ocean, but within his own lost heart?


Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2015 4.50