A Beginner’s Guide to Scandal (Tales from Honeysuckle Street)

Alivia Fleur

Best friends and partners in crime, young Iris Abberton and Hamish Dalton get into everything together. A carriage accident changes that; crippling Hamish’s father, the Earl, and killing his brother and mother. Hamish and his father repair to the country so Hamish can be schooled in the responsibilities of an Earl. Iris is heartbroken because she loves Hamish. Twelve years later, Hamish returns to find a bride. Hamish is in love with Iris, but his focus is on creating a scandal to darken the family name, just to spite his father. Iris’ father is the head of Abberton and Co. Unknown to the board, his memory is failing, so Iris has been running the company in his stead. She does not have time for Hamish; she does not want to be hurt by him when he marries. But sometimes best friends make the best of brides…

“A Beginner’s Guide to Scandal” is a delightful romp through the intertwined lives of Iris and Hamish. Hard as nails on the outside, Iris has a soft inside with needs she reveals only to Hamish. Hamish is not a strong hero. He really is not sure what he wants, he just obeys his father. He does have one independent thought – to blacken the Dalton name, but it has a horrible unwanted consequence. Though the story drags at times, testing the reader’s patience, Ms. Fleur skillfully weaves a story with many townspeople and makes them all distinct and easy enough to keep track of. Several of the ancillary characters are three dimensional, and they really help to support the story. A beautiful tale where love triumphs over all!

Belinda Wilson